Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reuters: Conservative Republican Tells Investigators That It Was He Who Decided to Give Conservative Groups Scrutiny

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON | Sun Jun 9, 2013 5:06pm EDT

(Reuters) - A U.S. Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy.
In an official interview transcript released on Sunday by Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, the manager said he and an underling set aside "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups that had applied for tax-exempt status because the organizations appeared to pose a new precedent that could affect future IRS filings.
Cummings, top Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducting the probe, told CNN's "State of the Union" program that the manager's comments provided evidence that politics was not behind IRS actions that have fueled a month-long furor in Washington.
"He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way toward showing that the White House was not involved in this," Cummings told CNN's "State of the Union" program.
"Based upon everything I've seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on," he added.
Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said he would release a full transcript of the committee's interviews with IRS officials by the end of this week, if the panel's Republican chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, does not.

Darrell Issa's Amazing Feat

We see a stage. A curtain is open to each side.

ANNOUNCER: "Ladies and gentlemen...the amazing...the astounding...the remarkable...Daredevil Darrell Issa!"

Issa emerges clad in daredevil suit, festooned with stars.

ISSA: "I will now attempt a very serious, a very solemn task, one that calls for the greatest fairness, principle & courage.

I will attempt to drive an automobile directly through a flaming hoop--straight through a wall of fire--all while wearing the incorruptible Blindfold of Justice."

Issa points to a large hoop positioned centrally midstage.

ISSA: "To ensure that I have no undue influence on this remarkable feat, I will first select an unbiased, objective member of the public at random, to light the hoop on fire".

Issa removes a can of lighter fluid from his inner suit pocket. He walks to the hoop, & sprays it liberally with the fluid. He then removes a packet of matches from his pocket, strikes one, & lights the hoop aflame.

ISSA (gravely): "Now...Produce the automobile!"

A red Maserati is driven out onto the stage.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: "Hey! That's my car!"

Issa strides to the car. He opens the driver's side door.

ISSA: "Now...the Blindfold of Justice".

With a flourish, he wraps the blindfold around his head, and positions it around his eyes. It has two large, gaping holes.

ISSA: "And now...straight through the hoop--without a gap or pause!"

Issa slowly drives the vehicle around the side of the hoop, evading the hoop and the flame entirely, stopping on the other side. He emerges.

ISSA: "We have three judges behind the curtain, & while I cannot bring them out, I have read their transcripts, & each has concluded...I have done it! I have passed through the wall of fire to the other side!"

The audience is silent, with the exception of Jason Chaffetz, who applauds with overexcited exaggeration, & Trey Gowdy, who rises & shouts "Justice!" with a vicious glare.

Issa sourly frowns.