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IRS Timeline

RNC Communications - May 13, 2013

Today, Obama said he first heard about the scandal Friday which is strange because there’s been news coverage, Congressional testimony, the IRS chief knew a year ago and the White House Counsel knew a month ago. If Obama is mad at anyone it should be at his staff for dropping the ball…

March 2010: The IRS Begins Targeting Conservative Organizations.

“The targeting of conservatives by the IRS started earlier and was more extensive than the IRS acknowledged last week, according to a draft IRS inspector general report obtained by ABC News. As we reported on ‘Good Morning America’ this morning, the IRS began targeting ‘Tea Party or similar organizations’ in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases ‘Tea Party,’ ‘patriots’ and ‘9/12’ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.” (Jonathan Karl, “IRS IG Report: Targeting Conservatives Began In 2010,” ABC News, 5/13/13)

June 2011: Lois Lerner, The Director Of The IRS’s Office In Charge Of Oversight Over Tax-Exempt Groups, Found Out About The Targeting Of Conservative Groups.

“Lerner learned in June 2011 that agents had targeted groups with names including ‘Tea Party’ and ‘Patriots,’ according to the draft obtained by NBC News.”(Erin McClam, “5 Unanswered Questions About The IRS’s Targeting Of Conservative Groups,” NBC News, 5/13/13)

March 7, 2012: The New York Times Noted That The IRS Was Specifically Looking Into Tea Party Groups.

“Tea Party supporters claim they are being politically harassed with extensive I.R.S. questionnaires. But the service properly contends that it must ensure that these groups are ‘primarily’ engaged in social welfare, not political campaigning, to merit tax exemption under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Such I.R.S. inquiries are long overdue and should be applied across the board to the growing number of organizations, allied with the major political parties, that are also ludicrously posing as ‘social welfare’ groups.”(Editorial, “The IRS Does Its Job,” The New York Times, 3/7/12)

March 22, 2012: Then-Commissioner Of The IRS Douglas Shulman Testified Before The Subcommittee On Oversight On The House Ways And Means Committee, Saying “There Is Absolutely No Targeting” Of Tea Party Groups At The IRS.

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY (R-LA): “We have seen some recent press allegations that the IRS is targeting certain Tea Party groups across the country requesting what have been described as onerous document requests, delaying approval for tax exempt status, and that kind of thing. Can you elaborate on what is going on with that? Can you give us assurances that the IRS is not targeting particular groups based on political leanings?” IRS COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS SHULMAN: “Thanks for bringing this up. I think there has been a lot of press about this and a lot of moving information. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify. First, let me start by saying yes, I can give you assurances. As you know, we pride ourselves on being a non‑political, non‑partisan organization. … When people apply for 501(c)(4) status, what we do is engage them in a number of questions about making sure we understand their primary purpose around this and other sorts of engagement. What has been happening has been the normal back and forth that happens with the IRS. None of the alleged taxpayers, and obviously, I cannot talk about individual taxpayers, and I am not involved in these, are in an examination process. They are in an application process, which they moved into voluntarily. There is absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens when people apply for501(c)(4) status.” (Douglas Shulman, Committee On Ways And Means, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 3/22/12)

May 3, 2012: Current IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller Was Informed Of The IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups.

“Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller was told in May 2012 that the IRS was targeting conservative groups for extra review, the agency confirmed to POLITICO. The tax-exempt and government entities office informed Miller, then the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, about the ‘improperly identified’ applications on May 3, 2012, the agency said.” (Lauren French, “IRS's Miller Knew Of Targeting In 2012,” Politico, 5/13/13)

April 22, 2013: White House Counsel Was First Notified Of The IRS Activities Concerning The Targeting Of Conservative Organizations.

REPORTER: “Jay, the President said that he himself was unaware of the IRS targeting.  But was anyone else at the White House aware as early as 2011, when this first came out, or of the testimony in March when an IRS official talked about it?” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: “No. My understanding is that the White House Counsel’s Office was alerted in the week of April 22nd of this year, only about the fact that the IG was finishing a review about matters involving the office in Cincinnati. But that’s all they were informed as a normal sort of heads up.  And we have never -- we don’t have access to, nor should we, the IG’s report or any draft versions of it.” (White House Press Gaggle, Washington, D.C., 5/13/13)

May 10, 2013: According To Obama, The Date At Which He First Learned About The IRS Scandal.

OBAMA: “Let me take the IRS situation first. I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday. And this is pretty straightforward. If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous.” (President Barack Obama, President Obama And Prime Minister Cameron Hold A Joint Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 5/13/13)


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