During a congressional hearing regarding the IRS on Friday, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) inadvertently led the head of the IRS to contradict the notion that conservative nonprofits were singled out for scrutiny.
At the hearing, outgoing acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller repeatedly objected to the use of the word “targeting.” He said the so-called “be on the lookout” (BOLO) list was an “inappropriate” organizational tool or “shortcut” that IRS staff used to find potential political cases. Miller claimed the tea party groups would have be subjected to extra scrutiny regardless of the BOLO list.
“If the targeting wasn’t targeting, if the targeting wasn’t based on philosophy, how come only conservatives got snagged?” Roskam confidently asked.
“They didn’t, sir,” Miller responded. “Organizations of all walks and all persuasions were pulled in. That’s shown by the fact that only 70 of the 300 organizations were tea party organizations, of the ones that were looked at by TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration].”
Roskam angrily cut off Miller and asserted his statement was at odds with the inspector general’s testimony, then ended his questioning.
But Treasury inspector general J. Russell George testified during the hearing that no evidence indicated the additional review of the 300 groups was politically or ideologically motivated. He blamed the incident on mismanagement.
Of the 298 groups subjected to additional review, 72 were “tea party” groups, 11 were “9/12″ groups and 13 were “patriots” groups, according to the inspector general’s report.
Watch video, courtesy of C-SPAN, below: