Rep. Joe Crowley rails against Republican ‘witch hunt’ at IRS hearing
Representative Joe Crowley (D-NY) attacked his Republicans colleagues on Thursday over what he portrayed as a politically motivated witch hunt.
At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on IRS targeting of conservative groups, the Democratic congressman said it was a fact that both tea party and progressive groups were singled out for additional scrutiny. Crowley suggested Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George might have omitted information about liberal and progressive groups from his report because of his close ties to House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa.
“The IG didn’t even give us a hint that progressive groups were targeted until committee Democrats dug further and deeper into this investigation,” he said. “My fear is that the IG – an appointee of George W. Bush and a former committee staffer of the Oversight Committee chaired by Darrell Issa drafted a report that suited Chairman Issa’s personal ideology, and not the fact of the case.”
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration office told media outlets on Tuesday the IRS audit focused solely on tea party groups at the request of House Republicans. In a letter released Thursday, however, the George denied the audit purposefully ignored liberal and progressive groups.
Crowley accused Republicans of ignoring the IRS targeting of liberal groups like the NAACP and progressive churches during the Bush administration.
“So, yes, I agree that there is a culture of intimidation going on, but it is not by the White House, it’s by my Republican colleagues,” he continued. “That is why we demand the IG be summoned back to this committee to answer questions once again under oath.”
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