The Administration of Barack Obama initially tried to downplay reports that the Internal Revenue Service placed undue scrutiny on conservative groups over the past several years, but a damning Treasury report on the IRS-Tea Party scandal released this week introduces Administration foot to Administration mouth.
The official narrative from top Federal officials that the IRS abuse of conservatives was relegated to the agency’s Cincinnati-based Determinations Unit was destroyed by the report’s repeated references to the IRS’s Washington, D.C.-based Exempt Organizations Unit and guidance specialists also working for the IRS in Washington. In fact, the Treasury Inspector General’s report notes that 10 of 12 IRS offices involved in the dubious practices are in Washington.
The White House was forced to issue a fickle statement on the explosive report.
“The report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable,” Obama said in a statement. “The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.”
ABC, which recently took the Obama Administration to task over the Benghazi, Libya, cover-up, has been at the forefront of coverage on much of the IRS scandal as well. Most recently, ABC political analyst Trey Hardin said that as more information comes to light about the IRS ordeal, it will likely become apparent that top Administration officials were involved in green lighting the agency’s underhanded practices.
“I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it,” he said, tiptoeing around directly blaming Obama for the scandal.
“It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization,” he added.