One of the defenses offered by the IRS’s apologists to try to mitigate the scandal is the idea that this was just a few low-level people in an IRS field office, and thus it doesn’t reflect on the IRS as a whole. Not so.
We learned yesterday that the Cincinnati office that did this was the only office that handles this type of request, so if Tea Party groups were to be targeted this way, Cincinnati is that place it would happen. Today we find out that it’s not true anyway:
Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
It could be broader still. Adding a more sinister aspect to the IRS’s malfeasance, there’s this:
An attorney for a Tea Party group that believes the IRS targeted it for special scrutiny while applying for nonprofit status said an IRS analyst told him over a year ago that the agency had a “secret working group” devoted to investigating conservative organizations.
I don’t know what that means. Probably the analyst was just being dramatic, but the House investigation will surely want to question him under oath.