The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, J. Russell George, reportedly refused to give “substantive details” about the investigation of the agency’s targeting of Tea Party and conservative to the House Oversight Committee, frustrating committee members.
According to reports, the IRS’s Inspector General sent a letter on July 12, 2012 to Republican Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), acknowledging the IRS would be probed after Republican Representatives asked for an investigation.
Conservative groups had complained that the IRS asked their groups unusual and burdensome requests like access to reading materials, websites, and even information about the “content of their prayers.”
But an Issa aide told BuzzFeed that the “the Oversight Committee actually expressed frustration to TIGTA on a number of occasions about their unwillingness to provide substantive details on the investigation.”
The Inspector General also reportedly sent an email to the Oversight Committee last year that said they would be “leaving no stone unturned as part of our due diligence. As such, we won’t be able to provide a detailed, substantive briefing until late April/early May.”
Though it is still unclear which members of the Obama administration knew the Inspector General was investigating the IRS for targeting conservative groups, the New York Times established that the Inspector General told Treasury Department officials in June of 2012, five months before Election Day, about the ongoing investigation.
President Barack Obama and senior White House officials have insisted, even though the Inspector General informed the White House’s general council’s office on APril 22, 2013 of the investigation, they first found out about these reports–and the investigation–from the news media ten days ago.