On Friday, House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) blasted Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, accusing him of obstructing the House’s investigation into the IRS’ discrimination against conservative non-profits in applications before and during the 2012 election cycle. Lew, said Issa, had “attempted to thwart” the investigation. “Over two months since the committee first requested documents, the IRS has produced only a small fraction of responsive documents,” Issa said. According to Issa, the Oversight Committee asked for 81 search terms, but the IRS unilaterally cut that number to 12.
IRS acting commissioner Daniel Werfel said that the IRS is working as fast as it can to comply with the request, and claimed that the IRS has dedicated 70 lawyers to working on reviewing documents. “These attorneys have ramped up from training to full-time review work over the course of the last four weeks and are now fully engaged on this project.” Werfel said that ignoring search terms like “election” was necessary to response time.
Lew said on national television last weekend that there was “no evidence of political involvement” in the IRS scandal. Both President Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney have termed the IRS scandal “phony.”