It appears that the House Oversight Committee may soon find itself in a renewed fight over the Obama-era IRS targeting scandal, according to a letter from a key House Republican.
In a Tuesday letter sent to U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), obtained by Blaze Media, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized a pair of House Democrats for renewing a years-old effort to second-guess findings of wrongdoing in the scandal.
Jordan wrote that the letter was meant to “supplement” a request sent to the same office earlier this month by Oversight Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and fellow Democrat Matt Cartwright, Penn.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke to Blaze Media under condition of anonymity said that earlier this month the Democratic duo sent TIGTA a letter requesting an unredacted copy of a 2014 response the office gave to the federal body that oversees the inspector general. The response in question was to a complaint the pair authored in 2014 calling for an investigation of TIGTA’s bombshell report on the IRS’s targeting practices.
“In 2013, TIGTA issued a report finding that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofit groups for additional scrutiny and delay based on their political beliefs,” Jordan’s letter explains. “Almost immediately following this report, Democrats sought to downplay the wrongdoing” it found.
“Continuing five years of partisan assaults, Chairman Connolly and Rep. Cartwright asserted in their recent letter that the TIGTA report was ‘partisan’ and ‘fundamentally flawed,’ and accused TIGTA of providing ‘incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading responses’ to Congress,” Jordan writes. “The [Oversight] Committee’s independent investigation found no support for Chairman Connolly and Rep. Cartwright’s allegations” citing a 2014 report.
“The Committee’s investigation found that ‘[a]though a small number of progressive and liberal groups were caught up in the application backlog, . . . the backlog was 83 percent conservative and only 10 percent were liberal-oriented,'” Jordan’s letter explains. “Moreover, the IRS approved 70 percent of the liberal-leaning groups and only 45 percent of the conservative groups. The IRS approved every group with the word ‘progressive’ in its name.
“The Committee’s investigation also showed that the IRS’S targeting of conservative nonprofit groups was the “result of political pressure on the agency to ‘fix the problem’ of nonprofit political speech,'” the letter adds.
Jordan— writing on behalf of committee Republicans — concluded the message by telling the inspector general that “we hope that you will not be intimidated by [Democrats’] actions.”
A copy of the letter is available here:
SCOOP: House Oversight ranking member @Jim_Jordan sends letter to federal tax watchdog TIGTA over two House Democrats' efforts to revive years-old complaints about the handling of the Obama-era IRS tax scandal:
"[W]e hope that you will not be intimidated by their actions." pic.twitter.com/0iV3fE7eWi
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) September 24, 2019