May 14, 2013
Newly obtained documents show the current IRS chief knew about the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups as early as May 2012 and other officials in Washington were clued in more than a year before that, as the scandal continued to spread.
The additional details were provided in a timeline from the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, based on briefings by the inspector general’s office investigating the case. Together, they challenged the agency’s initial claims that the practice of flagging conservative groups for additional scrutiny was contained to low-level staffers at a Cincinnati office.
The timeline shows that Steven Miller, the acting IRS chief who at the time was a deputy commissioner, was briefed on the practice on May 3, 2012. Despite this briefing, Miller wrote letters to members of Congress at least twice to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without disclosing that Tea Party groups had been targeted. On July 25, 2012, Miller testified before the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, but again did not mention the additional scrutiny — despite being asked about it.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., blasted Miller over the revelation.