IRS Head Forced Out After Tea Party Scandal

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/5151887705/">futureatlas.com</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has requested and accepted the resignation of acting Internal Revenue Service commissioner Steven Miller in response to news that the agency singled out some conservative organizations for extra scrutiny.

Beginning in March 2010, the IRS targeted groups with words like “tea party” and “patriot” in their names when applying tax laws relating to political activity. There’s no evidence other groups got the same level of scrutiny, although according to a investigation by the Treasury Department’s inspector general, that was due more to murky campaign finance laws than ideological discrimination.

“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has in all of our lives,” said Obama, who took heat this week over the IRS affair as well as his administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack and the Justice Department’s seizure of journalists’ phone records.

Miller wasn’t at the IRS when the Tea Party targeting happened—Bush appointee Doug Shulman was in charge then. But according to the IRS, Miller failed to alert the Obama administration to the problem when he learn it in May 2012. Miller is scheduled to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

Obama also announced that he had told Treasury Secretary Lew to implement recommendations in the inspector general’s report, which doesn’t mention Miller’s name, and said he will work with Congress “as it performs its oversight role.”

More Mother Jones reporting on Dark Money

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate