The WSJ was allowed to read the transcripts of the interviews which contradicted the "official story" that the targeting was dreamed up and executed by rogue workers in the Cincinnati office.
Elizabeth Hofacre testified the Cincinnati sought guidance from IRS officials in the Washington after she started getting the tea party cases in April 2010. She identified Carter Hull, an IRS lawyer in the Washington office the person who closely oversaw her work and even suggested some of those inappropriate questions asked applicants.
"I was essentially a front person, because I had no autonomy or no authority to act on [applications] without Carter Hull's influence or input," she said, according to the transcripts.Ms. Hofacre said she was extremely angry when senior IRS management (including Lois Lerner) threw the Cincinnati office under the bus,
"I was furious," Ms. Hofacre told interviewers. "It looked like Lois Lerner was putting it on us."The second Cincinnati official, Gary Muthert testified that he was among the first IRS employees to start selecting and setting aside the tea-party applications for extra scrutiny.
In his interview with congressional investigators, he said a local manager—whose name was redacted in the transcripts—asked him to find all the tea-party applications in the office's files, both pending and closed. The manager asked him to use the phrase "tea party" to conduct the search.Ms. Hofacre said the IRS official in D.C. Carter Hull emailed her letters that he had already sent to two tea-party applicants. She was told to use those letters as a "foundation to prepare and review my cases and prepare my letters" to applicants, she said. Hull suggested some of the questions and asked Ms. Hofacre to send him each Tea Party response.
Around the same time, the local manager "said Washington, D.C., wanted seven" cases, Mr. Muthert said in the transcript. That month, he said, he "batched up" seven of the cases for "EO Technical," a unit of the Exempt Organizations Division in Washington, then headed by Ms. Lerner, according to his interview.
Around May of 2010, Mr. Muthert said, another local official asked him to locate a couple more applications to send to Washington. Over the next two months, Mr. Muthert said, he located about 40 tea-party cases after expanding his search to include the terms "patriot" and "9/12."
"All I remember saying and thinking is, 'This is ridiculous,'" she said. "Because at the same time, you are getting calls from irate taxpayers. And I see their point. Even if a decision isn't favorable, they deserve some kind of treatment and they deserve, you know, timeliness, and…these applications and their responses were just being sent up there [to Washington] and I am not sure what was happening."There is no Word on who gave the orders to Carter Hull, but it couldn't have been Doug Schulman, the former IRS Commissioner, he was too busy meeting with the White House 150+ times (and when he wasn't working he was taking is kids to the Easter Egg roll at the White House).
At another point during the interview she complained she was "being micromanaged to death, and it was just really frustrating." In part because of her experience, she asked for and was given a transfer that she said amounted to a promotion in the fall of 2010.
Those 150+ White House meetings couldn't have had anything to do with the political repression of conservatives even though Stephanie Cutter the #2 person in the Obama reelection campaign (who is not a tax attorney or other kind of tax expert) admitted that she attended some of them.
Perhaps it's time for Chairman Issa to drag Ms. Cutter in front of the oversight committee.
These are going to be very interesting interviews when they are done during live hearings the next time the House Oversight Committee addresses the issue--better buy the big bag of popcorn.
To read the entire WSJ article Click Here