By Brent Martin
Adrian Smith questions Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller about the added scrutiny the IRS gave to conservative groups seeking tax exempt status during a Congressional hearing in Washington.
Smith quizzes Miller during the hearing held by the House Ways and Means Committee.
"Donor lists were requested by the IRS, is that accurate?" Smith asks.
"That's accurate, in some cases, not all these cases by any stretch of the imagination, sir," Miller responds.
"Did those lists trigger any further inquiries or new inquiries?" Smith follows.
Miller says IRS officials should not have asked for the donor lists of so many conservative groups.
"But they certainly shouldconservative groupsn't be in every case, they shouldn't be asked in every case," Miller states during the hearing. "Because they can be relevant if a donor has a contract with the organization, if the donor is doing it for a political purpose; but to just ask for a donors without a rationale shouldn't be done."
Smith presses Miller on whether IRS personnel simply didn't follow procedure.
"Can you share whether there were safeguards in place that were not honored to try to prevent the bias before the situation came about?"
"Whether it was bias or perception of bias will play out over time," Miller responds, stating that the IRS has a special committee in place to handle such applications, to reduce the bias of any one individual.
Miller denies the IRS targeted conservative groups requesting 501(C)4 non-profit status. The IRS has disclosed, though, that groups with "Tea Party", "9/12" and "Patriot" came under much more scrutiny than other such groups applying for tax exempt status.
Miller has resigned, but won't officially leave the office until next week.