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Griffin: New IRS Report Offers Political Cover, Few Facts


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after questioning Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel on the status of the IRS' review of taxpayer-targeting practices:

"It is abundantly clear from Commissioner Werfel's testimony that his 30-day review was more about offering political cover than providing the American people with facts on why folks were targeted because of their political beliefs. Despite the fact that Mr. Werfel failed to interview key IRS officials at the center of the scandal -- one of whom has already pleaded the fifth because of her involvement -- his report boldly concludes that there was "no evidence of intentional wrongdoing'. Even more telling: out of all of the points made in his 83-page report, Mr. Werfel felt it important enough to highlight this erroneous conclusion when he personally briefed President Obama on the report before its release. Mr. Werfel's including this conclusion in the report is irresponsible and it underscores the need for further investigation and, ultimately, fundamental tax reform that will reduce the power of the IRS."

Excerpt from the hearing:

Griffin: Did anyone at the White House review this statement?

Werfel: No.

Griffin: No one?

Werfel: Not that I'm aware of.

Griffin: Okay. Anyone at Treasury?

Werfel: Yes… And let me just say, I did brief the President a few hours before the report went out -- on the morning the report was issued -- on Monday -- and I did mention this conclusion. I just wanted to make sure that was clear.

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