A top White House adviser insisted Sunday that President Barack Obama learned the Internal Revenue Service had targeted tea party groups only “when it came out in the news” while Republicans continued to press the administration for more answers.
Dozens of tea party groups and other conservative organizations of the kind subjected to improper scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service operated with small budgets and rarely displayed overt partisan activities, according to an Associated Press review of public tax filings by 93 such activist groups. A few groups built million-dollar operations and political ties that could have been legitimate grounds for IRS investigation, tax law experts said.
Hurrying to check a growing controversy, President Barack Obama ousted the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service late Wednesday amid an outcry over revelations that the agency had improperly targeted Tea Party groups for scrutiny when they filed for tax-exempt status.
Congress was not told tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, even after acting agency Chief Steven Miller had been briefed on the matter.