House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr. M.D. (R-LA), today in a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, requested new documents related to IRS employee discussions about the 2010 election, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and the tax-exempt status of Tea Party groups. The request follows testimony from career IRS officials in Washington, D.C. that Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division Lois Lerner overruled the judgment of a career Washington, D.C. IRS lawyer and ordered Tea Party cases to go through a multi-layer review that included her senior advisor and the IRS Chief Counsel’s office. The IRS Chief Counsel’s office is led by William Wilkins, one of two Obama Administration political appointees at the IRS.
“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the Committees have learned that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. has been closely involved in some of the applications. Its involvement and demands for information about political activity during the 2010 election cycle appears to have caused systematic delays in the processing of Tea Party applications,” wrote Issa, Camp, Jordan, and Boustany in their letter to Werfel. “[B]ased on his decades of experience, [career IRS official Carter Hull] determined he had enough facts to make recommendations whether to approve or deny the applications … However, Mr. Hull’s recommendations were not carried out. Instead, according to Michael Seto, the head of Mr. Hull’s unit in Washington, Lois Lerner instructed that the Tea Party applications go through a multi-layer review that included her senior advisor and the Chief Counsel’s office.”