From the WSJ:
The White House's chief lawyer learned weeks ago that an audit of the Internal Revenue Service likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups, a senior White House official said Sunday.
That disclosure has prompted a debate over whether the president should have been notified at that time.
In the week of April 22, the Office of the White House Counsel and its head, Kathryn Ruemmler, were told by Treasury Department attorneys that an inspector general's report was nearing completion, the White House official said. In that conversation, Ms. Ruemmler learned that "a small number of line IRS employees had improperly scrutinized certain…organizations by using words like 'tea party' and 'patriot,' " the official said. . . .
Possibly the WSJ should have asked not "whether the president should have been notified at that time" but "if the president was notified at that time." Of course, Jack Lew, Obama's chief of staff at the time, knew about this last fall. How many people right next to Obama have to know about this before it can be assumed that Obama also knew before he claims that he found out from the media reports. This is hardly the first time that I felt that the media was covering on this for Obama. Now we have this amazing statement from someone working in Internal Revenue Service’s Cincinnati office:
“We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.” . . .
UPDATE: Now Democrats are making the only defense that they can for Obama -- that his closest aides never told him about the IRS scandal. Obama feints great anger about this scandal, but it apparently never dawned on his closest aides that he would care enough about the IRS scandal. If they so let him down, why aren't these people being fired? From The Hill newspaper:
Senior White House officials were briefed about a federal audit of the IRS’s improper focus on conservatives, but they decided not to tell President Obama about it, press secretary Jay Carney claimed Monday.
UPDATE: Even the press is covering the shifting Obama administration story line about who was informed about the IRS scandal. Politico notes how many people very close to the president knew about this scandal, but that somehow none of them mentioned it to him despite the fact that he now claims that he cares intensely about the issue.
White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler learned about the report in April and made the decision not to tell the president, even as other senior staffers got wind of the audit by Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, Carney said.
Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, was among those told about the nature of the report, which found that Tea Party and other small-government advocates seeking tax-exempt status were tagged for special screening because of their names.Carney defended the decision to keep the president out of the loop, saying conclusions often change in the final stages of inspector general reports. It also would’ve been inappropriate, Carney added, for the White House to involve itself in an ongoing investigation. . . .
Even Politico has a headline: "The White House's shifting IRS Account"
They note: "Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press."
Labels: IRSgate, ObamaCorruption