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Who ordered that targeting of Tea Party groups be resumed in May 2012?
According to May 21 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, in July 2011 IRS targeting of conservative groups for additional scrutiny was stopped, only to be resumed in May 2012. The initial targeting was blamed upon underlings in the Cincinnati IRS office. But, mysteriously, nobody at the IRS seems to know who ordered that targeting be resumed. Senator Pat Toomey (Republican, PA) questioned Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller about it (see the 2:07 mark):
It is unlikely that the original IRS targeting of Tea Party groups by underlings that was stopped by their boss Lois Lerner in July 2011 would have been resumed without Lerner's approval. Lerner may have been testing out the new methods that were soon to become policy when she sent a letter to The Ohio Liberty Council Corp. on March 16, 2012.
Lerner later pleaded the Fifth Amendment rather than testify about her involvement. She would not have been hiding her role in ending the targeting in July 2011. Did she plead the Fifth Amendment to hide her role in the resumption of targeting of May 2012 -- targeting that may have been designed to neutralize the Tea Party during the run-up to the November election?
Or did she plead the Fifth in order to hide the involvement of her former boss, Sarah Hall Ingram, a frequent visitor to the White House? If so, did Ingram discuss the methods to be used with White House Staff?
Comment by Howard Richman, 6/20/2013:
Correction: The resumption of the specific targeting of Tea Party groups occurred in January 2012, not May.
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