Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District

IRS Targeting: Who Knew What and When?

May 24, 2013

Our constitutional democracy was created to serve the American people and to secure our rights and freedoms.  When government power is used to target Americans for exercising their constitutional rights, there is nothing we, as Americans, should take more seriously.

Last year, after receiving troubling complaints by groups across the country that were receiving what appeared to be inappropriate and unnecessary questions about their activities by the IRS, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee began an investigation.  My Committee reached out to the IRS’s Inspector General, who initiated an audit in response to our concerns.

We also made inquiries to the IRS who responded with briefings and letters justifying their actions while denying that any inappropriate activities were taking place.  We now know that these responses were false, misleading, and potentially criminal.

Click the image above to hear Congressman Issa’s opening statement.

As I convened a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing this week that included IRS officials, new facts had come to light that raised important questions.

We now know that for more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs and concealed this from Congress and the American people.

The American people don’t expect perfection, but they do expect accountability and somehow, our leaders have regressed from the “buck stops here” to “I didn’t know” or “I wasn’t informed.”

There have now been three congressional hearings examining what went wrong at the IRS.  The American people are still waiting for direct answers.

At the end of the day, until we have a full and accurate account of who knew what and when, who did what and why – these questions will not go away and our pursuit to get those answers will not be suppressed.

To listen to Congressman Issa’s opening statement at the IRS hearing, please click here.

For the Treasury’s Inspector General report on the IRS, please click here.

For a summary of the report, please click here.