IRS Isn’t Saying If It Will Comply With Today's Deadline to Give Congress All Communications With WH About Targeting Conservatives

May 21, 2013 - 10:31 AM

President Barack Obama, Jack Lew

President Barack Obama and then-White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew in January when Obama nominated Lew to be Treasury secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - The Internal Revenue Service has given no indication to the House Ways and Means Committee about whether it will respond to the bipartisan demand of Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin--delivered in writing last Tuesday, May 14—that by today, Tuesday, May 21, the agency answer thirteen questions posed by the committee relating to IRS discrimination against conservative groups and, where relevant, provide all internal agency documents and communications substantiating the answers.

The committee’s demand for records specifically includes all documents and communications between the IRS and the Treasury and the IRS and the White House about the targeting of conservative groups.

Instructions that the committee provided to the IRS explaining how the agency is to respond to the demand for records state: "Records responsive to the request shall not be destroyed, modified, removed, transferred, or otherwise made inaccessible to Congress."

This morning, a Ways and Means Committee spokesperson told CNSNews.com that the IRS had given the committee no indication of whether it intended to comply with today’s deadline and provide the requested answers and records.

In response to repeated inquiries from CNSNews.com, delivered both by email and phone on Monday through Tuesday morning, the IRS press office did not give an answer to the question of whether the IRS intended to comply with the committee’s deadline.

The Ways and Means Committee has oversight over the IRS.

“As the Committee on Ways and Means continues its investigation into these IRS practices,” Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin wrote the IRS on May 14, “we request that the IRS provide the following information by May 21, 2013: …”

“Did the IRS at any time notify the Treasury Department of the targeting of conservative or any other groups?” Camp and Levin asked. “Provide all documents and communications between the IRS and Treasury on this matter.”

“Did the IRS at any time notify the White House of the targeting of conservative or any other groups?” asked Camp and Levin. “Provide all documents and communications between the IRS and the White House on this matter.”

In the same letter Camp, a Republican, and Levin, a Democrat, criticized the IRS for failing in the past to be “completely truthful” to the committee.

“We are deeply troubled by the recent admission of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the agency has been singling out organizations for additional review based on their political beliefs,” wrote Camp and Levin. “Despite repeated calls for cooperation, the agency failed to be completely truthful in its responses to the committee during its nearly two-year long investigation of this matter, and in testimony before the committee.”