Washington Congressman Dave Reichert has been hearing complaints about the IRS targeting conservative and religious groups for several years. And after taking part in a hearing Friday with the ousted head of the IRS, he’s even more frustrated.
The Republican was just one of the members of a Way and Means committee meeting that tried to get answers from Steven Miller. But Reichert told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show after the hearing the panel got few answers.
“He offered an apology but immediately followed the apology with an excuse,” Reichert said of Miller’s insistence that while the agency screwed up, it didn’t break any laws or try and cover up its actions.
“That is one of the most egregious and one of the most serious offenses that I can think of to have our civil rights trampled on and have the arrogance of the commissioner not answer the questions today,” he said.
And the former King County Sheriff is now wondering if he was one of those targeted. Reichert told Dori his charitable contributions were called into question back in 2009 and 2010. It’s the first time he’s disclosed it publicly. He’s still trying to get answers.
Dori wonders the same thing. Despite filing taxes diligently since he was 16 and using the same tax preparer for 25 years (a former IRS employee), Dori received a letter from the dreaded agency three months ago alleging he owed “just a ridiculous amount of money.”
The inquiry came nearly three years after Dori spoke at an anti-tax Tea Party rally at the state capitol in Olympia in 2010.
“It took my wife and me dozens and dozens of hours and sleepless nights and paperwork to completely refute this bogus claim by the IRS,” Dori said.
While Dori isn’t certain he was targeted, he’s extremely dubious. And after hearing the testimony Friday, he’s even more concerned.
“I don’t want to overplay it, but I’m fearful, as are a lot of Americans right now, of this agency.”
Reichert speculated one of the reasons Miller provided so few concrete answers was to avoid incriminating himself. The Congressman said a criminal probe is likely.
While Miller insisted senior Treasury department officials had no knowledge of the targeting, a Treasury inspector general said Friday senior officials were made aware in June 2012 that investigators were looking into complaints from tea party groups that they were being harassed by the IRS, disclosing that Obama administration officials knew there was a probe during the heat of the presidential campaign.