A self-described conservative Republican who is a manager in the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted tea party groups told investigators that he, not the White House, set the review in motion, the top Democrat on the House watchdog committee said Sunday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., released a partial transcript of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform interview with the unnamed manager in the IRS’ Cincinnati office. In it, the employee said the extra scrutiny for tea party groups’ tax exempt status was an effort to be consistent in reviewing applications and not driven by politics.
“He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way to what’s showing that the White House was not involved in this,” Cummings said.
“Based upon everything I’ve seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on, to be frank with you,” Cummings added.
In the five-hour interview conducted last week, the manager said one of his employees brought to him a tea party group’s application for tax exempt status. The manager said he recognized the political implications of the decision and flagged it for an office in Washington. Some Republicans have suggested that the Washington office initiated the close examination.