WASHINGTON – Members of the Senate Finance Committee repeatedly asked for an apology from former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman Tuesday for the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, but Shulman made clear “sorry” was not a word he was willing to say.
“Could you just sort of come along with Mr. Miller and say, ‘yes, I was responsible,’?” asked Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.
“It’s easy. Three words: I was responsible,” Roberts goaded.
“I understand … what I’m telling you is this happened on my watch, and I accept that,” said Shulman, clearly choosing his words carefully.
“But you’re not personally responsible?” asked Roberts.
“I am deeply regretful that this happened,” Shulman said.
“Ok, never mind, never mind, let’s just move on,” Roberts said, cutting him off.
Earlier in the hearing, Shulman was adamant that while he was at some point made aware of the existence of a list of terms that IRS employees were using to apply greater scrutiny, he was not personally responsible for the creation of the list.
“I certainly am not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it,” Shulman told Texas Sen. John Cornyn, saying that he was “deeply, deeply saddened” by everything that had happened and admitting “regret” that it “happened on my watch.”
“I don’t think that qualifies as an apology,” Cornyn responded.