The sheer volume of Shulman’s White House visits has left congressional investigators puzzled.
“What would be some of the reasons you might be at the White House?” Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly asked Shulman during a congressional hearing last week.
“Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids,” Shulman replied. “Questions about the administrability of tax policy they were thinking of; our budget; us helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for financial aid.”
Shulman said it “would not have been appropriate” to tell the White House about the IRS’s intimidation of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
That answer has done nothing to mollify the critics. (RELATED: Walter Williams: ‘Americans deserve the IRS’)
“Is it really believable that someone who had a Wall Street career before coming to Washington five years ago was so politically naïve that he didn’t see the potential for scandal in that information and give the White House a heads-up?” Commentary’s John Steele Gordon wondered Tuesday.
“Sooner or later this [question] will have to be answered,” tweeted Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, “What was the ex-IRS chief doing at the White House all those times?”
Shulman’s integrity has come under fire in recent weeks as he — in the face of congressional investigators — failed to recant his March 2012 testimony, during which he insisted that the IRS was not targeting conservative groups.
Public White House records are incomplete, with records only showing visits after September 15, 2009. The White House releases several months of records at a time. The last few months should be released later this year.
William Green contributed to this report.