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Cincinnati federal building contains IRS office. Daily Caller/Google street view Cincinnati federal building contains IRS office. Daily Caller/Google street view  

Cincinnati IRS employee: Washington was ‘basically throwing us underneath the bus’

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

In interviews with House Oversight Committee investigators, Cincinnati IRS employees said that they believed that targeting of conservative groups came from Washington, not from a couple of “rogue agents. “

Sunday the House Oversight Committee released partial transcripts of Oversight Committee investigators’ interviews with unnamed Cincinnati IRS employees, which contradicts the line coming from the White House.

“It’s impossible,” an IRS employee responded to an investigator’s question about the allegations that the targeting of conservative groups was due to “two ‘rogue agents.” “As an agent we are controlled by many, many people.  We have to submit many, many reports.  So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.”

Answering a question about the employee’s reaction to news reports that the targeting was contained in Cincinnati and the fault of the Cincinnati office, the employee said that Washington has been throwing them under the bus.

“Well, it’s hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were low‑level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C.  So, take it for what it is,” a Cincinnati IRS employee said. “They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.”

The employee further noted that it was a supervisor who requested they do a search for tea party and similar applications in March of 2010.

“Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?” an investigator asked.

“He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases,” the employee responded, going on to answer that by April 2010 the group was handling fewer than 40 cases and had sent seven cases to Washington, D.C.

When asked for the reason behind the request that cases be sent to Washington, D.C. the employee responded, “He said Washington, D.C. wanted seven.  Because at one point I believe I heard they were thinking 10, but it came down to seven.  I said okay, seven.”

The employee explained that the Cincinnati office sent the first seven cases that had come into the system.

The employee further noted that Washington, D.C. had additionally requested the applications or parts of the applications for two specific groups.

Investigator: “But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.”
IRS employee: “Yes.”
Investigator: “And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.”
IRS employee: “Yes, or parts of them.”

According to the partial transcript, the employee noted that this was an unusual request.