Top congressional investigators from both parties vowed Friday to expand their respective investigations into the IRS targeting scandal, with one leading House investigator suggesting the Obama administration had a role in the scandal and slapping down claims that the IRS’ misconduct was not planned and coordinated.
“We’re going to get the truth and we’re going to hold people accountable,” said Republican Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which along with Rep. Darrell Issa’s Oversight Committee is one of the two House committees investigating the IRS for its improper targeting of conservative groups and individuals between 2010 and 2012.
“The IRS is part of the [Obama] administration,” Camp said at a newsmaker breakfast Friday hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “There is a lot more work to do.”
Camp also said that he’s “pretty angry” about a claim from Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings that an unnamed IRS manager in Cincinnati said that the improper targeting was not ordered from high levels of the agency. Camp said that claim “rises to the level of wrongdoing.”
“There are real problems there,” said Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who was also present at the event. “It’s tough to manage them all and it’s not managed well and there does need to be significant restructuring in the IRS.” Baucus’ Finance Committee is currently leading the Senate’s investigation of the IRS scandal.
Both lawmakers vowed that their respective investigations will last for months.
Though Baucus, who is not running for re-election in 2014, has been relatively vigorous in his investigation of the IRS, his own past could lead to conflict-of-interest accusations. As The Daily Caller reported, Baucus wrote a letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman in 2010 urging the IRS to scrutinize the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofit groups. Baucus is a mentor to his former staffer Jim Messina, who went on to manage Obama’s 2012 campaign to victory using the most technologically advanced voter database ever created in a political campaign.