IRS Cincinnati official: getting blamed for targeting was ‘like a nuclear strike’ [VIDEO]

              FILE - This March 22, 2013 file photo shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. The Internal Revenue Service long has resisted efforts by an internal watchdog to help groups seeking tax-exempt status, creating a culture that enabled agents to improperly target such organizations for additional scrutiny, the National Taxpayer Advocate reported Wednesday. Nina E. Olson, who runs the independent office within the IRS, said in her annual report to Congress that culture continues today, despite the scandal that has rocked the tax agency for more than a month. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON — A Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service official said Thursday that when blame for the IRS targeting of conservative groups was initially placed entirely on the Cincinnati office, it was like “a nuclear strike.”

“Personally I felt like it was a nuclear strike,” Elizabeth Hofacre said. “I felt they were blaming us.”

Hofacre, who worked as a Exempt Organization Determinations Specialist, was assigned in April 2010 to handle all applications from tea party groups applying for tax exempt status. Testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, Hofacre said that she had been in contact with IRS officials in Washington regarding the processing of those applications, and was quite upset when blame for all of the targeting was placed on the shoulders of a few “rogue agents” in the Cincinnati office.

She later said she would agree with a statement by Rep. Jim Jordan that the various Washington based IRS officials had tried “throw [the Cincinnati office] under the bus.”

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