WASHINGTON — Outgoing Internal Revenue Service commissioner Steven Miller took responsibility on Tuesday for planting the question that resulted in an IRS official’s seemingly spontaneous admission that the IRS had been applying an increased level of scrutiny to conservative groups.
While testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, Miller said that the IRS had planted the question at the American Bar Association Congress two weeks ago, which prompted IRS official Lois Lerner’s admission and set off the Congressional investigations.
According to Miller, he and Lerner had discussed it as a strategy to make the information public.
On Tuesday, when asked whose idea it was to make the information public in such a way, Miller said, “I will take responsibility for it.”
“The thought was to, now that we had the TIGTA report, we had all the facts, we had our response…we thought we’d get out an apology,” Miller said.
“We wanted to reach out to the hill staff about the same time…that did not work out,” he reiterated.
“Obviously,” he concluded, “the entire thing was incredibly bad.”