New reports today indicate President Barack Obama’s top attorney knew in April that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting pro-life and conservative groups. The reports show Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the IRS over the allegations.
As The Hill reports:
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that a senior administration official said White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler learned about the inspector general’s conclusions during the week of April 22, including that IRS agents had directed unfair scrutiny towards Tea Party groups and others who were seeking tax exemption.
The report that White House lawyers may have known the report’s findings weeks before they became public will likely fuel GOP questions about when other senior administration officials first learned about the scandal and if the president should have been notified sooner.
President Obama has said he first learned about the IRS misconduct when the public did, on May 10.
The inspector general’s office said it notified Treasury Secretary Lew about the audit in March, but that he did not learn about the report findings until they went public.
The White House declined to say if Ruemmler had shared knowledge of the inspector general’s findings with other senior administration staff, according to the Journal.
The disclosure of the IRS political targeting has brought criticism from both parties, with Congress beginning hearings. President Obama called the conduct “outrageous” last week and sought and received the resignation of Steven Miller, the acting director of the IRS.
Despite those actions, many GOP lawmakers are questioning if the political targeting was directed or ordered by senior officials in the administration and want further answers on when top Treasury and White House officials first learned of the scandal.
On Sunday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he believed that a special counsel would eventually be “necessary” to look into the IRS.
The news comes as a report shows James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
Last week, President Barack Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal and promised it would never happen again.
“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.
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The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal this week. The federal agency has targeted pro-life groups as well as conservative and religious organizations.
In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations.