Friday's hearing was a smackdown on the IRS chief brought to testify. However, despite being fired from his job (he planned to leave anyway) Acting IRS Commissioner Steve T. Miller was arrogant and largely uncooperative with Representatives who made no secret about their anger at the IRS.
The hearing opened with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) saying that the IRS has lied to the American people about the scandal which top IRS officials knew about for more than a year. Camp went on to say that this was “just the latest example of a culture of cover-ups — and political intimidation — in this administration. It seems like the truth is hidden from the American people just long enough to make it through an election.”
Rep. Camp added: "Trimming a few branches will not solve the problem when the roots of the tree have gone rotten and that is exactly what has happened with our entire tax system - it is rotten at the core, and it must be ripped out so we can start fresh."Video highlights of the hearings can be found here but I would like to highlight two for your special attention. The first is the questioning by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the former GOP vice presidential nominee. Ryan laid out the case for the lies told by the IRS. Lies to Congress are a criminal offense:
The second clip by Rep. Mike Kelly slams the IRS:
At that point the audience in the hearing rose to their feet in thunderous applause!KELLY: "And when the IRS comes in, you’re not allowed to be shoddy, you’re not allowed to be run horribly, you’re not allowed to make mistakes, you’re not allowed to do one damn thing that doesn’t come in compliance. If you do, you’re held responsible right then.”...“This is absolutely an overreach and this is an outrage for all America!"
Also at the hearing we learned that at least one tax exempt applicant was asked to "detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers." Doesn't that smack of a clear violation of civil rights and the separation of church and state liberals are constantly going on about?
From the Treasury Inspector General's testimony we also learned that Obama Administration officials were made aware of the probe last June which will only prompt more questions about what the White House knew and why this information was withheld from the American people until after the election.
Just like Watergate!