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House ways and means committee chair Dave Camp leading that explosive hearing on the IRS and all the first of many chairman camp -- -- savings there.
Thanks Greta thanks for having me.
Thank you -- now mr.
Miller said today that it was foolish mistakes.
Do you agree it was foolish mistakes or after the hearing today do you conclude that there was something more sinister.
But I think it would there is more than just mistakes I mean even the inspector general said this is really a -- This was targeting.
People who -- -- conservative political views.
The other thing that was I think really problematic as we didn't get enough answers we we didn't get enough information there -- a lot of lack of memory a lot of really not not really being forthcoming and so there's going to be a lot -- to do it -- -- in the hearing this is just the beginning.
It's -- best investigations going to be ongoing at the promise I think the American people.
Talk about lack of memory -- the answers weren't forthcoming and it was that memories fade or do you think that the witness was being cagey with you -- and trying to hide something.
You know when he got through several hours of that I think an arrogance at the IRS came across in you know.
Bright colors and I think that was very disconcerting to all of this I think -- -- funny hearing aligned members became even more frustrated with that.
And in this sense that.
They were really telling us.
Why they didn't inform losses represented the American people when we'd been inquiring after this.
For more than two years and not only that.
Gave us assurances that this wasn't going on.
In hearings when we were trying to get questions and now we're not gonna stop until we get all the answers that we need to get because clearly when we were trying to ask those before.
They weren't forthcoming and we're gonna get to the bottom it's.
Prior to today then would you say that -- -- serve in the words of constant all right it was Austin.
That the IRS misled congress and would you say specifically that mr.
Miller was one of those who misled congress.
The IRS that -- it misled congress and this goes to more than just tax exempt organizations they released confidential taxpayer information.
They had access to donor list they perform audits those were all confirmed to today's hearings that we get that but we don't know to the extent that all those things -- -- Clearly the IG audit was just that an audit it was just cursory look at their practices.
We need to dig a lot deeper to find out where this -- but what really was clear.
It was one political viewpoint that was targeted.
It was one political viewpoint that was brought in for questioning that was so far off the chart it's hard to believe you could name you couldn't have made it out.
Do you think there's any link to the White House say suspicious there's any link to the White House beyond the IRS to the White House.
We don't have any link to the White House at this time we do you know at least at the secretary of the treasury was informed.
But we obviously that was one of the areas they were very vague about about who they told -- when they told them and what they told them so we're gonna have to take.
A lot more.
You close look a lot closer look at all of those.
Has -- IRS offered to your committee any information about any.
So any targeted liberal groups or progressive groups.
Or have they given you any questionnaires that they've sent to the progressive or liberal groups that near what they sent to the Tea Party conservative groups.
No the IRS hasn't given us any of that and none of that has come -- we are getting.
Lots of calls and lots of examples of targeting of conservative groups.
Of religious organizations.
And so this is much broader than just tax exempt organizations that we are not hearing that on the other side.
Not at all what do you think would have expected them to volunteer that I don't know really some of the rules of the hearing but I assume the -- the witness to bar mr.
And I -- -- -- hot seat accused of -- one particular side of the political spectrum if I had information -- done the same thing with the other side of the political spectrum I would have said how about this do you want this information and -- you expect that from.
The witness today or is that something that you wouldn't expect.
No I think you would expect that night I gotta -- -- I didn't get this sense that he was outraged at the end of all this that you know this was just sort of and not that big a deal to help -- and I don't think he really fully even yet understood just how.
Much a problem this was in terms of breaking faith that the American people.
And really almost going to the level of abuse of certain individuals in terms of the questions asked.
And the lengths they had to go to simply to exercise their rights under the law.
Make of the fact that there was this -- staged question to -- Lerner before the report came out.
Wasn't that all about to explain that what happened and what was the point of that.
Well we just from.
Learned of that in the hearing and clearly what they did was staged the release of this information.
And completely ignored the congress or official channels in terms of getting this out and I think.
They thought they were gonna get this behind them -- -- 24 hour news cycle the problem is we've been asking for this information.
And so the fact that that was that plan.
Makes me think that this was not just a few people in one area that knew about this.
Work -- low level people and that others were involved in orchestrating a planned leak of this that the fairly sophisticated.
PR tactic and I just.
Question whether the IRS out of that all by themselves but again that was just confirmed in the hearing that was something we didn't know before.
We do know that now -- we can now -- further in that area.
Am I correct that don't miss Lerner who was head of the tax exempt division -- -- mostly operative time here.
That she learned about it as soon as at least June of 2011 in all it did she know -- at least then.
We think she knew about it then obviously want to get to her at some point and have her verified that but it appears that that's when she found out about.
I -- the.
Think the reason why I find -- particularly troubling is as that we've had -- here and on the record and I've seen information.
That as you know as recently as January and -- 20126.
Months after she learned.
That group still felt like they were targeted it would seem to me that you know that that would have been a good time -- -- eleven to step in and stop it.
Absolutely and that doesn't appear to have been done and obviously you're gonna verify Elvis the other things we just at a hearing last week on this and they still couldn't tell us.
Even though they had orchestrated this release that it was coming in just a couple of days.
So they've clearly not been forthcoming with congress they have an obligation under the law.
To not conceal material facts from the congress and so there's a lot of concern here I think that's why even the attorney general was concerned and has really.
Brought in the FBI to look at potential criminal activity.
Don't get the Kotchman is that we've been asking for the -- from the IRS for some time -- -- hostile letters back and forth between congress in the IRS.
-- honestly haven't gotten the information.
Is it -- night.
-- why isn't congress -- -- subpoenas and actually put the feet to the fire when this could have been probably Jim.
It could've been done at a much faster pace a lot of people didn't suffer we want you step up the oversight and and really put.
Feet to the fire on the IRS.
Well we just found out about this a week ago and in that short time we wanted to schedule a hearing with the current director just -- see where things were but clearly.
This investigation is gonna be ramped up I'm not exactly sure what that -- we're gonna go but.
We're gonna ramp this up because we did not get the information we needed to get in today's hearing.
And we're gonna have to go to the next level.
I want you some advice most prosecutions they start at the bottom.
And not the top in terms of -- you might wanna talk that people in Cincinnati and and see his it would they have to say because they may -- you farther up the chain.
I I think integrated -- very good point.
Catherine -- is there.
Thank you thanks --