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New IRS interview transcripts released show possible connection to White House

Posted: Updated: July 17, 2013 10:31 PM
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(FOX19) -

On Thursday morning for the first time, a Cincinnati IRS worker will testify before congress about what she knew about the targeting of conservative groups.

However, before Liz Hofacre takes center stage in Washington D.C., new evidence released, if true, could connect the scandal to the White House. 

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released new partial transcripts of key players connected to the scandal. First is retired Washington D.C. IRS lawyer Carter Hull. 

We first told you about Hull in June when Hofacre, the Cincinnati worker assigned to the Tea Party cases, said Hull was so involved in the review of them that she "had no autonomy" and was getting so frustrated that she applied for another job.

But was Hull acting under orders? According to his interview, the answer is yes.

Hull says sometime in the winter of 2010-2011, the senior advisor to former IRS head Lois Lerner told him the IRS chief counsel's office led by William Wilkins, would need to review the applications, or 'test cases' as he called them. Hull says this was a break from ordinary procedure.

This is significant because the IRS chief counsel is one of two politically appointed officials in the agency.

Here's a portion of the's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's question and answer with Hull:

-"Did the IRS chief counsel's office give you any feedback on these test cases?"

-"Yes they did."

-"What did they say?"

-"I needed more information. I needed more current information."

This would have caused a delay for Cindy Thomas, the head of the Cincinnati IRS office who we identified in May. 

Thomas said in her interview recently released that she kept asking for guidance about the Tea Party cases, but never received any.

"So the cases that the Cincinnati employee was working from October 2010 through September 2011 were still in kind of a holding pattern awaiting guidance from Washington. Is that right?"

"That's correct," answered Thomas.

On the flip side, Democrats claim that the IRS Inspector General intervened personally to block production of documents relating to non-Tea Party groups.

In short, Republican leader Darryl Issa and Democratic leader Elijah Cummings are at odds over who was responsible for the targeting.

Issa claims Washington.

Cummings claims Cincinnati.

FOX19 has asked repeatedly for full transcripts of all interviews conducted thus far in an effort to make our own determination of who is responsible.

In our commitment to balanced to news, we will continue that effort.

 

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