The Senate Finance Committee sent a 41-part request to the Internal Revenue Service aimed at helping the panel “explore” the agency’s targeting of conservative organizations who sought tax-exempt status.
The letter is addressed to acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who was removed from office last week after a report by an inspector general disclosed that IRS agents were told to “Be on The Look Out” for groups with names that included “Tea Party,” “Patriot” and “9/12,” or otherwise signaled conservative leaning.
“These actions appear to be a clear breach of the public trust,” the letter, signed by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “Targeting groups based on their political views is not only inappropriate but it is also intolerable.”
Among the items the Finance panel seeks by May 31 is a list of the questions the IRS sent to groups seeking tax-exempt status as well as “all words and phrases used to by the IRS to target applications for additional scrutiny.”
According to some groups, the IRS asked invasive questions and sought information not normally requested, like the contents of Facebook pages, and the names of volunteers.
The Finance panel also wants the IRS to provide information about the training agents received who then went on to target conservative groups and it is requesting any IRS investigative review in relation to reports that agents illegally disclosed the donor list of the National Organization for Marriage.
The Senate panel will hold a hearing on the IRS targeting on Tuesday.