Top Unanswered Questions About the IRS Targeting Scandal

1. What does Sarah Hall Ingram do?

Sarah Hall Ingram – who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting of conservative groups – visited the white house 165 times. What was the purpose of these meetings?

Moreover, why has Ingram – who has never worked anywhere except the IRS – been placed in charge of the IRS’ ObamaCare office? 

2. When did the White House know about the scandal?

Politico has called the Obama administration’s account of events an “ever-shifting narrative”, noting five separate iterations. 

The White House initially maintained that it learned about the scandal in the press. Now we know that Obama’s Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury had been aware of the debacle for some time. Is March the earliest that any White House staffer knew of the scandal, or do we still not have the whole story?

On May 20, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that other senior staffers also knew about the scandal in advance. Carney would not name these staffers, however. Who were they?  

3. Has Holly Paz been fired?

Congressional hearings have revealed that Washington-based IRS supervisor Holly Paz knew that the agency was targeting conservative groups.  Paz told investigators that IRS employees consciously allowed dozens of applications, which they openly described as “tea party” cases, to remain untouched for more than a year. 

It’s unclear, however, whether Paz has been fired or placed on paid leave like her supervisor, Lois Lerner. According to National Review, “If Paz has indeed been let go, she would be the first employee fired by the IRS in connection with the targeting of conservative groups.”

4. Why hasn’t Lois Lerner been fired?

IRS higher-up Lois Lerner learned that a BOLO (“Be On the Look Out”) had been issued for “tea party” and “patriot” groups in 2011 – years before she disclosed the scandal. According to the IRS’ inspector general, “this was the only BOLO that referred to potential political cases and had anything to do with political criteria.” 

Lerner’s only punishment so far, however, has been a paid vacation, courtesy of American taxpayers. Does our government not understand that the IRS’ political targeting was a fundamental violation of Americans’ trust in government?    

 5. What did the IRS actually do at its conferences?

While the IRS took it’s time processing Tea Party applications – sometimes more than three years – it seems to have been more dutiful in spending its indulgent events budget. The agency spent some tens of thousands of dollars building a mockup starship Enterprise, violated government rules by booking top-dollar presidential suites, and hired costly speakers to lecture on frivolous and irrelevant subjects. 

These details paint a picture of IRS conferences that involved everything except work. Was there any tangible, professional purpose behind these events? 

See also: Rundown: What We Know About the IRS Targeting Scandal