DC IRS supervisor oversaw tea party vetting in 2010
The IRS scandal has taken a back seat in the last couple of weeks as all the media oxygen has been sucked up by the NSA revelations.
But House investigators are making steady progress in unraveling what actuall happened - as opposed to the IRS narrative about "rogue" agents in Cincinnati being responsible for the whole mess.
A Washington-based IRS supervisor acknowledged she was personally involved in reviewing Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010, Fox News confirms -- a detail that further challenges the agency's initial claim that the practice of singling out those groups was limited to a handful of employees in Ohio.
Congressional sources confirmed to Fox News that Holly Paz, who until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, told congressional investigators she reviewed 20 to 30 applications. Some requests languished for more than a year without action.
The account undercuts the narrative that senior officials only learned of the practice after it had already started in the Cincinnati office.
Details of Paz's role were first reported by The Associated Press. Still, Paz provided no evidence that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target conservative groups or that anyone in the Obama administration outside the IRS was involved.
Instead, Paz described an agency in which IRS supervisors in Washington worked closely with agents in the field but didn't fully understand what those agents were doing. Paz said agents in Cincinnati openly talked about handling "tea party" cases, but she thought the term was merely shorthand for all applications from groups that were politically active -- conservative and liberal.
Paz said dozens of tea party applications sat untouched for more than a year while field agents waited for guidance from Washington on how to handle them. At the time, she said, Washington officials thought the agents in Cincinnati were processing the cases.
Paz thought that the term tea party "was merely shorthand for all applications from groups that were politically active -- conservative and liberal." (?) Why on earth would she think that? She had "20 or 30" applications sitting in front of her. Were any of them from liberal groups?
Paz is not a very good liar. Her explanation for the delay in approvals for conservative groups is equally ridiculous. Officials in Washington couldn't keep track of how many applications were being processed? What were they using to communicate, the Pony Express?
Patience is a virtue in getting to the bottom of this. Eventually, the NSA story will recede into the background and the IRS scandal will once again be news. At that point, we should have a better idea of who and what is responsible for the targeting of conservatives.