Former IRS Chief: Can't Say How Targeting Happened

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

He led the IRS at a time when it was giving extra scrutiny to applications from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status -- but Douglas Shulman is telling Congress that he knew little about what was going on.

Shulman told the Senate Finance Committee today that he didn't learn all of the facts until he read last week's report by a Treasury inspector general.

He says it's an issue that should have been brought "up the chain" to him -- and that he doesn't know why it wasn't.

Shulman left the IRS last November when his five-year term expired.

When asked today by Republican Sen. John Cornyn (KOHR'-nihn) of Texas whether he owed conservative groups an apology, Shulman said he wasn't responsible for "creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it." He added that he regrets "very much" that it happened, and that it happened while he was commissioner.

Also testifying today was Steven Miller, who succeeded Shulman but was forced to step down as acting commissioner last week.

Their testimony drew skepticism from lawmakers from both parties. And Republicans openly rejected the assertion from the inspector general, Russell George, who said he found no evidence that the decision to target conservative groups was politically motivated.

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