Inspector General to Defend IRS Report

Dems trying to push that both sides were targeted


The inspector general who found that the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party groups for added scrutiny will make another trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday — this time to explain why he didn't also reveal that progressive groups were on an IRS watch list, too.

J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, will face questions from Democrats about why his May 14 report did not include evidence that might have tamped down allegations that the targeting was politically motivated. Recently released documents have shown that the IRS also used the key words "Progressive" and "Occupy" to identify political groups for added scrutiny, and that a review of 5,500 e-mails by IRS employees showed no political bias.

George has defended his report in letters to Congress. He has noted that 30% of progressive groups had their applications stalled because of the IRS screening criteria, while 100% of Tea Party groups were held up.