In the middle of his first congressional hearing as the new head of the embattled Internal Revenue Service, Daniel Werfel was asked Monday how he would restore public trust in the agency after revelations that conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were targeted for extra scrutiny.
"It is going to be a difficult process," acknowledged Werfel, a career public servant appointed by President Barack Obama last month to clean up the mess that is dominating news headlines early in his second term.
Werfel described a process of identifying what happened, who was responsible and steps to ensure it can never happen again to address what Republicans depict as politically motivated harassment that abused constitutional rights of conservative groups.
Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif has released partial transcripts into the IRS scandal regarding Tea Party applications. IRS workers in Cincinnati are heard "telling congressional investigators about why they targeted conservative groups," Dan Lothian reports.
“But two democratic sources involved complain Issa released the transcripts before making them available to democrats in what they say is supposed to be a bipartisan investigation,” he says. “The sources tell CNN the excerpts are taken out of context, and Issa's claim they indicate direction from Washington is misleading.”
President Obama wasted no time selecting a senior budget officer Daniel Werfel to be the new acting IRS commissioner. He replaces Steven Miller who was fired this week over the allegations the IRS agency targeted conservative political groups applying for tax exempt status. Friday, Miller will be grilled about the scandal in the first in a series of congressional hearings by Members of the House Ways and Means Committee. CNN’s Dan Lothian is following developments for us.
Wednesday the President asked IRS commissioner Steve Miller to resign. This was in response to newest reports that the IRS may have targeted conservative and tea party groups that were seeking tax exempt status. President Obama said in a statement that he, 'would not tolerate this behavior.' The President further claims that he will do everything he can to make sure something like this never happens again.
This scandal has drawn bi-partisan outrage. House speaker John Boehner said in a press conference, "My question is.. .who's going to jail?"