Two Democrat lawmakers have picked up the mantle from President Obama in deflecting from the possibility that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny by going after the inspector general who first alerted lawmakers to the scandal.
The president drew heavy criticism from GOP lawmakers for saying there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS during a Super Bowl pre-game interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, despite an ongoing FBI investigation.
But that investigation did not stop U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Matt Cartwright, D-Penn., from filing a complaint “questioning the independence of Treasury Department inspector general J. Russell George,” The Washington Post reported.
George, appointed by former President George W. Bush, released a report in May that said the IRS “used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status,” according to the article.
The Washington Post further reported:
The congressmen, both of whom serve as top Democrats on House oversight committees, said George produced a “fundamentally flawed performance audit” that was “incomplete” and “outright misleading.”
They also alleged that he held briefings with Republican members of the House Oversight Committee without the knowledge of Democrats on the panel.
The article stated that George declined to comment, but “stood behind the findings of his review” of the agency and said “he may soon issue a formal response to the accusations.”
Ironically, Republican lawmakers have also criticized George, saying he should have notified Congress of the agency’s questionable behavior prior to the 2012 presidential election.
All of which goes to show just how popular whistle-blowers are in Washington, D.C., and the treatment they can expect when stepping on the toes of powerful lawmakers.