POOL - NO RESTRICTIONS
Washington, DC 21 May 2013
1. Witness being sworn in
2. Reversal shot as witnesses sit down
3. SOUNDBITE: Steven Miller, Outgoing Acting Commissioner-IRS:
"Mr. Hatch, I did not lie. (HATCH: You what?) I did not lie, sir.
4. SOUNDBITE: Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah:
"You knew what was going on. And you knew that we had asked. You should have told us."
5. SOUNDBITE: Steven Miller, Outgoing Acting Commissioner - IRS:
"I answered the questions. I answered them truthfully."
6. Wide view of committee hearing room.
7. SOUNDBITE: Douglas Shulman, Former IRS Commissioner:
"I certainly didn't touch cases that involved political activity. So, if I knew the details of it, I could give you an answer.
8. SOUNDBITE: Senator John Cornyn, Republican - Texas:
"So, it's not your responsibility?"
9. SOUNDBITE: Douglas Shulman, Former IRS Commissioner:
10. UPSOUND: Senator John Cornyn, Republican - Texas:
"The buck doesn't stop with you."
11. SOUNDBITE: Douglas Shulman, Former IRS Commissioner:
"I certainly am not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it. And, what I know, with the full facts that are out, is from the Inspector General's report which doesn't say that I'm responsible for that. With that said, this happened on my watch, and I very much regret that it happened on my watch"
12. Wide of hearing room
The man who was the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service told Congress on Tuesday that he didn't lie in response to questions from Senators about alleged targeting of political groups.
Steven Miller pointedly told Senator Orrin Hatch that he did not lie in written responses to questions Hatch and other Senators had about conservative groups and the IRS.
His former boss, Douglas Shulman, told the Senate Finance Committee he didn't learn all the facts until he read last week's report by a Treasury inspector general confirming the targeting strategy.
Shulman led the Internal Revenue Service when it was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Shulman testified at Congress' second hearing on an episode that has largely consumed Washington since an IRS official acknowledged the targeting and apologized for it in remarks to a legal group on May 10.
Shulman and the two officials who testified at Tuesday's three-and-a-half hour session _ the outgoing acting commissioner, Steven Miller, and J. Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general who issued the report _ were all sworn in as witnesses, an unusual step for the Finance panel.
Shulman said he first learned about the targeting and about the inspector general's investigation in the spring of 2012, during the presidential election.
He said that in a meeting with Miller, he was told that IRS workers were using a list to help decide which groups seeking tax-exempt status should get special attention, that the term "tea party" was on that list and that the problem was being addressed.
But he said he didn't know what other words were on that list or the scope and severity of the activity.
Pressed by committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., on how the improper screening system could have occurred in the first place, Shulman said, "Mr. Chairman, I can't say. I can't say that I know that answer."
Asked by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, whether he owed conservative groups an apology, Shulman said, "I'm certainly not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it."
That was a reference to a list of words IRS workers looked for in deciding which groups to screen, a list that included the terms including "tea party" and "patriot."
The testimony by Shulman and Miller drew skepticism from lawmakers of both parties, including critical remarks from people who have been unhesitant to say anything negative about the IRS since its activities were revealed nearly two weeks ago.