Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Former IRS commissioner refuses to apologize for targeting scandal when pressed by senator

Douglas Shulman
credit: C-SPAN
Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

When former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman was pressed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday, Shulman refused to apologize for the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

Instead of apologizing, Shulman expressed regret and stated that the Inspector General report absolved him of any culpability for the agency’s conduct.

The IRS scandal has resulted in a surprising number of absurd situations similar to the interaction between Cornyn and Shulman.

On Sunday, an Obama aide attempted to defend the Obama administration in the face of multiple scandals, stating that the “law is irrelevant” when discussing the IRS scandal in particular.

Another particularly interesting claim made during a congressional hearing was that the United States tax system is in fact a voluntary one.

Cornyn pointed out that Steven Miller, former IRS acting commissioner, opened his testimony before the Senate with a clear apology but when he asked if Shulman would apologize for the IRS’ actions, Shulman avoided the question.

“Mr. Shulman, I wonder if you have any words of apology for my constituents and others who feel like the public trust has been violated by the IRS,” Cornyn said.

“You know, I’m deeply, deeply saddened by this whole set of events,” Shulman said. “I’ve read the [Inspector General’s] report and I very much regret that it happened and that it happened on my watch.”


“Is that an apology?” Cornyn asked.

“To your constituents? I don’t know the details of your constituents. I don’t know what happened to them, I didn’t look at particular constituent and taxpayer matters,” Shulman said.

Shulman went on to contend that as a general principle, as IRS commissioner between 2008 and 2012, he did not personally examine individual cases. He also said that he had nothing to do with cases that involved political activity.

“So if I knew the details of it, I could give you an answer,” Shulman said.

“So it’s not your responsibility,” Cornyn said. “The buck doesn’t stop with you.”

“I certainly am not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it,” Shulman said. “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,” Shulman continued, “this happened on my watch and I very much regret that it happened on my watch.”

After a long pause, Cornyn said, “Well I don’t think that qualifies as an apology.”

“It qualifies as an expression of regret,” Cornyn said, “which I think is well deserved.”

Shulman similarly would not admit that he was personally responsible when questioned by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Cornyn went on to ask Shulman if he is also concerned that “the IRS has deviated from its core function and should be reformed to focus on that core function and perhaps not be given these other additional responsibilities until it can get its house in order.”

Shulman said that the IRS is charged with administering the United States’ tax laws and those tax laws have been used for more and more things.

“I defer to Congress to decide what it wants to use the tax code for and whether it wants the IRS to do all of the functions in the tax code,” Shulman said. “As long as the IRS is given that responsibility I think the obligation of the agency is to do it to the best of its ability.”

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The clip can be seen below via C-SPAN:


The first part of the full hearing can be seen here.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

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Anonymous said...

It seems to be a read between the lines situation... Someone pulled him aside, and ask him to do a favor for them. For whatever reason, he thought it was a good idea. Now that he's in front of Sen. John Cornyn, he wouldn't be able to say that he was ask a favor. It would just be his word. In the end, he'd only end up in more trouble. So this is just a show being put on for the people, and it will end up just as planned... In a Stand Off.

Hide Behind said...

Tired of lies by all elected officials on how IRS is actually run. It has become a political weapon. and by decisionsthat have not one damned good for the people favored corporates and their lobbyist groups.
The tea party and neo cons have over 8300 tax free organizations posing as NGOS and non political afgiliated causes, (no visible direct link to repub party coffers) or political party headquarters.
An the think tank connections and pseudo religous non profits and public private non profits that push religious and tje hundreds of millipns now hoppingg to non profit military industrial. DHS church going ministrys for gods spooks and The Bushys anf cold between their ears and down to fingers. collaborated to do same.
Just different tax breaks to whomevet pays the Executive Branch and the mafiosos street thugs in congress.military gods warrior supporters all claiming tax free status.
This gop strategy has outgunned the direct welfare checksand preferential rulings of the democrats from the public treasury.
While demos sneak billions out of fed

Mark McCandlish said...

My hope is, that the folks representing us in the House and Senate will understand that if they do nothing, we WILL do something about their employment in 2014.

Michelle Thornton said...

This is a ridiculous scandal. One of the worst parts about it is the fact that no one seems to want to man up to the act. I understand that they tried to cover it up in the first place, but now that it's out, then it just needs to come out. Whatever the consequences. They started this mess and now they have to clean it up. I was getting Edmonton credit counselling and I had to just clean up what I had started. Thank you for posting this article.

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