‘Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,’ Issa said. ‘While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General’s report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 – May 3 of 2012 – and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later.’
‘Think about it,’ he continued: ‘For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation.’
We already knew that, more or less, from the results of the IG report itself. Check the timeline on page 13. The media starts picking up reports of tea-party complaints in February 2012, and soon thereafter the director of the exempt organizations puts a halt to IRS demands for more intrusive info from conservative groups. Three months later, in May, they hold a “workshop” providing guidance on tax-exempt groups to its analysts and approv more neutral criteria for scrutinizing applications. That’s probably why Issa’s committee had an inkling at the time — because the IRS itself already knew it had done wrong and was moving to undo it to some extent. And yet no one, including the IG, felt moved to confirm for the committee until this month that yes, “mistakes were made” and it was now safe to tell the public that.