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IRS worker: No Political Bias Against Tea Party

A Democratic congressman has released the full transcript of congressional investigators' interview with an IRS manager. John Shafer is a self-described conservative Republican. He said that close scrutiny of tea party group tax forms originated in his Cincinnati IRS office, not in Washington.

Shafer oversaw a group of IRS workers who screen applications for tax-exempt status. He said he was unaware of any involvement by the White House in decisions to screen tea party groups.

Shafer said that in February 2010, his group sent its first tea party application to higher-ranking supervisors because media attention such groups were getting seemed likely to make their treatment a high-profile case.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings released the transcript. He had released excerpts from Shafer's interview earlier this month. Republican Congressman Mike Turner from Dayton has criticized Cummings for making the investigation public. Turner says that it undermines the investigation, who says IRS officials in Washington were more involved in the targeting of Tea Party targeting than they initially believed.

Turner recently introduced a bill called the Stop IRS act, after a separate issue involving the IRS When it was discovered that the agency spent 50 million dollars on over 200 conferences during the past two years. Turner’s bill would prohibit the IRS from misusing funds.

Stories from the Associated Press.
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