WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 22: Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner (L) makes a statement during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin May 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating allegations that the IRS targeted conservative non-profit organizations with the words 'tea party' and 'constitution' in their names for additional scrutiny. Lerner, who headed the division that oversees
WASHINGTON - Embroiled in scandal, the IRS has replaced the official
who supervised agents involved in targeting tea party groups.
IRS official at the center of a scandal over the targeting of Tea Party
groups refused to answer questions by a House committee Wednesday,
saying she did nothing wrong but was nevertheless invoking her right not
to testify against herself.
"I have not done anything wrong. I
have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and
regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any
other congressional committee," said Lois Lerner, IRS director of exempt
Lerner was the IRS official responsible for the
office in Cincinnati that created a "be on the lookout" list for
tax-exempt applications from groups using the words "Tea Party,"
"Patriot" and "9/12 Project" in their names. Those applications were
held up for more than a year while applications from liberal groups
requesting similar status were routinely approved, a USA TODAY review
An audit by the IRS inspector general found that Lerner
tried to immediately correct that list when she learned about it in 2011
but replaced it with criteria that included groups "critical of how the
country is being run." Members of Congress from both parties want to
know why she never informed Congress - even under direct questioning.