House GOP accuses IRS of obstructing investigation into abuse of power

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“The overwhelming fact remains that Republicans will do everything they can to deflect attention from their inability to do almost anything — a record that has earned them historically low ratings from the American public,” Mr. Levin said.

Republicans say the information they are uncovering suggests bigger problems at the IRS.

On Monday, Mr. Issa and Mr. Jordan asked for a broader investigation. In addition to special scrutiny for new applications, they said, the IRS also went after groups that had been approved years earlier, putting them through audits and asking inappropriate questions.

The two lawmakers said the documents that the IRS has turned over to their committee often have portions blacked out well beyond what would be necessary to protect taxpayer information.

Before he was sent to the IRS, Mr. Werfel was a top official in Mr. Obama’s budget office at the White House.

He was deployed to the tax agency after the acting commissioner resigned in the days after the agency acknowledged that it improperly targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status.

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