Dan Pfieffer

White House aide: ‘Nothing that suggests’ IRS official at center of scandal ‘did anything wrong’

by Ben Wolfgang-The Washington Times  |  published on May 19, 2013


The White House is standing behind the woman who led the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt division while it targeted conservative groups — the same official who now runs the part of the agency charged with implementing “Obamacare.”

“No one has suggested that she did anything wrong yet,” said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, speaking on “Fox News Sunday.”Mr. Pfeiffer added that no one should jump to conclusions about whether Sarah Hall Ingram, given a promotion at the IRS as the agency’s singling out of tea party and conservative groups began to come to light, was directly involved in any wrongdoing.

“Before everyone in this town convicts this person in the court of public opinion with no evidence, let’s actually get the facts and make decisions after that,” Mr. Pfeiffer said. “There’s nothing that suggests she did anything wrong.”

There will be a top-down investigation of the IRS, he added, and Ms. Ingram’s role will be examined as part of that probe. Ms. Ingram served as the head of the agency’s tax-exempt division from 2009 to 2012. Her successor, Joseph Grant, already has announced his retirement, despite taking the job only a few weeks ago.

By keeping Ms. Ingram in place, the administration is fueling criticism from those who say this IRS, which admittedly targets Americans based on their political beliefs, should never be put in charge of health care reform.

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