Democrats want to investigate IG who started IRS scandal; question bias with GOP ties

July 15, 2013

As Republicans press their investigation into the Internal Revenue Service, Democrats are trying to turn the focus to the Republican ties of the agency’s chief investigator, Inspector General J. Russell George, whose May audit ignited the firestorm.

Late last week, House Democrats charged that some of Mr. George’s work has been “highly misleading,” and they demanded that the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has been taking the lead in investigating the IRS, call back the inspector general not just as an investigator, but as the target of lawmakers’ inquiry.

“The committee has obtained new documents that raise serious questions about the inspector general’s report, his testimony before Congress, and his subsequent assertions in letters to members of Congress,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, said Friday in a letter to committee Chairman Darrel E. Issa, California Republican, demanding that Republicans call Mr. George to reappear before the panel.

The moves put more scrutiny on Mr. George, whose official title is Treasury inspector general for tax administration. He served as an aide to Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, and President George H.W. Bush before President George W. Bush tapped him in 2002 to serve as inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service and to his current post in 2004.

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