White House: Senior Staff Knew Of IRS Probe Before President

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2013)-- The White House says White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler was first informed about an audit of the inappropriate targeting of conservative groups by the IRS on April 24 and that she notified senior staff, including Denis McDonough, the chief of staff to President Barack Obama.

But White House press secretary Jay Carney says Ruemmler "appropriately" decided not to tell Mr. Obama at the time because the audit was ongoing.

The audit by a Treasury Department inspector general found that IRS employees singled out groups with names like "tea party" and "patriots" for special scrutiny that delayed their applications for tax exempt status.

Carney said no one in the White House intervened in the inspector general's audit and said Mr. Obama did not learn of the probe until there were news reports about it.

Carney noted that the practice by the IRS workers ended in May 2012.

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