Dem: Was IRS Targeting More Likely Mid-Level Stupidity or 'Grand Plot' by Administration?

Joe Schoffstall
By Joe Schoffstall | June 4, 2013 | 3:15 PM EDT

During a hearing today featuring conservatives who were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) asked what was more likely: mid-level employees acting stupidly or a grand plot by the Obama Administration to target conservative groups.

"The Republicans are looking for a conspiracy where there isn't one. Mr. Issa says he can 'feel it in his gut that someone's broken the law.'

"Just ask yourself which is more likely: that mid-level employees overwhelmed by four times as many applications as before made stupid, irresponsible short cuts, or there's an administration-wide plot to take down community organizers," said McDermott.

He continues, "Let's not forget this happened under an IRS Commissioner appointed by George Bush, and was investigated by a Republican Inspector General.

McDermott accused those in the hearings, along with Republicans in the Oversight Committee, of creating a "circus" that's "simply political theater":

"What happened to you was unfair-- and incredibly inconvenient-- but it was a mistake. Our job is to make sure it never happens again. I haven't heard a single word here about what questions you think we ought to be able to ask you about your tax exempt request. Anything else, like the circus that's happening in the Oversight Committee or here, is simply political theater."

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