Sometimes the underlings contradict the story:
An IRS staffer in Cincinnati told congressional investigators that a Washington official was the driving force behind the targeting of Tea Party organizations in 2010, and showed unprecedented interest in those groups’ tax-exempt applications.Guess she wasn't the "rogue agent." For good measure, Hofacre adds this little bon mot:
Elizabeth Hofacre, the Cincinnati staffer, said that she started receiving applications from Tea Party groups to sift through in April, 2010. Hofacre’s handling of those cases, she said, was highly influenced by Carter Hull, an IRS lawyer in Washington.
Hofacre said that she integrated questions from Hull into her follow-ups with Tea Party groups, and that Hull had to approve the letters seeking more information that she sent out to those organizations. That process, she said, was both unusual and “demeaning.”
“One of the criteria is to work independently and do research and make decisions based on your experience and education,” Hofacre said, according to transcripts reviewed by The Hill. “Whereas in this case, I had no autonomy at all through the process.”
Hofacre told investigators that officials trying to blame the Cincinnati office were misleading the public on purpose.So there's an insight into why ol' Lois Lerner exercised her Fifth Amendment rights.
“I was appalled and I was infuriated,” Hofacre said. "Because they are inaccurate, and everybody that has been making those statements should know they are inaccurate.”
So, this is pretty important stuff, right? It calls the original story into question, right? Did you know about that, especially if you get your news from the respectable media? On that topic, Ann Althouse asks a good question:
I wanted to see how the [New York Times] covered this story. Using the NYT's own search engine, I got zero hits for "Carter Hull" and only one for "Elizabeth Hofacre," a May 17th article, "Confusion and Staff Troubles Rife at I.R.S. Office in Ohio." Obviously, the May 17th article is telling the story of the low-level people screwing up, and not even out of a political agenda. . . .All the news that's fit to print, you understand.
Has the NYT ever explored any alternative version of the events? I use the search "I.R.S." in the time period of the last 7 days, and get some reports on the spending on conferences, a piece about a poll on what Americans think ("Americans were divided over whether blame for the scrutiny of conservative groups should extend to the Obama administration..."), and some things about GOP strategy ("While some in the G.O.P. aim to scar the Obama administration... "Some Republicans See I.R.S. Troubles as Means to a Big Goal: Tax Overhaul"). I'm not finding anything that varies from the original story of the confused, overworked staffers.