Cast of Characters:
Sarah Hall Ingram: IRS official in charge of tax-exempt organizations at time of IRS misconduct; now heads Affordable Care Act office
Lois G Lerner: IRS official overseeing tax-exempts groups
Jack Lew: Treasury Secretary
Denis McDonough: chief of staff
Christopher J Meade: Treasury counsel
Steven T Miller: outgoing acting IRS head
Kathryn Ruemmler: White House counsel
Douglas Shulman: IRS Commissioner
Neal S Wolin: Deputy Treasury Secretary
2010: IRS targeted certain conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.
2010-2012: During a 2-year period, Shulman visited the White House 118 times. 132 members of Congress sent letters to Shulman inquiring about alleged IRS abuses. 42 major news stories aired about this subject.
2012: Shulman told Congress: I can give you assurances nothing is going on, everything is wonderful, we’re not targeting conservative groups.
2012: Wolin learned about the Inspector General’s probe into apparent IRS abuses. Some members of Congress also learned of the IG’s probe.
May, 2012: Details of IRS misconduct reached the highest levels of the IRS.
June, 2012: Meade was one of the first White House officials to find out about the IG investigation of IRS abuses when he became Treasury’s acting general counsel.
July 2, 2012: Ruemmler and Meade meet with 15 other people at the White House.
July 17, 2012: Ruemmler and Meade meet with 15 other people at the White House.
2012 (a few months before the election): the IG’s report detailing IRS abuses was completed.
September 27, 2012: The first of 3 unprecedented one-on-one meetings between Ruemmler and Meade at the White House.
December 11, 2012: The second of 3 unprecedented one-on-one meetings between Ruemmler and Meade at the White House.
December 13, 2012: The third of 3 unprecedented one-on-one meetings between Ruemmler and Meade at the White House.
March 15, 2013: Lew (according to his testimony before Congress) first became aware of allegations of IRS misconduct.
April 24, 2013: Ruemmler learned about the likely findings of the IG’s report; she informed senior White House officials, including chief of staff McDonough.
May 10, 2013: Lerner first revealed publicly (in response to a question she planted) that IRS personnel had targeted the groups. (The IRS has insisted that the effort was a misguided attempt at greater efficiency rather than a partisan endeavor.)
May 10, 2013: Obama first learned of the IRS misconduct.
May ?, 2013: IRS inspector general’s report is released, revealing IRS abuses. Obama first learned of details of IRS abuses.
May 22, 2013: Shulman, testifying before Congress, admitted that he did receive those letters from Congress in the 2-year period between 2010 and 2012. He insists that, in spite of Congressional inquiries and news stories, he never investigated the allegations. He claims he didn’t have the full story until the IG report was published.