U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and member of the Senate Finance Committee, today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew questioning whether Sarah Hall Ingram, the former commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009-2012 and current head of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) ObamaCare office, is the subject of the Department of Justice’s investigation into whether IRS employees broke criminal laws by targeting conservative groups. Thune also requests that the IRS refrain from issuing or enforcing regulations drafted under Hall Ingram’s supervision at the IRS’ ObamaCare office.
Thune’s letter is below.
May 21, 2013
The Honorable Eric Holder
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20230
The Honorable Jack Lew
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, D.C. 20230
Dear Attorney General Holder and Secretary Lew:
I am extremely troubled over the fact that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status, appears to have delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications, and requested unnecessary information from targeted groups including donor lists. Further, it has come to light that Ms. Sarah Hall Ingram, the former commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012, has inexplicably been promoted to oversee the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office.
It is imperative that Americans have answers to questions about the admitted misconduct, which suggests that the IRS may have injected political deference into what should be an impartial review from an impartial agency. The type of targeting and mismanagement now admitted by the IRS and confirmed by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is not to be tolerated, as evidenced by the dismissal of Ms. Hall Ingram’s successor at the IRS, Joseph Grant, who has announced his retirement effective June 3, 2013.
Given Ms. Hall Ingram’s position as commissioner of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division when the targeting of certain groups began, please confirm whether Ms. Hall Ingram is a subject of the Department of Justice’s investigation into whether IRS employees broke criminal laws by singling out conservative groups for special review and inappropriate questions.
Additionally, until there are sufficient answers as to her involvement, I request that the IRS refrain from issuing or enforcing any regulations that have been drafted under the supervision of Ms. Hall Ingram in her current capacity as director of the IRS’s Affordable Care Act office, which is responsible for implementing the health care law. The IRS should also immediately cease work on additional Affordable Care Act regulations until the Department of Justice confirms that Ms. Hall Ingram is not a subject of the criminal investigation, Ms. Hall Ingram is removed from this office, or Ms. Hall Ingram is exonerated by an investigation by the Department of Justice.
Addressing Ms. Hall Ingram’s involvement with the targeting of conservative groups is one of many answers that are needed before the public’s trust in our government agencies is restored.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
United States Senate