A self-described conservative Republican who oversees IRS screeners dealing with non-profit groups has told lawmakers that he doesn't think the White House played a role in stonewalling "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups, according to the ranking Democrat on the committee investigating the matter.
Rep. Elijah Cummings told CNN on Sunday that excerpts of the IRS manager's interview with congressional investigators shows the agency set aside the applications in an effort to be consistent in their review of them and not because of the groups' politics.
Cummings said the unnamed manager's testimony was "very significant".
"He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way toward showing that the White House was not involved in this," the Maryland Democrat told CNN's State of the Union program.
"Based upon everything I've seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on," he added.
CNN reports that when asked by congressional investigators if the scrutiny of conservative groups was intended to target "the president's political enemies," the IRS manager, who works in the Cincinnati IRS office dealing with non-profit groups, responded that the screening was only about "consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development."
Asked if he believed the White House was involved, the manager replied: "I have no reason to believe that," according to CNN.
But California Republican Darrell Issa, who chairs the Oversight committee, said in a statement Sunday that the manager's testimony "did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts.
"The American public wants to know why targeting occurred and who was involved," Issa said.
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