WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department watchdog who detailed Internal Revenue Service mistreatment of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status says he has no evidence the IRS also mishandled progressive groups’ applications, even as Democrats continue criticizing him for conducting a one-sided probe.

In a letter to Congress that was released on Thursday, the inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, acknowledged that the term “Progressives” appeared on a list of terms used by IRS screeners from to look for applicants with potential problems that would merit close scrutiny. But he said there was no evidence the IRS set aside progressive groups’ applications because they appeared on that list, which was aimed at finding groups that may have engaged in political activity — which could affect whether they were granted tax-exempt status.

George said his investigators have “multiple sources of information corroborating” that tea party groups’ applications were set aside for close examinations, including interviews with IRS employees, emails and other documents. But he added, “We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.”



What a surprise, like we already did not know it....