2nd IRS official to leave amid tea party scandal

By: NBC News Email
By: NBC News Email
The president

Steve Miller

UPDATE 3:02 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As second top Internal Revenue Service official has announced plans to leave the agency amid the controversy over the targeting of tea party groups.

An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency's tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. Grant joins Steven Miller, who was forced to resign as acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday.

As part of his duties, Grant oversaw the IRS division that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Grant joined the IRS in 2005.

ORIGINAL STORY

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was "angry" at IRS officials who inappropriately targeted conservative groups for scrutiny, announcing that his administration had sought and accepted Steven Miller's resignation as interim commissioner of the IRS.

"I've reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog's report, and the misconduct that it uncovered was inexcusable," Obama said in a statement at the White House. "It's inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I'm angry about it."

The president said that he expected the IRS to act with even higher levels of integrity than other government agencies and that, to that end, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had sought and accepted Miller's resignation -- something many Republicans had demanded.

Obama also pledged to work with Congress in its emerging investigation into the controversy, pledging his administration would work "hand in hand with Congress" to further its oversight. But the president also cautioned lawmakers to conduct their probe "in a way that doesn't smack of politics or partisan agendas."

"If the President is as concerned about this issue as he claims, he'll work openly and transparently with Congress to get to the bottom of the scandal -- no stonewalling, no half-answers, no withholding of witnesses," the top Republican senator, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, said in a statement.


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