Among the most upsetting aspects of the Internal Revenue Service scandal is that participants in harassing organizations based on their political ideals do not seem to recognize they did anything wrong.
Last week, acting IRS head Danny Werfel conceded his agency discriminated against more organizations than had been admitted previously and did so for a longer period of time than had been reported.
But at the same time, Werfel told reporters agency investigators “have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing …”
In other words, IRS officials seem to think there is nothing wrong with targeting organizations with specific agendas – in this case, primarily conservative ones.
That contention flies in the face of the agency’s circle-the-wagons reaction and action by Lois Lerner, who formerly oversaw the IRS division that harassed some groups. Lerner, you may recall, refused to testify to Congress on the matter. She cited her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
IRS officials know what was done was wrong. Their continuing refusal to say so may well call for a top-to-bottom shakeup at the agency.