On this week’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pressured White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer about why the Obama administration didn’t act sooner to address the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax status, arguing that Treasury officials and administration officials were aware of an ongoing investigation.
Pfeiffer argued that it would have been “wholly inappropriate” for anyone in the White House to interfere with an ongoing investigation and claimed that the administration was never aware of the specifics of the probe. Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin was informed about the matter last year and the White House counsel’s Office learned of the examination in late April, before the results were available.
“[House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell] Issa was also told topline things,” Pfeiffer reminded Wallace. “Here’s the cardinal rule when you deal with situations like this: you never interfere with an independent investigation, you never give the appearance of interfering with an independent investigation.”
“Issa said he didn’t talk about it publicly — when you’re dealing with a nonpartisan agency like the IRS, you wait until you have the actual facts before you go out and make assertions,” he said.
Indeed, during an interview with Bloomberg earlier this week, Issa admitted, “I knew what was approximately in it when we made the allegations about a year ago.”