A stunning, and potentially damning, revelation from the Daily Caller which indicates that former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman visited the White House more than any of Obama’s cabinet members during the time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups.
The level of visitation is out of character for an IRS commissioner per comparisons to the relationships between the White House and past IRS commissioners:
Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications.
By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — which strongly suggests coordination by White House officials in the campaign against the president’s political opponents — is even more striking in comparison to the publicly recorded access of cabinet members.
Shulman has previously told Congress that he never told President Obama about the targeting of conservative groups, and White House officials have also said that they didn’t loop the President in.
What the President did and didn’t know is an open question, but it’s hard not to see coordination between the IRS and the White House given this level of interaction. Remember, historically the IRS keeps its distance from the White House to avoid this very appearance of collusion.