Miller, a 25-year career employee of the IRS, published an op-ed article in the May 14 issue of USA Today, saying that "we should have done a better job," adding:
"Mistakes were made, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan motivation". We sought to centralize work in this area in 2010 because our office of Exempt Organizations observed a sharp increase in the number of section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) applications coming from groups potentially engaged in political campaign intervention. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of applications for 501(c)(4) status more than doubled, from 1,591 to 3,398.
On July 7, 2011, Miller issued a memo that stopped an IRS effort to collect gift taxes from five major donors on their gifts to 501(c )(4) organizations such as Crossroads GPS or Priorities USA. The action to stop tax collection was taken in response to a written request to Shulman on May 18, 2011, from six Senators: Orrin G. Hatch, Jon Kyl, Pat Roberts, John Cornyn, John Thune, and Richard Burr -- all Republicans.
In a story on Miller's memo the same day, the New York Times reported:
"The I.R.S. has said that the White House had nothing to do with its audits, and its original statement said they were begun by lower-level employees and that administration officials were not notified. Frank Keith, an I.R.S. spokesman, said Thursday that the estate and gift tax unit had in fact suspended those audits in March, although the agency's initial confirmation of the audits did not mention any such action.
" "All decisions to open, suspend and close the audits were made by career civil servants and were not the result of any outside influence,' Mr. Keith said."
Media Makes Up Scandal Based on Little Evidence
All the exaggerated reporting to date has been based on an unquantified fraction of a draft report by the Treasury Department's inspector general that was leaked to AP, Reuters, and perhaps others, by unidentified people, reportedly congressional aides with access to the preliminary report. In others words, the first phase of this "scandal" appears to be a political spite balloon floated by partisan players, with whom major media colluded unprofessionally, either through sympathy or incompetence.