White House says Obama was not told of IRS investigation as it unfolded

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The Treasury Department’s legal office informed the White House counsel’s office about the nearly finished I.R.S. audit along with other reviews nearly a month before its release, the White House said, reports Peter Baker and Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times.

Kathryn Ruemmler, the White House counsel, was personally told on April 24, and she notified the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, and other senior aides without informing the president … The details released by Mr. Carney on Monday went beyond a previous White House account, and may provide more fodder for critics pressing to understand what and when the president and his team knew about the misconduct. During a series of television interviews on Sunday, Dan Pfeiffer … made no mention that Mr. McDonough or others had been notified and said that the White House had ‘no idea what the facts were’ when it was informed. …

Carney on Monday acknowledged that Ms. Ruemmler was told that certain words like ‘Tea Party’ and ‘patriot’ were used to target conservative groups. … With a new hearing into the I.R.S. misconduct scheduled forTuesday, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee planned to take Mr. Pfeiffer to task for what they said has been a confrontational, partisan attitude that undercut Mr. Obama’s promises of cooperation.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.