'This Bully Nature of Government': Tea Party Rallies in Washington Amid IRS Controversy

Cruz also compared President Obama to Nixon, saying, “President Obama needs to tell the truth. When Richard Nixon tried to use the IRS to target his political enemies, it was wrong, and when the Obama administration does it, it’s still wrong.”

Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, promised to continue the probes into the IRS story.

“We will get answers. It will take time, but we will get the facts, and we will follow them wherever they lead,” Camp said.

The top Republican lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said last week they planned to get to the bottom of the issue.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the panel’s top Democrat, released the transcripts on Tuesday of an interview the committee conducted with a self-described “conservative Republican” IRS manager in the IRS office in Cincinnati. He told the committee that he flagged the first application for tax-exempt status from a Tea Party group because it was a new, high-profile issue and had received media attention.

Cummings had accused Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the panel’s chairman, of selectively choosing details from the testimony to support the Republicans’ argument that the IRS targeting practice came from Washington. After releasing the interview transcripts, Cummings said it debunked the GOP “conspiracy theories” that the White House had orchestrated the IRS scrutiny of the conservative groups.

Issa immediately condemned the release of the transcripts, saying Americans should be outraged by Cummings’ effort to “obstruct needed oversight.”

“I am deeply disappointed that ranking member Cummings has decided to broadly disseminate and post online a 205-page transcript that will serve as a road map for IRS officials to navigate investigative interviews with Congress,” Issa said in a statement.

Issa has released excerpts from some interviews with IRS workers, but resisted calls to release the full transcripts.

The transcripts of congressional investigators’ conversations with Holly Paz, a former Washington based manager working under Lerner, were also released this week. The investigations show that Paz was personally involved in reviewing Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010.

Paz gave statements contradicting “initial claims by the agency that a small group of agents working in an office in Cincinnati were solely responsible for mishandling the applications,” according to a report by the Associated Press.

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(A sign from Wednesday's rally/photo by Rodrigo Sermeño)