Chris Wallace: Have you asked the IRS chief counsel appointed by President Obama what involvement he and his office had in all of this?
Jack Lew: Chris, to be clear, there are 1,600 lawyers in the chief counsel’s office and there was no suggestion that this went to the person in that office. There is no evidence of it. There has been no evidence of it.
Chris Wallace: Now wait a minute, have you asked him?
Jack Lew: Chris I am leaving the investigation to the proper people who do investigations. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do the investigation.
Advertisement - story continues below
James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal wrote more about Wilkins and the scandal this past week.
As Peggy Noonan noted, the Washington supervisor, Carter Hull, last week implicated the IRS’s office of chief counsel: “The IRS chief counsel is named William Wilkins. And . . . he is one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.”
Congressional investigators appear to be conducting a very methodical inquiry, working their way up through the IRS hierarchy and not getting out ahead of themselves by making claims not supported by the available evidence. Note, for example, that they have not (yet) claimed Wilkins himself directed the abusive behavior, only his “office.” Democrats and their media allies, perhaps deceptively, interpret the investigation’s slow progress as a sign that there’s nothing to the scandal. But if that’s the case, they should be all for a thorough investigation.