Records: Top official in charge of embattled IRS visited the Obama White House far more than any cabinet official

  • Douglas Shulman made 157 visits to the Obama  White House, while his boss, the treasury secretary, was there only 43  times
  • Congressional staffer on ‘best-case  scenario’: Shulman gave the White House  ‘a heads-up about the possible illegality of what they were doing’
  • White House visitor records may shed new  light on how much the Obama administration knew about the IRS targeting  conservative groups
  • Shulman visited more than the combined total  of the secretaries of energy, defense, education, homeland security, and health  and human services

By  David Martosko In Washington

PUBLISHED: 15:33 EST, 30 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 15:43  EST, 30 May 2013

According to public records of White House  visitors, the IRS commissioner who left office shortly after President Obama’s  re-election visited the White House far more often than any cabinet  official.

Visitor logs show that Douglas Shulman  visited the White House 157 times during his time in the Obama administration.  Those visits included 118 separate appearances at the White House between  January 2010 and December 2011, when the IRS was engaged in targeting tea party  and other conservative groups for special scrutiny when they applied for  tax-exempt status.

Shulman’s predecessor, Mark Everson, made  just one visit to the Bush White House during his four years as IRS commissioner  between 2003 and 2007.

An analysis published by The Daily Caller shows that the White House  has disclosed 62 visits by Attorney General Eric Holder since Obama took office.  Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Shulman’s superior, made 48 such visits.  Hillary Clinton was in the White House 43 times while she was Secretary of  State.

Douglas Shulman visited the White House far more often than any cabinet official while he was the IRS commissioner, as shown in this chart published by The Daily Caller (reprinted with permission)Douglas Shulman visited the White House far more often  than any cabinet official while he was the IRS commissioner, as shown in this  chart published by The Daily Caller (reprinted with permission)

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified on Capitol Hill on May 22, 2013 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee 

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified on  Capitol Hill on May 22, 2013 before the House Oversight and Government Reform  Committee. The hearing was called to investigate the extra scrutiny the IRS gave  to tea party and other conservative groups

Shulman also has more recorded visits to 1600  Pennsylvania Avenue than the 48 logged by Health and Human Services Secretary  Kathleen Sebelius, a key figure in the passage and implementation of Obamacare.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been in the White House 31 times. Steven Chu  made 22 visits while he was Secretary of Energy. Former Defense Secretary Robert  Gates visited just 17 times.

 

Other than Shulman, the official with the  most visits was Rebecca blank, then the acting Secretary of Commerce. After  Blank on the list came Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who has been  nominated to serve as Labor Secretary; and Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker,  the president’s recent choice for Commerce.

Mark Everson (2nd from L), the IRS Commissioner during most of the George W. Bush administration, visited the White House just once 

Mark Everson (2nd from L), the IRS Commissioner during  most of the George W. Bush administration, visited the White House just once.  Shown at center is then-Deputy U.S. Attorney General James B. Comey, whom Obama  is expected to tap this week to lead the FBI

President George W. Bush appointed Shulman to  the post in  March 2008 despite his history of donating to the Democratic  National  Committee. Insiders said at the time that picking him was a  conciliatory move to Democrats in the U.S. Senate who said they would refuse to  confirm a conservative.

Shulman left the IRS in November 2012,  shortly after Obama’s  re-election, and years after his agency began unethically  targeting tea  party groups and other right-wing organizations.

Shulman’s White House visits, almost one per  week during a 40-month period, were the subject of questions during a May 22  House Oversight Committee hearing, when Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly asked him  for ‘some of the reasons you might be at the White House?’

Hillary Clinton visited the White House just 43 times while she was secretary of stateAttorney General Eric Holder made 62 White House visits during the same period of time when Douglas Shulman racked up 157

Hillary Clinton (L) visited the White House just 43  times while she was secretary of state, during the same months when Douglas  Shulman racked up 157. Attorney General Eric Holder made just 62 such  trips

WHO'S THE BOSS? Then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (R) was Shulman's boss but made just 43 White House visits while his subordinate was there 157 times 

WHO’S THE BOSS? Then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner  (R) was Shulman’s boss but made just 43 White House visits while his subordinate  was there 157 times. Then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (L) made even fewer  treks to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Shulman suggested that participating in ‘the  Easter Egg Roll with my kids’ was one explanation, before adding ‘questions  about the administrability of tax policy they were thinking of; our budget; us  helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for  financial aid.’

But one Republican staffer on the Hill told  MailOnline that Shulman’s visits ‘clearly were part of a strategy to give the  White House a heads-up about the possible illegality of what they were doing to  tea party groups.’

‘That’s a best-case scenario,’ added the  staffer, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly  about investigations into executive branch offices.

‘In the worst-case, Shulman could have been  updating the White House on the progress of something the president’s people  proposed in the first place. I mean, the tea party was huge in 2010, and the  Obama machine could have been interested in slowing it down.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2333525/Records-Top-official-charge-embattled-IRS-visited-Obama-White-House-far-cabinet-official.html#ixzz2UqQ6iDJO Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



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