In March 2012, then-Commissioner of the IRS Douglas Shulman told members of Congress that the agency was not targeting tea party groups for heightened scrutiny. Shulman was responding to questions raised by lawmakers who said they had received complaints from constituents involved in tea party organizations who were upset with their treatment.
"Yes, I can give you assurances — as you know, we pride ourselves on being a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization," Shulman said. "Me and our chief counsel are the only presidential appointees, and I have a five-year term that runs through presidential elections just so we will have none of that kind of political intervention into things that we do."
Shulman, who was appointed to a five-year term by President Bush, left the IRS in November 2012.