By Ken Berry
The IRS has been embroiled in plenty of turmoil lately, but presumably it has nothing to do with a witch's cauldron or a satanic spell. Nevertheless, an IRS official sitting on the hot seat in Congress was asked to defend herself against mock charges she was demonic.
Sarah Hall Ingram, former head of the IRS division for tax-exempt organizations, has been testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee is one of several looking into revelations that the division wrongfully targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. This ongoing "Tea Party scandal" has been one of several black eyes for the IRS in recent months.
GOP members of the committee have been hammering away at Ingram, who left her post in 2010, reportedly six months before the initial incidents came to light. On October 7, Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA) apparently decided to inject a little levity into the proceedings, at his colleagues' expense.
"Have you been consorting with the devil?" a deadpan Connolly inquired of Ingram. "Not to my knowledge, sir", she replied, tongue firmly in cheek. Connolly also referenced the Salem witch trials as he continued this line of questioning. For the record – and it did go into the official record – Ingram also said reports that she could fly were "greatly exaggerated."
Incidentally, Ingram stepped down from her position in the tax-exempt organizations division to head up a group overseeing certain aspects of Obamacare, yet another lightning rod in Congress. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.