Tom Smart, Deseret News
Sen. Orrin Hatch's accusation that the IRS is guilty of willful deception date back to a pair of letters he exchanged with the IRS last year.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday about his interaction with the IRS throughout the past year, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, “They purposefully misled me. I am very upset about it. This should have never happened.”

Politico, the outlet that reported Hatch’s quotation, offered this context: Hatch and “10 other GOP lawmakers wrote to then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on June 18, 2012, demanding answers on why the agency requested donor information from groups seeking nonprofit status.

“By the time this letter was sent, Shulman and (Steven) Miller, who was the deputy IRS commissioner at the time, had been aware of the extent of the targeting program for about a month. Still, in a Sept. 11, 2012, response to the letter, Miller offered a broad interpretation of the law allowing the request for donor information and said nothing about the targeting practice.”

Also on Tuesday, Reuters attributed a similar quotation to Utah's senior senator: “(Hatch) said on Tuesday it was time for the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller, to leave his post amid a growing controversy over IRS scrutiny of conservative groups. ‘He basically misled me. I really think it is time for him to leave,’ Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters.”

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at or 801-236-6051.