New acting IRS head named as second official resigns


A US Marine holds an umbrella over President Barack Obama as he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (not shown) speak to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House May 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.


Mark Wilson

Seeking to douse growing fury, President Barack Obama named a new acting IRS head today as a second IRS official, Joseph Grant, resigned in the wake of the tea party targeting scandal.

Obama ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller late Wednesday following revelations that the IRS applied special scrutiny to the tea party and other conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.

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A trusted White House budget official, Daniel Werfel, will man the ship for the time being.

The appointment comes amid news today of a second IRS official resigning in the wake of the scandal that, along with a Justice Department scandal involving Associated Press phone records, threatens to undo Obama's second-term agenda.

Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency's tax exempt and government entities division, will retire on June 3, according to an IRS statement.

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USA Today reported Grant had only been elevated to that position last week, just two days before the agency confirmed the targeting reports.

In remarks today, Obama said his “main concern is fixing a problem” at the IRS.

That didn't seem to placate tea party groups, who vowed to sue the IRS and claimed vindication in their long-held complaints about the government agency.

"This is a civil rights issue," Adam Brandon of Washington-based FreedomWorks told ABC News. "It's more like a Third World junta than a constitutional republic."