CNN poll: Nearly half of Americans think IRS orders came from White House

The Internal Revenue Service scandal hasn't implicated the White House in the targeting of conservative groups, but a growing number of Americans nevertheless believe it was directly involved.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows 47 percent of Americans think the White House ordered the targeting, up from 37 percent last month. Forty-nine percent say the White House wasn't involved.

While there is no evidence that the White House was involved in the targeting, there have been a series of revelations that administration officials learned of the targeting before it was disclosed to the public. Those who eventually learned of it include the White House general counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin.

In addition, though the IRS initially said that low-level employees in the agency's Cincinnati office were responsible, the testimony and comments of several IRS employees have called that assertion into question -- most recently over the weekend when testimony by IRS employee Holly Paz leaked.

A bare majority of Americans -- 51 percent -- say the matter is "very important," while another 32 percent say it's "somewhat important." Just 16 percent say it's either "not too important" or "not important at all."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · June 17, 2013