In an interview with Al Hunt, Jack Lew — now Treasury Secretary and President Obama’s Chief of Staff from January 2012 until this spring — indicated that he knew about the IRS investigation last autumn (i.e., before the election).

JACK LEW: Al, I learned the substance of this report last Friday when it became a matter of public knowledge. Before that, in mid March, I had had a conversation, just a getting-to-know-you conversation, with the inspector general right after I started, and he went through a number of items that were matters they were working on. And the topic of a project on the 501c3 issue was one of the things he briefed me was ongoing.

I didn’t know any of the details of it until last Friday. When I learned about it — from the moment I learned about it, I was outraged. The Secretary of the Treasury, as a citizen, it is a matter of the highest priority that the IRS be beyond suspicion in terms of its (inaudible).

AL HUNT: Did Tim Geithner or Neal Wolin or the general counsel know about it before him?