GOP governors call for special prosecutor in IRS case
May 14th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
2 years ago

GOP governors call for special prosecutor in IRS case

(CNN) - The two leaders of the Republican Governors Association called for the appointment of a special prosecutor Tuesday to investigate any legal wrongdoing within the Internal Revenue Service.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin - who both are considered potential candidates for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination - wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama the recent revelation the IRS was applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax exempt status amounted to a "witch hunt to prevent Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights."

"The First Amendment gives Americans the ability to freely express their opinions regardless of their political beliefs," the two governors wrote. "The actions of the IRS are an attempt to gag the voices of Americans who may disagree with the policies and left-leaning ideology of your administration. Quite frankly, this is un-American."

On Friday, the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee will convene the first formal hearing on the IRS practice, with the agency's commissioner and inspector general set to testify.

Other committees, including in the Democrat-led Senate, have also vowed to look into the IRS's admission it targeted tea party organizations and other groups focused on government spending. The tax agency said its motivations were not political.

Jindal and Walker are the first high-profile elected officials to formally ask Obama to appoint a special prosecutor, who would be independent of the federal government to avoid conflicts of interest.

Special prosecutors have been used in the past to probe high level government officials who are accused of wrongdoing.

On Monday, Obama vowed to hold IRS employees responsible if the charges of political targeting turn out to be true.

"If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. And there's no place for it," Obama said.

"They have to be held fully accountable," Obama continued. "Because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity, and people have to have confidence that they're ... applying the laws in a nonpartisan way."


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • IRS • RGA • Scott Walker
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Jeff in Virginia

    This is amazing. The IRS, whose job it is to catch tax cheats, gave more criticism to groups who are explicitly trying to avoid taxes, in some cases, by cheating. And this is news?

    May 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Lionel

    Oh let's get bogged down with this and Benghazi. Can't wait for the Republicans to turn this into a circus.

    How about keeping our children safe by passing bills like gun control and keeping military style rifles off the streets.

    How about fixing immigration instead of trying to repeal a Health Care Law.

    May 14, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "We have received information that during your 2004 convention in Philadelphia, your organization distributed statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency,"
    --------------------------------------------
    That's from a letter the IRS sent to the NAACP when an audit was conducted against them. Where was Piyush Jindal and Scott Walker's outrage then?

    May 14, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Pete

    Hey Jindal where were the investigators when Bushs targeted union workers nationwide years ago,me being one..Audits yearly not the norm because of their insistence just to bust your cajones..And coming up with new ways to exclude certain writeoffs in long forms making you pay more and making the AMT more previlent amongst union workers like myself working on the road nationally just to make a living because of Bushs recessions..Getting told I had stage 4 cancer and being audited without getting a letter from them and when my brother helping me while getting chemo 24/7 talks to an IRS case worker about my plight all she could say was that I'm guilty as charged as a result of the audit and I'll have to pay taxes as long as I'm breathing,that's the IRS I remember,$27,000 worth!!! ..Jindal and his tea party brethren should face the same rath as I did and if they just like churches play political brainwashing with their followers then its open season with the IRS and quess what the churches and these teapartiers deserve it with the IRS as their judge,jury and executioner,case with me is closed and tea party you goose is cooked ,come pay the piper idiots,no tax exempt status as well!!

    May 14, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. Data Driven

    UH oh, a "special prosecutor". Watch your money swirl down the drain, taxpayers. I would think that Congressional committees, the Attorney General's office, and the FBI would be more than sufficient to investigate this. But by all means, carry on - maybe Kenneth Starr isn't busy, give him a call.

    May 14, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. much thunder..little rain

    a. p.....irs.....chicago style corruption and intimidation...for all those who dont follow lock step with these thugs..

    May 14, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Ed1

    How about getting one for Obama and Holder too while you are at it.

    May 14, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Did you ever notice the Republicans are the first ones to call for a Special Prosecutor when a Democratic Administration is involved and the first say they don't need o0ne when a Republican Administration is involved? Had they appointed one in 2003, we would probably have had impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney, and Dubya, then we would have been stuck with Tom Delay as President (having decided that he could be a better Speaker of the House than Denny Hastert).

    May 14, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    The IRS debacle is the result of decision made by the conservative wing of the Supreme Court on the Citizens United case. The decision gave tax exempt status to poltical advocacy groups like Karl Roves GPS Crossroad to avoid disclosing the names of its donors for what amounts to political ads. It was a poor decision by IRS to target Tea Party groups. It was a disaster for the Supreme Court to give political advocacy groups tax exempt status and sell our democratic process to secret bidders.

    May 14, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    While I agree that the IRS should not be targeting certain groups simply because these groups lean conservative (or liberal), there are a great many who do use their tax exempt status for political purposes. Churches come to mind. PACs come to mind. So, yeah. The abusers should be audited. But not for political hay-making.

    Having said that, were I a member of a conservative PAC being audited ... I wouldn't be whining about witch-hunts. Not with Darrel Issa stamping his feet and throwing one hissy fit after another at tax payers expense.

    May 14, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Boo

    Here we go again. The GOP is once again displaying their hypocrisy. WHATEVER!!!!

    May 14, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. nothing new here

    Us working citizens have to pay taxes, so should everyone else. I don't care what your political affiliation is...pay up, or sit down.

    May 14, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. A True Conservative

    Amazing!! The left making excuses for political acts by the IRS! We have a president telling us to ignore the voices warning of tyranny, yet we see the IRS and the DOJ targeting people and groups based on their political convictions – the left makes me sick! If this had happened under a Republican administration the left would have their panties in a knot – under a Democrat administration – nothing to see here, move along. Hypocrites!!

    May 14, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Why does the incompetence gop morons keep calling for hearings on anything and everything to screw up our goverment to slow every thing down and your hearing czar d. Assa the clown not even represent his district but has his ugly face on camera every day wasting taxpayers money on meaningless hearings . Gop out in 2014 mid terms, gop morons and losers.

    May 14, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. Republicans rule Obama

    First Benghazi, then the IRS scandal, now the Justice department intrudes on the AP. Never have I seen such a corrupt Goverment, we thought Bush was bad, Obama has one goal on his mind, to have the Goverment control everything.

    May 14, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Republicans rule Obama

    Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Did you ever notice the Republicans are the first ones to call for a Special Prosecutor when a Democratic Administration is involved and the first say they don't need o0ne when a Republican Administration is involved? Had they appointed one in 2003, we would probably have had impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney, and Dubya, then we would have been stuck with Tom Delay as President (having decided that he could be a better Speaker of the House than Denny Hastert).
    __________________________________________
    And when Bush was in office the Democrats were the first ones to call for investigations, Democrats went witch hunting on a regular basis.

    May 14, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Rob

    Can you believe some of the people on this site. The actually suggested the atty General look into this. He is one of the most DISHONEST people in the Obama cult. The IRS may have been doing Obama's bidding and the only way to get to the truth is an outside investigator. You can bet if there is any wrong doing. Holder will do everything he can to bury it, Just like fast and Furious. Some even think it's ok because they feel Bush did it to Unions, since when do 2 wrongs make a right. Obama was SUPPOSED to be doing cleaner but it seems more and more all Obama and his gang are interested in is hiding the truth and stomping on peoples rights. (Unless your a big donator to his fund raisers)

    May 14, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. rs

    Hah! This is a laugh, two Republican Governors want a special prosecutor to investigate the Bush-era IRS Head regarding the applications of anti-tax (and un-American) TEA Party groups for 501 (c) 4 tax exempt status, which were APPROVED.

    Maybe they think THIS is linked to Bengahzi too.

    May 14, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. rs

    Amazing!! The left making excuses for political acts by the IRS! We have a president telling us to ignore the voices warning of tyranny, yet we see the IRS
    __________________________
    What "tyranny"?
    The anti-tax people GOT their tax-exempt status? No one was denied anything. You anti-American people are deplorable.

    May 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. PaulCat

    It would be great if the GOP governors would call on (jobs, jobs, jobs)
    Bobby need to work on his approval rating in Louisiana. Isn't it now at 29%?
    At least they've moved out of the women bedroom for now.

    May 14, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. ghostriter

    Seriously, the next conservative that states, "had this been a republican president that did this" gets a free trip down memory lane when the last republican president did just that.

    May 14, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. ghostriter

    Which is the funny part of all this. Look, if someone does something wrong, it merits looking into. But what we have is a series of the same witch hunts they are accusing the IRS of. Not only that, many of these same losers screaming for investigations (politicians and voters) were strangely silent when this happened for 8 years. Heck, republicans went after NPR in 2010 because they didn't like what they had to say. And PBS.

    Please keep your Faux outrage to yourselves.

    May 14, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. sonny chapman

    Hey GOVERNOR Jindal, come back to Baton Rouge from your "Jindal for Prez Tour" & take care of the job you signed up for. On second thought, stay away. The La. State Legislature is picking up your slack during these fiscally trying times.

    May 14, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Republicans rule Obama

    jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Why does the incompetence gop morons keep calling for hearings on anything and everything to screw up our goverment to slow every thing down and your hearing czar d. Assa the clown not even represent his district but has his ugly face on camera every day wasting taxpayers money on meaningless hearings . Gop out in 2014 mid terms, gop morons and losers.
    ___________________________________________
    Because if this was a Republican Admin you would be first in line calling for investigations, you just cannot stand the fact that come 2014 Democrats will be kicked to the curb like the losers they are and 2016 a Republican WILL be elected President. That means free welfare rides for people will be gone.

    May 14, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. king

    hey if i pay taxes all these partisan groups need to pay up. these teabaggers are the main ones shouting that the government is going broke, yet they are the main ones cheating the tax laws. lesson folks the country need taxes to survive, and if the teabaggers are coming out with a new group every other week, getting hush hush money from big corporations to destroy dems, hey they should pay taxes on it, because this is certainly not no social welfare program they indulged in

    May 14, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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