GOP governors call for special prosecutor in IRS case
May 14th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
5 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. B.

    The Republicans smell blood in the water and are jumping out of the box to -make hay- with any and all possibilities.

    This is really rich after living through two terms of Bush / Cheney!

    May 14, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    Here we go again.....

    Lord give me strength......a

    May 14, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Cepheus

    With sober minds thats is if you are one among many political crack addicts. We have to look at the root cause of this problem and solve it in a way that it will never happen again.

    May 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. ghostriter

    Republicans rule Obama

    And if this was a republican administration, you would be screaming witch hunt like you guys did for 8 years. So you really have no room to talk. Especially since Bush had actual issues that SHOULD have been investigated...not these manufactured mishaps. Heck, you probably were cheerleading when republican governors were trying to subvert the votes of democrats in the last election. So please stop with the "whoa is me" routine. No one believes it but you guys.

    May 14, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. mick

    Not even bush abused the IRS!

    May 14, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Thomas

    Citizens for a Sound Economy merged with Empower America in 2004 and was renamed FreedomWorks, with Dick Armey,
    Former House majority leader Dick Armey says he took an $8 million consulting deal in return for leaving the conservative organization FreedomWorks because the group was "dishonest" and because he "couldn't leave with empty pockets."

    The arrangement, he says, will allow him to "never have to work again forever."

    None profit for PROFIT .

    Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin both supported Dick Army !


    May 14, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Borderless

    This is exactly what happens when an administration is more focused on advancing their party than representing the electorate. Worst president ever. Most corrupt administration ever.

    May 14, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "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 "

    That's part of the reason Republicans start wars. It works as an effective block to anything like that. "Oh no no no, you can't shake up and dismantle the administration and distract them with impeachment proceedings while we're at WAR!!!! That would be un-'Murikan!!!! The country needs to come together during wartime!!!!"

    May 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Fair is Fair: In fact, my Dad just passed away last month from metasticized colon cancer.

    Setting politics aside, I would like to offer you my condolences on the loss of your Dad.

    May 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    So, one of the 2 governors named in the article is under investigation by the FBI for using government resources in a poltical campaign is calling for a special prosecutor? Nothing like a diversion from your own problems....and how is Jindall doing these days after labelling the GOP the party of stupid?

    May 14, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Shouldn't this nra ho be more concerned about the shootings in New Orleans at a parade this past Sunday?

    May 14, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Thank you Lynda.
    Bill Clinton was the commencement speaker at my son's alma mater this past weekend. He said that some kind of study was conducted where it was deiscovered that we, as people, are different from each other by only 1%. He told us to focus on the 99% that we have in common not the 1% that sets us apart.
    You and I Lynda, having never met, are proof of that study. We share many similar expreriences, and although from different backgrounds and of different races, living in different parts of the country and a multitude of other "differences" our commonalities seem to assert themselves over those differences.
    Thanks again and my sympathies to you and Pete as well.

    May 14, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "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."

    You pay very little attention to polling and demographic and electoral data, huh? Just a feeding frenzy at the conspiracy trough, followed by a daydreamy nap in the echo after day after day....

    May 14, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Sniffit

    OH gee...will they hire DiGenova and Toensing again?

    May 14, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. California Gary

    These two governors are absolutely self serving in their quest for a special prosecutor. If both are considering runs for the POTUS in 2016, then both will need to win the support of the very groups that have been targeted.....hence, their outrage and their demands. Had we learned left leaning groups had been targeted, you would not have heard even a whisper from these two about first amendment rights. Such is politics.

    May 14, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. malloy

    Of course non of the outrage we hear spewing form the GOP has anything to do with politics. It must be pure coincidence that the 2106 GOP hopefuls are the ones screaming the loudest. Where were these clowns when Bubya and Darth Chenney were working their little con games? The usual greedy Old Party nonsense. Personally I'm shocked and appalled by .... Well. actually I'm not. I expect the same old tired claims from the same old party. They are still trying to make Obama a one term president. Same old, Same old.

    May 14, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "what's next? Non-terminal illness? Bad self esteem?"

    Pretending like Americans would tolerate medical professionals administering life-ending drugs to someone who is not suffering a terminal illness that has taken from them all quality of life, left them in constant excruciating pain, etc., really gives all of America and our systems of government, justice and health care absolutely no credit whatsoever. "Low self-esteem" is a low and cynical blow. Cynicism is not a valid element of policy decision making. People deserve...nay, have a right... to die with dignity.

    May 14, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. lottie

    Now the repos will never get anything done they have this and Bengahzie . They must feel like they are in hog heaven. This should take up the next two years.

    May 14, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Dallas

    I think Borderless needs to revisit American History 101 – he hasn't a clue. Corrupt? Try the Harding Administration and especially try the Bush/Cheney administration. Why Rumsfeld and Cheney aren't in prison is beyond the pale and yet you have the audacity to criticize President Obama without having all the facts of the matter. This is the same load of you know what that these Tea Baggers bring out constantly and frankly, most of America is sick of listening to it. Do the job you were elected to do or get the hell out!

    May 14, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. okfine


    Not even bush abused the IRS!

    My My, how short memories are. In 2004, the IRS went after a church because the pastor gave a sermon critical of the Iraq war and the Bush tax cuts. An investigation was launced against the NAACP also in 2004 for similar comments criitical of Bush. So stop with the holier than thou, self righteousness. It was wrong then and it was wrong now. I am wondering where Issa was back in 2004

    May 14, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Larry L

    A section of the IRS is dedicated to investigating organization claiming non-profit status. When one of those orgainzations openly attacks the tax system, parades with racist signs & slogans, and even suggests the possibility of armed revolution, that organization is certainly suspicious in regards to the potential for tax evasion. Wouldn't the IRS be neglegent for NOT giving them a harder look? In 2004 when the IRS targeted the NAACP conservatives werfe not "outraged". The NAACP was charged with making "critical comments" about President Bush. That was okay?

    May 14, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Bob

    Jindal and Walker... 2 mental midgets blinded by their ideology.

    May 14, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Warren

    I'll bet Bush set this up.... It was he's man that said this was not going on...

    May 14, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "yet you have the audacity to criticize President Obama without having all the facts of the matter."

    Seriously...does everyone understand just how badly the GOP/Teatrolls have been trying to manufacture an excuse for saying "now now, remember what happened last time you elected one of them"?

    May 14, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Mack

    You start a group that threatens "second amendment" remedies and screams "taxed enough already" and you expect not to get audited? I think the IRS was just going for the low hanging fruit. Those hate groups shouldn't be tax exempt anyway.

    May 14, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
1 2 3 4