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. Sniffit

    " I am wondering where Issa was back in 2004"

    Probably committing insurance fraud....again...

    May 14, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair in typical fashion says:
    First of all, you have NO idea what I've seen nor been through. In fact, my Dad just passed away last month from metasticized colon cancer. And believe me, it was not pretty. I've been a nurse since my late 20's, and I can pretty much guarantee while I've probably not seen it ALL, I've seen much more than yourself.
    You're right Fair. I have NO idea what you've seen nor been through. I stand corrected. HOWEVER you sounded pretty ridiculous by asserting in the same breath that you've seen much more than myself. Really? Do we know the intimacies of each other's life?
    Your "slippery slope" comment, however, remains a fallacy. You sound, per usual, like the chicken littles that populate this thread with your "where will this end up if we go down this road?". If it were up to people like you we would make no headways into ANYTHING for fear that it would put us one step closer to perdition, complete government takeover, anarchy...take your pick. All your "slippery slope" tells me is that you don't trust people to have enough intelligence and commonsense to put things into place without having them devolve into something that is out of control.
    You did not come across as someone who would know the heartache of losing someone close to them to a terrible disiease. My condolences on the passing of your father.

    May 14, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. ghostriter

    Boy, for a group that prides itself on the ability to circumvent the Constitution and profile folks because "it makes sense", conservatives sure hate to be the ones that ft the description.

    May 14, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama: "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."

    Call me naive, but after President Obama was first elected I was shocked at the hate and vitirol directed at him and First Lady Michelle Obama. I was shocked at comments made by Mitch McConnell et al. I was shocked at the obstruction directed at President Obama. Nothing shocks me anymore where the right is concerned. Sadly, nothing shocks me where the media is concerned either.

    I suspect having not stopped President Obama from a second term, this mud slinging will only get worse. Unless of course our media will wake up and smell the roses and begin to understand the majority of Americans are trying to work together for a better America.

    I don't see that happening anytime soon. The lobbyists are too wealthy and too powerful to ever allow America to simply be America ... working together for the good of America.

    Have a great day, my friend. I find it isn't worth trying to get a comment in only to have it scrapped time and again.

    May 14, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Name willard

    Madness to let out of control IRS enforcer obama care abotrtion doctor Gullty

    May 14, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Larry L

    Republicans take absolutely no actions to do anything but stir up conspiracies. They have no jobs bills, nothing to help the healthcare crisis, no real plan for immigration reform, no actual budget proposals, nothing to help with the Syrian situation, no voting reform, nothing related to global climate change, and no other initiatives of significance. America doesn't need a political party dedicated to only one goal – discrediting the opposition so they can get elected.

    May 14, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way Fair, your referencing me as "Dom Mom" is not lost on me. I hope you're just as aware as to the irony and inappropriateness of you calling yourself "fair is fair".

    May 14, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Borderless

    Obama, the most corrupt president in American history, has spent the vast majority of his presidency a) on narcissistic pursuits and image building b) working to improve his party's position for future elections c) covering up, spinning and/or lying about major blunders, fails and scandals by his administration. If you think that you as a voter matter to him beyond your vote, cash and blind obedience, think again. His priorities start with himself and end with the Democratic Party. You are insignificant. Worst president ever.

    May 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. DarqueSide

    There are certain rules for tax exempt status. Determining whether these groups qualify for that status requires additional information. The problem is there is a catch-22 in the laws as written by Congress! Also note, of 300 applications set aside for review, only 75 had the word 'patriot' or 'tea party' in the application name. Regardless, the IRS SHOULD be able to review these applications and ask for additional information. The problem is in the contradictory aspects of the law! Once the IRS ASKS for the information, it becomes public record, but a 501(c)(4) is entitled to a PRIVATE donor list. Fix the law, fix the problem.

    May 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Larry L

    Republicans are losing any hope of expanding their party beyond their base of fearful, bigoted, conspiracy-motivated white people. Americans want problem solvers who care about all of our people – not drones for the fat cats and hate media.

    May 14, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. chriis

    Sarah (hell no ) palin and her teapublicans need to be investigated by a special prosicutor they are a terrorist organization bent on distroying or country, Look it up oon there web site they are not hideing it.VOTE DEM CRATS IN 2014,and TEA PUBS OUT.

    May 14, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Um, Well.
    I would say things are getting hot in the old town tonight. Two things come to mind, the Tintanic and Nero. I would say this Convulution of Liberalisim is crumbling before your eyes. Not to mention some real News. Screw with the Press will you? Your Cover is Blown. Sorry. No more passes. Your Rubber Ducky has been recalled.

    May 14, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    I still say that the net result is that these conservative groups had applications expedited and approved. We're not talking about audits here. We're talking about reviewing applications for tax exempt status. The applications were reviewed much sooner than what they otherwise may have been. And, all of this done under a commisioner who was a Bush appointee. It smells like a duck and it quacks like a duck.

    I think this is really a matter of a Republican appointed commisioner doing his part to help conservative groups. All of the noise coming from the right wing over this is masking the results of what was done. The right wing groups were singled out and quickly approved.

    May 14, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Sniffit

    501(c)(4) – tax exempt status and prohibited from engaging in political activities to maintain said status

    "tea party" – undeniably a political movement

    You do the freekin math.

    May 14, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Your comment made it through!!!!!
    I remember you posting to someone that I helped you laugh ( or something like that). I read your response to one of our "usual suspects" this morning in regards to the Vermont article and I really tried to be as gracious as you in my response.... but I don't think I was successful!
    Which is all to say that if I've helped you laugh, you've taught me grace even though I am still a work in progress in that area.
    I'm trying Lynda, I'm really trying but it so haaaaaard sometimes! LOL!!

    May 14, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    I'm just wondering...... How many Tea Party groups were denied??

    May 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way Fair, your referencing me as "Dom Mom" is not lost on me. I hope you're just as aware as to the irony and inappropriateness of you calling yourself "fair is fair".
    Try as I might, I really cannot think of any way the name "Dom Mom" could be inferred as anything other than a simple short rhyme to replace an otherwise long name you've given yourself. Maybe I'm just naive. Trust me, there's no intent of insult or malice. I won't use that salutation again.

    May 14, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Screw with the Press will you?"

    There was nothing "secret" about obtaining warrants to obtain the phone records from the phone companies and follow the procedures for notifying AP that they were doing so. AP took quite some liberties in using that word in order to inflame the story. AP knew it was happening all along as part of a criminal investigation regarding a leak of classified national security information...they just don't like it. Well, tough, the Patriot Act that the MSM so thoroughly supported lets the gov't do this now...LEGALLY. Apparently it was fine when AP thought it would only be private individuals having the gov't climb into their phone records.

    May 14, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Tony

    We need a special prosecutor to investigate all republicans in congress, a terrorist organization period.

    May 14, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Wake up People! asked:

    I'm just wondering...... How many Tea Party groups were denied??
    That's my point. None to my knowledge, though a few may still be pending. And, the former commissioner resigned right after the 2012 elections. It really does smell like a conservative duck.

    May 14, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    You gotta give it to the GOP, they are a shrewd bunch. Bush ran this country into the ground and not one of them said anything. Then McCain gets the trounced in 08 and the GOP starts losing their minds. They decide to do absolutely nothing to move our country forward, unless you count saying no to everything the POTUS attempts to do.

    Then comes reelection. After their candidate attacks the POTUS for everything during the Primaries, as soon as he fights back he gets labeled a bully. He wins reelection and still they refuse to work with him, just manufactured crisis after crisis. I don't know about anyone else, but this is getting ridiculous. Nothing but obstruction, witch hunts and chicken little yelling, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling." Or was that Henny Penny??

    May 14, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair:
    Appreciate it. DM4O should shorten it.
    My condolences, all bs aside, were sincere Fair.

    May 14, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. rs


    Obama, the most corrupt president in American history, has spent the vast majority of his presidency a) on narcissistic pursuits and image building b) working to improve his party's position for future elections c) covering up, spinning and/or lying about major blunders, fails and scandals by his administration.
    Care to provide any facts with that little fantasy rant?
    Probably not.....

    May 14, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Pete

    Hey Bushs aganda of union busting started with IRS and their Nazi style audits being you're guilty to them and the feds before you prove other wise..I myself having fought a war against and lost causing me in excess of over $27,000 in fines,penalties while fighting stage 4 cancer as well..No citizen should have to put up with that type of abuse and any time something like the plane crashing into the IRS headquarters in Houston,Texas years ago I cheered..Say what you want about my post here but when my brother spoke to an IRS case worker about my case and my plight fighting cancer all she could say was as long as I'm breathing I still owe taxes to pay and that's why such hatred toward the people behind the three nastiest letters that always make me puke,IRS!!

    May 14, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. ironman59

    For a party that wants less government the gop sure spends a lot of time wanting hearings, special prosecutors, filabusters, etc. All of these are items & events that require more government and more cost. How about you look at the actual people involved including a number that were brought in under "W".

    More to the point why should any PAC, etc be a tax free entity? There are far too many of them and that includes religious organizations. How about you actuall do "less government" instead of wanting to constantly expand the existing government (then complain about it's size). Simple fact is that you had a few at the top with an agenda, focus on them and be done with it.

    May 14, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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