May 15th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
1 year ago

Boehner on IRS Scandal: 'Who is going to jail?'

(CNN) – The admitted targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status is grounds for some Internal Revenue Service employees to lose their jobs, House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday.

"The IRS has admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word 'if,'" Boehner said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Now, my question isn't about who's going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"

"There are laws in place to prevent this type of abuse," Boehner continued. "Someone made a conscious decision to harass and hold up these requests for tax exempt status. I think we need to know who they are, whether they violated the law. Clearly someone violated the law."

On Tuesday a report from the inspector general responsible for the IRS stated that lax oversight at the tax agency led to the targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who were applying for federal tax exempt status.

Asked after Wednesday's press conference what specific crimes Boehner was alluding to, an aide to the House speaker cited the illegal targeting of groups and the IRS's sharing of confidential information with the news organization Pro Publica, which said this week the agency shared conservative groups' applications for tax exempt status.

Obama first spoke on the controversy Monday, saying reports the IRS targeted the groups were "outrageous" and that there was "no place for it" in his administration. But he said he would wait for the official IG report to be released before demanding any action be taken by the Treasury Department.

After the report was released Tuesday, Obama released a statement saying the findings are "intolerable and inexcusable."

"The federal government must conduct itself in a way that's worthy of the public's trust, and that's especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity," he said. "This report shows that some of its employees failed that test."

Obama ordered Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to ensure that each of the inspector general's recommendations are implemented soon, "so that such conduct never happens again."


Filed under: IRS • John Boehner
soundoff (725 Responses)
  1. 82ndABNVET

    Lol. No one is going to go to jail. Holder is AG. This will just get swept under the rug like everything else. Nothing to see here. Please move along.

    Someone needs to go to jail. And more need to get fired with no benifits.

    Not going to happen though.

    May 15, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. rla

    When the democrats lie abut groups enough it becomes reality and some take it as motivation to act.... Thanks Obama and your divisive policies-- Progressives can be proud of what they have created- NOT!

    May 15, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. rs

    I Love Republicans! I mean really. What's wrong with TEA Parties trying to obtain 503 (c) 4 Tax Except status?

    1. They are completely run by the GOP.
    2. They serve as "shock" troops on the ground, wearing firearms (well, and tea bags too), carrying racist images of the duly elected President of the United States, advocating "2nd Amendment solutions" (i.e.shootings).
    3. They are anti-tax; anti-government, and; hold the opinion that our elected President is not legitimate.
    4. They want to be a "social welfare organization"- that's a gas!

    Any reasonable IRS employee (and there probably are some), charged with determining whether a group was non-political AND a "social welfare organization" would have been insane NOT to give the TEA Parties a second glance!

    That not one group was rejected for 501 (c) 4 status is a far greater crime. If the TEA Party isn't political, and does not advocate for just one brand then there are NO organizations that should be denied such a priviledge. The TEA Parties virtually define rabid political ideology and campaigning. In no way are these "educational" or non-patisan "social welfare" entities- this is an abuse of the tax code.

    May 15, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Mike Wallace

    "I think we need to know who they are, whether they violated the law. Clearly someone violated the law.""

    Will you make up your mind already?

    May 15, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Danee76

    What concerns me the most is that news organizations, such as CNN and MSNBC, intentionally overlooked this when it first leaked out 2 years ago. Anyone who avoids the mainstream media knew about a lot of this a long time ago. Unfortunately, what Obama and the mainstream media could very well have affected the previous election. This could very well be the largest case of voter fraud in American history. People do need to go to jail on this!

    May 15, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Dev

    No one is going to jail. This government lost accountibility decades ago. Endorsed by a very stupid voting block

    May 15, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Bill

    Mr. Speaker, let's put some bankers in jail for the debacle of 2008. Then worry about the IRS.

    May 15, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. MrBeenThere

    So my question to you Mr. Boehner, there are laws to what you are doing to this Nation. Some would call what you and the TEA/GOP are doing acts of terrorism deliberately trying to destroy this country's government and it's democratically voted leader. "My question is who's going to jail over this scandal behavior ?"

    May 15, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Javier

    B-rock hasn't been told or yet decide on what side of the fence he wants to sit on quite yet. He needs to see a winning side come about more clearly before making any rash stance.

    May 15, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Citizens United needs to be overturned. Pure fascism at work. Look at the mockery that it's making of our democratic process.

    May 15, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. I'm sure

    They will try to pin it on Hillary Clinton. No, really, those guys do need to go to jail in a big way.

    May 15, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Borderless

    Who's going to jail? Obama? I choose Obama.

    May 15, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Malkntnt

    Yeah! I mean why would we not prosecute Wall Street when the screwed us all? Let's go after these guys though! Why would we prosecute the CEO's of huge corps for violating the law? Naw! Let's make a spectacle over the IRS! Banks too big to fail? Oh yeah! We forgot about them! Not a single person in jail for that. I mean seriously, WFT? This is another distraction from REAL issues.

    May 15, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    I wouldn't want him on my Jury.

    May 15, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Sarah

    If someone in the IRS is goes to jail for this, it will be the largest failure of justice that I've ever seen. No one went to jail from the Wall Street bailouts, which have ruined the lives of countless Americans who have lost jobs, homes, and retirement assets as a result of those actions. I'm not trying to make an excuse for the IRS, but this is an administrative issue, not a criminal one.

    May 15, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Thomas

    "Now, my question isn't about who's going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"

    Dear Mr. Boehner ,
    Tom DeLay, once considered among the nation's most powerful and feared lawmakers, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for a scheme to influence elections that already cost him his job, leadership post and millions of dollars in legal fees.

    The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay, a Houston-area Republican, on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for using a "NON PROFIT" political action committee to illegally send corporate donations to Texas House candidates in 2002.

    Good job IRS !

    May 15, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. AJW3

    Mr. Boehner......everything's OK.....Take your meds and go back to sleep. We'll call you when we need a weak kneed impotent arseface.

    May 15, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Malory Archer

    Borderless

    Who's going to jail? Obama? I choose Obama.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Of course you do.

    May 15, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Marc

    amazing that there actually people who think what the IRS was doing was ok. scrutinizing the conservative groups applications was not the crime. the crime was intentionally picking out conservative group applications above all others. if you don't understand the difference there, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

    May 15, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. PaulCat

    First, we can start with George W. Bush.
    ....W M D's......and 2 wars...and thousands killed. Do you remember?

    I remember you campaigning in 2010 on jobs, jobs, jobs. What happen?

    The only time you open your mouth is NOT to say anything positive.

    Boehner, where are the JOBS?

    May 15, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    What if it turns out that the bush appointee who just left the job in December directed staff to fast-track those applications in an effort to give the challenger an advantage in 2012? Will crybaby still demand incarceration?

    May 15, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. TNPatriot

    @Danee76
    What concerns me the most is that news organizations, such as CNN and MSNBC, intentionally overlooked this

    What? And the fact that Fox didn't report it 2 years ago is OK?

    May 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Ancient Texan

    Danee76- But Obama stated yesterday that he only found out about the IRS debacle "last Friday". For the leader of the free world to know absolutely nothing about any of the scandals breaking about his administration is not quite believable.

    May 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Mack

    The same people that went to jail for the banking collapse and the same people that lied us into a war in Iraq

    May 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Michael

    I'll bet some GS 5s end up in jail.
    Probably Boehner should be sent to jail as well.

    May 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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