May 15th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
11 months 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. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Political groups masquerading as non-profit entities SHOULD be investigated. The bigger question is at what rate fake Democrat nonprofits are being investigated, then you can compare rotten apples to rotten apples.

    May 15, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Jon

    I just love how everyone on the right is screaming IMPEACH, IMPEACH without any of the facts...have an investigation (which by the way both holder and obama are advocating) and then let the heads roll where they might...if you claim to love our constitution you would be best served by adhering to it (i.e. due process)

    May 15, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Martin

    If Boehner wants people to go to jail for the IRS scandal, we want people to go to jail over the 2008 banking collapse first.

    Your move, Mr Boehner.

    May 15, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Julius

    Going to jail? Are you kidding me? Where are the companies that stole american money and syphoned it to their CEO's, when are they going to jail. When does the board of Goldman Sacs go to jail for stealing 12 billion dollars? or the banks that keep screwing the American people because of greed? This guy has got to be kidding me...

    May 15, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. miamivice

    It would seem to me that not one financier ended up behind bars dues to the gross misconduct and rule breaking in the years leading upto the big bust, i do not remember Boehner demanding their heads and asking who is going to spend time in jail for that. These people bought the country to its knees, yet nobody served time.

    May 15, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. cedar rapids

    "My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"

    .....the members of the ways and means committee whose job it is to oversee the IRS?

    May 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. shark bait

    Let's start with Boehner for wasting the American taxpayer's time and money for doing absulutely nothing but obstruct!

    May 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. cribbooky

    Probable Game Plan: delay investigation, delay trial, eventually sentence someone, delay serving sentence pending appeal, lose appeal, finally go to prison for 3 or 4 days near end of Obummer's term where convicted IRS minion then gets pardoned.

    May 15, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Sid Airfoil

    It's so gratifying to see a U.S. lawmaker intent on skipping over that annoying "due process" thing, and go right to convicting people without trial or evidence. Maybe the IRS people should be moved to Gitmo and waterboarded (I feel obliged to point out that this is all , since there are probably people reading these comments who REALLY believe what I wrote...and they're all Republicans.

    Sid

    May 15, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. werewolf1

    I'll tell you who should go to jail,every Politician who's been in Washington for over five years.

    May 15, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Mark

    Maybe we should just simplify things, NO tax exempt status for anyone, even churches. The Tea Party groups are politically motivated. Their whole agenda and existence is political. Look at the money those mega-churches rake in. Don't tell me that no one affiliated with those organizations isn't living large.

    May 15, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Bubba

    GOP Dictionary Shows the Follwing:
    -IRS investigating buinsesses with ties to Middle Eastern countries – Excellent
    -IRS investigating anyone who ever walked past an ACORN office – Very Good
    -IRS invesitgating anyone who cannot link their heritage to the members of the Mayflower – Good
    -IRS investigating anyone who donates huge sums of money to GOP – Get the Jailer, someone is going down for harrasing an American Saint

    May 15, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. DTL

    Does Mr. Boehner need to be reminded that one is innocent untill proven guilty in this country? And, one must be convicted of breaking the law before a sentance is imposed by the judicial branch. It is yet to be determined that any laws were broken. The speaker should concentrate on the congressional business at hand. Clearly he and many others in congress are confused routinely diengenuous!

    May 15, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. cedaly1968

    The problem I have with the Speaker is in his very comments he shows his full disdain for the institutions of this country. The IRS employees who may have propagated this act have a right to due process. Apparently, Speaker Boehner prefers to be judge, jury and executioner without any regard to all of the facts of the case. Perhaps the Inspector General can finish his investigation first?

    May 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. laguna_greg

    Who's going to jail?

    Anybody from an organization that lied in their filings to the IRS, or misrepresented who their contributors were, or what the money was used for.

    Those tea partiers better have their noses pretty clean.

    May 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Norm

    Hey Boehner....when are your Wall Street buddies going to jail for destroying the global economy.
    Yeah...that's what i thought.

    May 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Frank Rizzo

    Boehner should be the one going to jail. He who casts the first stone…… He's a spineless peice of dung who calls himself a leader. He is leading right into bankruptcy.

    May 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Reasonably

    Witchhunt fail.

    May 15, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. laguna_greg

    If Big banking didn't go to jail for stealing billions from taxpayer's bank accounts, nobody from the IRS is going to jail for just not doing their job very well.

    May 15, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Alan

    Like the teflon Don, nothing seems to stick to Obama. Not "Fast & Furious", not ObamaCare, not Benghazi, not the IRS, not the AP scandal. Everything is the fault of someone else. He was never made aware of anything that has blown up in his face. I would not be a bit surprised if he had had a speach prepared for the Osama raid in case it failed. Probably would have blamed the local commanders for a rogue mission, that had not been approved by higher ups. Obama is a snake oil salesman, and we are suffering because of it. And no, all this is not GW Bush's fault, it is OUR fault.

    May 15, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. laguna_greg

    GOP Dictionary Shows the Follwing:
    -IRS investigating buinsesses with ties to Middle Eastern countries – Excellent
    -IRS investigating anyone who ever walked past an ACORN office – Very Good
    -IRS invesitgating anyone who cannot link their heritage to the members of the Mayflower – Good
    -IRS investigating anyone who donates huge sums of money to GOP – Get the Jailer, someone is going down for harrasing an American Saint.

    May 15, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Michael

    How about George Bush and Cheney or Eric Holder - all of whom knew this was going on because it started under Bush and all of them looked the other way. Maybe he should ask himself one question: If this came out during a Republican President would he be calling for action? If not, then go home and deal with it - our President is Democratic AND black AND he's doing a great job (otherwise you wouldn't be trying to blame him for everything) - Your worst nightmare.

    May 15, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Martin

    If Boehner wants people to go to jail for the IRS scandal, we want people to go to jail over the 2008 banking collapse first.

    Your move, Mr Boehner.
    ----

    Democrats owned the government for Obama's first two years.
    Why did they ignore doing anything about those bankers?

    May 15, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Mike

    The head of the IRS, the Bush appointy

    May 15, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Mike

    Hey Boehner-

    Can we have a trial first?

    May 15, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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