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. Bessy

    I could think of a lot of Republicans that should be in jail, so, if I were Boehner I would start looking at his own party for the answer to that question. YAWN !!

    May 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. TheTruth

    Keep the facts straight Joe: it was more than 100 groups specifically targeted, they've all been waiting for more than 2 years and they've been asked to submit information that has nothing to do with their application. Add to that the fact that the IRS was illegally sharing this confidential info with Pro Publica.

    May 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. rick freeman

    i do think someone should go to jail, and Obama removed from office. It's not because I think he's complicit in this or all the scandals, it's because he has no clue what his people are doing, just incompetent at best

    May 15, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Liber8me

    Did Boehner ask this question when the IRS targeted the NAACP during the Bush Administration?

    May 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. American HERO

    Regarding the IRS ( non-scandal) that GOP are trying desperately to make somthing of!
    Excuse ME Mister John B0nehead !!!!!!!!!

    " Someone needs to go to jail!!!"

    Really ???????

    YOU FIND THOSE WMD'S YET???

    Someone including your self should've already been in jail along with
    COUNTRYWIDE mortgage , fannie Mae freddie mac, Goldman Sachs etc.!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Stevelb1

    When's someone going to jail for collapsing the economy?

    May 15, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Jay

    @Byrd – why not prosecute the Clinton Administration for creating the Community Reinvestment Act which gave mortgage loans to anyone who could breathe and get them guaranteed by the Gov't? The genesis of the crash can be traced back to this act. It cuts both ways.

    May 15, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. sly

    Where is His birth certificate? He should be impeached because he has not handed over his birth certificate to the media so we can all see it.

    How come you Democrats keep ignoring the fact the He is not President! I am outraged. It is well established that He is from Libya, and if you look closely at the film of the Benghazi terrorist attack, you can clearly see President Obama on in the middle.

    Where is the outrage?

    May 15, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Dan

    Jackson – Why don't you wait until the facts are in. All we know right now is that some conservatives got extra scrutiny when asking for tax exempt status. I didn't hear any mention of anyone being denied.

    Similar things, with the IRS, have happened to both dems and GOP over the years. It needs to be corrected,k of course, but I doubt that there's a big conspiracy here.

    Get the facts. If someone(s) broke the law, punish them. It they were unethical, fire them.

    May 15, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Stewart

    Does not make it right, but it works both ways. When a PR firm takes on a candidate – they get hammered by the IRS of the sitting President – GOP or Dem. Nothing new here, but maybe expansion.

    We are the ones already in jail, with both sides wasting our time and money bickering. We have allowed them to turn Our Country into Babylon.

    May 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Tommy

    I have a better question. Why is it legal for obviously political organizations to get tax exempt status?

    May 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Connie in Tennessee

    The tax code should be amended so that there are NO groups exempt from paying taxes, In this case, I could get a few friends together and we could call ourselves a political group and apply for tax exempt status no matter how much money we solicited. Change the tax laws!!!!!!!!!!!
    Connie in Tn.

    May 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Bonehead...the answer is revealed when you look in a mirror. You and your cronies should all go to jail for screwing America and for taking a paycheck you don't earn.

    May 15, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. True Justice

    How about we start with all the bankers and Wall Street thugs who stole so much from the American people. Geeeeesh, why can't these republicans get their ethical priorities straight? Why do we all have to pay for their dark obsession with Obama? How about we charge all these obstructionist House Republicans for the damage they are doing to this country by sabotaging basically every piece of legislation put forth by this administration? That's right Boehner, "who is going to jail?"

    May 15, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. omeany

    I vote Boehner go to jail for his horrible job a Speaker Of The House. Why don't we find out what actually happened before we start jailing people. After all, isn't that what the pro gun – tea party folks want...Freedom?

    May 15, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Uri Nation

    If the crime involves money, they will throw you in jail and throw away the key. If you kill someone, you might spend a few years in jail and then get out out on good behavior. That's life in the US and we've done it to ourselves.

    May 15, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Justice, please

    How about we start with all the bankers and Wall Street thugs whom you let steal so much from the American people? Geeeeesh, why can't these republicans get their ethical priorities straight? Why do we all have to pay for their dark obsession with Obama? How about we charge all these obstructionist House Republicans for the damage they are doing to this country by sabotaging basically every piece of legislation put forth by this administration? That's right Boehner, "who is going to jail?" How about that, Mr. speaker?

    May 15, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Robert

    It's baffling how people think that wrong doings are exempt from examining or punishment due to their perception of other wrong doings. "I broke the law because you broke the law earlier". This is a dangerous path you are leading us down.

    May 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Scott

    Put them all in jail.

    May 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. erik

    let's send a few bankers to jail first...seems only fair

    May 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Billy

    Smh. The next time a Republican is president is going to be so much fun. I'm going to fly off the handle over everything and ask for impeachment at every turn. I'm going to dog the president and laugh in their face when they say I'm un-American for doing so (just like they did with Bush). Anything that can be attributed to Obama or the next Dem pres, I will just smile and ask, "(S)He's been out of office how long?" I'm going to write all this stuff down and go through each one. Come to think of it. I probably won't. I'm not much for obstructionism and ridiculousness.

    May 15, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Guest88

    Is anyone from Goldman Sachs in jail, Boehner?

    May 15, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Cyle

    In 2008 a small number of very rich people caused a financial catastrophe that destroyed the livelihoods of thousands. Who is going to jail?!

    May 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Logic

    IRS pulled a Boehner?

    May 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. michael eldridge

    Prior to sending any one to jail lets have a trial first and see what happen

    May 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29