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. AWAITING MODERATION

    I think they're going to take you first, Boehner.

    May 15, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. joel

    good luck guy

    May 15, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. joel

    I can write letters to senators and you have trouble stealing mail from blue boxes dudes. just so you know thats how this work is really done... this is open source recon big red 1 style... you are supposed to shoot me down left and right

    May 15, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Todd

    If Boehner isn't going to Jail for his many failures to do his job, and complete partisan hijacking of the legislative process then how can he ask for someone else to go to jail. This man is a blind fool and the worst speaker in American history.

    May 15, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Paul

    Again, the important question here – are the Tea Party (and all of the other obviously political groups) eligible for tax free status? Yes or no? There were also a number of centrist and liberal groups pulled aside. No whining about that, though. Also, there was an absolute FLOOD of "We Loves Us Some Murkuh" groups after that colored feller got ready to "steal" another election. Flood the inbox with wingnuts, you need to look at the wingnuts.

    May 15, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Won

    I agree, YOU Mr. Bnoherder.

    May 15, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Tired of Repubs

    .......the same number of people will go to jail as went to jail for IRAQ.

    May 15, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Roger

    T. Lee

    There is NO "jailable offense" here Mr. Speaker – and all those morons parroting the same thing here are just that – morons.

    While it may have been a typical "dirty trick" partisianwise – it's NOT a "jailable offense"!!!
    ________________________

    These people do something that is not tolerated in a free society, something that is AGAIST the LAW AND not seen since Nazis Germany and YOU say it's NOT a jailable offense. YOU'RE the GOD DAMN MORON. YOU'RE the one who is as dumb as s___! You're the one who is the damn Communist and Nazis. I think it's a shame that you are taking up space in America. You are not worthy to be an American. You should be removed.

    May 15, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Belseth

    Cry baby Boehner wants some one to go to jail for looking too closely at a bunch of conservative groups. Now they weren't denied tax exempt status just singled out for a closer look. Remember these are groups that don't want to pay tax in the first place applying for tax exempt status. They are also political action groups which the rules say should not receive exempt status so a closer look would be called for in this case. Boehner never had a problem when other agencies targeted liberal groups so this is pure Partisan BS.

    May 15, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Roger

    T. Lee

    There is NO "jailable offense" here Mr. Speaker – and all those morons parroting the same thing here are just that – morons.

    While it may have been a typical "dirty trick" partisianwise – it's NOT a "jailable offense"!!!
    ________________________

    These people do something that is not tolerated in a free society, something that is AGAIST the LAW AND not seen since Nazis Germany and YOU say it's NOT a jailable offense. YOU'RE the MORON. YOU'RE the one who is as dumb as dung! You're the one who is the Communist and Nazis. I think it's a shame that you are taking up space in America. You are not worthy to be an American. You should be removed.

    May 15, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Dano

    I'd say when you put the people who caused the 2007 financial meltdown and the ones who lied to America to get us to go to war with Iraq in jail, then we can talk about putting people in jail for this.

    May 15, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Louiethelooper

    Who's going to Jail? I say all of Congress should be thrown in jail!

    May 15, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Pete

    How come nobody stopped Bushs instructions to use the IRS against union people..It was my experience that led to be owing the IRS over $27,000 dollars and wasn't even sent a letter of audit,letter of tax diffeciency, nothing ,anything wrong with that ..But under IRS rulings you are considered guilty to you prove your innocence and its at your expense and as always the sanctumonious republicans don't like it when the shoes on the other foot do they,right tea baggers!!Remember idiots what goes around comes around even in love and war and this is war now republicans so live with it!!And who said politics was pretty right people!!

    May 15, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. angbalti

    There are laws. There was apparently misconduct. There are other laws. Pesky ones about evidence, trials, juries. It would be so nice if we could get a law just for elected offocials which outlaws hyperboli, and limits the outrage to a few decibles. I dont think Boener has a lawdegree, but every knowsthe phrase innocent until proven guilty dont they.

    May 15, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    even the "newtster" wasn't this bad – I mean he had his faults, but at least when he was speaker, he done his Job. I guess the bonehead never ceases to amaze !

    May 15, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Jacob

    Boehner is next in line to go to jail

    May 15, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. John Stockton

    Shut up Roger.

    May 15, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Sane Person

    Boehner has caused more partisan obstruction than any IRS agent ever could.

    May 15, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. sbul

    Why isn't he trying to get some of the CEO's that helped bankrupt the country into jail? OH, I forgot, they are his funders via lobbyists etc.. a couple of mid level IRS workers don't have any clout, lets send them to jail and cost the tax payers a lot more money they they "robbed" anyone of. Over turn Citizen's United and then we won't have these phony political groups seeking tax protection.

    May 15, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Libertarian

    Most of the commenters here should be in jail...maybe with the education they get there these forums might be more tolerable!

    May 15, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. mary

    It should be this smarmy guy... What a cold calculating guy he is.
    For all the people he is willing to harm with his policies.

    May 15, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Flickerman

    I would like the see Wall Street banksters in jail. Also Wayne LaPierre

    May 15, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Paul

    I think the question should be how far up the ladder will they go......

    May 15, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. andrew

    Jail ! really HSBC can launder hundreds of millions for drug cartels and iran, alqueda and get no jail time please. By the way please stop with the whole beghazi thing its just embaressing, give us the truth about the real 911 first we all know its a huge lie. And if you really cared about what happened to them people in benghazi you wouldnt have let HSBC help alqueda get so much cash, so quit acting like you really care.

    May 15, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Jewels

    I ask, are there people that feel that Boehner has any credibility? He seems like the most partisan, inept speaker in recent history. I've never found he's tried to do what's right for the majority - and, I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt....Really, he seems to have questionable integrity for such a high-held position...

    May 15, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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