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. MTATL67

    Oh give me a break NICK one word gives your Obama hating self away 'politically accountable'

    May 15, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Floyd from Illinois

    The Hon. Boehrange is getting ahead of himself. He might want to wait to see if any laws have been violated before he proposes sending anyone to jail.

    May 15, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. kylefromohio

    Just for the record during the time span in question where there others that was for lack of a better word target for their applying for federal tax exempt status. And what percentage where or where not conservative groups. That would be a grown up question! Oppose to the quick and easy questions that is being asked.

    May 15, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. BOBBY VEE

    Treat the source......................Citizens United. A disasterous tragedy by a corrupted court.

    May 15, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Joseph

    "Resistance", obviously you are not aware that Obama won the election. If you so choose not to live in a democratic country who elected our President and want to deport Americans..., I suggest you go first, you obviously don't believe in the US Constitution and our democratic principles.

    May 15, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. wwf

    I am sure that if they happen to be a Rep., they won't see or even hear of jail. Talk is cheap.

    May 15, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. The End....

    This is shameful to endure as an American. If anyone in their mind thinks this was not polical "profiling", then they aren't critical thinkers. The IRS was just one of this Administration's "pull toys"....

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. The Contentious Otter

    Before calling for jail why don't we first wait for a full breakdown of who was targeted, in what way they were targeted, and exactly what that targeting consisted of.

    If we want to jump to conclusions though, how about the fact that all of the delays have been indicated as being directly attributable to House Republicans cutting operating budget funding for the IRS in the run up to the 2012 election cycle.
    Boehner himself is largely responsible for these hold-ups.

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Kevin

    This one is also definitely on Bush.

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Running Bare

    Judge once all the facts are in. Good Luck. Still, doesn't one get a sense of deflection? This is an outrage, yet NOT.ONE.BANKSTER.GOES.TO.JAIL.AND.DODD.FRANK.CONTINUES.TO.BE.WHITTLED.AWAY.

    Please. Judge after the facts are in. A small thing to ask.

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    It is interesting, how corruption in government, never seems to lead to anyone being punished, unless they are well down the totem pole.

    May 15, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Concerned

    I obviously don't agree with the targeting of any one type of group. However, I do believe that any group that files for tax exemption needs to be heavily scrutinized. Especially groups with political agendas. I for one think they have no reason to be tax exempt when their money is funneled in to political campaigns. Keep tax exemption for groups that actually do some good.

    May 15, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Where is Joe Biden hiding or is he on the run like Al Qaeda ?

    May 15, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. ug

    Nothing will happen...this is all a media hype issue to get ovomit away from the high debts and high unemployment...

    May 15, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Bob

    The GOP could "really" care less and we all know that is a fact, except they are still the party of negative until of course they are in the white house. Boerner should join Palin of the porch in Alaska keeping an eye on Russia.

    May 15, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Roger

    Jail? I think they should bring out the guillotine, gallows or firing squad. Singling out a particular group by a government agency is not only wrong, it's brazen and extremely egregious. It's the kind of thing that goes on in Communist countries. It's the kind of thing that went on in Germany in the 1930's and early 1940's. Whoever did this has shown great contempt for every single American who has ever shet his blood for freedom, from the minute men on Bunker Hill and Yorktown to those who stormed the beaches at Normandy and Iwo Jima and all those in Afganistan; everyone from 1776 to 2013. There is no place for this in America for these kinds of scum. And scum is what they are. What they have done amounts to subversion of the United States Government, which I believe can potentially be punishable by death. As far as I'm concerned, the death penality is warrented here.

    May 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. kylefromohio

    Mr House Speaker John Boehner who won you district Uncontested; You finally said the word Jobs, but in the content of firing someone; What a Leader. While jobs is on your mind can you allow the Jobs Bill on the House floor for a vote!

    May 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. RCM

    How about sending the whole congress to jail for taking money under faults pretentious!

    May 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Jerry

    Mr. Boehner, you know no one is going to jail as long as Obama and Holder are in charge. Not even Hillary!!! You know that! Now, if it was a Republican involved or an innocent citizen, that would be a completely different story...

    May 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. DC Observer

    How do you spell I M P E A C H

    May 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. sc

    Yes this will be fun. Who going to jail though, thats funny, I can answer that right now, no ONE.

    May 15, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. dd

    The EPA is doing a similar thing charging exorbitant fees for FOIA requests from anti-Obama organizations. Obama is running a mob like operation in Washington. I think I now live under the rule of Communism!

    May 15, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. DC Observer

    Now we know how harry Reid got Mitt Romney's tax returns ... maybe Harry should go to jail

    May 15, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. kylefromohio

    Concerned

    I obviously don't agree with the targeting of any one type of group. However, I do believe that any group that files for tax exemption needs to be heavily scrutinized. Especially groups with political agendas. I for one think they have no reason to be tax exempt when their money is funneled in to political campaigns. Keep tax exemption for groups that actually do some good.
    ___________________________________________-
    Exactly right no matter what party is involved.

    May 15, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Keeping Them Honest

    The IRS reports to Neal Wolin, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. The investigation should start with him. He came from the CIA and National Security Agency. He has a long history of playing over the line to accomplish his goals. He believes he is above the law. An investigative journalist should look into his history as General Counsel of the Hartford Insurance Co. – where he accepted several million dollars in a payout from the Hartford and in turn sent the Hartford several billion in TARP funds when he arrived at the Treasury. He also was engaged in multi-million dollar reserve fraud while at the Hartford. This guy should not be in Treasury, he is the face of "abuse of power". I am a democrat and I voted for Obama twice, but Wolin is bad news and Obama needs to clean house.

    May 15, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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