First on CNN: GOP senators demand Obama administration participate in IRS investigation
May 15th, 2013
12:16 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: GOP senators demand Obama administration participate in IRS investigation

(CNN) – All forty-five Republican senators are demanding President Barack Obama's administration comply with requests for information as Congress probes the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.

In a letter addressed to Obama, the Republicans decry the IRS's actions and say the White House and the Treasury Department must make all employees available for interviews by investigators.

"This type of purely political scrutiny being conducted by an Executive Branch Agency is yet another completely inexcusable attempt to chill the speech of political opponents and those who would question their government, consistent with a broader pattern of intimidation by arms of your administration to silence political dissent," the senators wrote.

Multiple Congressional inquiries into the IRS's practices are already on the books: The Democrat-led Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing into the matter next Tuesday, and the GOP-chaired House Oversight Committee will convene a hearing next Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation would launch its own criminal probe into whether IRS employees politically targeted the conservative groups.

In their letter, the Republican senators wrote that "the American people deserve to know what actions will be taken to ensure those who made these policy decisions at the IRS are being held fully accountable and more importantly what is being done to ensure that this kind of raw partisanship is fully eliminated from these critically important non-partisan government functions."

All requests from Congressional investigators must be fulfilled, the lawmakers wrote, and IRS employees involved in targeting the groups must be able to submit to interviews or testimony.

"It is imperative that the Administration be fully forthcoming to ensure that we begin to restore the confidence of our fellow citizens after this blatant violation of their trust. We look forward to working on this critical issue with the Administration's full cooperation," the letter read.


Filed under: IRS • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Obama, the new Sgt. Schultz, I know NOTHING, I see NOTHING, I hear NOTHING....

    Don't hold your breath. Mr. Transparency will be invoking Executive Privilege faster than you can say "It was George Bush's fault".

    May 15, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "completely inexcusable attempt to chill the speech of political opponents and those who would question their government"
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Well we're still questioning why the Bush Administration hasn't been held accountable for lying us into war. Answer that one first!

    May 15, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "what is being done to ensure that this kind of raw partisanship is fully eliminated from these critically important non-partisan government functions."

    Wait...so they want us to scrub the DOJ of all of the people appointed or hired when Dubya was packing it with conservative ideologues and using prospective employees' ideological leanings as a litmus test for hiring?

    May 15, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    No one can feign indignation like Repubs. They're so Righteous. Holy & Patriotic beyond reproach. Just ask them.

    May 15, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    The Repub. dream come true; now we can stop talking about Immigration, Sensible Gun Control, JOBS, the Deficit, the Shrinking Middle class.

    May 15, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    "consistent with a broader pattern of intimidation by arms of your administration to silence political dissent"

    Prove? What are the details of this broader pattern?

    May 15, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Larry L

    @sonny chapman

    The Repub. dream come true; now we can stop talking about Immigration, Sensible Gun Control, JOBS, the Deficit, the Shrinking Middle class.
    ==================
    You nailed it!

    May 15, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. IOIYAR

    Obama, the new Sgt. Schultz, I know NOTHING, I see NOTHING, I hear NOTHING....

    Don't hold your breath. Mr. Transparency will be invoking Executive Privilege faster than you can say "It was George Bush's fault".

    May 15, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
    -
    Just like Bush did in July of 2007 when he ignored subpoena's and refused to let aides testify.
    Can we say hypocrisy?

    May 15, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Greg in Arkansas

    Proceed with the investigation and ......please.....tell us the names of the TEA party groups that DID get TAX free status and then engage in political activities...like some of the churches that already enjoy Tax Free status and STILL engage in the political process.....

    May 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "In a letter addressed to Obama, the Republicans decry the IRS's actions and say the White House and the Treasury Department must make all employees available for interviews by investigators ... "

    Well, there you go, America. Don't plan on Congress getting anything accomplished in the near future. The interviews alone ought to cover the next three years 24/7 quite nicely for our do-nothing Congress.

    May 15, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    We've seen this movie before. It's called "Prelude to a Subpoena" and it's 100% designed to start the "cover up" narrative before any requests have even been made, and it does so by implying that any and all requests for documents or information are automatically legitimate, no matter how broad, intrusive or tangential, and that any and all denials of a certain type of document's existence or claims of privilege, etc., are automatically illegitimate and constitute, all by the themselves, evidence of a "cover up." They're "priming the pump," so to speak.

    May 15, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Joan

    These latest attempts by the GOP to create scandals to tarnish the administration and Hilary Clinton are already starting to crumble. This is all going to backfire on them again as people realize their real motives. Don't they ever learn? They would stand a much greater chance of being successful in 2016 if they actually starting working TOGETHER with the Democrats and passed some legislation to keep the economy's current improvement going and did some good for the people of America. Always being negative and causing obstruction is not the way to gain back any kind of popularity. They are shooting themselves in the foot and we all know they have lots of gun thanks to the NRA.

    May 15, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Can we say hypocrisy?"

    More like revenge, but yeah, hypocrisy too. It's just noteworthy that so much of what they're trying to pin on Obama...and so far failing, particularly now that the Benghazi thing has been sullied by their doctoring of the emails...has an analog to what Bush was accused of: prior knowledge of attacks, failures in security, targeting political opponents with the IRS, blah blah blah. They've even obviously sent out a memo that said "claim that this is the biggest scandal in American history and that it's far larger and more important than Watergate and Iran-Contra." If that isn't a dead giveaway that this all is motivated by revenge and an effort to replace their own scandals as the biggest in our history, then well...nah...it's inarguably a dead giveaway.

    May 15, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. MTATL67

    If I were the GOP I would not get up on my high horse just yet as most of these groups are a kin to hate groups.

    May 15, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Joi Gibson

    Am I missing something? Has anyone not participated in the yet to be held hearings/investigations? I'll tell you what the scandal is, all these folks getting tax exempt status when they are clearly a political organization. Why is Karl Rove's organization eligible for tax exempt status -what charity is he giving to except trying to elect more Republicans. While the way the IRS went about targeting certain organizations may seem suspect, it seems to me they were, in essence, doing their jobs. I realize this appears so very partisan, but they were getting hundreds more requests than usual. Actually, the biggest scandal is Citizens United. I hope the Supreme Court is proud of themselves – look what they have wrought. However, the Republicans jumping all up and down with righteous indignation is pure hockey puck!!!

    May 15, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Republicans have been seeking to even the score with Democrats ever since the Nixon/Agnew embarassments.

    May 15, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Jinx9to88

    @sonny chapman

    The Repub. dream come true; now we can stop talking about Immigration, Sensible Gun Control, JOBS, the Deficit, the Shrinking Middle class.

    -----–

    This is So True!!!!!!

    May 15, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Larry in Houston

    The GOP DEMANDS WHAT ??? LOL

    "" They're "priming the pump," so to speak""

    It's already passed that phase.

    May 15, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Democrats defending the IRS.

    Need anyone say anymore?

    May 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. PJ

    I see a set-up. The Republicans have proven time and again how far they will go to gain power, and this is
    a doozie.

    May 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Personally I'm surprised they (democrats) haven't played their all inclusive race card.

    May 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... targeting "conservative" groups...? I thought that the ones being targeted were simply non political, "educational" groups. If they were "conservative" groups, shouldn't their tax exempt status BE in question?

    May 15, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Boo

    I'm still waiting for hearings on the lies leading up to the Iraq War.

    May 15, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Thomas

    @Jinx9to88
    @sonny chapman

    The Repub. dream come true; now we can stop talking about Immigration, Sensible Gun Control, JOBS, the Deficit, the Shrinking Middle class.

    -––

    This is So True!!!!!!

    =====

    They failed at making him a one term president , now they need to obstruct him anyway they can.

    I love it when the corrupt complain about an unfair system.

    May 15, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    No need to investigate the $800 million that Rove took in even though he can account for only $300 million.

    May 15, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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