May 15th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
9 years 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. T

    ......Well, lets start with the men who insisted that Iraq had WMD's and LIED to get us to invade, and therefore sentence ...4486... of OUR SERVICE MEMBERS TO DIE in that war.

    May 15, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. TBone

    Boehner,the "Speaker" resembles nothing more than an ranting,attention starved grade schooler whose own party doesn't even seem to take seriously anymore.Another political puppet on a string who hasn't had an original idea in his career.

    May 15, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Thanks to Nixon, it became illegal for the POTUS to directly interact or communicate with IRS Commissioner.

    I would think the person most directly responsible was the former Bush appointee who was IRS Commissioner when all of this was taking place. He resigned this past November.

    May 15, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Martinque

    Obama going to jail would be a good start.

    May 15, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Duane Allen

    As far as I'm concerned ALL 501 advocacy groups should be scrutinized, monitored and continually investigated by the IRS to determine if they are (at any time) in violation of the basis of their tax exempt status. Further, ALL churches or their clergy who are acting as political mouthpieces or Sunday soapboxes espousing a political agenda or even hinting ballot directives should lose their tax exempt status.This is problem which has been created by the SCOTUS decision re Citizens United. If you want to "restore" true :representative democracy" to the U.S.A. you need to get active and loud in support of publicly funded campaigns as the EXCLUSIVE way that our political candidates/campaigns are financed.

    May 15, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. BOb the Praire Dog

    So, let me get this straight. You scream and yell and rant and rave about the IRS being illegal and spread information advising people not to pay taxes and then you get upset when the IRS targets your group?!? This is a self inflicted wound if there ever was one...

    May 15, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. DC Johnny

    More of the same from the liberal commenting sheep. Dodging the illegality of this event with unrelated rhetoric about the past.

    You do realize that your entire argument for being the better party is "You guys were just as bad as we are", right? That's a pretty weak argument.

    May 15, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Chris

    Funny how Hillary and Obama refuse to take any blame for any problem isn't it? Seems like one should be jailed and the other resign or be forced from office through impeachment.

    May 15, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Joe P

    It's wrong to discrimate, yes. But seriously, why are they getting a tax break? I don't get it....what are they really contributing to that benefits society? Not a thing! Besides this is just another distraction so the House doesn't have to work on real issues. Pathetic, Boehner!

    May 15, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Eddie B

    whos going to jail are all the gop who lie to us and told us they would create jobs and have not passed a single jobs bill. whos going to jail. lets see Bush for mudering 5,000 of our men and women by lying to us and misinfoming us on WMDs thats who should go to jail. HILLARY 2016

    May 15, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Democrats defending the IRS.

    Nothing more needs to be said.

    May 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. gisthatright

    Going to jail....isn't that rich! Don't cry honey, nobody's going to jail.

    May 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Aerin

    Everyone knows that conservatives don't want to pay taxes. Was the IRS just doing it's job?

    May 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    So Obama used the IRS to attack Romney. I guess that means his second term is ILLEGAL AND ILLEGIT!!!

    May 15, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. wb

    Forget about whether "it happens again". I want those responsible punished with jail time. THEN we can talk about the future.

    May 15, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Trent

    Can we please send Eric Holder to jail? With all the illegal things he's done, I'm sure he's got a hand in this as well.

    May 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. HeyHey

    Democrats desperate for a moral equivalence.

    May 15, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Why must all liberals be made at republicans just concentrate on your current president and his administration and how inadequate they are at every thing that they do. Democrats always divert to another story instead of wanting to face the facts on Bhengazi AP IRS and ....

    May 15, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Natalie

    I agree with the majority here....The Congressional leadership should go to jail for treason. Their number one agenda: See Obama fail at any costs. What a worthless bunch of leeches. Can we stop our tax dollars from supporting their medical benefits for the rest of their freakin' lives? Only wish...

    May 15, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Dave - Phx

    Boehner should go to jail for being a traitor to this country. Country first, not party or Norquist.

    May 15, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. John

    Oh please, lets not go overboard her Mr. Boehner. According to the IG report, groups or organizations with certain words in their titles were targeted because they were consdiered more likely to be a political vs. social welfare group. The organizations were not targeted because they were conservative. The intention was to be more efficent with their reduced resources. Still, a mistake was made here. But when career employees make mistakes, even if technically illegal, the intent is consdered. As such nobody should be going to jail for this. If any IRS career employees do go to jail for this, sadly it will be striclty due to a poltically motivated witch hunt which in some sense is far worse than the original "crime" that may have been commited by IRS employees. We have the IG report. Lets move on and stop wasting taxpayer money on this issue.

    May 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. mama

    If anybody is going to jail they need to get in line behind Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Wolfowitz et. al.

    May 15, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. tjhmax

    Why should any group whose sole purpose it is to smear the other party be tax exempt as if they were a charity.
    The only purpose of tax exempt in the case of these groups is to HIDDEN where their money is coming from...plain and simple.
    That in itself is an outrage....and I don't care if they are Democrat or Republican.

    May 15, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. advocatusdiaboli

    "But what did the IRS actual do that was *illegal* here? Do they not have the right to investigate any claim?"

    They DO NOT have the right to target investigation based on the politics of groups. Clearly not legal. any more than targeting all black businesses for audits would be. Funny how liberals are so defensive of the very abuse they accuse the GOP of. Hypocrites all nd why conservatives don't like big government—absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

    May 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Hardwood man

    All you liberals take notice .....Lets all remained focused here , forget about other scandals and corruptions in the past and blaming Busch. We are talking about the president you liberals elected.... The here and now ,our country is going down the tubes and someone has to take responsibility in this administration.. The president is the leader of this country now is the time for him to lead..... Lets all see what he does.. And how he leads... His track record is terrible ... He needs to step down from his office he is incapable of running this country.

    May 15, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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