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. Hamburger Jones

    "Funny how Hillary and Obama refuse to take any blame" for the freaking IRS? Those people have been stealing our shoes since forever, and that goes for left and right, white and black. Shut off your partisan spigots and let's all lynch these weasels quick while public opinion is against them. Put in a flat tax and put tax cheats in the county work camps.

    May 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Bob

    Investigating the Tea Party finances is something the IRS should do and is REQUIRED to do. First, it is an established fact that the Tea Party is not some "grassroots movement" but a political entity created by the Koch brothers and News Corp. This is a matter of public record. Those are billion dollar, multi-national corporations. The IRS needs to be certain that election finance laws are being followed AND that those companies aren't illegally using the Tea Party as a way to launder money.

    May 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Grinning Libber

    Start with Shrub and Cheney...

    May 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. us_1776

    Who's going to jail?

    The Tea Party for creating these tax scams.


    May 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. mitchgam

    Notice how when it is individual who in any way break the law, the talk is about jail time
    When it is large corporations that break the law, the talk is about fines
    When a CEO is charged and jailed for crimes committed by the company he runs, then I can take Mr Boehner seriously.

    May 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. sly

    Where is the Presidents Birth Certificate. I demand to see it, and personally inspect it. It is my right.

    Come on – where is His Birth Certificate. That is so much more important than this IRS smokescreen.

    May 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Larry

    "Who is going to jail?" How about the ex secretary of the treasury – Tim Gaithner for not claiming some of his income until somebody blew the whistle. ... and he did his own taxes – guess he couldn't afford a professional on his salary!

    May 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Jim Smell



    Even if it meant that people died, breaking the law, lying to news media and public, making up stories, and just out right impeachable behavior.

    Obama: Guilty

    Hillary Clinton: Guilty. Jail Time.
    Eric Holder: Guilty Jail Time.
    Harry Reid: Guilty.
    Pelosi: Guilty
    Boxer: Guilty
    Mop Head, Patty Murry: Guilty.

    May 15, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. sam111

    Who's going to jail? Let's start with cheney, bush, rumsfeld, rove, and the rest of the GOP Congressional loonies, (like boehner, mcconnell, graham, ryan, and rand paul), who are blocking everything that the president is trying to do for the betterment of this country. This has been their stated objective since President Obama was elected and they are still blocking his every move.

    May 15, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. matt

    I really dont see what is wrong with the IRS looking into political groups requests for tax exempt status. The fact of the matter is that groups engaging in political activities are not supposed to be given tax exempt status. (this is the reason churches etc are not supposed to endorse political views from the pulpit) The only problem here is if leftist groups weren't investigated as well. I hope the IRS is doing their due diligence when groups apply for tax exempt status, especially when they are politically motivated groups.

    May 15, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Attention: Netmoron

    Skooter Libby went to prison for "perjury", but the actual leaker, Richard Armitage was not charged because Plame was not a covert agent of the CIA. US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, if not Blow Job would be in jail for dismissing all the US attorneys, the Iraq war was authorized by Congress and 17 UN resolutions. You are lost in the past, blinded by your liberal blinders. Please try to keep current, you don't seem to have any more grasp of the distant past, than the present. Are you willing to overlook any level of corruption with your guy in office? Have you no shame???? Stupid question probably!

    May 15, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. smitvict

    Under Obama, the unionized government workers will, of course, be fully protected.

    May 15, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. DustyOnes

    Obama and Biden!

    May 15, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "If he were a woman, they'd be calling him the weakest speaker in history." Why? "Because nothing's getting done." – Nancy Pelosi

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

    Whose going to jail? Really? Who has gone to jail for the big bank market scandals of sept. 2008?

    May 15, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Getta Grip

    This must be Bush's fault. It could not possibly be Obama and any of his staff fault that are all above the law. They were just doing their job as directed which it so nail any conservative or freedom of speech thought.

    People open your eyes and start thinking for yourself. You are being had and don't even know it. How sad is that.

    May 15, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Bob

    Another non-scandal that the Republicans are blowing way out of proportion. They have been targeting Obama for years with nothing to show for it, and there is little or nothing heire either. Someone at the IRS made a decision to look more closely at applications for a certain group of people. Maybe the IRS actually had statistics to show that certain groups were gaming the system?

    May 15, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Thomas

    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.

    Whats the difference between responsibility and blame ? GW Bush or Obama ?

    Did your parents teach you to blame others , do you blame them for who you are ?

    New Orleans Mother's Day shooting , why not blame Obama .

    How many posters here work for GOP non Profits say's it all , I understand your fighting to keep you jobs , it's ok to be Non Profit for Profit , ask Jack Abramoff is a former American lobbyist, businessman .

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

    I thought all Republicans were Tax Exempt.

    May 15, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. RP

    I did not realize hate groups like the t-party could get tax-exempt status. Hmm.

    May 15, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Rick

    Still waiting to see who goes to jail for the whole Iraq ordeal...Take care of that first, then talk about the IRS

    May 15, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. shanevb2

    Who's going to jail for the Iraq war?

    May 15, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. jerry

    Will agree as soon as I see a banker hit jail for the fraud committed a few years ago

    May 15, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    The banks, congress, or any other group can hurt the American people, no calls for justice, we go to war on questionable information and conflicting reports, no call for justice but boy you try to hurt one of their political action orginazations or lobbyists and boy someone better go to jail.

    May 15, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Jack Sprat

    C'mon Boehner – let's get tougher! The question is NOT "Who's going to jail?"... The real question is "Who is going TO LOSE THEIR LIFE!!!" for not permitting Tea Party groups to be able to avoid paying taxes. I'll let the fact that we may have entered the Iraq War under false pretenses (and spent TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS of taxpayer monies and lost a high number of lives in the process) slide under the table, but we must not let anyone get away with this TAX EXEMPT STATUS SCANDAL!!!

    May 15, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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