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. Josh

    Maybe he should cry about it... like he does everything else.... This man whines more than he works

    May 15, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Jay

    This Administration rminds me of the Nixon years and Watergate. IRS targeting specific groups, The AP scandal, Benghazi, Fast & Furious – there is a pattern of abuse in the Obama administration but why should anyone be surprised? The President is a product of the corrupt Chicago political machine, nothing more.

    May 15, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Patrick Lewis

    Actually, John, there aren't any laws against this. THAT WAS THE PROBLEM! It was clearly wrong, but the IRS was given no procedures in the wake of Citizens United for handling the avalanche of requests for this type of consideration. So they did the best they could and some people abused that discretion.

    May 15, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. liberal disease

    just put Obama in jail and be done with it

    May 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Tom

    Answer – The same collection of guys who went to jail when Wall Street tried to destroy the world economy.

    May 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Abbey

    Leave it to the progressive mob to change the headline. This time around the folks at AP don't support you now, and it's about time the expose the frauds that Soros and Democrats really are.

    May 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Frank S

    Nobody is going to jail. So a couple of Tea Party types did some extra paperwork. (Yawn!) Next scandal.

    May 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Porky Rottenham

    @drc – Wow, you're right! This administration is as messed up as any Republican administration I've ever seen! There's almost no difference between the two! I never even noticed! || This is like voting in the USSR. They had two choices. They could vote yes, or they could go home.

    May 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. jrzydvl

    VoteYes – I believe the Obama has that much disdain for the people. They think the people are morons.

    May 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Robin Hunter

    Odd what gets this guy's attention. His buddies in the banking industry turned the country upside-down and pocketed billions in taxpayer bailout money, yet not one of them went to jail. He didn't even ask, "Who's going to jail." Since the Citizens United ruling, shell groups representing 1-percenters have multiplied. The IRS in vetting the many applications for a tax exemptions scanned them for key words that might lead to fraudulent applications. So what Bonehead finds offensive are the key words used by an IRS staffer. Now weigh that against what the bankers have cost you and say who you think should be going to jail.

    May 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. roe

    i would really like to see this country just split seriously. we would be better for it at this point. We dont get along and we think differently so we should be allowed to go our seperate ways. let conservatives do what they want on their land and let Libs(everyone else according to them) do our thing. then we could really see the truth. imagine conservatives sitting at the UN as a nation. then you could understand what i mean.

    May 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |

    No one went to jail for fixing the votes in the GOP or bank bailouts what makes you think these people will go to jail????

    May 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Lawless4U

    Speaking of going to jail, how about we throw some of the tea party thugs in prison for holding the entire government hostage?

    May 15, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. DJ Reality

    bohner's one to talk too.... What ever happened to his focus on jobs jobs jobs. Look Washington is a mess. Maybe time we clear out the cobwebs and bring in some new blood on both sides of the isle.

    May 15, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Brad

    When is Boehner going to jail is the real question.

    May 15, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Mark

    Find those WMD's yet?

    May 15, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. steve

    Everyone involved should go to jail, including the lier-in-chief that ordered it!

    May 15, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Justice

    Cry baby Boehner is at it again. The only people going to jail is GW Bush and Dick head Cheney for their lies and deceit regarding invading Iraq. They both should be tried for war crimes and lying to the congress. The no bid contracts worth hundreds of billion of dollars given to Cheney's buddies at Halliburton and KBR.

    May 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |

    How about this idea. Going forward in the future, how about not allowing any special interest group, PAC, 501c or any charitable organization to donate to the general election? That should unleash the strangle hold on these groups and organizations to stop the influence on candidates and political parties. One more thing. THANK YOU SUPREME COURT for allowing unlimited funds to be funnelled into these campaigns. (sarcasm)

    May 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. DirtyHeat


    Why would we jail people for protecting the country from complete disaster?

    May 15, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Byrd

    And why hasn't Boehner asked that same question regarding Wall Street and the banks? Not one prosecution to date of anyone responsible for crashing the world's economy, Boehner and Holder.

    May 15, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Michael

    Before ANY member of Congress starts whining about laws not being equally applied, they should start going by the same rules and regulations they shove onto the rest of us. Is it just me, or does Boerner's picture look like his panties are in a knot?

    May 15, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. wm Scot

    The IRS has been going after "tax evaders" for years. The ones that spout they will not pay taxes for a myriad of reasons. It just is the tea parties time in the bucket and will all the noise that they make about doing away with taxes I can understand why the IRS is after them. " Full disclosure " I am being audited right now for some BS crap but am I going to scream discrimination ?
    What a bunch of cry babies . Shut up and pay your taxes !

    May 15, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Me

    Man you liberals are sad, is that all you can say about ANYTHING is Bush did this, Bush did that, you all sound like 3 year old children. I do not recall Bush breaking any laws but I am sure your emotional response will say otherwise even though facts don't support your claim!!! I could be wrong maybe he did but the PAST is the PAST, he has not been in office for WELL OVER 4 YEARS now!!! I feel like I am talking with my 3 year old, well I guess that is the mentality of most you liberals!!!

    May 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. jag

    Put BUSH & his Cronnies in jail

    May 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29