May 15th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
10 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. Anonymous

    Why Boehner isn't goimg to JAIL? he should for being STUPID.

    May 15, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. SoSad

    How ignorant and stupid can you be, did you even go to school? (Dictator Obama No More)

    May 15, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Christy Yamaguci

    NPR should go. They are a non for profit that is just an extension of the Liberal Party and AIPAC. Fire Allan Chartock the worst of the worst. Says Republicans are all evil.

    May 15, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. fhelms

    Unions were not targeted, Left Wing groups get fast approval, this had to come from the White House just like Fast & Furious and DOJ Phone Records from AP, Benghazi and all the rest of the crap... Obama needs to go to jail. It's amazing that you can even find this on CNN. I expect I'll be audited next.

    May 15, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Hip O. Crasy

    John Boehner wasn't so quick to ask, "Who is going to jail?" when HSBC laundered millions for drug traffickers and terrorists. But then HSBC gave his PAC lots of money, so what do you expect? See Elizabeth Warren on the subject:

    May 15, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. boyamidumb

    Ever been audited by these idiots? I have. Even though my deductions were 100% legit, the guy took an instant dislike to me because I was young and making a lot of money. So I got hit for a few bucks worth of taxes, but as he knew I would, got hit for a load of interest and penalties. Could have fought it, but my lawyers were afraid of what would happen to them if they beat the IRS. Too much power in the hands of some real losers.

    May 15, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Bart

    A congressman complaining about an abuse of power? Now that's ironic!!! If we really have laws that govern jail time for that, then they're going to need a lot more prisons in DC!

    May 15, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Thaddius

    Face it Repugnicans, you're a dying breed and your frantic no amount wailing and gnashing of teeth and screaming about manufactured scandals is going to save your ship.

    May 15, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Ian

    Hey John. Who went to jail for the bank bailout? Who went to jail regarding the AIG fiasco? BP oil spill?

    May 15, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. al

    If he is so worried about people getting off without jail time why in the world are all the culprits that caused the 2–8 financial bust still walking the streets and doing no time at all for fraud etc.

    May 15, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. bczu

    When are politicians going to face jail time for all the things they do? Leave the country on the state dime to have an affair....oh wait...he just got re elected.

    May 15, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Snarky MacFee

    Sounds like he wants a roommate. So the tea partiers are bawling about having to pay taxes but they are so "American"..just another special interest group that wants us to pay for our own demise as a country. Who should go to jail, Mr. Boehner? WHO SHOULDNT?

    May 15, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. carol

    Hopefully the people under Bush that went after the NAACP.--Spine, Boehner, spine. Now the AP thing that brother me.

    May 15, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Dan

    @fhelms – You hav no data to support your claims. You have no idea what happened to requests from Dems. Yo uhave no idea if the TP claims were rejected or just slowed down..

    May 15, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Be Reasonable

    Boehner should know better than anybody else, nobody goes to jail over this sort of thing. Is the booze starting to rot his brain, now, as well as his liver?

    May 15, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Snarky MacFee

    As to the earlier Dictator Obama comment. Pal, you wouldnt know a dictator if one vomitted on you. We, so far, have not EVER experienced a real dictator! Go over to Iran for a few weeks and tell me how oppressed you are, Sparky.

    May 15, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. John Blackadder

    Maybe the Kohl brothers are the target. After all, they funded a huge number of "not-for-profits" to go after the left.
    Maybe they stepped over the line from free speech to trying to buy an election in violation of Federal Law.

    May 15, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Ll

    Boehner is way too smug in all the point of looking guilty...

    May 15, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. mb2010a

    Didn't any of you people ever see the movie "J. Edgar"? Republican presidents have been doing this for years including Nixon and probably Reagan and both of the Bushes. Get indignation is totally hypocritical and everyone knows it.

    May 15, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. chill

    You want someone to go to jail? Then shut up and stop trying to influence the investigation until all the facts are in. Does every damned thing you do have to be about scoring points Boehner?

    May 15, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Brenda

    Who went to jail when the NAACP and black churches were probed by the IRS? NOONE...

    May 15, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Pat

    Mr. Conspiracy Spinner says to magnify the hot air while he just wasted well over $1M dollars today doing nothing.

    May 15, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Floyd from Illinois

    America on Boehner: "Why do you assume that anything illegal has even happened?"

    May 15, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. canucken

    How about someone from the IRS goes to jail when someone responsible at the banks and wall street firms goes to jail for the economic meltdown in 2007-8? That would be a good start.

    May 15, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. T. Lee

    There is NO "jailable offense" here Mr. Speaker – and all those morons parroting the same thing here are just that – morons.

    While it may have been a typical "dirty trick" partisianwise – it's NOT a "jailable offense"!!!

    May 15, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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