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. DB

    So, where was he when Blankfein, Dimon, and all the other clowns got off scot-free after bringing the world's economy to the brink of ruin with their greed? I'm not saying what the IRS did was right – it's absolutely not – but where was the call for CDS players and all the greedy bankers to pay the price for what they did???

    May 15, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Pat

    That $1M that John Boehner wasted today was in tax dollars...just like he has been wasting for years doing nothing.

    May 15, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. LouAZ

    Booner's mentality is exactly that of a Kangaroo Court and LYNCH MOB !

    May 15, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Edgar Friendly

    I agree with Boehner's sentiment, and hope he gets what he wants in this case, but I wish he would ask the same question about the megabankers who sold us down the river. If only he could find his balls when it counts.

    May 15, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Patrick

    why would anyone go to jail over this – all they did was audit. did they file false audits and someone went to jail? No. on the other hand – the banks screwed millions of people for years over mortgage loans and yet no one went to prison. elizabbeth warren will hopefully have a few of those men who decided to bankrupt the country over personal gain go to prison in the very near future. but i'm still puzzled – did they break a law by profiling them – heck that's what the gop wants us to do with every dark person that buys an airline ticket.

    May 15, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. LouAZ

    Boozer's mentality is exactly that of a Kangaroo Court and LYNCH MOB !

    May 15, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    LOL – this guy is truly a piece of work. my gut feeling is that when the mid term elections rolls around, it's going to be a "dandy" LOL – I mean, it's going to be treated as though it's comparable to a presidential one. (in other words, expect more gridlock, and the blame game)

    May 15, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. awaiting censoring

    Unless they can find a Republican to blame, no one will go to jail. Go back in history and find the last one who pulled time for anything.

    May 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Dark Knight

    I am exhausted from the over blown nonsense from the Republican Party. When ever event rises to the level of Watergate is any of this incidents important? How about Congress actually doing the work of the People and cease the political wranglering. Let's work on issues, e.g. Education; Social Security (remember that one); and budget (sequestor anyone?). There always appears time for nonsense and blaming prior to establishing the facts.

    May 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. They call me joe.....

    Whah whah whah......

    May 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. awaiting censoring

    Don't you know it?

    May 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. LouAZ

    Youy can call me Boehner, or Booner, or Boozer . . . but you can't call me B oner cause the CNN CENSOR won't allow it !

    May 15, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. martin2176

    no one goes to jail for being more diligent (even when they had vested interest) . people go to jail if any for being lax

    May 15, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. cam

    I don't know, John. Which friends of yours at Goldman Sachs went to jail?

    May 15, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Seshu Kanuri

    This Boehner guy is stupid and a village idiot in the capital. He should be slapped hard and put in a cage and the cage hung in.front of the senate building.

    The Tea Party organizations such as News Max, Michelle Bachman's NPOs are all a big scam who are stealing money from the American Public in the name of 9-11 and Obama. IRS has done the right thing in targeting these criminal organizations. It is like the 1960s liquor mafia and we need to fight these anti national elements.

    May 15, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. censored

    That will be the day. Since the IRS is catching heat now next step is investigating liberal news agencies who sway elections by censoring people they do not like.ACLU seems to be interested in how things are going and how the news agencies take liberties with the press.

    May 15, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Lisa P.


    It's baffling how people think that wrong doings are exempt from examining or punishment due to their perception of other wrong doings. "I broke the law because you broke the law earlier". This is a dangerous path you are leading us down.
    May 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm

    Who said anyone was exempt from anything? It's all a matter of degree.

    May 15, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. TexasAnnie

    Oh, give your self righteous indignity a rest, Boehner! Where was all your outrage when Dick Cheney was dragging this country into an unnecessary "war" to line his pockets? If you want somebody to go to jail, there's your issue & your man!

    May 15, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    When talking about all of the banks/etc that "screwed" all of the people, it is important to take a balanced approach and also talk about all of the politicians (Frank Dodd, etc) that forced said banks to loosen their lending requirements because "everyone has the right to own a home". Obviously, the banks are complicit in this as well, but it isn't quite as simple as pointing the finger at the "greedy" bankers without also discussing the clueless politicians that forced the lowering of lending requirements when a basic understanding of risk assessment clearly indicates that this would be a very, very bad idea...

    May 15, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. joel

    have I mentioned how much I like taxation without representation today? I do. I love it. And tea belongs in my glass! with Ice, and my 15% tip to the waiter.

    May 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. joel

    my paranoia is exploding all over the school I frequent.... thanks hackers.

    May 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    ""This Boehner guy is stupid and a village idiot in the capital. He should be slapped hard and put in a cage and the cage hung in front of the senate building""

    Wrong !!

    To be perfectly honest – A Good Waterboarding, is what he needs, (maybe his brain is too dry)

    (you would have to "soak" a sponge, before you are able to use it)

    May 15, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. joel

    just trying to spread information, ain't ya? It looks like anon is more into the make people into lunatic killers game.

    May 15, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Codestud3

    This regime is no different than one in the Middle East.

    May 15, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. joel

    mention that you hate ketchup, and watch as the guy faux of total justic shows you nothing but heinze ads and the only way to escape ketchup packets on the road is a direct path to a gun shop full of like minded haters of the red devil.... you hackers are obvious and this is the issue I choose this season. You are killing people in thteatres in big droves in demonstrations... my suggestion is that blood lust eventually does not work and you get out stripped I know it is a new toy ruining lives... but you will be sitting there quite free mind you on a beach and tears will just start falling... I know I cried over atma fatemah from libya in a group therapy

    May 15, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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