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. Liar T Krazo

    Why don't we choose Cheney, Rummy and W to go to jail. Three of the biggest war-criminals in history?

    May 15, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. topperG

    who ever goes to jail in the government? No one. Inside the beltway they can do whatever the heck they want and no gets arrested. Gee I wonder why? Government – tyranny – control – Whose going t arrest them?

    May 15, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. kathy/Minnesota

    So John Boehner takes a gulp from his whiskey flask...and ask who is goin to jail...what a joke.

    May 15, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. sylviasalamone!

    Bush, Cheney, Boehner, crooked bankers are the ones that should go to prison and any and every one responsible for the collapse of the economy .

    May 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Mike

    Gee, can we have a trial first?

    May 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Mona

    Like most of you, I feel Bohner should be the first to go to not pass go, do not collect $200!!! Where was his big mouth when Dubya, Cheney & gang screwed up with the Iraq war.....all those innocent Iraqi people but most important,
    our beautiful American men! Where was he? Hiding behind Cheney's shirts! I'm quite sure Pres.Obama didn't want this to happen, but the gop won't give him an you think he'll be able to get anything accomplished with that bunch of

    May 15, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Erika

    Hey; there is a bunch of people who skated pass prosecution involved in the 2008 Catastrophe. I don't hear him demanding jail time for anyone involved there. Lets clean up our Government and start by getting Rid Of Him, and anyone else bent on ruining our Country.

    May 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Name

    Boner never asked when the Great Recession causing banksters would go to jail. I wonder why?

    May 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. petroskies

    who's go to jail ? easy the boss, and who will have resigned ? the boss and all his bodies

    May 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Fire the GOP

    Congress should go to jail for their ineptness.

    Quite frankly there should be MORE scrutiny of political organizations attempting to claim tax-exempt statuses.

    May 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. yep

    This happens on both sides and it's shameful on both sides. The difference here is it seems of late the Republican Party is crying foul on anything they think they can make a headline and hurt this administration with. I wonder if when the GOP gains control if the Democrats will do the same thing? They all look like bafoons. Unfortunately we the people are the ones that pay for all these shenanigans.

    May 15, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Fire the GOP

    Poor JC. do know that the Iraq war and 9/11 are not connected whatsoever right? The Bush Aministration just brainwashed you into thinking there was a connection. But no. There wasn't any. Instead of going after Bin Laden, the Bush administration went after Saddam instead. Think about that. Think hard.

    May 15, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. SC

    If republicans went to jail every time they violated the law, we'd be a penal colony.

    May 15, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. soabsurd

    Obama should go – he is inept to manage people let alone the United States

    May 15, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. jeffision

    Investigating a pattern of fraud among a particularly group of party affiliated organizations isn't's called "doing their job".

    May 15, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. yep

    Just out of curiosity hardwood how is the country going down the dumps? Economy is improving, job numbers are improving, stock market is at an all time high, wars are ending, etc. etc. Or is it just that there is a black man at the helm and you are racist because it seems like I see a lot of that in these positngs?

    May 15, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Ybsnad

    Didn't we get our war in Afghanistan? You know, where obl was. Iraq was on totally false grounds. Bush either lied or was incompetent.

    May 15, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. Al

    Speaker Boehner, How bout who from Wall St. is going to jail, youv'e never said a peep about them, these people stole billions fromthe pensions / mortgages of working people. how come its now you speak up. I guess we know who owns you and its not the people

    May 15, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. storrey

    Boehner is a tool.....just like the rest of the GOP (with Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell leading the pack). Wish I could get them all out of office so real work could get done.

    May 15, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. crimsoninok

    Look at the liberals trying to deflect.. "oh hey, uh.. the war in iraq... uhhhh what about those poor occupy protesters that were thrown in jail for urinating in public and destroying police cars, or raping the women in the camps.." Listen, Liberals, its over, your golden boy was fake gold, he is a criminal and everybody in his administration should resign in shame and disgust for this tyrant leader who has taken our country into debt and despair.. following him blindly is clearly and act of self loathing.

    May 15, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. scootfl78

    Someone please put this country out of its memory and dispose of these despicable Republicans who think the worse thing going on in the country is right-wing tax cheats being investigated by the IRS. 8 years ago the IRS targeted liberal groups who were against the war. Where was Boehner and all the other bigoted and ignorant Republicans when all that was going on?

    May 15, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Karl Marx

    Wow, conservatives targeted! Finally. Did they fire 400 bullets at them, send in under cover agents, black-ball them? No? Then get in line.

    May 15, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. observer99

    Is it too late to jail Bush and cheney for what they DIDN"T DO to avert 9/11? nOW WE'RE TA;KING ABOUT SOMETHING far WORSE AND THE BODY COUNT IS IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS!

    May 15, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. master po

    When is Dick Cheney going to jail, John?

    May 15, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Samantha

    WOW. Why are none of you concerned/outraged/input what you want about what the IRS did? This should outrage ALL Americans!

    The IRS targeted conservative (could be liberals next) groups and shared their applications. My question is who did the IRS share this information with??

    May 15, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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