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. Pete

    Boehner should go to jail for inpersonating a politician..Boy he can't stay away from the booze can he and I think his old man has bottles flown in from his Ohio family bar,nice touch if he has the right stuff!!

    May 15, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Jimmer

    Did some folks at the IRS break the Law? Yes, they did.
    If someone breaks the Law, should there be consequences? Yes, there should.
    Should someone go to jail? Probably, but we must wait for the outcome of investigations and trials.

    Do the wars in the Middle East have anything to do with this discussion? No.
    Do the actions of past Presidents have anything to do with this discussion? No.
    Does what you might feel about the people involved have anything to do with this discussion? No.

    Then what the Hell are you people talking about?

    May 15, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Cunning Stunts

    Common sense has left us.
    Should the IRS just rubber stamp any group that applies for tax free status ?
    Boener screaming for somebody to get jail time for what, doing their job ?
    This fake outrage is getting tired.

    Birth certificate didn't work.
    Socialist, communist muslim didn't work.
    Fast & Furious was a dead end.
    Bengazie going nowhere.
    Republicans have NO SHAME.

    May 15, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Parfin Woodell

    **** Every single American was madder than hell and wanted to go to war. So all of you who say it was the Bush Administration who wanted/started this war, should really stop lying to yourself.

    19 hijackers, 16 of them from Saudi Arabia attacked us.
    Bin Laden was in Afganistan.
    Bush declares war on Iraq.
    You Bush lovers are STOOOOOOOPID.

    May 15, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. The REAL TRUTH...

    Perhaps we should start with the Obstructionist Party "empty chair" leadership?

    May 15, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. Rags

    Bonehead Boehner would be a good place to start the jailing procedure. Him first, then the remainder of the clueless group that's been stonewalling our honestly elected officials from doing the duties we elected them to do.

    May 15, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. jimmy

    Speaker Orange Man-Please say something that doesn't make you look even more stupid than you do already. Who elected this idiot.

    May 15, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Smeagel4T

    Hey Boehner. The same people who went to jail from the Wall Street banks, and the same people who went to jail for the Iraq War. While what was done at the IRS was WRONG. Absolutely WRONG. In America people have to have broken a criminal law to go to jail. So while you're busy fundraising off of this, why don't you tell the American people why no bankers went to jail.

    May 15, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. John

    jc if you were 18 then you were too young to know, but tell me how many WMD the the bushy boo find in Iraq? That's why he went to war with Iraq; not 9/11.

    Boener should go to jail for wasting the taxpayer money on Obama witch hunts and hate fests.

    May 15, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Mark

    Maybe if Boehner and everyone else spent less time calling for jail and impeachment and spent more time actually doing their jobs, maybe this would be a better country.

    May 15, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Parfin Woodell

    Question to Republicans.
    What is the first and most important job of the President Of The United States
    as COMMANDER IN CHIEF ?????????

    Protect AMERICA !

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
    I give you 9 1 1.

    Complete and utter FAILURE to protect this country.
    Or maybe complicit in the act itself.
    That is TREASON.

    May 15, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. steve

    So Boehner does not believe in due process. If people broke the law we have a process to determine if they go to jail. They are considered innocent until they go through the process. Perhaps Boehner thinks he is the one who gets to determine innocent or guilty. If he does not believe in the law of this country he has no place holding an elected office and he is holding elected office he has no place saying people should go to jail without due process.

    May 15, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Parfin Woodell


    IF the IRS targeted liberal charities under George W. Bush, which there appears to be no evidence of, then the people that did that should go to jail along with the current IRS employees who have been identified as targeting conservative groups. The IRS needs to be NON-PARTISAN, regardless of who is in office.
    Translation :
    The IRS is not allowed to do its job, if it investigates Conservative groups.
    Its ok to investigate Liberal groups as they are all corrupt.

    You people are sick.

    May 15, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Dave

    JC we supported a war to go after BIN LADEN. IN AFGHANISTAN. This whole buildup of lies about non existent WMDs was a flat out lie that dragged our economy through the mud and killed thousands of our sons and daughters. Not to mention innocent afghan civilians.

    May 15, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  15. jlcreech

    Good question Boehner. I'd like to see you in jail quite frankly. The President took a cut in salary but I don't see any Congressmen willing to do the same. What a JOKE you people are and I'm REALLY SICK of seeing your face and hearing that MOUTH every 10 seconds. GO HOME!

    May 15, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. amazed

    dictator, only your 46% have no faith in Obama, but then you never did so go back to sleep and better luck next time. The rest of us think he is doing the best he can with the do nothing House apposing him.

    May 15, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Grog Says

    Grog says Re-pooblicans stomp feet and make noise.
    Other wise nobody pay attention.
    Stomp, Stomp, wine, wine, ha ha ha ha,
    Silly pooblicans.

    Ignore them, and they get louder,
    give dem piece of candy and shiney object
    they go away.

    May 15, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. Feed Your Head


    I agree, YOU Mr. Bnoherder.

    See above?
    That's the quality of Republicans supporters.

    May 15, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Concerned citizen

    Go ahead, John! You are the one who deserve to see the jail inside!

    May 15, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Guitar

    This from the guy who literally handed out checks from the Tobacco lobby to his buddies on the very floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. There's even a youtube video of him admitting it and saying it shouldn't be done, (after he did it and got caught!) Should be tried and imprisoned for treason! Biggest crook in all U.S. Government with no credibility whatsoever.

    May 15, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Don't call me Coco

    So, I get that y'all don't like Boehner, but you do agree that someone has to be locked up for this? We can't keep up this nonsense where the worst thing that can happen to a gov't employee is being fired.

    May 15, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. cstrater

    Ha! Who'se going to jail, indeed. Good one, Tan Man!

    May 15, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Who is going to jail? I did not know a crime was committed!!

    George Bush lied us into a war that cost billions and thousands of lives (dead and ruined) and no one is going to jail?

    May 15, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Quinsec

    When is anyone on Wall Street going to jail, Speaker Boehner?

    May 15, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Quinsec

    @JC You weren't really paying attention when you were 18 huh? 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq. Yes, we were chestb-eating over 9/11 – that's why we invaded Afghanistan, and then we were lied to about WMD's in Iraq. You should maybe figure out what the truth is before accusing us of lying.

    May 15, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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