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. cashxx

    Who went to jail in the bush administration when the US invaded Iraq under lies??

    May 15, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Bluegrass

    Wall Street: Who's going to jail, Bloodshot John?

    May 15, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. Doobie Wah

    For years Republicans have told us that they are the party of fiscal

    For years the Republican party has told us they are for freedom,
    (see, Blacks, Gays & Woman)

    When Republicans could no longer get enough people to vote for them
    by fear, lies or intimidation (see voter fraud)
    and they lost the White House....Twice,
    Instead of looking deep inside your party and your message,
    you declared war.

    Sorry, you LOST that war.

    And the fear of Gays, blacks, woman,

    May 15, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. winchester74

    If anyone goes to jail it should be Bush, Cheney, and all the Republican billionaires who avoided paying taxes by stashing their loot in offshore bank accounts. And how about the execs at HSBC who were laundering drug money – and then there's the crooks at Wells Fargo, AIG, BofA, etc. who caused the mortgage meltdown.

    May 15, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  5. tony

    i am fine with someone or multiple people from the IRS who violated any laws go to jail as long as they are joined by W Bush and Cheney whose actions led to so many collective deaths.

    May 15, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |

    More Thank 4,000 Americans and thousands of Iraquis death. Hundred of thousands wounded...Who went to jail for taking this country to war and spent trillions of dollar that went to the banks accounts of those who make weapons and rebuild countries. Who went to jail for the massive amount of money during the mortgage crisis.

    May 15, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  7. Doobie Wah

    *** Woodrow

    I do not support these tea party groups but this is very wrong. The IRS shouldn't have a political bias.

    Political bias ?
    How about this.
    They should be checking on these organizations to see if they
    deserve tax free status.
    Isnt that part of the job ?

    You just another "SUPPORT" my side
    over any rules, laws or regulations.
    Typical Republican garbage.

    May 15, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. cdub

    My god, I've read more comments that are actually fact based on this one article than any other. Finally the people on the internet are finding some voice and talking about how they led us into a false war, how they made billions from the housing bubble pop (they invested in the fact that it would pop), and how better this country could be–and more united instead of divided–if the war had not occurred. Kudos to those with open eyes. And no, I do not look past the scandal, but I see it as peanuts (just read the back story) compared to misleading the whole country/world.

    May 15, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. ChicagoLoop

    Who is going to jail you ask? How about you have them line-up right behind all those boys down on Wall Street, Mr. Boehner?

    May 15, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Neil Hunt

    HA! In an equitable world -who should be in jail is the war-mongering Bush/Cheney & their war-cabinet -on at least one of the same charges U.S. used at Nuremburg in 1946!!!

    May 15, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  11. Oh

    I can't take John seriously now unless tears are streaming down his face.

    May 15, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. rs1201

    Obama should be impeached and made to apologize to the American People for abusing their trust and confidence. The IRS agents who targeted conservative groups did not do it out of the clear blue sky. Someone of authority told them to do this and that someone got told by someone of higher authority...all the way up to the White House. The only people who stand to gain from these actions are the democrats and this administration. This whole administration is repugnant!

    May 15, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. whitepine

    What the IRS was checking to see who and why these people were asking to NOT pay taxes but politicially pick the people to run our country! What's wrong with that? The donors are secret. How do we know foreign groups aren't donating big bucks to these SUPER PACs? You know Congress is always yelling and blaming and investigating. Just who is investigating Congress's actions and their silly 6 figure salary jobs?

    May 15, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. wxqz

    Will Boehner send himself to jail for obstruction of government ?

    Also, If the Tea Party claims tax exempt, I assume, they cna prove it.

    I am not worried because the Tea party and their buddies systematically work to pass laws designed to impede poor and minorities access to the vote.

    So they can boo hoo all they want. But is it not like they pure like fallen snow.

    May 15, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. whitepine

    Oh, and people....if the federal government doesn't investigate journalists, political parties and such groups, how will we find terrorists, criminals and people like the Boston bombers? We can't have our cake and eat it too.

    May 15, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. Fearless Freep

    My advice is to quit blaming Bush or anyone else at this point, that horse is dead and move on to figure out why help was not given to Americans serving our country in Libya;

    Well, seems like the Republicans cut funding for security and now are trying to blame Obama for it.
    Changing some talking points or if it was Militants or and angry mob
    over a video doesn't change that fact, does it ?

    Obstructionist Republicans caused this mess, and are bent on throwing it back.
    You guys scared of Hillary Clinton ?
    Sounds like it.

    May 15, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Crystal Balls

    Bet on this.
    Hillary Clinton will run in 2016
    and the Republicans are in WAR mode.

    Screw America, and to hell with sanity and reason.
    WIN at all costs.

    This latest attack is one of many to come.
    But just like Fast & Furious, or Islamobama, will come to nothing.

    Your party reeks of desperation.
    Grow up.

    May 15, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. quipsnnnquake

    And now the IRS is being sued for taking 10 million private medical records records in an investigation of a firm in San Diego.

    May 15, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. richardk

    John...When you start doing your job maybe someone will care what you say..By the Way..Where Are The Jobs?

    May 15, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Drooling Over This One

    ***** J

    There is a big difference between Wall Street bailout and the IRS scandal. Although they caused a massive global problem, Wall Street was not doing anything illegal, therefore, you obviously cant imprison someone, no matter how much you liberals want to just because you hate capitalism, it wouldn't hold up in a court of law.
    Hard to convict somebody of wrong doing when the very people
    doing it have support from members of congress.
    Now, there are laws on the books that are supposed to keep the IRS (A Government Agency, not publicly held company) impartial that were obviously violated.
    Its a government agency that is supposed to CHECK that those applying for tax exempt status are
    for real.
    You saying they should NOT do their job because it may be a "Conservative" group ?
    Tells me where you stand.
    What happened to Obama saying "when it comes down to it, I am in some way responsible" and "I will have the most transparent admin in history" Wake up, your savior is nothing more than a Chicago thug politician, and you got hustled.
    No, you got hustled.
    So bent on supporting your party, if you did a little investigation of you saviour "Bush"
    you will find that his Grandfather "Prescot Bush" supported Hitler during WW2.
    George Walker Bush was a CIA drug dealing thug, and Junior was a face for the NEOCONS
    who couldn't give a crap about you, me, or Republicans.
    PS- The Bush blaming makes you look like an ignorant 5 yr old.
    Your ignorance of history makes you look foolish.

    GROW UP!

    May 15, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. Robert

    Mr Boehner – you should be looking in the mirror.

    May 15, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. Alpha Deus

    The same people who went to jail for the banking fiasco, the texas explosion, the gulf oil spill, missing 9/11 warnings, hacking every phone in the country, firing judges, taking rhe vote away from 180,000 citizens, going away on the tax payers dime to commit adultery, etc, etc, etc...don't be so shocked boehner...its not like your ever going to see the inside of a jail cell for insider trading either...

    May 15, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  23. Harold Burke

    How about a 3 for 1 trade: Three banksters for one IRS agent.

    May 15, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Locker

    Jesus the GOP must be scared to death of losing the next election. Oh my LORD a couple of dorks in an IRS office "TARGETED"!"!!"!" some Tea Party groups. Meaning they looked at their paperwork a bit more closely. That's it. It's called profiling and Republicans don't seem to have a problem with that when it's black kids getting frisked in NYC or Mexicans getting stopped in Arizona.

    So the answer to who's going to jail for profiling the paperwork of tea party groups? I'm gonna go ahead and say... NOBODY!

    May 15, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. Fates Warning

    Must be tough to be Republican these days.
    They cant do anything right.
    Nothing like digging your own grave.
    I don't like politicians in general,
    but I despise Republicans.

    Cant get votes by fraud or fear, and can no longer "buy" it.
    Whats your next move ?
    War ?

    Sorry, that one doesn't work anymore.

    May 15, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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