Rand Paul claims revealing memo exists in IRS scandal
May 19th, 2013
10:56 AM ET
10 years ago

Rand Paul claims revealing memo exists in IRS scandal

(CNN) - While the Internal Revenue Service maintains it was not focusing on conservative groups out of political bias, Sen. Rand Paul claimed Sunday there was a "written policy" floating around the agency that said IRS officials were "targeting people who were opposed to the president."

"And when that comes forward, we need to know who wrote the policy and who approved the policy," the Republican senator from Kentucky said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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Pressed for more precise details about the memo he was referring to, Paul said he hasn't seen such a policy statement but has heard about it.

"Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the president. So I don't know if that comes from a policy, but that's what's being reported in the press and reported orally," he told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "I haven't seen a policy statement, but I think we need to see that."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also said the IRS targeting was an example of the administration punishing its opponents.

"There is a culture of intimidation throughout the administration," he said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

While he admitted that all the facts were not yet known, he argued an attitude of "government knows best” seems to permeate.

"The nanny state is here to tell us all what to do and if you start criticizing, you get targeted," he said.

Appearing before a congressional committee Friday, IRS officials said a large increase in workload, rather than deliberate targeting, led to "foolish mistakes" and the political discrimination cited by the inspector general's report last week.

Numerous conservative groups said they faced heavy scrutiny and lengthy questionnaires in the past few years as they attempted to get tax-exempt status. The IRS admitted earlier this month it made mistakes, saying its office in Ohio that processed tax-exempt applications began singling out groups whose names included "tea party" and "patriot" for further review.

The actions have spurred criticism from both parties in Congress and President Barack Obama. A new CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday indicated that 71% of Americans find the targeting unacceptable.

Two IRS officials have announced they'll leave their posts, and more current and former IRS higher-ups are slated to appear for congressional hearings this week.

But Paul argued more people needed to be let go, saying the Obama administration didn't do enough in disciplining officials after the terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

"Why does Benghazi go on? No one was ever fired. So people made tragic errors - no one's accepting responsibility and no one was fired," he said.

Four State Department officials, however, were disciplined in December, with one resigning and three being placed on administrative leave and relieved of their duties. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly said she accepts ultimate responsibility for the safety and security of U.S. diplomats abroad.

Paul, however, stood by his charge that Clinton demonstrated a "dereliction of duty" by not reading diplomatic cables requesting more security at the Benghazi post.

"She should have resigned and accepted blame for it," he said Sunday.

A potential 2016 contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Paul has taken his attacks against Clinton on the road in battleground states. He plans to make a trip to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, on Monday.

Asked if he was politicizing the controversy, Paul said he brings up the topic "in every state and every stop because I think it's pretty important for her to accept blame for not providing security."

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Filed under: IRS • Rand Paul • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. mr sensitive

    Looking for Captain Memo ?

    May 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Tony

    If there is a memo floating around, why hasn't it been made public? Surely a Republican would have sent the memo to the press by now?

    Of course, there is another possibility. The memo is floating only in the minds of Republicans.

    May 19, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. love@tiscali

    @ rs
    There is a memo floating around that says "Republicans fabricate controversies"......

    high five for that one

    May 19, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. labman57

    Rand, as is the case with most Republican politicians and pundits, rarely lets reality undermine his evidence-devoid rhetoric.

    May 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I thought , Rand " Aqua Buddha " Paul , was still on the Benghazi band wagon ?

    This guy goes from flavor of the week faster then a slurpy at 7/11 !

    What's next ?

    May 19, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. ST

    I think Rand Paul's brain is sluggish like his hair. Can he tell us who wrote that Memo and whether it bears any signature of that person? Is this man for President? For what country? Even the Banana Republic will not opt for such a person!

    May 19, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. g

    tax cheats are on the run -IRS do your job,don,t let republican road blocks slow you down

    May 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. rs

    "There is a culture of intimidation throughout the administration..."
    This from the political party that parades around with their guns, and calls for "Second Amendment " solutions. Yeah, right!

    May 19, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Greg Morgan

    Ah. So he hasn't actually seen the memo. He just heard that it exists, and somehow, magically, knows what is in it even though he hasn't seen it. You know what I heard? I heard that Rand Paul has robbed 24,763 banks, netting $4,587,235 in ill-gotten gains. I also heard that he is addicted to heroin, and that he has completely worn out his reproductive organs through self-abuse. I'm not sure if any of this is true, but I did hear it. And Rand Paul has yet to deny a word of it, so wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that it's all true?

    May 19, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Databug

    Data indicates more people who voted for POTUS were audited than those who did not.

    Rand and the GOP are working hard to eliminate "enemies" before the next election and prefer no one be aware of the cuts to security they enacted prior to Benghazi.

    The truly sad thing is how neither he nor his colleagues actually care about the country, just their pockets and perceived hierarchy within the party.

    May 19, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Somebody has been slurpin' up the Drudge Sludge again.

    Usually it is Bachmann with the drinking problem

    May 19, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Bill

    Paul is just a typical right winger. You make up whatever you want to be true. Facts mean nothing.
    The real scandal is that none were denied tax exempt status. They just did a little extra paperwork and some progressive groups were caught up in it also, but no one mentions that. they aren't complaining.

    May 19, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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