Rand Paul claims revealing memo exists in IRS scandal
May 19th, 2013
10:56 AM ET
9 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."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

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

    McConnell is part of the government and I am under no illusions that Mitch McConnell knows best.

    May 19, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Jules

    Really, a memo floating around. Why would anyone be so stupid unless someone wrote it on purpose as part of plan to go after Obama. Anybody can write a m emo.

    May 19, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Joan

    The word 'targeting" has been overused. There were tens of thousands of new political organizations added as a result of the Citizens United ruling and the huge majority were right wing Tea Party groups asking for tax exemptions. Since political organizations should not get tax exemptions, it was prudent for the IRS to scrutinize them really carefully. After all, don't the Republicans want to reduce tax fraud? Since the Congress cut spending there were fewer workers to tackle this huge task and so they devised key criteria to get through the backlog. Perhaps there should be an inquiry into the actual political organizations in question and whether they really deserved exemption and there should definitely be stricter tax laws around this whole issue.

    May 19, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This teahage bland Paul has no credibility along with the rest of the gop and stick his head back in the mud where it usually is,gop moron!!!!!!

    May 19, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. rs

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

    May 19, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The teaparty and robes crossroads political groups should have been flagged for tax evasion or did rove and the teahages like bachmann start new religions like her wife pray away the gay????

    May 19, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Stop this IRS Bull. Nothing wrong in getting conservative idiots that tend to evade taxes.. If is done done in excellence.

    May 19, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. picnick

    Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war. ( 3 trillion dollar mistake)
    Hillary Clinton voted for the Patriot Act. Twice ( undermining the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment)

    Hillary Clinton voted for every possible debt ceiling increase she could. (16.7 trillion in debt as is.)

    Hillary Used her blood clots in her head as an excuse to delay testifying about her lousy job performance in Libya.

    With all this in mind....

    " I'd say she has more baggage than just what's on her hips."

    Hillary will run for POTUS. Her ego demands it.

    Hillary's ego is bigger than Rachel Maddow's Adam's apple.

    I'm tired of Bushes and Clintons.

    Didn't our country form in order to get away from Royal Families?

    May 19, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    More GOP lies. They should all be shot for treason.

    May 19, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Zerubbabel

    Anyone can through out unproven accusations. Hey Rand and Mitch, if red elephants had wings they could fly, prove me wrong.

    May 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. CB FL

    He will probably find out these papers were delivered to the IRS from the White House in a black helicopter.

    May 19, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. ELLIE

    This man is crazy! I can not vision how anyone would vote for a clown like this.

    May 19, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. mark

    He ought to know...he probably wrote it.

    May 19, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. CB FL

    After listening to the people in congress I think those people need a drug test.

    May 19, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Another gop moron running for president with vp credibility.

    May 19, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Pete

    71% of people polled see IRS targeting as unacceptable ..And 70% don't know what a 501(c)(4) is right!!It's a tax exempt status for groups that are use tax free donations for social welfare to benefit communities..Tell me what the tea party does for benefiting communities in social welfare programs,nothing ,nada,zilch!They recieve monies in terms of contributions and use those for political gain,campaigning for various politicians,agendas,no benefits for communities that can be seen here!!The only ones that benefit are politicians that agree with their unamerican agenda of taking all government out of everybodies lives but use the government branch of the IRS to do it...Can you say hilarious and completely hypocrital against the code that they want in tax exempting ,I can!!If anything I'd go after them and churches as well that promote a political idea or person and should be held accountable by the IRS statue they broke as well as losing their tax exempt status and paying fines and penalties!!Someone has to pay the piper for this and let the churches,tea party that's been guilty as charged be the first ones to do so!!

    May 19, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    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.

    I haven't seen the memo stating this, but I've heard that Rand Paul is a sociopath.

    May 19, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    The IRS might be a problem but states and the repugs in congress still trying to take away women, blacks, seniors, the poor, voting rights and veterans rights and help isn't?
    I'll stick with the IRS trying to keep the tea trolls controlled by the koch brothers and not allow them to receive non profit status.
    If you are so indignant why not loop into the shrub's administration and your repug congress doing the same to the NAACP and Acorn?
    As a matter of fact, let's look at your goons attacking women while YIU watch and say nothing or your saying that yiu would have coted against the civil rights act and that you shiuld have every right, if you own a business, to refuse service to those not like you, meaning anybody not lilly white? You can't hide from your past and you can't take it back.

    May 19, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

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

    Once again, the GOP is projecting their own bad behavior on its political opponents.

    They know their low-information, intellectually lazy base, whose world was rocked when a black man became president, has been in desperate need of a focus for their fear and paranoia. McConnell is only feeding the beast.

    Pretty pathetic – and sickening that my tax dollars pay the salaries and benefits of a bottom-feeder like Mitch.

    May 19, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "The nanny state is here to tell us all what to do and if you start criticizing, you get targeted," he [home perm cautionary tale Rand Paul] said.

    Quick question: Does Paul take any payment or benefits from this nanny state? I'm guessing he doesn't because, you know, he's not a hypocrite. *sarcasm*

    May 19, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. maf

    This version of the GOP . . . make something scandalous up, defend it like it is factual, deflect, obstruct and continue to promote it and you detract from the real truth that the economy is turning around and the President has traction on gun control and immigration. The more mud thrown in the mix allows the GOP to continue to get nothing accomplished.

    May 19, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. HenryMiller

    Every tyranny in history, malevolent, benevolent, and everything in between has had as its working assumption that "government knows best.”

    There is no recorded instance of that being true.

    May 19, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    I'm assuming that Rand Paul and all Libertarians are being true to their beliefs and not availing themselves of these publicly-funded services:

    Judicial system
    Inspected food
    Clear air
    Clear water
    Public parks

    And that they've all sent in their refund checks for their past use of the above, incomplete list. And that they make a point of telling active and retired military personnel that they are leeches. Ditto for seniors, the disabled, children receiving medical care under CHIP and/or food assistance because they happened to be born to working poor parents.


    May 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Jimincol

    How could a journalist use polls to determine her questions on government scandals. Obama and his agencies leaders lack of answers on who is responsible show a cover up. What has happened to the media in this country?

    Why do we need a Justice system if polls hold more weight than facts and investigations?


    May 19, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Jimincol

    Polls are done so positions can use them to judge the mood of the country. News journalist using polls to determine if they should investigate crimes or scandals is ridiculous.

    This is what I just watched on com today.

    May 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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