Eric Holder says he will investigate the IRS for Obama
Obama is distancing himself from the scandal.
The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the way the Internal Revenue Service has treated conservative and tea party nonprofit groups. The start of the investigation comes on the heels of an internal probe, which concludes that poor management was responsible for the deliberate targeting of right wing groups for extra scrutiny.
"Those (actions) were, I think, as everyone can agree, if not criminal, they were certainly outrageous and unacceptable. But we are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations," Holder said.
Today, Holder is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.
Multiple congressional committees are already investigating the IRS for literally picking on tea party and conservative groups from 2009 to 2012. The IRS behavior clearly indicates a pattern of organized harassment against these groups.
Despite the harassment, several tea party and conservative sponsored candidates gained congressional seats in 2010, where they were able to put the brakes on Obama's excessive tax and spend policies. However, an estimated 125 to 150 conservative groups remain to this day without their tax-exempt status because of IRS harassment.
That harassment included the issuing of long and onerous questionnaires that placed outright ridiculous requirements on organizations.
For example, one questionnaire asked for copies of speeches delivered at any events. That same questionnaire also asked for the identities of all volunteers associated with the organization.
For the IRS to ask these types of questions isn't just wrong, it's illegal.
For its part, the IRS has already issued a public apology for the conduct of its agents. However, this acknowledgment and apology does not excuse criminal behavior. It does not make up for the lengthy delay that more than 125 conservative organizations have had to endure just so they can operate freely as nonprofit agencies.
The evidence seems to suggest that the Obama administration is not directly responsible for the harassment of conservative groups. Indeed, Obama has publicly condemned the IRS's actions. However, Obama suffers a major credibility gap. He is known to use intimidation and harassment to get his way.
Perhaps the most glaring and recent example is his administration's seizure of more than two months worth of AP phone records in another case.
There appears to be little doubt that the IRS, in light of its own admission, has committed egregious acts of wrongdoing. It remains to be seen is where the responsibility is placed in what sanctions those individuals will subsequently face.
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