Collins: Why hasn’t Obama spoken up about the IRS scandal?

posted at 8:01 am on May 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Susan Collins appeared on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday to address the exploding scandal at the IRS, as many of the other Sunday talk shows focused more on the exploding scandal of Benghazi.  Candy Crowley asked Collins, “Is this passing the smell test to you?”  Collins scoffed at the explanation given — that this took place only among low-level staffers — and wondered aloud why Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew haven’t apologized for the agency’s targeting of political opponents for more than a year up to the 2012 election.

Come on … you have to ask?

NRO’s Eliana Johnson transcribes Collins’ response, in part:

Maine senator Susan Collins is demanding that Presient Obama publicly apologize for the IRS’s targeting out of conservative groups, calling his failure to do so up to this point “very disappointing.”

“It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review and I think that it’s very disappointing that the president hasn’t personally condemned this and spoken out,” she told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “The president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America.” …

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees. After all, groups with ‘prorgressive’ in their names were not targeted, there’s some evidence that higher-level supervisers were aware of this, and the IRS was not forthcoming in telling Congress about this,” she said.

It wasn’t just some low-level staffers; the IRS’ chief counsel knew of the practice by August 2011.  The top man in the IRS at the time, Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified to Congress in March 2012 that no such practices were taking place, but it’s almost impossible to imagine that an IRS chief counsel wouldn’t have alerted Shulman before testifying on that very point.  If Shulman lied, does anyone — anyone — think Shulman would have done that on his own?

Before you answer that, let’s take a quick trip down Memory Lane, via the Daily Caller:

Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.

VanderSloot’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July.

In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website. The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

Does anyone believe that the orders for that audit came from “low-level staffers”?

Why hasn’t Obama apologized?  Because no one would believe it, that’s why.

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