Harry Reid “troubled” by IRS scandal, Rubio and McConnell want resignations

posted at 8:11 pm on May 13, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Still not troubling to Harry Reid: A Senate leader using an unnamed source on someone’s private IRS documents to scurrilously suggest a public figure had paid no taxes for 20 years in order to slime a candidate of the opposition during an election year on the Senate floor.

But at least now we know he has a threshold for what’s “troubling” when it comes to using tax information as political punishment. Of course, his announcement of that threshold came after he had safely ascertained whether President Obama was going to be “troubled” by this development. Because principles:

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tweeted his dismay Monday with the IRS selectively targeting conservative non-profits for extra scrutiny, promising a Senate investigation into the agency’s actions.

“Very troubled by IRS’s possible breach of the public’s trust. Targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate,” Reid tweeted Monday afternoon. “Finance Chairman Max Baucus is looking into the IRS matter, and I will fully support his efforts,” he also wrote.

Reid’s tweet followed a press conference by President Obama, where he condemned the IRS’s actions as “outrageous” and “contrary to our traditions.”

Newsflash for both Obama and Reid, by the way: The IRS admitted to and apologized for an abuse of its power Friday whose target was conservative groups. We don’t have to use the words “possible” to describe the breach of trust or condition our “outrage” on whether or not the IRS did what it has already admitted to doing. We will certainly learn more facts from the Inspector General report about who and how exactly and in which ways officials deserves condemnation, but we can already jump to condemning.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell noticed the part where the IRS admitted wrongdoing and ask its acting director to take responsibility:

Republicans want heads to roll in the wake of revelations that the Internal Revenue Service inappropriately targeted conservative groups for further scrutiny, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is asking Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to begin with the current IRS Commissioner.

“It is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people’s confidence under the current leadership,” Rubio wrote in a letter sent to Lew Monday. “Therefore, I strongly urge that you and President Obama demand the IRS Commissioner’s resignation, effectively immediately. No government agency that has behaved in such a manner can possibly instill any faith and respect from the American public.”

Rubio called the IRS’s actions “outrageous and seriously concerning,” and a “direct assault on our Constitution.”

McConnell to National Review:

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell tells National Review that Steven Miller, the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, should step down. “He should resign,” the senator says.

“Believe me, if this was a Republican administration doing all this, the New York Times and Washington Post would be in absolute meltdown,” McConnell explains.

President Obama, he adds, shouldn’t escape blame: “They all take their cues from the tone expressed by the president, and he’s made it clear that this administration is perfectly willing to crack down on critics.”

To be fair, the Washington Post nailed this issue in its editorial this weekend, long before the White House and other Democrats realized this was a serious story. While Chuck Todd and National Journal, and the New York Times took the weekend to ponder how awesome this top-down political persecution was for Republicans because it gave them a story to push, WaPo opined on the actual wrongdoing at hand:

A BEDROCK principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends.

So it was appalling to learn Friday that the IRS had improperly targeted conservative groups for scrutiny. It was almost as disturbing that President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have not personally apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation.

“Mistakes were made,” the agency said in a statement. IRS official Lois Lerner explained that staffers used a “shortcut” to sort through a large number of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status, highlighting organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. The IRS insisted emphatically that partisanship had nothing to do with it. However, it seems that groups with “progressive” in their titles did not receive the same scrutiny.

If it was not partisanship, was it incompetence? Stupidity, on a breathtaking scale? At this point, the IRS has lost any standing to determine and report on what exactly happened. Certainly Congress will investigate, as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised. Mr. Obama also should guarantee an unimpeachably independent inquiry.

And, now come the investigations, according to McConnell

“This is just getting started,” he tells me. “Finally, people get it. This is a lot bigger than just one person. This a whole effort by the administration, across the board, to squelch their opponents, to shut them up, and, finally, they’ve done it in a way that will allow us to call attention to it nationwide.”

McConnell is open to the idea of a special prosecutor, but he hasn’t decided whether to ask for an appointment. “We will have to see how things develop,” he says. “But, finally, they overstepped in a way people can identify with. Everybody knows the power of the IRS, and it’s about time they, in effect, got caught in a way that the American public fully understands.”

McConnell makes a good point about the accessibility of this scandal. It’s clearly an abuse of power, it’s an admitted abuse of power, and it’s one everyone can understand, easily. That’s why you get Democrats and liberals suggesting a house-cleaning at IRS, too:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, thinks this politicized abuse of power by the IRS that happens to slam only her political adversaries is all the fault of the Supreme Court for its Citizens United decision, which makes so much free speech legal, how’s the IRS supposed to regulate it all??

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the IRS should be condemned for targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny in the run-up to last year’s elections, but she also blamed the Supreme Court for opening the door to broader political activity.

In the Citizens United decision, the court ruled 5-4 that corporations have First Amendment political rights and ruled that while they cannot contribute directly to candidates, they can run ads making their own views known.

Mrs. Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, said that has become a problem for the IRS in enforcing the laws.

“There needs to be more clarity in the law regarding the activities of tax-exempt organizations along with greater disclosure and transparency. We must overturn Citizens United, which has exacerbated the challenges posed by some of these so-called ‘social welfare’ organizations,” she said.

She also called for “appropriate action, without any delay or hesitation” to make sure the IRS is playing fairly.

Tim Carney has an idea: Maybe the IRS shouldn’t be policing speech, huh?


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‘The word’s out that he hasn’t paid ANY taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.’

- Senator Harry Reid

Where did you get ‘the word,’ Harry?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I’m troubled that this alleged pedophile is still in office.

As for the IRS scandal….heads need to roll.

ProfShadow on May 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Maybe it is time for the pitchforks in DC. Well,yes it is!

tim c on May 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Oh for crying out loud…resignations won’t do a damn thing you a$$hat GOP.
Go for the head of the snake or watch this country sink in record time!!

katy on May 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

“The words out” that harry red crapped his pants uncontrolably again today.

VegasRick on May 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

“This is just getting started,” he tells me. “Finally, people get it.

WTF!!! For more than four years we’ve been trying to get these bastards to see what the Obama admin was doing to this country and now he has the balls to say this sh!T???

katy on May 13, 2013 at 8:19 PM

“Very troubled by IRS’s possible breach of the public’s trust. Targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate,” Reid tweeted Monday afternoon. “Finance Chairman Max Baucus is looking into the IRS matter, and I will fully support his efforts,” he also wrote.

lol, I’m sure you would target you political opponents with everything and anything if you could get away with it.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Rep. Nancy Pelosi; “how’s the IRS supposed to regulate it all”??

Free Speech that is.

WTF is the IRS doing regulating OUR free Speech??

Scrumpy on May 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Harry Reid “troubled” by IRS scandal, Rubio and McConnell want resignations

Me, well, I want a perp walk.

INC on May 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Where did you get ‘the word,’ Harry?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

His Nevada friend “Tommy.”

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

I’m sure there’s a mad scramble at IRS looking for anyplace Reid’s name might be mentioned to possibly attach it to the scandal.

Liam on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Where did you get ‘the word,’ Harry?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

None of this is a flucking mistake…

I want to smash somthing!~!!!

Scrumpy on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Hearing clips of the presser today, that I only followed on HA, earlier.
What hit me was that Preezy only repeated the D talking points, today.
Just struck me as very obvious, hearing it.
Sigh.
I miss leadership at the top.

pambi on May 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM

“Very troubled by IRS’s possible breach of the public’s trust. Targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate,” Reid tweeted Monday afternoon. “Finance Chairman Max Baucus is looking into the IRS matter, and I will fully support his efforts,” he also wrote.

lol, I’m sure you would target you political opponents with everything and anything if you could get away with it.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Reid and Baucus are mainly troubled by the IRS being clumsy enough to get caught at it. Now that it’s blown up in the IRS and The One’s faces, they’re in CYA mode, trying to avoid getting hit by the shrapnel.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 13, 2013 at 8:25 PM

It’s nice to see that Rubio is taking a break from his 24/7 push of AMNESTY for ILLEGALS, to spend a few minutes doing his job (even though he has lost all credibility, and cannot be trusted).

Pork-Chop on May 13, 2013 at 8:27 PM

None of this is a flucking mistake…

I want to smash somthing!~!!!

Scrumpy on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I like it when you talk rough you little firecracker.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM

WOW.

Until MKH mentioned it above, I had totally forgotten how big of a deal Team Barry made of Romney’s taxes.

Now I want ha special prosecutor and everyone under oath, starting with Rahm.

You know Emanuel will end up being the catalyst of this tactic.

budfox on May 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Lamont, you big dummy.

RickB on May 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reidnonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

You do realize that it turned out to be a lie don’t you? So option 1) “someone from the mormon church” had access to Romney’s tax returns for the last 10 years and called harry red and told him a lie that harry red repeated or 2) harry red just outright lied about Romney like he does about most issues. Take a choice genius

VegasRick on May 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Not a frigging thing will come of Benghazi or the IRS crap other than a few low level bureaucrats will lose their gubmint gravy

Rio Linda Refugee on May 13, 2013 at 8:31 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Uh, that was Reid’s original answer when he was finally pressed. He then flipped it over to some Dem who worked for Bain.

And that guy denied it.

So, whoever sent the info to ProPublica took a look at Romney’s taxes, saw he paid something, but Team Barry decided to play a bluff game so it would force him to expose all of his other holdings.

You should give up and find something constructive to do.

budfox on May 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I was listening to the local talk show on the way home and the host (Michael Berry who sometimes pinch hits for Levin) was interviewing the lady who started True the Vote here in Houston. Once she filed for a 5013(c) designation in 2010, she and her husband both got audited as well as their business. The FBI talked to her 6 times about the people in the group, the ATF came out several times, serialized their guns and the EPA and OSHA also got involved in their company business. She said that had never happened until she filed for the tax exempt status. And to think the IRS will have access to our bank account and financial records via Obamacare. Any other president would have been impeached by now.

TxAnn56 on May 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

I have it from a VERY RELIABLE source that Harry Reid is a pedophile. But I have to honor the request of the source that he/she remain anonymous.

GarandFan on May 13, 2013 at 8:35 PM

“according to our records..
You have been donating to Pro-Traditional Marriage groups instead of Same-Sex Marriage Groups…
Here’s what you are qualified for with Health Insurance…
Have a nice day” – IRS.

Electrongod on May 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Why is it that Hot Air and most conservatives are taking a partisan viewpoint on this topic. What should be discussed is:

a) Taxation is theft
b) The power to tax is the power to destroy

Discussing the Feds targeting right wing groups don’t get at the root of the problem. The problem is that the Federal government has the unlimited power to take what it wants from whom it wants. It would be nice if the right wing would, for once, make itself useful and begin to attack the premise of state power.

antifederalist on May 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I have it from a VERY RELIABLE source that Harry Reid is a pedophile. But I have to honor the request of the source that he/she remain anonymous.

GarandFan on May 13, 2013 at 8:35 PM

In all likelihood, someone from the Mormon Church told you that.

Curtiss on May 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are. Didn’t know Mormons filed their taxes with the church.

chewmeister on May 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

So. Harry is troubled.

Well, there…

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 8:43 PM

antifederalist on May 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I said somewhere today DEFUND the IRS and get rid of it!

Still want to smash somthing!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

Scrumpy on May 13, 2013 at 8:45 PM

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM

;-D

Scrumpy on May 13, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are. Didn’t know Mormons filed their taxes with the church.

chewmeister on May 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

It’s a fact that all Mormons file their taxes through the church, someone from Bain Capital might or might not have told me that.

VegasRick on May 13, 2013 at 8:46 PM

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

You should give up and find something constructive to do.

budfox on May 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

One can only pull their pud so much you know, so then he wanders in here like Mr. Hankey.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Special Prosecutor needs to put Dingy Harry on his list of people to interview.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

It would be nice if the right wing would, for once, make itself useful and begin to attack the premise of state power.

antifederalist

Yeah, us folks on the right have never attacked taxation. And bigfoot is real too.

xblade on May 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Stop giving McCain and Rubio all this face time. They are both liars that can’t be trusted. I wouldn’t vote for either in a primary or general election.

Wigglesworth on May 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

But, of course, nobrain!

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

…so then he wanders in here like Mr. Hankey.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Heh. Good one.

Curtiss on May 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

So,its safe to assume,that Pelosium never did get
her DemaCratCorrupto House,cleaned and cleared!!

canopfor on May 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are. Didn’t know Mormons filed their taxes with the church.

chewmeister

You have to graduate from Harvard Law to learn such things.

xblade on May 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

WaPo’s now reporting that “Washington officials” were involved in ordering the Tea Party harrassment. I’m on my phone, otherwise I’d post the link.

steebo77 on May 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

The leak on Romney’s IRS information is the cherry on top of this sundae. That leak affected a presidential election, possibly deciding the outcome. If we can find evidence of that, we can burn down the IRS.

That’s what Republicans in Congress should dog on.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Does Harry Reid tithe ten percent of his earnings to charity?

birdwatcher on May 13, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are. Didn’t know Mormons filed their taxes with the church.

chewmeister

You have to graduate from Harvard Law to learn such things.

xblade on May 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

I don’t think NP can “capish” that.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 8:50 PM

The leak on Romney’s IRS information is the cherry on top of this sundae. That leak affected a presidential election, possibly deciding the outcome. If we can find evidence of that, we can burn down the IRS.

That’s what Republicans in Congress should dog on.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

This^^^^

chewmeister on May 13, 2013 at 8:52 PM

How about fines and prison terms.

WisCon on May 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Maybe it is time for the pitchforks in DC. Well,yes it is!

tim c on May 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Maybe it is time for the pitchforks and torches in DC. Well,yes it is!

FIFY!

belad on May 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

But, of course, nobrain!

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

He’s like Five O’clock Charlie — some little old guy near a base in Nam who would bring out a musket, take a shot at a helicopter coming in for the night, then scoot off until the next day.

nobrainpartisanliberalhack is doing his bit for Uncle O like that old man was doing his for Uncle Ho.

Liam on May 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Maybe it is time for the pitchforks and torches in DC. Well,yes it is!

FIFY!

belad on May 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Don’t leave the media out of this bonfire.

Cleombrotus on May 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Dingy tweeting?

I think I saw that episode on Ghost Adventures a few weeks ago. Terrifying.

SickofLibs on May 13, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Oh for crying out loud…resignations won’t do a damn thing you a$$hat GOP.
Go for the head of the snake or watch this country sink in record time!!

katy on May 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

In other words, then, there is in fact one resignation that would be worthwhile.

C’mon Barky. I’d say celebrate the 40th anniversary in style, but I see no reason to wait until August of ’14 for you to GTFO.

Gingotts on May 13, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Yeah, he’s troubled by this alright. Because he never thought anyone would find out how he got Romney’s tax records. Now it’s time to cover your ass and all bets are off. I say he was involved.

phatfawzi on May 13, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Stop giving McCain and Rubio all this face time. They are both liars that can’t be trusted. I wouldn’t vote for either in a primary or general election.
Wigglesworth on May 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Agree!!!!

earlgrey133 on May 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM

The big question I would like answered is, “Did someone at the IRS give Harry Reid information regarding Mitt Romney’s tax returns?”

djaymick on May 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” -GKC

StubbleSpark on May 13, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Harry Reid “troubled” by IRS scandal, Rubio and McConnell want resignations

Harry Reid is “Troubled” all right, troubled that this may lead back to him. As for Rubio and McConnel wanting resignations…well they would. Me, I want indictments, floggings and maybe some hangings.

Oldnuke on May 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM

JAIL TIME is what is needed! This IRS and wire tap thing is crap. Was and is illegal.
These were people directed by those in high places! Eric Holder must NEVER be put in charge of any investigation. He and his pal Obama are neck deep in the slime.

They need to go!

Delsa on May 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM

I don’t want just IRS heads to roll–I want the whole thing gone. Abolish this useless outta control gubmint travesty.

Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.
Abolish the IRS NOW.

stukinIL4now on May 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Where did you get ‘the word,’ Harry?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

in all likelihood, someone from the mormon church told reid

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Yeah, that oughta narrow it down…

Of course, how would someone “from the mormon church” know anything about Romney’s personal tax returns unless they were either leaking it or had it leaked to them.

So basically, you’re telling us nothing at all. “In all likelihood”

Well, I guess some things never really change.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Resignations? Uh no, criminal indictments! Arrest the lying sobs.

oryguncon on May 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM