House speaker suggests jail time for violations in IRS scandal

WASHINGTON Wed May 15, 2013 7:15pm EDT

House Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

House Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner raised the possibility of jail time on Wednesday for law violations in the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny.

"My question isn't about who is going to have to resign, my question is who is going to jail over this scandal," Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, told reporters.

The Justice Department on Tuesday began a criminal investigation, while a number of congressional Republicans called for the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner, Steven Miller.

Boehner said "there are laws in place to prevent this type of abuse," referring to the IRS giving extra scrutiny to requests for tax-exempt status by Tea Party movement groups and other conservative groups.

"Someone made a conscious decision to harass and hold up these requests," Boehner said.

"We need to know who they are, whether they violated the law. Clearly, someone violated the law," Boehner said.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (35)
ColonialNews wrote:
Lol! yeah, right. Jail time for anyone in Washington. Just as soon as the congress men and women demonstrate leadership themselves with some volunteer jail time for everything they’ve gotten away with. Ha! We are more likely to see more vacation time for all those involved. Just sayin’.

May 15, 2013 11:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rockey wrote:
Could be wrong but, I believe the person who was heading up the IRS during this time was a Bush appointee.

The Speaker needs to take care of real business instead of grandstanding all the time and aving symbolic votes. I suggest we jail all of themif they don’t pass a good budget within the week. And not the nice, resort type jails. They need to be put in the ones where the common everyda drug dealers go.

May 15, 2013 11:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:
No, it’s not clear that someone violated the law, Mr. Speaker, nor is it your job to determine. Though I, too, want to know the truth about this issue, more relevant is the number of political organizations receiving tax exempt status when they’re really working in sync with one political party or the other. We need stricter, better defined, guidelines on what constitutes tax exempt status. It’s just another way for special interest groups to peddle their influence on our government.

May 15, 2013 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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