IRS attack on Tea Party seems very difficult to diget. It was a conscious effort and more than storm in a tea cup as IRS targets Republican groups
(NVOnews.com): Following widespread criticism US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Serviceâ€™s targeting of Republican political groups, Tea Party and Patriot for extra tax scrutiny.
The IRS action has kicked up another storm after the Obama administration came under fire for seizing phone records of journalists from the Associated Press as part of a wide-ranging criminal probe into intelligence leaks.
The opposition is dubbing the IRS action as politically motivated.
It is being alleged that the tax agency is playing an increasingly significant role not only in vetting the tax status of non-profit groups that dabble in politics, but also in enforcing parts of Obama administrationâ€™s ongoing overhaul of United Statesâ€™ healthcare system.
Talking to reporters in Washington Holder called the IRSâ€™ actions â€œoutrageous and unacceptable.â€ The IRS had publicly acknowledged last Friday (May 10) that it had used â€œinappropriate criteriaâ€ for evaluating tax-exempt of conservative groups for increased scrutiny.
He said the FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the IRS.
â€œThose were, as I think everyone can agree, if not criminal they were certainly outrageous and unacceptable. Weâ€™re examining the facts to see if there were any criminal violations,â€ Holder told the media.
His announcement came about four hours before the report of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on the IRS portrayed the tax agency as plagued by disarray and â€œinsufficient oversightâ€ during its struggles to review the cases of hundreds of advocacy groups that claimed they should be exempted from tax.
The Treasury Inspector General came down heavily on the way the IRS had screened the conservative groups, citing poor management and processing delays. The report suggested that such practices could damage public confidence in the agency.
The report, however, stopped short of saying the IRS actions had been politically motivated.
President Barack Obama late on Tuesday conceded that the report showed that the IRS had failed to apply the law fairly in dealing with conservative groups.
Lawmakers and administration officials call for the symbolic and legal importance of having a non-partisan tax agency that the citizens of the United States can trust.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz said the scandal is a sign that the agency shouldnâ€™t be trusted to enforce a vast array of tax regulations related to healthcare.
Meanwhile, the acting Commissioner of IRS, Steven Miller, privately met Congressmen on Capitol Hill, apparently seeking to calm the political uproar, even as some Republicans called for his resignation.