The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward was skeptical during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” regarding President Obama’s claim that there isn’t “even a smidgen of corruption” at the Internal Revenue Service.
“There is obviously something here,” Woodward said of the IRS targeting scandal. “And the question is: Does this [House] committee know how to investigate?”
Columnist George Will, who also appeared on the panel, cited five actions by former IRS official Lois Lerner:
1) She delayed approving conservative groups’ tax-exempt status. The inspector general of the IRS said this delay was not caused by an increase in applications.
2) She said Tea Party groups in Texas and Kentucky were dangerous.
3) “IRS employees have violated the Hatch Act by using federal resources for campaigning, and obviously for Barack Obama.”
4) “Confidential taxpayer information of … the National Organization for Marriage was leaked to a rival group.”
5) “She said with regard to Crossroads GPS, the most important conservative group: ‘We are working on a denial of the application.’ ”
Woodward described an IRS audit as “a 10-ton truck coming at you. And it’s the sort of thing that the leadership and the White House should take a position: ‘Look, we will not tolerate this.’ ”
Fox News’ Brit Hume blamed the media for a lack of coverage, saying that in the past these actions would have created “a hothouse sort of atmosphere, in which all investigations end up being accelerated.”
This process “brings the issue out and you get to the facts,” Hume said, but now “the story has been basically dormant.”
Hume pointed out that when the IRS issued draft rules on which activities by advocacy groups would be considered “political,” the agency sparked outrage in the form of more than 150,000 comments from both sides of the aisle.