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Obama’s ‘phony’ scandals line draws GOP retort
Republicans see obvious attempt by the administration to divert attention
“Obviously there were abuses at the IRS that need to be dealt with, but additional reporting suggests that the issue wasn’t just with conservative groups but other groups were targeted as well,” he said. “The so-called IRS scandal has proven to be much more complex than House Republicans suggested; Benghazi, while obviously mistakes were made, is a figment of a right-wing press.”
Under attack from Democrats over earlier inquiries, the IRS‘ inspector general said last week he is expanding his probe to see if the agency treated liberal groups the same way as conservative ones. Inspector General J. Russell George said he recently learned that the agency also used the word “progressive” as a key word for selecting applications for extra scrutiny.
The Washington Times also reported that Mr. George has reopened a probe into whether the tax records of GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware were inappropriately accessed by a state official during her campaign in 2010.
The White House’s complaints have intensified since an IRS official testified last week that the agency’s abusive practices were directed from the Washington office of the IRS general counsel, William Wilkins, an Obama appointee.
The administration’s argument about the GOP exploiting the IRS abuses could prove difficult, especially given Mr. Obama’s forceful pronouncements about the scandal just two months ago, when he said he was “outraged.”
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you should be equally outraged at even the prospect that the IRS might not be acting with the kind of complete neutrality that we expect,” Mr. Obama said on May 16. “We’re also going to make sure that we gather up the facts, and hold accountable and responsible anybody who was involved in this. And I’m looking forward to working with Congress to fully investigate what happened.”
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About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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