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KUHNER: Lawless in office

All the president’s problems lead to his own doorstep

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President Obama is facing a perfect storm of scandals, cover-ups and criminality that threatens to sweep him from power. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first Watergate hearings. They eventually brought down President Nixon, forcing him to resign. Mr. Obama is the liberal Nixon — a corrupt chief executive, who is presiding over a lawless administration.

Like Tricky Dick, the Obama administration has an "enemies list." The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that its agents deliberately targeted conservative, Tea Party, evangelical and pro-Israel Jewish groups, denying or blocking their requests for tax-exempt status. During the 2012 election cycle, the IRS — under the direction of its Washington office — became an arm of the Obama regime to persecute its political opponents. The agency abrogated personal freedoms and violated numerous laws.

Agents requested that anti-Obama groups hand over Facebook posts and Twitter messages. The IRS insisted on obtaining the resumes of board members and names of confidential donors. The agency demanded to know the groups' reading lists. Prominent businessmen, such as Frank L. VanderSloot, who donated to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, were aggressively audited. Even a Catholic professor critical of Mr. Obama's policies was allegedly targeted. In short, the IRS was transformed into a political battering ram to smash Mr. Obama's critics. Its behavior was not only illegal and unconstitutional, but a menacing assault on civil liberties and democracy.

Mr. Obama is desperately trying to shield himself from responsibility. There is only one problem: He can't. Senior IRS officials would never have sanctioned such a vast, dangerous operation without political approval from the White House. In fact, the more evidence emerges, the more it reveals a trail leading straight to Mr. Obama's close friends and allies.

ProPublica, a progressive-leaning investigative journalism group, admits that the IRS sent it nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was still pending. The action was criminal. The goal: Enable a pro-Obama group to potentially dig up dirt on the president's enemies. George Soros funds ProPublica. The billionaire is a major Obama backer and sugar daddy of the Democratic Party. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who the president has publicly called a "friend," is a member of the group's board of directors.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group devoted to defending the traditional family, claims the IRS leaked confidential information regarding Mr. Romney during the 2012 election. The GOP nominee donated $10,000 to the organization. The Huffington Post and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) acquired this information. In March 2012, they publicly used it to paint Mr. Romney as a homophobic bigot. The HRC president was the same man who would also be the co-chairman of Mr. Obama's re-election campaign: Joe Solmonese. It appears the IRS, working in coordination with the president's election team, deliberately leaked secret information in order to undermine Mr. Obama's challenger. This was more than a flagrant abuse of power. It shows the IRS became a partisan organ of the administration.

Yet the rampant corruption does not stop here. We now know that the Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of numerous reporters and editors at The Associated Press. The Obama administration has been caught spying on the press corps. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admits that he "does not know" how many other reporters from different media outlets have had their phone logs subpoenaed. Fearful of whistleblowers and leakers, the Obama regime is obsessed with tracking down — and intimidating — journalists' sources. This is a flagrant attack on freedom of the press.

Then there is Benghazi. The administration's latest document dump reveals one irrefutable fact: The White House and State Department systematically manipulated the intelligence to cover up the terrorist killings of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The administration misled the public in order to protect Mr. Obama's political credibility, enabling him to win in November. The president's campaign was based on a seminal premise: He had smashed al Qaeda. If the truth got out — namely, that al Qaeda was not on the run, but it had just mounted a stunning terrorist assault on our diplomatic mission in Libya — Mr. Obama would have been exposed as a fraud. It would have cost him the election. He knew it, the Democrats knew it, and the liberal media knew it. That's why Benghazi had to be swept under the rug.

Beyond the IRS, AP and Benghazi lies a deeper scandal: Obamagate. Ultimately, Mr. Obama is the root cause of the White House's woes. The problem is not the president's men (and women). It is the president himself. He has no respect for the Constitution or for legal constraints on his power. He has presided over a scandal-ridden administration — Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the open bribery and abuse of parliamentary procedures to pass Obamacare, suing states seeking to uphold our immigration laws, enabling the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens simply if they're accused of being "terrorists," and now the use of government power to suppress dissent, persecute opponents, spy on the press and cover up the jihadist slaughter of Americans. Mr. Obama is a political thug masquerading as a progressive reformer. He is worse than Nixon: No one died as a result of Watergate.

Republicans should insist that several special prosecutors be appointed to investigate the administration's purported crimes. In the end, Nixon was unable to run from the truth. Mr. Obama is now running as fast as he can. It is our responsibility to catch and expose him.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio host on Boston's WRKO AM-680.

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