“Clearly someone violated the law,” House Speaker John Boehner said this morning in response to the Internal Revenue Service’s admitted targeting of conservative groups and their tax statuses.
Joined by his fellow House Republicans for a Wednesday morning press conference, the Speaker demanded answers from the administration. “The IRS has admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word ‘if,’” he said, referring to President Obama’s reluctance to lay blame or consequence. “Now, my question isn’t about about who’s going to resign. My question is: Who’s going to jail over this scandal?”
Boehner certainly isn’t alone in his calls for justice. According to a poll out this week from Rasmussen, most American voters view the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups as politically motivated and think those involved should be punished:
Just 16% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the IRS investigations of these groups were a coincidence, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think the investigations were politically motivated. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure…
Fifty-five percent (55%) think it is at least somewhat likely that President Obama or his top aides were aware that Tea Party and other conservative groups were targeted by the IRS. Thirty-four percent (34%) consider that unlikely. This includes 36% who believe it is Very Likely the president or his top aides knew of the investigations and 13% who feel it is Not At All Likely. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.
Only seven percent (7%) of voters believe no disciplinary action should be taken against the IRS employees involved in the investigations. Twenty-nine percent (29%) feel they should be formally reprimanded. But most (57%) think those involved should be jailed or fired, with 16% who say they should be put in jail and 41% who believe they should be fired.
In addition, the scandal and ensuing investigations also divide the country along partisan lines:
While 86% of Republicans and 60% of voters not affiliated with either major party think the IRS investigations were politically motivated, just 33% of Democrats agree.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also spoke about potential criminal ramifications in the case. In a speech from the Senate floor, McCaonnell suggested that President Obama should “work openly and transparently” with Congress to get to the bottom of what happened.
“These allegations are very serious,” McConnell added. “If there was an effort to bring the power of the federal government to bear on those that the administration disagreed with in the middle of a heated national election, it actually could be criminal and we’re determined to get the answers.”
WATCH (via HuffPo):