Glenn Beck opened his radio program Monday morning bristling with indignation over the IRS’ admission that it targeted conservative groups around the 2012 election.
“We have to talk about the IRS inquisition, and I think that’s exactly what it is, and I think that’s what it needs to be called from here on out,” Beck began. “What was the inquisition? ‘Submit! Submit! Answer these questions and submit!’”
Beck continued, saying the federal government has employed intimidation methods for years against private groups and the press alike.
“…At the same time that they were denying that were leading an attack on me when I was over at Fox [News]…there were five, five boycotts orchestrated by this White House to discredit, smear, and force advertisers off the air. It had nothing to do with what I said; it had everything to do with fear and intimidation because I stood against the White House,” Beck said. “And at the same time they were denying that, and saying it was a conspiracy that they were targeting the 9/12 Project, anything with ‘patriot’ in the name, anything with ‘Tea Party’ in the name.”
Beck then unveiled some of the new information surrounding the scandal: “They were also targeting anyone who taught the Constitution and — I love this one — anybody who said ['America can be a better place.'] That’s incredible…”
Beck proceeded with a chilling reminder: “So you know, America, if you don’t pay attention to what they did with the IRS and Benghazi, next year your healthcare goes to the IRS. Next year, this administration’s universal health care employs the IRS, so now you have to turn over all your medical records to the IRS. If you don’t think they won’t use that to sort people and to intimidate — and to take away your guns, quite honestly — why? …What have they done that has proven them trustworthy? And I don’t say this just about the President of the United States, but about the Republicans as well.”
“They also targeted Jewish groups,” Beck said, explaining exactly why “inquisition” is a fitting description for the IRS’ actions.
Here is video of Beck’s remarks, which includes examples of some of the IRS’ outrageous demands:
Later in the program, Beck spoke with Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), whose organization has represented 27 Tea Party groups from 18 states in the issue.
Some of the groups have simply thrown up their hands and said it’s not worth it, having spent years battling the IRS, Sekulow said. For others, the ACLJ has hit back and pointed out all the reasons the IRS is not entitled to the wildly personal information it was improperly demanding.
“I used to work for that office, Chief Counsel of the IRS, [and] the tax exempt group is specially trained, these are not low-level bureaucrats,” Sekulow said, warning against adopting the narrative that the IRS has put out.
Putting the issue in context, he added: “This is worse [than under President Nixon] because this isn’t only tax information and selective prosecution, this is going after the people who supported these organizations by going after their donor lists. It’s more than Nixon did by a long stretch.”
Sekulow said they are drafting complaints against the federal government and the agents involved “right now, today.”
But two things need to happen immediately, he said. Pending groups that have been battling the IRS at their own expense need to get recognition, and those responsible to be held accountable.
“Congress needs to have extensive hearings, and we’re looking right now at federal court action against the individuals involved in this,” he said. “I think heads are going to roll..but the question is what the White House knew and when they knew it…”
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation sometime in the coming week, a draft of which obtained by the Associated Press indicates that a number of senior IRS officials knew about the “targeting” as early as 2011.
ABC News, meanwhile, has obtained documents indicating the IRS began targeting conservative groups as far back as 2010, “and that senior IRS officials in Washington have known about it for almost two years.”
During a Monday morning press conference, President Obama said he learned about the issue when the public did several days ago, adding that he will not “tolerate” such corruption.
- OPINION: Why the IRS Scandal Should Lead to Obama’s Impeachment
- Glenn Beck’s Withering Response to the IRS Admitting It Targeted the 9/12 Project, Conservative Groups
- Is Obama Using The IRS To Silence Opposition Voices?
- Watchdog: Senior IRS Officials Knew Conservative Groups Were Being Targeted in 2011