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The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You've Been Waiting for...and It Doesn't Disappoint


"Is it that you can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or you’re just choosing not to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?"

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., questions a witness during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's hearing on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. House Republicans insist the Obama administration is covering up information about the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year, rejecting administration assurances to the contrary and stoking a controversy with implications for the 2016 presidential race. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)


Rep. Gowdy explained why he thinks Lois Lerner should be called back to testify after botching her 5th Amendment plea. And he delivered that explanation in a viral way, too. See it here.


South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy showed up to Wednesday’s House hearing on the Internal Revue Service scandal in a fighting mood (as noted here on TheBlaze) and he only became more fired up as the day wore on.

“If there’s inappropriate conduct being done on your watch in the IRS,” Rep. Gowdy said, “then that inappropriate conduct can last as long as the inspector general’s investigation lasts.”

The congressman's remarks were in response to former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman saying he didn’t stop the agency's political targeting of conservative groups because the IG was looking into it.

“Is that what you’re telling me?” Gowdy continued. “You’re not going to step in and stop it? If there’s someone wielding a knife in the parking lot, are you going to call the inspector general? Are you going to wait until his or her investigation is over until stop it?”

There was a long pause after that question.

“Did you do anything to verify that the practice -- as insidious as it was -- was stopped?” the South Carolina congressman persisted, a response to Shulman saying that when he found out about the targeting he also was under the understanding that it had stopped.

“Um, the inspector general was going to be looking into it and that’s -- ” Shulman started to say.

“Is it that you can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or you’re just choosing not to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Can you answer the question: Did you do anything personally to make sure that this insidious, discriminatory practice was stopped? Yes or no?”

Things continued to become heated between the two, Shulman hedging his responses and Gowdy demanding answers:

“Why was the culture such under your watch that an employee felt comfortable targeting conservative groups?” Gowdy continued. “Did you investigate that?”

“From my reading of the report, um, I can’t tell if it was political motivation or if it was tone-deaf, somebody trying to expedite a way --” Shulman started.

“You still don’t know that this was political?”

“Excuse me?”

“You still don’t know that this was political?"

“I defer to the inspector general.”

“Well, I’ll tell you this, Mister Shulman, your predecessor said that he wasn’t sure if it was partisan and that requires the listener to be as stupid as the speaker."


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image Associated Press. This post has been updated.

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