Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House committee that probed the IRS scandal today, told PJ Media that the agency’s targeting of conservative groups is “not at all” like Watergate.
“I don’t see a comparison at all, not at all and I don’t even entertain discussions about it because I don’t see the comparison, I don’t,” Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Capitol Hill.
“You had – there’s a difference. In that instance, you had the president and it’s recorded, saying, telling them to go after, that’s not the case here — far from it and I think it’s a super stretch to get there.”
Conservative Columnist George Will has called the IRS controversy “Obama’s Watergate.”
“Using the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes is a criminal offense,” Will wrote.
“It remains to be discovered whether the chief executive is guilty of more than an amazingly convenient failure to superintend the excesses of some executive-branch employees beyond the Allegheny Mountains.”
Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis said the IRS scandal is “far worse” than Watergate.
“When things like Watergate were going on, you had a battle of titans. You had the politically powerful going after the politically powerful. But in this matter, you have the politically empowered going after the people who hired them and people who don’t have the weapons of the imprimatur of the federal government to turn to. You have people who are relying on trust, and that trust is absolutely gone,” said Lummis at Wednesday’s Oversight hearing.
“This is far worse than anything we’ve seen in Watergate or that the government has done to the government because this is the government turned against the very people who hired them, who trusted them and who have destroyed that trust.”
Lummis also connected the situation to the story of David and Goliath.
“This is Goliath against David. These are the people who hired Goliath and empowered Goliath, and Goliath has turned against those very people. It’s moms and dads at kitchen tables who are taking kids to soccer games who want to have a political organization like a tea party,” she said.
Lois Lerner, the head of the office that reviews applications for tax-exempt status, refused to answer questions at the hearing. Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George testified.