Gohmert’s Scandal Fix: ‘Special Counsel and Dismantle the IRS’
Texas Republican talks to PJM.
May 23, 2013 - 2:39 pm
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told PJ Media that Congress should begin “dismantling the IRS” in response to the agency targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status with additional requirements.
Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, also said a “special counsel” is needed to investigate the situation.
“We need a special counsel to get to the bottom of it but I also think we need to be dismantling the IRS,” Gohmert told PJ Media on Capitol Hill.
“My two things – special counsel and dismantle the IRS.”
When asked for his plan to “dismantle” the IRS, Gohmert said, “just start the process, for sure.”
Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
Lois Lerner, the IRS director of Exempt Organizations, refused to answer questions at the hearing after delivering her opening statement.
“I have not done anything wrong,” she said before pleading the fifth.
Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, plans to call Lerner back to testify.
“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa said, according to Politico. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”
Republican Rep. John J. Duncan (Tenn.) grilled Shulman over his March 2012 testimony about his agency’s treatment of tea party and other conservative organizations’ tax-exempt status applications.
“On March 22, 2012, you testified that there was absolutely no targeting when asked this by Congressman Boustany at the Ways and Means hearing…But there was an internal IRS review that was completed in early May, just a little over a month later, and you said that when you met with Mr. [Steve] Miller, you were assured that this activity had stopped,” Duncan said.
“Was that — and so you took no further action. Did you ever discuss this with anybody at the Department of Treasury, any Treasury official at all?”
In response, Shulman said, “I had definitely had no substantive conversations with anyone at Treasury and did not report that there was a list in that kind of things.”
Shulman also assured the committee that he never discussed the IRS singling out conservative groups during his 118 visits to the White House in 2010 and 2011.
“We just looked at the White House log. Now, we couldn’t get 2012, but in 2010 and 2011, 118 times, you were at the White House. I mean, that’s a lot. I bet these Democratic members of Congress in this administration haven’t been there close to that many times,” said Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
“I mean, that’s why the American people are — they’re like, this is unbelievable. You sure you didn’t talk to anyone at the White House about this issue, Mr. Shulman?”
“I’m absolutely sure I did not talk to any,” Shulman said.
“Hundred and eighteen visits? It didn’t come up in a casual conversation after 132 members of Congress contacted you about it? You sure you didn’t bring it up with anybody at the White House?” asked Jordan.
“Not to my memory, and it wouldn’t be appropriate and so I certainly believe I did not have any conversations,” Shulman responded.