Lew: IRS showed 'equal opportunity bad judgment' in targeting scandal

Rick Moran
Well, what did you expect him to say?

The Hill:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the Internal Revenue Service exhibited "equal opportunity bad judgment" in the improper targeting of political groups, and there was no evidence of political pressure.

Just days after President Obama accused Washington of focusing attention on "phony scandals," Lew said on "Fox News Sunday" mistakes were made in the IRS, but there is no evidence the White House or political officials drove the improper targeting.

"There's no political official who condoned it or authorized it," he said, adding that the mistakes that were made were "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable."

The scandal broke when IRS officials apologized for improperly targeting Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status, and has led to Republican accusations the White House used the tax collecting agency to intimidate political opponents.

But Lew said the IRS review underway has found that both conservative and progressive groups were targeted. More conservative groups faced probing questions, but Lew argued there were more conservative groups to begin with.

Host Chris Wallace pressed Lew on whether he had spoken with William Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the agency, when he learned of the targeting. Lew said he was leaving the investigation up to investigators, and reiterated that no evidence has been uncovered of political pressure.

Some liberal groups got virtually a free pass from the IRS on the decision regarding their tax exempt status. I have yet to hear of any conservative group treated so gently. And why the difference in the questions asked? If this was "equal opportunity bad judgment," shouldn't the questions posed by the IRS have been the same?

This dog ain't hunting, Jack. You're going to have to come up with better talking points than this if you want to get your boss off the hook.


Well, what did you expect him to say?

The Hill:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the Internal Revenue Service exhibited "equal opportunity bad judgment" in the improper targeting of political groups, and there was no evidence of political pressure.

Just days after President Obama accused Washington of focusing attention on "phony scandals," Lew said on "Fox News Sunday" mistakes were made in the IRS, but there is no evidence the White House or political officials drove the improper targeting.

"There's no political official who condoned it or authorized it," he said, adding that the mistakes that were made were "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable."

The scandal broke when IRS officials apologized for improperly targeting Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status, and has led to Republican accusations the White House used the tax collecting agency to intimidate political opponents.

But Lew said the IRS review underway has found that both conservative and progressive groups were targeted. More conservative groups faced probing questions, but Lew argued there were more conservative groups to begin with.

Host Chris Wallace pressed Lew on whether he had spoken with William Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the agency, when he learned of the targeting. Lew said he was leaving the investigation up to investigators, and reiterated that no evidence has been uncovered of political pressure.

Some liberal groups got virtually a free pass from the IRS on the decision regarding their tax exempt status. I have yet to hear of any conservative group treated so gently. And why the difference in the questions asked? If this was "equal opportunity bad judgment," shouldn't the questions posed by the IRS have been the same?

This dog ain't hunting, Jack. You're going to have to come up with better talking points than this if you want to get your boss off the hook.