McConnell Calls For Government-Wide Probe After IRS Apology For Targeting Conservatives

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday called for a “government-wide review” of the Obama administration shortly after the IRS admitted and apologized for low-level staffers targeting conservative groups during the election.

McConnell referred to the IRS’s conduct as “harrassment” and called it “thuggish.”

“[M]ake no mistake, an apology won’t put this issue to rest,” he said. “This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.”

His full statement:

“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough. Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views. Last year, amid reports that the Obama administration was using the levers of executive power to harass conservative political groups in Kentucky and elsewhere, I issued a very public warning to the administration that the targeting of private citizens on the basis of their political views would not be tolerated. Today’s apology by the IRS is proof that those concerns were well founded. But make no mistake, an apology won’t put this issue to rest. Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not an sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS. This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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