Politics

Issa: IRS ‘mea culpa’ on tea party ‘not an honest one’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On this weekend’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa dismissed the Internal Revenue Service’s apology for targeting groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” for audits, something the AP reported the agency had known about going back to 2011.

Issa, a California Republican, told moderator David Gregory that the apology from the IRS on Friday was an insincere one only put out to spin the news. And he likened it to the Obama administration handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

The IRS quietly dropped the news of the audit abuses Friday, the traditional day for burying embarrassing news. The announcement came ahead of a pending inspector general’s report on the targeting of Obama administration foes.

“They targeted conservatives for tax exempt status, but the bottom line is they used keywords to go after conservatives,” Issa said. “This is something where you have to institute changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There has to be accountability for the people who did it. And quite frankly, up until a few days ago, there’s got to be accountability for people who were telling lies about it being done.”

“And lastly, to be honest, one of the most offensive parts is, my committee and — Jim Jordan and I instigated this investigation, got the IG to do the investigation, before the IG’s report comes to the public or to Congress as required by law, it’s leaked by the IRS to try to spin the output,” he continued. “This mea culpa is not an honest one. The honest one is, in fact, let’s see the– the IG report, let’s go through it. And then let’s– just like the ambassador [Thomas Pickering] said on the 29 changes, which we agree with, let’s see what the instituted changes need to be to make this not happen again.”

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