Levin: Republican establishment bought into ‘kooky tea party slander’

Congressional Republicans were asleep during  the IRS audit scandal, and the Internal Revenue Service’s own inspector general did a  pretty good job, according to radio talk host Mark Levin.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller, Levin explained how his legal group, Landmark Legal Foundation, helped expose the ongoing IRS scandal by filing a complaint with Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. Levin also encouraged Congress to “do its job and use its powers of investigation.”

“This [IRS scandal] was publicly known at the time,” Levin said. “There were news reports in a number of outlets. We actually decided to take some action. The idea wasn’t just to bang pots and pans, but get something done.”

Levin, a seasoned litigator who formerly worked in the Reagan Justice Department, doubted the wisdom of getting the IRS actually to take the matter seriously. “It wasn’t about forcing the IRS to investigate the IRS,” he explained, “but about persuading the right people to look into it.”

Levin sent the information he and Landmark had gathered to the inspector general at the Treasury Department.

“There’s been some misreporting out there about what happened” when the IG’s agents came to his office and interviewed him. “They weren’t investigating me. They were interviewing me for the information that we had given them in the form of a letter. They were very professional and thorough.”

Levin’s real criticism is reserved for legislative Republicans who might have taken an interest earlier.

“I’m hearing from congress that this is outrageous — and it is outrageous — but why wasn’t anything done? There needs to be hearings,” Levin said. “But why weren’t they already doing hearings?”

“All of these groups were complaining at the time,” Levin noted. “What the House of Representatives should have done is taken these complaints more seriously. They should have already conducted a full investigation and subpoenaed records and brought in members of the Tea Party with their legitimate complaints about abuses. But Congress didn’t do that.”

Levin continued: “They have hearings on everything. It’s about time that Congress got serious about its oversight and investigative responsibilities. What are they doing when scores of people are coming forward?”