Following congressional hearings on IRS Tea Party targeting Wednesday, House Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy accused the Obama administration of “hold[ing] up every firewall they can” to block an investigation into the scandal.
McCarthy appeared on Greta van Susteren’s Fox News program to discuss new proposed rules to limit the activities of 501(c)(4) organizations — such as the ones targeted by the IRS’ Exempt Organization Division before the 2012 election.
The California congressman claimed that while the new rules will impact nonprofits of all ideologies, the exemption of labor unions means the left-wing still gains the upper hand. “They’re shutting down more of the groups that they think are unfavorable [to the Obama administration],” he explained, “because the unions are not shut down. Remember? They’re allowed to do the same thing.”
McCarthy then turned to the day’s congressional hearings on the scandal. “What did we get today from Lois Lerner’s attorney?” he asked, referencing the former head of the IRS agency accused of targeting right-wing groups. “She’s supposed to come testify? She wants immunity.”
“Now if it was all trumped-up, that the IRS was going after all these groups, why would she have asked for immunity?” he asked. “Why would she have taken the Fifth? And why would the IRS come after free speech?”
Susteren asked if McCarthy would recommend holding Lerner in contempt of Congress if she still refuses to testify. “Yes! You have to get to the bottom of this!” he declared. “She spoke at the very beginning and then took the Fifth. She had an opening statement.”
The Fox reporter noted that her statement was last May. “What’s taken so long?” she asked.
“What’s taken so long?” McCarthy responded. “Because they will hold up every firewall they can to not do the investigation. What did they tell the American public at the very beginning? ‘Oh, it’s just two ladies off to the side, looking at something.’ We find out it was much more than that. They won’t give you the information, and now they won’t even come testify.”
“If it’s nothing, come before us, testify, answer the questions and don’t say you have to have immunity,” he advised the administration. “The only people I know who ask for immunity before they testify have something to hide.”
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