On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanded “no more stonewalling” from President Barack Obama regarding the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups.
McConnell called on Obama to “make available, completely and without restriction, everyone who can answer the questions we have as to what was going on at the IRS, who knew about it, and how high it went.”
“No more stonewalling, no more incomplete answers, no more misleading responses, no holding back witnesses, no matter how senior their current or former positions — we need full transparency and cooperation,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
According to Reuters, McConnell also said that media reports have indicated that the IRS’s targeting was not “limited to an IRS office out in Cincinnati — as the administration suggested last week — but that it reached all the way to IRS headquarters in Washington.”
“What we don’t know at this point is whether it jumped the fence from the IRS to the White House,” he said. “But we do know this: we can’t count on the administration to be forthcoming about the details of this scandal — because so far they’ve been anything but.”
On Tuesday night, after the Inspector General released a report that found the IRS reviewed every organization with “Tea Party” in its name during an 18-month period, Obama issued a statement saying the report’s findings were “intolerable and inexcusable.”
Obama said he has directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew “to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General’s recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again.”
The White House admitted this week that the White House’s general counsel’s office was notified of the Inspector General’s investigation on April 22, but Obama and White House officials still did not find out about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups until they saw reports in the media last Friday.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney on Tuesday said he had “no reason to believe” Obama or anyone in the White House knew about the investigation before last Friday, but watchdog groups and lawmakers want full investigations to determine if the White House’s accounts are valid.