On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing on the widening Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conservative targeting scandal started with a bipartisan clash of statements blasting the IRS for its unwillingness to be forthcoming in congressional testimony thus far.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) destroyed the Administration’s claim that over 18 months of IRS targeting of conservative group was simply the work of “two rogue” IRS agents. Jordan pointed out that IRS top brass secretly coordinated to plant a question at a conference to break the IRS scandal, and yet the Administration expects Americans to believe that two “rogue agents” are to blame for the IRS’s targeting and harassment of over 500 organizations.
Outrage was bipartisan. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said if witnesses today are not more forthcoming and stonewall the committee, “it will lead to a special prosecutor” in order “to get to the bottom of this” and “there will be hell to pay if that’s the route we go done.”
Update (11:25 a.m. EDT): Rep. Lynch later questioned former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, and was dissatisfied with his explanation about why he had not informed Congress after learning in May 2012 that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups–subsequent to testifying in March 2012 that it had not. “You misled Congress!” Lynch exclaimed.