On this weekend’s episode of “The McLaughlin Group,” conservative commentator Pat Buchanan explained why the intensifying scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service is worse than the Watergate scandal that was former President Richard Nixon’s undoing.
Buchanan, a former aide to Nixon, explained that what former IRS official Lois Lerner is accused of doing interferes with the constitutional rights of citizens. However, he added it isn’t getting as much attention since it is occurring under a Democratic president.
“Look, Miss Lois Lerner has already taken the Fifth Amendment,” Buchanan said. “The activity here they are investigating is the IRS going on a full-court press after all these little Tea Party groups denying them basically their constitutional rights to participate in the democratic process. It is worse than what Nixon allegedly did. Somebody said they are out to harass people by having audits of them and this was an article of impeachment against Nixon. This screams for an independent prosecutor to investigate this. The truth about it, and the lies and who was behind it and what happened there. If again, it were Republican administration, the entire press corps would be over it the way they were over the break-in at Watergate.”
Later, Buchanan reiterated his call for an independent prosecutor.
“It’s a violation of their constitutional rights and the person responsible has taken the Fifth Amendment,” Buchanan said. “You think the Nixon White House or any other Republican administration would get away with that. Everybody would be screaming for an independent council if only to go after the folks at the IRS.”
On the issue of the missing emails, Buchanan did add the caveat that obstruction of justice charges might be more of a reach since the actual deletion of the email files occurred prior to a criminal investigation.
“It would be obstruction of justice if it were a criminal investigation, but I think you have a point if they are looking at this stuff and people threw their files out before it was turned into a criminal investigation — that’s a different matter.”
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