In a statement released late Tuesday, President Obama called the findings of the Treasury inspector general’s report on IRS targeting of conservative groups “intolerable and inexcusable,” and promised to “hold those responsible for these failures accountable.”
“The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity,” he said. “This report shows somes of its employees failed that test.”
In other words, expect some heads to roll. And expect a contentious hearing Friday, when acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee. There are still plenty of questions that remain to be answered.
Obama’s full statement:
I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog’s report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. And the report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable. The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.
I’ve 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. But regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong. Public service is a solemn privilege. I expect everyone who serves in the federal government to hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards. So do the American people. And as President, I intend to make sure our public servants live up to those standards every day.