(WASHINGTON) — Dubbing it a “scandal” that “we’ve only started to scratch the surface of,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., called on the White House to make everyone who can answer questions about the Internal Revenue Service’s actions available “expeditiously.”
“I’m calling on the president 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,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “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.”
Noting the news that the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits wasn’t limited to just the IRS office in Cincinnati, but that it has reached all the way to the IRS headquarters in Washington, McConnell said that shows that the extent of this scandal is even “broader” and “more widespread” than originally thought.
“What’s also clear is that government officials repeatedly failed to own up to what they knew was going on — when it turns out they’d known about it since at least the middle of 2011,” he said. “So the IRS knew what was happening — yet they continued to give us assurances that they were applying the tax rules in a fair and impartial way.”
What is not known, McConnell underlined, is whether it “jumped the fence from the IRS to the White House.”
The minority leader said he expects to find the answers to these questions during the Senate Finance Committee hearings that Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has said he intends to hold on this issue.
“Those hearings should be tough, and they should aim to bring the truth to light,” McConnell said. “We’re not going to accept more half-baked responses. We want the full truth this time. And we intend to get it.”
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