McConnell, Paul sound off after report reveals IRS did target conservative groups


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 12:11 AM

(WHAS11) -- A scathing report reveals the IRS did target conservative groups, even delayed their applications. It's a story that gets more controversial by the hour.

Tonight WHAS11 speaks exclusively with Senator Mitch McConnell who compares the government agency to a terrorist attack, and Senator Rand Paul tells us who should get fired.

“But, it's clear they were on a jihad, it strikes me, in the middle of a presidential election trying to silence the voices of the critics in the administration," Senator McConnell said.

In his harshest words yet, Senator Mitch McConnell likens the targeting of the Tea Party groups by the IRS to a terror attack on the American people. In an exclusive interview with WHAS 11, Senator McConnell hopes the truth will come out but feels this could go much deeper.

"The pattern is pretty clear. There has been abuse of power across the board in this administration," Senator Mitch McConnell said.

MORE: Joe Arnold's raw interview with Mitch McConnell

The report found for more than 18 months beginning in early 2010 the IRS developed and put in place a policy that used "inappropriate criteria" to identify potential political applications, then the delay tactics would begin.

"And we were targeted. To target a select group of citizens is not only illegal, but it's scary that we would have a government administration do this," Eric Wilson, the executive director of Kentucky 9/12 Project, said.

The Executive Director of 9/12 says he knew they were a target a year ago. When the group's tax exempt status request was followed up by a multitude of suspicious questions

"Six page letter, 88 different inquiries asking a lot of personal information. Asking a lot of info about family members, asking info about people involved in organization, supporting us," Wilson said.

More than 80 percent of the cases the IRS reviewed were left open more than one year, and some were left in limbo for more than three years.

Senator Rand Paul says those responsible should be reprimanded.

"These people need to be fired. There can be no second chance. If you are a government official you have a trust to the American people and the taxpayer and you need to be fired and let go if you have abused that trust," Senator Rand Paul said.

Congressman John Yarmuth sent us this response in light of all the changing events.

"The IRS needs to enforce the law evenly for everyone, and if they haven't, those responsible should be held accountable. It's unfortunate that this controversy could overshadow the public's demand to limit the influence of big money in politics."

Congressional Hearings as well as a Justice Department probe are in the works.