Stopping short of accusing President Obama of being complicit in the IRS targeting scandal, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pledged on Tuesday that lawmakers “will get to the bottom of this” despite the refusal of a key IRS official to testify before Congress.
“Obviously the situation with the IRS is very, very troubling,” said Cantor, appearing on Fox’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” “I don’t care what party you’re affiliated with in America. You don’t expect that an incumbent president and his administration would use a neutral instrument like the tax enforcement agency — the IRS — to go about discriminating against political opponents.”
Cantor told Van Susteren that the American people deserve answers.
“It is about producing the answers — about what the American people deserve and that is from the people who have conducted these investigations,” he explained. “Why did they do it? Who gave them the orders to do so? When did everyone know? When did the White House know? And then in that way we can make sure it does not happen again.”
President Obama must tell the American people what he knows, according to Cantor.
“I don’t know what he knew and when he knew it,” according to the Virginia Republican, who said that he has been in close contact with a tea party group in Richmond that believes it was targeted by the IRS.
“He’s got to come forward and lead on this,” said Cantor of the president. “He has given the impression that somehow he’s disconnected from what’s going on at the IRS — just like he’s now saying he was disconnected with what’s going on in Benghazi. He’s disconnected with what’s going on at the DOJ as far as its investigation of the national security leak. It seems that he is disconnected with the leadership and lost focus in terms of what he should be doing as far as leading the country.”
Cantor also criticized IRS official Lois Lerner for invoking her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and refusing to testify on the scandal at a recent House committee hearing.
“I think straight up Ms. Lerner owes it to the American people to produce the answers or she shouldn’t be working for the American people. That simple,” said Cantor.
With respect to the growing scandal at the Department of Justice over the investigation of journalists, Cantor said that it is another example of the administration losing touch.
“This is a very serious matter and one again the American people deserve the answers that they seek,” said to Cantor. “Once again we have an administration that has lost focus in governing and that is very problematic going forward on all of these issues.”
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