Publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes says he believes a special prosecutor should handle the investigation into the IRS targeting of tea party groups.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Forbes said the congressional investigations have been "educational," but ultimately a special prosecutor is needed who has "subpoena power, power to call grand juries, who can do a systematic investigation."
While he said he doesn't like the idea of calling special prosecutors, Forbes said the abuse was so widespread that an outside authority is needed.
He wants someone "who can start from people right on the ground and go up the chain, right into the White House."
Obama set the tone for targeting groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names, Forbes said. On the campaign trail for Democrats in 2010 he pointed out such groups might need to be looked at. He even had up to 10 senators write letters to the IRS demanding investigations and threatening the agency if it didn't, he said.
"You don't have to be an Einstein to figure out the IRS is going to respond," Forbes said. "And it did. It played politics on a scale we've never seen before. … He didn't have to use secret meetings to do it; he did it right out in public."
Forbes said the agents behind the targeting scandal and the people wasting money on "Star Trek"- and "Gilligan's Island"-themed training videos should be given other jobs.
"Being a compassionate conservative," he said, "even though these people partied on the taxpayer dime, I'd be in favor of job retraining."
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