The IRS tea party-targeting scandal may surpass Watergate as one of the worst examples of government wrongdoing, says James Taranto, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and editor of OpinionJournal.com.
"Watergate targeted the president's political enemies, this targeted ordinary citizens who were critics of the government. It's much more sweeping and much more intrusive,'' Taranto told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
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"And if we believe the administration that the IRS was not acting under orders from the president or his political team . . . the IRS essentially hijacked itself that turned into an enemy of the people.
"If Watergate was a cancer on the presidency, this scandal, if it is not politically directed, is a cancer on the administrative state.''
Watergate involved a 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., and President Richard Nixon administration's cover-up of its involvement. Nixon eventually resigned.
In the IRS scandal, employees allegedly targeted conservative and tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Additionally, the IRS says key emails sought by a House committee probing the matter were wiped out in a computer crash.
Taranto says much of the IRS scandal is yet to be revealed.
"Watergate took a while to unfold, too. The burglary happened in the summer of 1972, in July, and it wasn't until August of 1974, more than two years later, that the president resigned,'' he said.
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