Tags: carson | irs | audits | freedom

Ben Carson: IRS Audits Threaten Freedom of Speech

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 02:39 PM

By Lisa Furgison

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IRS audits are threatening Americans' constitutional rights to freedom of speech, prospective presidential candidate Ben Carson claims.

Carson, the former head of neuroseurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, made his remarks after revealing he had received his first audit after his highly publicized criticism of government policies in front ot President Barack Obama.

Carson appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" and told the host that whether his remarks prompted the audit or not, "the fundamental issue here is that the freedom of our citizens is being threatened."

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

Carson, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, went on to say he thought the issue is a "much more serious thing than scandals such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, or Benghazigate."

"Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, is one of the major principles of our country," he pointed out.

According to the Washington Times, Carson said the IRS started with a look at his real estate holdings and then the inquiry morphed into a full-blown audit.

When asked if he thought the IRS audit was prompted by his anti-Obamacare remarks earlier in the year, Carson told the Washington Times, "I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS."

Carson made the anti-Obamacare comments in February at a National Prayer Breakfast, where Obama was present. Carson revealed the news about his audit at an event in Alabama Monday night.

The February speech, in which he calmly laid out his policy critiques, became a YouTube sensation.

Carson wouldn't be the first to be singled out by the IRS for taking a political stance. Last summer, the agency found itself in the hot seat for targeting conservative groups. Protests were held across the country, President Obama fired IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, and the FBI launched a full investigation into the tax-collection agency.

"We know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion," Carson told O'Reilly.

In the end, the IRS audit into Carson's financials found no wrongdoing.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

Related Stories:

Ben Carson: Congress Must 'Surgically Excise' Obamacare
House GOP Bill Would Suspend IRS Audit of Political Groups

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