Veteran political analyst and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama "sure knew" about the IRS' policy of targeting conservative groups for scrutiny.
He also asserts that the IRS went so far as to audit Mitt Romney's donors during the presidential campaign.
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And he says the Obama administration's snooping on Associated Press reporters is "very dangerous," and points to Obama's "Nixonian motivation."
Morris, a former top consultant to President Bill Clinton, now has a weekday talk show from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. online at DickMorris.com and on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Philadelphia.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday, Morris says "there's no doubt in my mind" that someone in the administration knew the IRS was targeting tea party and other conservative groups "because I knew about it. Everybody who is in politics who worked on at least the Republican side knew that the tea party groups were being audited. I gave speeches about it.
"Now I didn't know there was a memo from the top in the IRS saying audit these guys, but I knew they were being singled out for special attention. Everybody knew that. There's a front page story in the New York Times that said Romney donors were being audited.
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"This stuff was no secret and the president is parsing words when he says he didn't know. What he's saying, maybe he didn't know about that specific memo from that specific person with that particular language, but he sure knew that there was a widespread policy of auditing Republican and conservative groups."
Asked what is more appalling, denials by Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller or the targeted scrutiny itself, Morris responds: "Always in Washington scandals you have the action and then you have the cover-up, and he's just about to start getting in trouble with the cover-up.
"But the policy of auditing people, the IRS using it as a weapon, goes back to Nixon and we already know that's grounds for impeachment. So when he says he didn’t know about it, his entire fate is now hanging on the strength of an email that somebody may or may not have sent."
Morris adds that the IRS scandal could actually lead to Obama's impeachment because "using the IRS as a tool to get your enemies is an impeachable offense.
"What's going to happen is you're going to get a congressional hearing. They're going to call some of these people under oath. They'll call Miller for example, the head of the IRS, they'll call [Douglas] Shulman, the former head of the IRS, and they'll ask did you know about this?
"Then the obvious question is who else knew? Who did you tell? I doubt that there's a lot of people who are willing to commit perjury to save the president, and undoubtedly what they'll say is, well, I told such and such in the White House. Then they'll get this person under oath and you just go step by step up the food chain.
"At the end of it, it's an impeachable offense, which is the key thing."
It's now been disclosed that the Justice Department snooped on Associated Press reporters' phone calls with administration officials and seized private phone records in connection with a probe into an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Could the scandal could lead to Attorney General Eric Holder's ouster?
"I don't know about that one way or the other because it depends on what Obama's tolerance is and also what [Holder] knows that he could spill and hurt Obama with," Morris says.
"Apparently they were trying to find out who leaked information about al-Qaida's involvement in Yemen.
"This investigation of leakers, which predominated during the Nixon era, becomes endless. It just goes on and on and it can lead to more and more seizures and intrusion with the free press and it's a very dangerous, slippery slope.
"The government's burden is to prove it had no other way of investigating this and I don't think they can meet that burden. This is going to be another big deal."
Asked if Obama is the most Nixonian president since Nixon himself, Morris tells Newsmax: "He certainly is acting that way.
"The common denominator here is the sense of an enemy, the sense of us against them. In Nixon's case, with the silent majority against the hippies; in this case, it's the 99 percent against the one percent.
"All's fair in class war, and that spawned a recklessness that got out of control. And Obama's management style, which is sort of laid back and non-interventionist, probably fed that. You have a unique combination here. You have Nixonian motivation and passion and Reaganesque attention to detail."
Turning to the probe of the Benghazi attacks on American diplomatic personnel, Morris notes that polls show the American people are not terribly interested in the issue.
But he observes: "These scandals take a long time to metastasize and they take a long time to seep through into public opinion. It will not happen quickly and it will happen toward the end of the process, not toward the beginning.
"Then there's another factor that we all have to consider, which is that you have in this country now 40 percent of the American people who will never think ill of Obama and never say that they have a bad opinion of him, not because of Obama but because of themselves.
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"They look in the mirror, they’re black, Latino, single mothers, gay, students, and they say therefore I have to be for Obama or at least against the Republicans because they are against me.
"This sort of identity politics is stopping Obama from getting a high unfavorable [rating] and will continue to stop it until the Republican Party comes to its senses and starts reaching out to these groups and starts acting less exclusionary."
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