Woodward pushes full investigation of IRS; probes find IRS workers backed Obama while on the job

This “phony scandal” isn’t going away.

With last week’s revelations that a federal watchdog office had sought disciplinary action against rank-and-file IRS employees in three states for illegally pushing the re-election of President Obama in 2012, veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward on Sunday said the IRS scandal cries out for a no-holds-barred investigation.

bobwoodward0414“We should dig in to it — there should be answers,” Woodward said on “Fox News Sunday.”

On Wednesday, the federal Office of Special Counsel – which investigates allegations of election activity by federal employees that’s prohibited under the Hatch Act — cited three cases of alleged impropriety by IRS workers, according to an OCS news release.

In one case, an IRS employee – whose name was not released – encouraged callers to a tax-assistance hotline to vote for Obama using a chant “based on the spelling of his last name,” according to the release.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations and the employee’s Hatch Act knowledge, OSC is seeking significant disciplinary action,” the OSC release stated.

In another case, an IRS employee in Kentucky was recorded telling a taxpayer to vote for Obama because “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and . . . they’re going to take women back 40 years,” according to the release. The worker, who’d already been warned that the Hatch Act banned her from political activity on the job, also told the taxpayer, “I’m not supposed to voice my opinion, so you didn’t hear me saying that.” The worker was suspended for 14 days, according to the OSC release.

In the third case, the OSC found that a Dallas office of the IRS was rife with workers openly displaying their political sympathies – Democrat, naturally – by “pro-Obama political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and displaying pro-Obama screensavers on their IRS computers,” according to the release.

The release said it wasn’t clear whether that activity took place before or after Obama’s re-election. But that’s largely beside the point — and who wears “re-elect” buttons after elections anyway?

Given the nature of the charges against the IRS that first came to light last May, when it was revealed that the supposedly non-partisan agency had targeted conservative groups for addition scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt status, it’s fair to say the American public – or the part of the American public that’s paying attention – has the impression of an agency running amok with hyperpartisanship.

It was against that backdrop that Woodward spoke Sunday. Woodward particularly cited Obama’s Super Bowl interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, where the president said there  is “not a smidgen” of corruption in the Internal Revenue Service.

“For the president to take that position is very, very unusual and say there’s not a ’smidgen of evidence here.”

Check out the Woodward interview here.


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