To no one's surprise, Fox still hasn't given up on attempting to tie the White House to this trumped up, IRS "scandal" that they've been flogging for months, along with a host of others. Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace continued on with the scandal mongering when he asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about their latest twist and turn in this manufactured controversy and Lew pushed back, but sadly we didn't see him tell Wallace what the real scandal is -- that any of these groups received tax exempt status at all.
As we've discussed here over and over, none of them should be given special status unless they are acting exclusively as social welfare groups, instead of primarily as the law has been interpreted by the IRS. Lew also should have said something to Wallace about the Inspector General being blocked from showing the agency targeted progressive groups as well, but for whatever reason, he didn't mention it.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the Internal Revenue Service exhibited "equal opportunity bad judgment" in the improper targeting of political groups, and there was no evidence of political pressure.
Just days after President Obama accused Washington of focusing attention on "phony scandals," Lew said on "Fox News Sunday" mistakes were made in the IRS, but there is no evidence the White House or political officials drove the improper targeting.
"There's no political official who condoned it or authorized it," he said, adding that the mistakes that were made were "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable."
The scandal broke when IRS officials apologized for improperly targeting Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status, and has led to Republican accusations the White House used the tax collecting agency to intimidate political opponents.
But Lew said the IRS review underway has found that both conservative and progressive groups were targeted. More conservative groups faced probing questions, but Lew argued there were more conservative groups to begin with.
Host Chris Wallace pressed Lew on whether he had spoken with William Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the agency, when he learned of the targeting. Lew said he was leaving the investigation up to investigators, and reiterated that no evidence has been uncovered of political pressure.