Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement this afternoon following recent reports of unlawful actions by the Obama administration:
"The reports of the Obama administration's actions this week are deeply disturbing and strike at the core of our liberties and basic protections under the Constitution. As Americans, we expect our government to preserve, protect, and defend our rights - not target them for political gain and control. These reports cast a dark shadow on this administration and are completely unacceptable, not to mention dangerous. President Obama must act immediately to bring those accountable to justice and not stand in the way of the truth. Americans deserve a full account of what has transpired."
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to "make America a better place to live,":
The inspector general's office has been conducting an audit of the IRS's handling of the applications process and is expected to release a report this week. The audit follows complaints last year by numerous tea-party and other conservative groups that they had been singled out and subjected to excessive and inappropriate questioning. Many groups say they were asked for lists of their donors and other sensitive information.
According to the report, by June 2011 some IRS specialists were probing applications using the following criteria: "issues include government spending, government debt or taxes; education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to 'make America a better place to live'; statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run."