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Uproar Over IRS Scrutiny, Snooping On The AP

Uproar over the IRS and its inquiries. Over snooping on the AP. We tackle both.

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP)

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP)

Double-barreled uproar in Washington right now. First, over the IRS.  Dumb and wrong for going after 501(c)4 Tea Party groups in particular.  Wrong because the tax service clearly must not take political sides.  Ever.  Dumb because the problem of big, anonymous money gushing into our political system is huge, and now the pushback looks compromised.

Then there’s the AP, and deep Justice Department snooping in its records.  Justice argues “national security.”  Our guest Floyd Abrams says, just plain wrong.

This hour, On Point:  the IRS and Justice, both under fire.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Reid Epstein, White House reporter for Politico. (@reidepstein)

Howard Gleckman, resident fellow at the Urban Institute. Editor of TaxVox, the Tax Policy Center‘s blog. (@howard_gleckman)

Toby Marie Walker, president of the Waco Tea Party, one of the groups targeted by the IRS. (@tobymarie)

Floyd Abrams, attorney, expert in Constitutional and First Amendment law. Author of “Friend of the Court: on the Front Lines with the First Amendment.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico: White House stuck on IRS scandal response — “The IRS scandal puts President Barack Obama in the worst possible position: all of the blame, none of the power to fix it. The Republicans finally have a scandal with potential staying power: One of the most reviled federal agencies improperly targeted conservative groups. The House will hold hearings. Republican leaders are making the media rounds and expressing their disgust. And the White House is stuck waiting.”

CNN: Holder orders probe of IRS targeting conservative groups — “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered an investigation into Internal Revenue Service political targeting of some conservative groups, he announced Tuesday. ‘The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken,’ he told reporters. Even if none were, the actions “were certainly outrageous and unacceptable,’ he said.”

NBC News: AP calls government’s record seizure a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ — “The Justice Department used a secret subpoena to obtain two months of phone records for Associated Press reporters and editors without notifying the news organization, a senior department official tells NBC News, saying the step was necessary to avoid ‘a substantial threat to the integrity’ of an ongoing leak investigation.”

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