INDIANA, (www.incnow.tv) --- "The Internal Revenue Service is not above the law."
U.S. Senator Dan Coats made that comment Wednesday, saying he supports criminal penalties for IRS workers who target groups based on political viewpoints.
The leader of one area group that used to be linked to the Tea Party feels violated by the powerful tax collection agency.
Last week, we learned IRS field workers unfairly investigated conservative groups like the Tea Party, or ones that "criticized how the government is being run".
President Obama says bias has no place in how the tax agency does its business.
" I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it, and we'll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this,” the President said.
Senator Coats from Indiana has formally endorsed a new bill by his Republican colleague, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, which would authorize mandatory termination and criminal liability for IRS employees who abuse power for political reasons.
But Coats says the buck stops with the President.
" I think this administration needs to own up to the fact that they're not restoring trust (with the American people), they're taking it away," Coats said.
Monica Boyer is the president of a Kosciusko County group called "Silent No More", that originally had ties to the Tea Party.
She showed us a two-page letter that the Central Indiana Tea Party received from the IRS, demanding information about its web site, social networking pages, and even copies of its speeches.
"Silent No More" has also received forms from the IRS, which the group is looking at to determine if it has also been targeted.
" I find it amusing that the IRS apologized. As for me, I don't accept that apology. I want to see justice done," Boyer said.
The IRS flap comes at a time when the Obama Administration is fending off criticism about its handling of the U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi.
Monica Boyer wonders if the scandals boiling over at the same time is even a coincidence.
Could it be, as she suggests, that the IRS story was orchestrated to effectively steal away attention, as Republicans in Congress press harder for answers on whether the State Department covered up details of the Benghazi attack during Obama's re-election effort.
" It smells a lot like Watergate," Senator Coats said.
Democrats continue to insist there's no scandal and that Republicans are trying to use the issue for political gain.
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