WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the “misconduct” detailed in a report about the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of requests from conservative groups is “inexcusable.”
“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he said.
In the wake of the uproar, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requested — and has accepted — the resignation of the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, according to Obama.
The president also said his administration will work to enact “new safeguards to make sure that this kind of behavior cannot happen again.”
(CNN) — The Internal Revenue Service has identified two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status, a congressional source told CNN.
In a meeting on Capitol Hill, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller described the employees as being “off the reservation,” according to the source. It was not clear precisely what the alleged behavior involved.
Miller said the staffers have already been disciplined, according to another source familiar with Miller’s discussions with congressional investigators. The second source said Miller emphasized that the problem with IRS handling of tax-exempt status for tea party groups was not limited to these two employees.
Miller met with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana on Tuesday to discuss an appearance before Congress.
Asked in a Senate hallway about his meeting with Miller, Baucus told CNN, “I did not learn as much from the meeting as I would have liked.”
“I told him that it was in his best interest to be totally cooperative — that it’s often the coverup that causes more problems than the original malfeasance,” the senator said. “And just to be totally straight with me and everybody, and he said he would.”
President Barack Obama was scheduled to deliver a statement Wednesday from the East Room of the White House after a meeting with senior Treasury Department officials. During the meeting, Obama will be “making sure people are held accountable for their conduct, for their activities,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
A Democratic source told CNN’s Dana Bash that Obama will discuss “IRS changes” when he makes his statement.