Rubio demands IRS chief be fired in wake of scandal — but office is vacant

Should acting commissioner Steven Miller be fired?

Here is the full text of Rubio's letter to Lew:

Dear Secretary Lew:

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service’s selective and deliberate targeting of conservative organizations are outrageous and seriously concerning. This years-long abuse of government power is an assault on the free speech rights of all Americans. This direct assault on our Constitution further justifies the American people’s distrust in government and its ability to properly implement our laws.

The American people deserve answers about how such seemingly unconstitutional and potentially criminal behavior could occur, and who else was aware of it throughout the Administration. It is imperative that you, your predecessor, and other past and present high-ranking officials at the Department of Treasury and IRS immediately testify before Congress.

The public expects your complete cooperation with both congressional investigations and potential criminal inquiries. If investigations reveal that bureaucrats or political appointees engaged in unconstitutional or criminal targeting of conservative taxpayers, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. At a bare minimum, those involved with this deeply offensive use of government power have committed a violation of the public trust that has already had a profoundly chilling effect on free speech. Such behavior cannot be excused with a simple apology.

Furthermore, it is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people’s confidence under the current leadership. Therefore, I strongly urge that you and President Obama demand the IRS Commissioner’s resignation, effectively immediately. No government agency that has behaved in such a manner can possibly instill any faith and respect from the American public.


Marco Rubio

The momentum is building on the political right for the Obama Administration to do something, anything, regarding the IRS scandal that broke over the weekend.

Details emerging from disclosures to congressional investigators by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have revealed that the government agency scrutinized groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names, as well as ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes.

This has prompted Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio to write to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, demanding that he and President Obama fire the current IRS commissioner. However, the commissioner who was in charge when the increased scrutiny was happening, Douglas Shulman, is no longer on the job. His six-year term ended in November. President Obama has yet to nominate a successor. The agency is now run by an acting commissioner, Steven Miller. Shulman was originally appointed by George W. Bush.

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