Pelosi: IRS was wrong for targeting groups, but they deserve it

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the IRS should be condemned “if, in fact, [the agency] was targeting people because of their title.”

Never mind that the IRS has already publicly admitted as much.

While she acknowledges that it “would be wrong,” she blamed the Supreme Court for opening the door to broader political activity and appears to justify the actions of the IRS when she said “we should be saying what are these groups?”

In the Citizens United decision, the court ruled 5 to 4 that corporations have First Amendment rights and ruled that while they cannot contribute directly to candidates, they can run ads making their views known.

Falling back on Rahm Emanuel’s philosophy of never letting a good crisis go to waste, Pelosi said in an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC: “The whole idea, of 501(c)(4)’s being engaged in politics is something we’ve got to put in a spotlight and maybe this is that opportunity.”

She went on to say:

As we look at this and we should, and I think it’s very wrong that they would have targeted them, we should be saying what are these groups? Let’s have transparency, disclosure. Who are these contributors, A.? B., let’s have accountability for what it is. This is a very vague law, let’s bring a clear definition of what a 501(c)(4) — is that somebody could give them money and they don’t have to pay taxes on it.

We need accountability at the IRS, of course, as to how this happened. But we’ve really got to overturn Citizens United which has exacerbated the situation.”

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Tom Tillison

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