Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a former Cabinet official, says President Obama should come clean on his administration’s “incompetence.”
“An apology isn’t what people are looking for,” he says. “I know they’ve disciplined some people at the IRS, but they need to take action.”
A cloud of questions, he adds, continues to hang over the White House.
“The American people have been betrayed in fundamental ways by the most powerful agency in government,” he tells me. “What kind of direction were these employees getting from the administration? It seems unlikely that people would target groups based on their ideology without some direction.”
To press the issue, Portman says he and other Republican senators will push for more investigations, and on Thursday, they will release a letter asking the White House to provide details on its IRS dealings.
For the moment, talk of impeachment, is “premature,” he says, since a direct connection to the president hasn’t been established. “But people need to know the truth,” he says. “There has been a pattern of incompetence.”