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-- top story tonight the victims on the IRS enemies let's scandal have broken their silence now it all happened earlier today during a powerful hearing on Capitol Hill.
When average Americans who are unfairly targeted by this administration told their personal stories to lawmakers for the very first time.
-- times today the testimony got heated and even a bit emotional let's take a comprehensive look at the highlights from today's hearings.
I mean born free American woman.
The white mother in citizen.
And I'm telling my government -- you've forgotten your place I'm not interested in scoring political points.
I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in.
The America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of and I'm terrified.
It is slipping away.
-- thank you very much.
Absolutely the train then acting commissioner.
Summed up the IRS is action as horrible customer service would you call that horrible customer service or would you call -- something else I would call it a felony is the federal law calls this a felony and I would prosecute those people responsible represented a blue and our.
It's your kind of statements that have been an empowered.
IRS agents to make determinations.
About which organization.
Qualify for the public good and which do not.
The notion that defending traditional marriage doesn't qualify as a defense of the public good is beyond preposterous bully American people are being led to believe you guys are big muscles of political strength can you tell us roughly what your annual budget is our annual budget -- in the naked -- -- Are you democratic organization -- -- This IRS agency has discriminated against.
People based on their political view.
For anyone to suggest.
Individuals right should be limited more so than others simply because of their political beliefs is nothing more than discrimination.
Pretty powerful now unfortunately that suggestion was made early and often by Democrats at today's proceedings congressman Jim McDermott.
Was among the left wing lawmakers to suggest the victims are to blame for this scandal.
Now thankfully there was a former vice presidential nominee on hand to call him out watch this moment.
He should -- groups is highly political.
From opposing the president's Health Care Reform to abortion restrictions to gay marriage.
You are all entrenched in some of the most controversial political tech issues in the country.
And with -- applications.
You were asking the American public to pay for that Porter mr.
Ryan is recognized.
I mean deviate -- my original question in response to what I just heard.
Chairman what is sincerely -- well you're welcome no we -- ordered him so your blame I guess is the message here to suggest that.
These citizens are to blame for applying.
I'd I don't understand how -- can make that conclusion I yield.
And -- -- -- reaction to today's hearing is the chairman of the house Ways and Means Committee -- -- Michigan congressman Dave Camp congressman thank you for being with us.
-- -- -- shouldn't be applause.
Fairly I've watched a lot of hearings in my life that's that's not something you see.
No it's not I think it really is a statement just have compelling.
A lot of what we heard was and and and these were.
Ordinary Americans but who did a tremendous job stating their case.
The quality of the testimony was really impressive and troubling because of what the IRS is done -- that they've targeted people.
Simply because they had conservative political views it's really comes down to that and that is even not in dispute that's an issue that's been established.
What was your reaction congressman to the statements of Jim McDermott.
What was actually preposterous to make that sort of connection because.
-- big day they were law abiding citizens who were.
Organizing -- four under the first amendment rights and as many pointed out C -- don't use taxpayer funds.
And it's something they were entitled to do what they what they aren't entitled to -- being discriminated against.
And we really needed to hear those stories personally because I was some of this is then.
Talked about it's been in print -- to actually see these average Americans who came from all over the country.
And what they've represented the hundreds of people -- really subject to this I think it was important to put a face on us and they did very effectively.
Congressman -- Lerner knew about this on in June of 2011.
The IRS concluded their own internal investigation in May -- 2012.
Are you -- -- tell the American people tonight why didn't they didn't know about this before the 2012 election -- We can't yet.
-- we know that high ranking officials and IRS -- two years ago we know treasury -- a year ago.
We don't know who really started this yet and that's going to be sort of the painstaking part of this.
Investigation that is just beginning where we really have to dig in and get certainty -- that kind of information but.
We don't have that yet they have not been forthcoming they have not been able to tell us either the IRS or the inspector general.
And so we're just gonna have to dig and get it on our own right this is gone on for several years and it's gonna take some time.
Not a president said he first heard about this like we all live from the news that -- that was his statement and we're told originally that.
That nobody in the White House now.
Now we've since found out that the White House counsel knew earlier than they told the White House chief of staff -- earlier that and then was was told to us.
Even the campaign.
We know Stephanie Cutter knew about it.
So my question -- was it's important here from the people that are in the victims.
Why has nobody from the White House as of this moment and put under oath and ask any questions about it.
Well we know also that the Treasury Department knew about it for over a year ago and and the treasury is obviously directly connected to the White House didn't we we are going to get there we just have to go about this.
In the most.
Pain -- and authentic way we can.
And that we're gonna do that we're gonna take this for ever it leads her to get the truth.
By the time we get done with this we're gonna know the truth we don't know it now and it's not been easy to find out the things we do know that we're gonna keep going until we do.
I'm having a hard time and I'm just following -- like everybody else reconciling.
In the bush years the head of the -- went to the White House one time.
Vs a 157.
Since President Obama was president.
Can you reconcile -- for me because that doesn't make sense to me.
It doesn't make sense to me there we don't know what those visits were I think we had an adequate explanation so far in the one hearing that the former commissioner.
But and there are a lot more questions there what were the substance of those meetings and why -- -- so many of them it is -- usual and I that if we went back.
Other commissioners to time we would -- That that's a very usual number visits the White House -- -- -- -- that we have now learned congressman.
Where I guess.
Employees from the IRS are going to be overseeing the health care bill.
Is that something that you think the country needs to reconsider in light of the abuse of power that clearly -- on here.
This is an agency that is at best terribly mismanaged.
And at worst engaging in the illegal activity I think we have to really look at the fact that this is the agency that's going to enforce obamacare.
All right congressman -- thanks so much for being with us we appreciate it we'll stay on and keep asking important questions.
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