Sen. Deb Fischer takes to the floor of the United States Senate to accuse the Obama Administration of a disturbing pattern of overstepping its lawful power.
Fischer focuses on two recent developments during her floor speech: recent disclosures that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny and that the Department of Justice seized telephone records of reporters.
IRS officials have disclosed that agents gave greater scrutiny to the applications for tax-exempt status filed by groups with “Tea Party”, “Patriot” or “912” in their title. Agents also required more documentation from such groups.
“This news is alarming on multiple fronts,” Fischer tells colleagues. “First and foremost, it is unacceptable that the IRS would blatantly target any of our fellow citizens, let alone groups of Americans whose views are at odds from their own.”
Fischer accuses the IRS of attempting to silence groups that disagreed politically with the administration of President Barack Obama.
“These were not the malicious actions of a rouge agent or simply another example of government incompetence,” according to Fischer. “Instead, this was a clear, methodical abuse of government power.”
Fischer also criticizes the Justice Department for seizing the telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors.
“While it is unclear at this point how many reporters were targeted and why, the effect of this data gathering is clear: intimidation of the press and suppression of free speech,” Fischer says.
Fischer says the scope of the information gathering is beyond the pale. She says the Attorney General and President Obama owe the American people answers.
AUDIO: Sen. Deb Fischer speaks from United States Senate floor on the IRS and the Justice Department. [10 min.]