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Professors: IRS Scandal Could Lead To Impeachment

If it can be proven President Barack Obama was involved in the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, that’s an impeachable offense, two professors said in interviews with The College Fix.

“If there was a clear line of responsibility or authority that could be shown between the IRS and their actions targeting conservative groups and the president – he wouldn’t make it through the end of the day,” said Scott Waller, assistant professor of political science at Biola University.

Grove City College media law and ethics Professor Daniel Brown agreed, saying if President Obama knew about and did nothing to stop the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit efforts, which took place as early as 2010 and through 2012, that’s grounds for impeachment.

Brown cited one of the articles of impeachment leveled against Richard Nixon to prove his point, noting it related to the former president using the IRS in a discriminatory manner:

Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

This conduct has included one or more of the following:

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

“Our country has barely recovered from Watergate, so with a heavy heart, I concede it (could be) an impeachable offense,” said Brown, also a contributing scholar with the college’s Center for Vision and Values.

Both Grove City College and Biola University are Christian institutions.

Waller, during his interview, said a “clear line” – such as a memo or paper trail – would be the most effective evidence to show whether the president ordered or condoned the systemic and large-scale undertakings of the IRS to thwart and delay applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups.

But he added the chances of that are slim to none. What’s more likely, the professor said, is that the president would be accused of being complicit in the IRS scandal.

Only time will tell, Waller said.

“It took two years for the Nixon scandal to kind of burgeon to the point where Nixon lost the political support of Republicans, and that is really what brought him down,” Waller said. “In a similar vein, it is going to take a while if there is something here of the damaging sort to make itself known.”

Waller said he suspects the IRS scandal isn’t going away any time soon.

“If in the investigation we start to see links to the White House and the IRS scandal, this thing is not going away for a long, long time.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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