Rep. Duffy Grills Treasury Secretary Over IRS scandal

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When U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sat in the House hot seat Wednesday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc) did his part to turn up the flame.

Lew had come before the House to give testimony during a hearing on the IRS targeting conservative groups. Duffy asked Lew more than a dozen times in five minutes of questioning what he knew and when he knew it.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc): “When did you know that this targeting was going on?”

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: “You’re not going to like my answer because I learned about it when I learned about it.”

Duffy: “When was that?”

Lew: “I did not know there was an investigation…” <crosstalk>

Duffy: “I didn’t ask you about an investigation.”

Lew: “Well, I, I didn’t know…” <crosstalk>

Duffy: “I’m not asking about an investigation!”

Committee member, offscreen: “Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman.”

Committee Chair Jeb Hensalring: “The time belongs to the gentleman from Wisconsin.”

Committee member: “Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the witness not be badgered.”

Duffy: “I would ask that the witness answer the question.”

Lew: “I am answering your questions.”

Duffy: “No, you’re not. You keep dodging me.”

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In a telephone interview from Washington afterward, Duffy says he wasn’t badgering Lew. He just wants answers that he didn’t think he was getting.

As for who knew what and when, Duffy says there is no evidence that President Obama ordered the IRS to act against the Tea Party.

“But I want to follow the evidence and find out who did. Not only do I want to know, my constituents want to know who knew what and when they knew it. No one has been fired. Mr. Miller, the acting director, he was going to leave at the start of June, so the President let him go a few weeks early. Beyond that no one else has been let go, no one else has been fired, no one else has been held accountable.”

In testimony before a Senate inquiry Tuesday, Secretary Lew called the IRS behavior targeting conservative groups “outrageous”.

See the full exchange below:

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