"I think we overreached in '98. How's that for a quote you can use?" Gingrich said, adding that a House subcommittee "should invite every single tea party, conservative, patriot group that was messed over by the IRS -- every single one of them -- to come in and testify, so that they build this deadening record of how many different people were having their rights abused by this administration."
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has made a point of steering clear of overheated talk of impeachment or political point-scoring, even as he made clear to reporters that the IRS and Benghazi scandals are serious and his questions need to be answered by the Obama administration. He called for a special counsel to look into the unfair scrutiny the IRS has admitted giving to tea party groups.
"I also think a special counsel is going to end up being necessary here, because it has to be independent of the White House. What we do know is that politics was put ahead of the public interest," Portman said on "This Week."
"These aren't partisan fights," Portman spokesman Jeff Sadosky told ABC News. "These are problems that are concerning to Americans of all political parties and we need to get to the bottom of them not for partisan political reasons."
ABC News' Josh Margolin and Gary Langer contributed to this report.