House Speaker John Boehner today suggested that those who were responsible for the IRS targeting conservative groups should face jail time.
"Now my question isn't about who is going to resign," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters today. "My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"
Asked who he believes should go to jail, the speaker did not direct his demand to a specific individual but said that someone at the IRS "made a conscious decisions to harass" conservatives while delaying their requests for tax-exempt status.
"There are laws in place to prevent this type of abuse," he said. "We need to know who they are and whether they violated the law. There's clearly someone who violated the law."
Boehner seemed bewildered by the Department of Justice's decision to secretly obtain phone records from the Associated Press, which he indicated violated the First Amendment protections for a free press.
"Let me tell you, I am very interested and I'm hopeful that we're going to get a clear explanation for why such unprecedented action was taken," Boehner said. "It befuddles me that there could be some justification that would allow them to infringe on the First Amendment to the Constitution."
While the White House has shown some emails from the Benghazi investigation to certain members of Congress, the speaker said the administration "could make this a lot easier for all Americans" by permanently turning over copies of the documents to Congress.
Boehner brushed aside questions about whether the three burgeoning scandals play into the GOP's favor in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, insisting his focus is "on the priorities of the American people" while executing Congress's duty to provide oversight over the Executive Branch.
"The American people deserve the truth and fairness from their government," Boehner said. "I don't want to prolong this anymore than anyone else. What I want is the truth."