Barr says Obama administration perpetuated 'hyper-partisan' government, calls for probe

05/15/2013 10:14 AM

Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr says Congress needs to fully investigate troubling trends in the Obama administration that led to the IRS targeting tea party groups and the U.S. Justice Department collecting phone data of Associated Press reporters.

But he said he needs to see more facts before calling for any resignations.

“People are tired of politics, frankly, the election is over,” Barr said (at 8:45 in the interview). “The American people deserve a government that treats all people fairly, treats all American citizens the same, takes care of providing security for our foreign service personnel, and not politicizing and covering up mistakes.”

Last week, the IRS apologized for targeting tea party groups last year by requesting extensive documentation to approve their non-profit status. But many Republicans, including Barr, say that is not enough.

Barr said the problems with the IRS situation are two-fold. First, Barr said it is troubling that IRS was targeting specific groups and secondly that the agency was not truthful.

“Whenever you have a situation where a federal agency is engaged in targeting specific groups based on political affiliation or ideological viewpoints it is extremely troubling,” Barr said. “These agencies, these enforcement agencies in the executive branch should be administering the law impartially and in an apolitical manner.”

Also happening this week, journalists are up in arms as the Associated Press has accused the Justice Department of secretly accessing phone records of its journalists as part of an internal probe into a leaked story about a foiled terrorism plot last year. The highest level at the Department of Justice must sign off on a subponea of a reporter.

Barr says the events are another example of the Obama administration acting in a “hyper-partisan” way and politicizing important issues (in a discussion that begins at 4:00).

“What concerns me is you have a justice department that is monitoring the phone calls of reporters and it looks to be a highly politicized Justice Department here monitoring just basic reporting,” Barr said. “So I am not going to call a political retribution because we don’t know all the facts but if that is what it is, it certainly should be stopped and never happen again.”

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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