Acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven T. Miller, was forced to resign on Wednesday, becoming the first casualty of allegations that the tax agency put conservative groups through extra scrutiny.
In a briefing at the White House, President Barack Obama said he didn't blame Americans angry over the accusations and vowed he would take steps to prevent it from happening again, The Washington Post reported.
“I will not tolerate this type of behavior in any agency, but especially the IRS given the power it has and the reach it has,” Obama said, according to The Post.
The IRS is accused of delaying tax-exemption applications from groups with 'Tea Party' or 'patriot' in their names, asking for additional information that delayed the process.
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Bloomberg reported the IRS also scrutinzed applications from at least three Democratic organizations.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced a criminal probe on Tuesday through the Justice Department and FBI.
In a memo to staffers released by the IRS, Miller said he resigned so Americans could find faith in the organization again, Reuters reported.
His term as head of the IRS was to end next month.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days,” his message said, “and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.”
Miller’s replacement has yet to be named, CNBC said, and his forced resignation might not be enough for some lawmakers.
John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, told reporters that those responsible should be punished.
“My question isn’t about who is going to have to resign, my question is who is going to jail over this scandal,” he said, according to CNBC.
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