Coburn: Constituents linking IRS audits to Mitt Romney donations

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Thursday his constituents have suggested they were audited by the Internal Revenue Service because they donated to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. 

Coburn made the charge during an interview on MSNBC. [WATCH VIDEO]

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"What I would tell you, is our whistleblower side is lit up," Coburn said Thursday on the news channel. "And I got a phone call yesterday and one of the things I want to know is, everybody that contributed to Romney, I want to know what their audit rate was because the indications out of Oklahoma are right now is if you happened to be a conservative and wealthy and gave to Romney, you had an audit where you'd never gotten an audit before. 

"And so there are a lot of questions that still have to be answered," Coburn said. "Maybe that's untrue but that's certainly the implication from people that are calling me from Oklahoma."

Coburn's comments come as Congress is investigating the IRS's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for additional scrutiny. The IRS has apologized for inappropriately flagging groups for additional scrutiny because they had certain words in their titles, such as Tea Party.

There's been no evidence the IRS targeted people for audits based on their political donations, though some donors to Romney have drawn a link.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) in a floor speech last week also said that a number of his constituents spoke of being audited during the 2012 presidential campaign for the first time.

“These folks believe the audits were conducted for no other reason than the fact that their groups were conservative. And they believe the questions they’ve been asked have more to do with their political views than their business activities," McConnell said.

Without a proper investigation, McConnell argued the truth would never be known.

Earlier in the week, Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) said that people have come to him saying the IRS targeted them for criticizing the Obama administration. Tiberi recounted how a former colleague told him about a radio host who received an audit from the IRS after he criticized the Obama administration. 

"And this is not a national guy, this is a local talk show host in a city outside Ohio, and he's been very critical of the administration and as soon as he started being critical of the administration, coincidentally, he got audited and he got audited by the Cincinnati office,'" Tiberi said.