Lawmakers, host tangle over IRS targeting

Two members of the House Ways and Means Committee tangled Sunday over allegations in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) political targeting scandal.

Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyLobbying world Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response Americans worried about retirement should look to employee ownership MORE Jr.(R-La.) slammed the Obama administration for what he called "obstruction" of a Republican investigation into the extra scrutiny given to conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the top Democrat on Ways and Means, said Republicans have been unable to produce any evidence that the White House was involved with the effort, despite a year of trying.

The remarks came during an intense back-and-forth with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

The two lawmakers have been embroiled in the controversy since last year.

Events culminated last week in votes by two GOP-led House panels to ask the Justice Department to criminally prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner and to hold her in contempt of Congress.

"Based on all the documents we've reviewed — half a million, and dozens of interviews — we found compelling evidence that indeed Lois Lerner was involved in political activity," said Boustany.

Wallace pressed him, asking whether the GOP's yearlong probe has yielded any sign that officials above Lerner were involved in the targeting.

“Do you have any evidence after a year of investigation that any official, higher up in the IRS, higher up in the Treasury Department or in the White House directed [former IRS official] Lois Lerner to do what she allegedly did?” Wallace asked.

"Some of your colleagues say that your committee and the House Oversight Committee have blown this. ... You’ve had a year, sir!"

Boustany replied that the administration has "stonewalled" the investigation by producing documents at a slow pace.