Priebus: Obama, IRS used ‘political guerilla warfare’

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“I’m entitled to have an opinion that I think it’s evidence of political warfare gone amok on behalf of the administration,” Priebus said Thursday on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe." “I’m entitled to an opinion that this is political guerrilla warfare and it’s lawlessness, but to the extent of how far it goes and how far up it goes, the evidence has to come in.”

“Clearly the administration is more involved and has more knowledge of this than they originally put out for the public,” he added.

But in a tweet late Wednesday, Priebus went further, asserting that President Obama was “in the middle of it.”

On Wednesday, Priebus defended his allegation, saying that even though there is no evidence the president knew about the IRS targeting of conservative groups, that he was entitled to an opinion on the general political atmosphere the Obama administration has created.

He also questioned why Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division at the center of the controversy, would plead the Fifth Amendment if she was not involved in any criminal wrongdoing.

“I don’t think this Lois Lerner did herself or the scandal any favors by pleading the Fifth Amendment yesterday which, whether you agree with it as a basis of law or not, implies there are some criminal aspects to this investigation,” he said. 

“If you have an administration that says they’ve done nothing wrong, and then you have Lois Lerner come forward and plead the Fifth, I think it raises questions, and that’s the only point.”

The RNC on Wednesday sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the IRS requesting documents related to the targeting of conservative groups. In his announcement of the request, Priebus cited Lerner’s invoking of the Fifth Amendment as the reason for the move.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Wednesday that he might bring Lerner back before the panel, suggesting that she might have negated her right against self-incrimination by saying in her opening statement that she had done nothing wrong.