By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/23/13 08:41 PM EDT
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday that President Obama will have to answer to the scandals involving the IRS, spying on reporters and the terrorist attack in Benghazi if a "pattern of abuse" emerges.
"If there is a pattern of abuse that begins to develop, I think the president will have to come forward," Cantor said in an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News. "We're asking the president to come forward to explain what he knew, when he knew it."
"And the problem is, Neil, you've got the president saying he was not engaged nor did he know anything that was going on," Cantor added. "He wasn't focused with the IRS, he wasn't focused on Benghazi, he's not focused on DOJ."
"And now I note that there is a recent report that demonstrates that EPA, and a study shows that the EPA has been granting waivers to FOIA fees to groups that are from the left," Cantor said. Other House Republicans have raised this complaint on the House floor over the last few weeks.
Cantor said the line that appears to have been crossed by the Obama administration is the idea that political people would use "neutral instruments," like the IRS, to discriminate against political opponents. Cantor called that "totally unacceptable."
He also suggested that IRS official Lois Lerner step down after pleading the Fifth Amendment this week instead of answering questions about IRS officials' decision to target conservative groups over the last two years.
"I strongly believe if she works for the American people, she owes the American people an explanation, and if she can't give that explanation, she shouldn't be working for the American people," he said.
Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Obama by saying he can't be expected to know about everything going on in every agency. But Cantor rejected that.
"It's President Obama's IRS, and we're continuing to try and get to the bottom of the situation here," he said.