Earlier today, we may have actually had an outbreak of actual journalism on Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace was not too happy that the House has found no evidence of high-level wrongdoing while investigating the improper targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS. So he decided to call out Charles Boustany of Louisiana, who as chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee is helping lead the investigation.
When Wallace asked him if he had any evidence that Lois Lerner subjected Tea Party groups to higher scrutiny on orders from superiors in the IRS, Treasury Department, Boustany tap-danced around the question, saying that they didn't have enough information to know because Lerner was stonewalling them. That didn't sit well with Sandy Levin of Michigan, the ranking member of the full committee. But it didn't sit well with Wallace either.
WALLACE: Congressman, let me interrupt you, too, if I -- let me interrupt you, too, if I may, Congressman, because a lot of people -- Congressman Levin, let me ask my question to Congressman Boustany. A lot of people, including some Republicans, some of your colleagues, say that your committee and the House Oversight Committee have blown this because of the fact that you should have given Lois Lerner immunity. I mean, let's face it -- nobody really cares what Lois Lerner did, the question is did she get it from higher ups or was this just the decision by a mid-level bureaucrat in the IRS? Why not give her immunity a year ago under subject of penalty of perjury and have her say, were you given direction by anybody above you?ThinkProgress got a clip of the exchange. It's truly a thing of beauty.
BOUSTANY: Well, that is a debatable point. It's worthy of discussion. The fact is we're still being obstructed by the IRS. We've now gone through two confirmed -- we have two confirmed IRS commissioners and two acting commissioners and we have still not gotten all the documents that we need to conclude this investigation.
The fact is, I want to follow the facts on this from the ground up starting with the Cincinnati office. We've had good interviews.
WALLACE: You've had a year, sir. You've had a year.
Granted, Wallace tried to squeeze Levin for an explanation about why more conservative groups were targeted than liberal groups. Still, this is probably the second time in two months that Wallace has put a Republican through the wringer. If you'll remember, in February he called out Scott Walker when Walker tried to sidestep questions about a secret email system used in the Milwaukee County office when he was county executive there.
Boustany probably isn't used to having to really explain himself, given that he represents an R+15 district. That district elected Democrats as late as 2004 (for those who don't know, John Breaux and Chris John once represented this district), but like the rest of Louisiana it's cliff-dived to the right. Still, when you're a Republican and you're made to look like a liar and dissembler on Faux News, you're in trouble.