Indeed, the new rules are so far reaching and, because of their ambiguity, so potentially all-encompassing that, if imposed, they would constitute a serious infringement of individual rights under the First Amendment.
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President Barack Obama can be forgiven for telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that there wasn’t a “smidgen” of corruption involved in the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative groups applying for non-profit status in the months leading up to the 2012 election. By the Chicago ethical standards with which he is most familiar, all that was just business, nothing personal, and no one should take offense.
The Obama administration likes to do things “the Chicago way,” and then feigns ignorance when someone’s hand is caught in the proverbial cookie jar. South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said as much when, during a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing looking into the scandal, he asked a panel of witnesses if they remembered “seeing a witness named Lois Lerner, sitting at the very table y’all are sitting at,” invoking her constitutional right not to incriminate herself.
“How can the president say there’s not a ‘smidgen’ of criminality when Lois Lerner” took the fifth, Gowdy asked the panel. “Forty-one witnesses haven’t been interviewed, including the two who are here right now!” he added. “How can (the president) possibly draw that conclusion?”