Power Players

Leader of targeted Tea Party group ‘pissed off’ by IRS’s questioning, calls it a ‘fishing expedition’

Power Players

Top Line

Susan McLaughlin knows first-hand what it’s like to be targeted by the IRS. Her Tea Party group in Liberty Township, Ohio was among those subjected to intense questioning after applying for tax-exempt status.

McLaughlin tells Top Line, “it just pisses you off” to be questioned by the IRS in such detail.

“It's intrusive; it is clearly a fishing expedition,” McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin reads aloud a question from a seven-page-long letter The Liberty Township Tea Party received from the IRS’s Cincinnati office. “’List each past and present board member, officer, key employee and members of their family,’ and then it says, ‘have they served on the board of another organization?’”

“Well, what does that mean?” McLaughlin asks of the IRS’s question.

McLaughlin’s Tea Party group happens to be in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s district. She says they did make the Speaker’s office aware of the questions they received IRS at the time—feeling they were “onerous and out of line”—but asked that no action be taken on their behalf.

Now, McLaughlin says, it’s time for action.

“This week, we're going to change. We're going to say, Speaker Boehner, we need help,” she says. “It's clear that our faith in the government was not well-founded; we put faith where it shouldn't have been, and that's sad.”

In addition to appealing to Speaker Boehner for help, McLaughlin says her group will be joining other targeted groups in a lawsuit against the IRS, and she urges all Americans to be concerned about what happened to these Tea Party organizations.

“If he can do that to me, he can do it to you,” says McLaughlin.

For more of the interview, and to hear why she says this experience harks back to the days of Richard Nixon, check out this episode of Top Line.

ABC's Eric Wray, Freda Kahen-Kashi, Paul Dougherty, and David Girard contributed to this episode.

Recommended for You

  • US: Philippines' Duterte sparking distress around the world

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A top American diplomat for Asia said Monday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about his government's intentions have sparked distress in the U.S. and other countries.

    Associated Press
  • Grandmother of Five Among 13 Dead in California Tour Bus Crash

    A tour bus collided with a semi-tractor trailer Sunday while the group was en route to Los Angeles from the Salton Sea area.

    Inside Edition
  • Israel's next Gaza war will be 'last' one: Lieberman

    Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that Israel's next war with Gaza militants would be their last "because we will completely destroy them," but added he remains committed to a two-state solution. Lieberman, speaking in an interview with Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, said however that he did not want another war in Gaza, which would be the fourth since 2008. The outspoken former foreign minister urged Palestinians to pressure Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, to "stop your crazy policies".

  • AP Top 25: Ohio State slips, Penn State in, Houston out

    Ohio State dropped four spots to No. 6 in The Associated Press college football poll after its first loss of the season, and Penn State moved into the rankings for the first time since 2011 after upsetting ...

    Associated Press
  • Candidates focus on battleground states as Trump path to victory narrows

    A defiant Donald Trump blamed his campaign struggles on "phony polls" from the "disgusting" media on Monday, fighting to energize his most loyal supporters as his path to the presidency shrinks.

    WABC – NY
  • Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

    Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.

    Foreign Policy Magazine
  • Model 3 could be Tesla's most reliable car — here's why

    Tesla's low ranking in a recent Consumer Reports reliability survey reveals something compelling about the Model 3.

  • Bill Murray accepts humor prize after gentle roast

    In an evening filled with jokes about Bill Murray's elusiveness and quirky personality, it was David Letterman who provided the most touching moment as Murray was honored with the nation's top prize for ...

    Associated Press
  • China admonishes the U.S. for visit to disputed India-China border

    China admonished the United States on Monday for sending its ambassador in India to a contested stretch of land on the India-China border, warning that a third party's meddling would only complicate the dispute between Beijing and New Delhi. China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.

  • US warns Philippines' Duterte over rhetoric, crime war

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's fiery rhetoric and deadly crime war are becoming a growing concern around the world, the top US envoy for Asia warned on Monday in Manila. US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel met the Philippines' defence and foreign ministers on Monday, after Duterte last week announced his nation's "separation" from the United States. "The succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines' intentions have created consternation in a number of countries," Russel told reporters.

  • The Latest: Driver in fatal bus crash sued in other wrecks

    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a tour bus crash that killed 13 people in Southern California (all times local):

    Associated Press
  • Victim 'tortured for days' by British murder accused in Hong Kong

    A Hong Kong court Monday heard how British banker Rurik Jutting tortured one of his victims for three days as the trial opened into the killings of two Indonesian women at his upscale apartment. The court heard Jutting filmed both women on his iPhone and jurors were warned by judge Michael Stuart-Moore that the footage was "very shocking indeed". Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, both in their 20s, were found dead in Jutting's flat in the early hours of November 1, 2014, after he called police.

  • Thirteen killed, 31 injured in California tour bus crash

    A tour bus crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on a Southern California highway before dawn on Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring 31, authorities said. The bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 when the crash occurred near Palm Springs, a city about 100 miles (160 km) east of Los Angeles, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Chief Jim Abele told reporters. The bus driver was among the 13 killed, he said.

  • Civil rights hero from 60s takes criticism as Trump backer

    HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Clarence Henderson was hailed as a hero nearly 60 years ago when as a young black man he participated in a sit-in at a segregated North Carolina lunch counter.

    Associated Press
  • Wave of strikes as IS puts up tough defence of Mosul

    Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul faced stiff resistance from the Islamic State group despite an unprecedented wave of US-led coalition air strikes in support of the week-old offensive. Federal forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters gained ground in several areas, AFP correspondents said, but the jihadists were hitting back with shelling, sniper fire, suicide car bombs and booby traps. IS has also tried to draw attention away from losses around Mosul by attacking Iraqi forces elsewhere, the latest coming on Sunday near the Jordanian border.

    AFP 6 min ago
  • Vice presidential nominee shrugs off threat by WikiLeaks

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Kaine is shrugging off any possibility that he could be embarrassed by the release of hacked emails.

    Associated Press
  • 10 pumpkin recipes that make us glad it’s autumn (10 photos)

    It’s October and supermarket shelves across the country are groaning under the weight of piles of little orange globes. Not doing Halloween chez yours this year? Then you could be forgiven for leaving them there but you’d be making a big mistake. We’ve already told you how your pumpkin leftovers can make you hotter , but guess what? They can make you healthier, too. Pumpkin flesh is packed with tummy-filling fibre, vision-boosting vitamin A, cancer-fighting beta-carotene and immunity-enhancing vitamin C. That’s before we even get onto the seeds, whose phytoestrogen and phytosterol content is credited with reducing bad cholesterol, preventing hypertension and enhancing both mood and sleep. Oh, and a single cup of pumpkin puree contains almost as much potassium as the equivalent quantity of coconut water. Meaning your homemade pumpkin spice latte is basically a sports drink. Click through to discover the simplest, tastiest and healthiest ways to squeeze maximum results from this too oft-maltreated member of the squash family.

    Samantha Simmonds, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger
  • Bill Murray and Other Celebrities React to Chicago Cubs Reaching World Series

    The baseball club hasn't gone to the World Series since 1945.

    ABC News q
  • How one drug cartel banked its cash in New York City

    NEW YORK (AP) — In the photos, Alejandra Salgado and her little brother Francisco look like ordinary tourists strolling the streets of midtown Manhattan. He carries a shopping bag. She wears a white dress, a necklace and a leather tote slung over one shoulder.

    Associated Press
  • 12 mature Halloween costumes for sophisticated children

    When it comes to Halloween costumes, most kids go dressed as something you'd expect, like a Frozen character, a superhero or the classic pumpkin. However, there are some kids who don't find it fair that adults get to have all the fun (and by fun, we mean boring, mature times). Those children have rebelled and made themselves refined, grown-up Halloween costumes. (Their parents may have had something to do with it.) SEE ALSO: 8 truly easy D.I.Y. Halloween costumes for lazy people Enjoy these 12 mature costumes that any sophisticated child would appreciate. 1. Henry the VII and Ann Boleyn in the last minutes of her life. Image: monkeygruven/imgur 2. Do kids this young even know what rotary phones are? A photo posted by Jordan Ferney (@ohhappyday) on Sep 24, 2016 at 1:21pm PDT 3. Or what cassette tapes are? A photo posted by Jordan Ferney (@ohhappyday) on Sep 21, 2016 at 6:56am PDT 4. Only a truly sophisticated youngin would appreciate classic colonial garb. Image: thecostumeland.com 5. This young grandma doesn't know the phrase "too many pearls." A photo posted by maury fletcher (@mauryfletcher) on Oct 29, 2015 at 3:52pm PDT 6. This cutie has got plenty of time before her cat lady days descend on her. Image: barbmalley/imgur 7. Here we have a child rocking Carrie's wedding look from Sex and the City , blue bird on her head and all. A photo posted by Amy Armstrong  (@amynore) on Oct 30, 2015 at 9:07am PDT 8. It's very mature for a child to have so much American pride during this scary election season. Image: thecostumeland.com 9. This tyke certainly doesn't need to wear makeup, and only the most grown-up kiddos could handle a lipstick costume. A photo posted by Jordan Ferney (@jordanferney) on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:59pm PDT 10. The Obamas couldn't get enough of this little one's pope costume. Image: Andrew Harnik/ap photo 11. Any baby who can rock Winona Ryder's Stranger Things character Joyce's look is basically an adult. A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on Sep 19, 2016 at 11:57am PDT 12. And there may be a good 17 years before these two will get to vote, but baby Hillary Clinton and baby Donald Trump already have a strong interest in politics. A photo posted by Liz Stanley (@sayyesblog) on Sep 21, 2016 at 10:13am PDT