Former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, says she'll wait for Congress to do its job before judging how pervasive the inappropriate behavior was, but she adds she's "stunned" by the agency's incompetence.
"There is no employee who works at the IRS who isn't sensitized and comprehends the dimension of the powers they possess," she says. "That's what's stunned me more than anything, is the manner in which they used their powers."
In the event top officials were aware of the actions, Snowe says there should be "punitive action – first of all removal. But beyond that, determining whether or not there was criminal activity."
And if IRS leaders were unaware of the targeting, "it was a massive breakdown in leadership if no one was supervising these individuals," she says.
"It just raises the specter of enormous fear throughout this country because people don't have the time or the money to fight them," Snowe says.
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