Armed Federal Agent Raids of Gibson Guitar Gain New Scrutiny In Light of IRS Scandal

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | May 29, 2013 | 11:55 AM EDT

The CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp. today discussed the 2009 and 2011 raids by armed federal agents on his company in light of recent reports of the IRS targeting conservative groups, while a congresswoman called for the president to explain the raids and punish those responsible.

"I clearly believe that someone targeted our company inappropriately," Gibson Guitar Corp. CEO Henry Juszkiewicz told Fox News regarding the raids concerning the company's wood purchases.

"I think there is a system problem, and I've committed myself to fighting that for years to come," Juszkiewicz said.

Gibson settled with the Justice Dept., agreeing to pay the government a $300,000 penalty and make a $50,000 "community service payment" to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

But, the cost to the company was far greater, Juszkiewicz told Fox News:

"Just the goods that they seized, without any due process - meaning we never were charged, we were never formally in court to defend ourselves - was on the order of five million dollars."

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today called on Pres. Obama to provide a full explanation of the motives behind the 2011 raids carried out by his administration on Gibson Guitar:

"The recent scandals surrounding this administration raise a number of questions about who they choose to target and why."

"The arrogance and lack of transparency displayed by this President and his cabinet officials in events such as the raids on Gibson Guitar and the IRS targeting of conservative groups show a complete disregard for the rule of law."

The administration clearly exceeded its authority and engaged in intimidation, Blackburn said in calling for Obama to come clean and punish those responsible for targeting Gibson:

"It is clear that this administration made a choice to use excessive regulatory methods to intimidate conservative groups and individuals who disagree with their political ideology. Not only is this wrong, but it is illegal.

"No one should have to live in fear of their government.

"President Obama owes the American people a full explanation as to why these decisions were made, and anyone responsible for plotting these politically motivated attacks should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

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