Politics

Holder on IRS investigation: ‘We have to bring criminal actions’ so it does not happen again

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder promised criminal action Wednesday in the Internal Revenue Service scandal, but said he does not know who will be targeted.

On Tuesday, Holder announced he would launch a criminal investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups for heightened scrutiny.

“We have to bring criminal actions so that this kind of activity does not happen again,” Holder said Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

Against whom those criminal actions would be taken, however, Holder was not yet sure.

“I simply don’t know at this stage,” he said, when asked if he believed that this was the work of several low-level agents at the IRS or if it extended hire in the agency or the administration.

“It will take us time to determine who was involved,” Holder said.

Politics were the problem in the IRS’s actions, and Holder said they would not play a role in the investigation.

“We will take a dispassionate view of this … anybody who has broken the law will be head accountable,” he said.

The investigation, he added, would not be limited to the Cincinnati office of the IRS that was responsible for vetting groups claiming nonprofit status.

“The facts will take us wherever they take us,” Holder said, saying that could very well be beyond the Ohio office. He said the investigation would be based out of Washington, D.C. to allow a broader scope.

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