House GOP: Obama, Holder Undermining IRS Investigation; Special Counsel Needed

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

House Republicans Friday introduced a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal, blasting Holder for purposely failing to seriously investigate the agency.

Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accused President Obama and his administration of having “publicly undermined the investigation on multiple occasions.”

“The Attorney General says he won’t share any information with Congress about the investigation, but looked the other way when information was leaked to the media signaling that no one would face criminal charges,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, who introduced the resolution. “This resolution calls for a real investigation by an unbiased investigator to get to the truth and hold those responsible for this illegal targeting accountable for their actions.”

The resolution has six cosponsors including House Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, and House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Dave Camp, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany.

As The Daily Caller reported, Holder’s Department of Justice placed Obama political donor Barbara Bosserman in charge of the department’s investigation into the scandal and investigators later leaked to the Wall Street Journal that no criminal charges would be pursued in relation to the case. Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner, who awaits a May contempt vote from the full House to compel her to testify, sat for an off-the-record “Q+A” with DOJ lawyers that was not under oath and was not provided to the public.

“Congressional investigations into the IRS targeting scandal have uncovered evidence of serious criminal activity,” Issa said, “which must be resolved according to the law. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice’s current investigation has lost credibility and public confidence. Appointing a Special Counsel is a necessary step to restore impartiality to a case that requires it. The person Attorney General Holder appoints must be someone beyond the Administration’s own political circle, whose professional independence and political disinterest is beyond reproach.”

“After almost a year of investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups,”  Camp said, “the Ways and Means Committee found that Lois Lerner likely violated multiple criminal statutes.  The Department of Justice has a duty to pursue the wrongdoing the Committee laid out in its criminal referral letter.”

“We must hold the IRS accountable so this powerful agency cannot be used as a tool to target and harass Americans for their political beliefs.  I have serious concerns that the Department of Justice has brushed aside this investigation and will not pursue Lerner for the wrongdoing she committed. Therefore, DOJ must appoint a Special Counsel, so we can have an independent review of what really happened at the IRS,” Camp added.

“I find it disturbing that Attorney General Holder has appointed a political supporter and donor of President Obama’s presidential campaign to lead the effort to investigate this scandal and that the President and Administration officials have publicly undermined the investigation on multiple occasions,” Goodlatte said.

Follow Patrick on Twitter