Washington, D.C. — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that he appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups.
Over a year has passed since the public first learned about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and today no one has yet been held accountable for these apparent criminal actions. Recent developments, including the revelation that a number of emails belonging to Lois Lerner, the former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, had been lost and the discovery of an e-mail suggesting the IRS audit Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), further the importance of appointing a Special Counsel to investigate this matter.
Under current law, the Attorney General is required to appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that the criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted. Specifically, the Attorney General is required to appoint a Special Counsel when the investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances, and when under the circumstances it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.
Below are excerpts from the letter. The full letter can be found here.
“It is clear that appointing an outside Special Counsel to investigate this matter would be in the public interest. The American people are very concerned that their government has targeted individual American citizens for harassment solely on the basis of their political beliefs. They deserve to know who ordered the targeting, when the targeting was ordered, and why.
“The timing of the revelation of the lost emails and the new information regarding the apparent consideration of a sitting Republican Senator – and vocal critic of the IRS targeting of conservative groups – for a baseless investigation and audit, have served to wash away whatever credibility the Administration retained in this matter, and have indisputably created the “extraordinary circumstances” called for in the regulations”
Background: On May 7, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a resolution (H.Res. 565) calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups. Earlier this year, Attorney General Holder appointed a Justice Department attorney who donated thousands of dollars to President Obama’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee to spearhead the investigation. Additionally, over the last several months the Administration, including President Obama himself, has publicly undermined the integrity of the Justice Department’s investigation.