Cantor calls for Special Prosecutor for Lerner, IRS scandal

The House will vote next week on a resolution demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to look into the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, and specifically, Lois Lerner. There will also be a vote on whether to formally hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

The Hill:

House Republicans plan to vote next week on a resolution that would urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups.

In a statement announcing the vote, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Republicans have no faith in the investigation that is already being carried out at the Justice Department.

“It is time for Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal and bring the appropriate charges against those responsible,” Cantor said in a statement.

“This is far too serious a matter to leave to the discretion of partisan political appointees no matter who is in the White House.”


Almost a year after the IRS controversy broke, House Republicans say that President Obama, Holder and other important members of the administration repeatedly have undercut the investigation into the agency’s treatment of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. 

Republicans have been angry for months that one of the key Justice Department lawyers on the IRS case has given thousands of dollars to Democratic causes, including Obama.

“We need this special counsel to help us get to the truth because the so-called investigation by the Justice Department has been a joke,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who introduced a resolution Friday calling for the special prosecutor.

“The current investigation has no credibility because it is being headed by a maxed-out donor who is financially invested in the president’s success,” Jordan added. “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.”

Several top Republicans involved in the congressional investigations into the IRS, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), joined on to Jordan’s resolution.

The resolution comes the same day that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he would seek a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, another sign that Republicans are seeking to keep the heat on the administration this election year.

Democrats are complaining that the IRS has already been investigated and the administration has been cleared of wrongdoing. Considering who conducted the "investigation" - the Justice Department - one is hardly filled with confidence that a thorough job was done.

Unfortunately, the resolution won't change Holder's mind. About the best the GOP can hope for, is that the contempt citation against Lerner will convince her to testify and that some previously hidden evidence is brought to light. Otherwise, it just a PR exercise and nothing will come of it.