The lawyer who has represented about a dozen conservative groups that came under targeted IRS scrutiny said Monday that the FBI's behavior in the investigation was akin to a "former-Soviet-Union-type investigation."
But Cleta Mitchell told the Wall Street Journal
she's "not surprised" by the agency's decision not to file criminal charges in the matter.
"As far as I can tell, nobody has actually done an investigation," she told the Journal, saying the FBI has yet to reach out to any of her clients.
"This has been a big, bureaucratic, former-Soviet-Union-type investigation, which means that there was no investigation," she told the Journal. "This is a deplorable abuse of the public trust, but I am not surprised."
Another lawyer working with other tea party groups that came under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service told the Washington Times
on Friday that the FBI had contacted a "small number" of the targets.
"After seven months of no contact from federal investigators, a small number of our clients recently received a request for an interview from the FBI," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.
Rep. Darrell Issa
, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has been harshly critical of the case, last week challenging whether a Justice Department prosecutor handling it was an appropriate choice because she'd made donations to the Obama campaign.
Records show that Barbara Bosserman, a lawyer in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, donated $6,750 in 12 different contributions to Obama over two campaign cycles, Fox News reported
. She also made two contributions to the Democratic National Committee, one in 2004 and another in 2008.
"They say the fox isn't good to guard the henhouse; the fox is probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Fox News. "I think these investigations need to be done by independent people outside of the administration."
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