Cleta Mitchell: FBI Probe of IRS Targeting Done Soviet-Style

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 10:29 PM

By Cathy Burke

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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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