Holder Denies Cruz's Request for Special Prosecutor in IRS Targeting

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 08:09 PM

By Cathy Burke and Greg Richter

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Attorney General Eric Holder has denied Sen. Ted Cruz's demand for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS's targeting of tea party groups – a rejection the Texas Republican is slamming as "the height of hypocrisy" by the Obama administration.

The tea party favorite had called for the appointment on Jan. 22, writing the nation's top prosecutor that it had been eight months "since both you and President Obama professed outrage at the IRS's wrongful conduct," and yet no legal action had been taken.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

But in a March 10 reply, the Department of Justice curtly asserted "such an appointment is not warranted" because the case doesn't present a conflict of interest, adding that
"career prosecutors and law-enforcement professionals" were conducting the probe.

"The Department remains committed to integrity and fairness in all of its law-enforcement efforts, without regard to politics," the letter stated. It was signed by Peter Kadzik, principal deputy assistant attorney general.

Republicans have pointed out the investigator in the Justice department probe is a partisan donor to President Obama and Democratic causes.

On Wednesday, Cruz shot back at the Justice department rejection, calling it "the height of hypocrisy for the Obama Administration to claim that the investigator leading the investigation into the IRS's illegal program has no conflict of interest."

"Sadly … Eric Holder has chosen to reject the bipartisan tradition of the Department of Justice of putting rule of law above political allegiance," Cruz said, citing attorneys general who've named special prosecutors to investigate Watergate under President Richard Nixon and the Monica Lewinsky scandal under President Bill Clinton.

Jay Sekulow, lawyer for the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing 41 groups targeted by the IRS, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that Holder's rejection showed "the federal government has no interest in investigating the truth here and to find out exactly what happened."

Sekulow noted the president had told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly there wasn't a "smidgen" of corruption by the tax agency — but should have said nothing because of an ongoing investigation.

"But he didn't say that, and I've got 41 clients that are in civil court," Sekulow said.

"None of this is adding up, and I'm not shocked that the special prosecutor was denied," he said. "Disappointed, but not shocked."

Civil litigation will go on, he said.

Cruz's call for a special prosecutor has not been the only one.

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night, House Oversight Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also demanded a special prosecutor be appointed.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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