It was "flat-out wrong" for the President Barack Obama's administration to attempt to suppress the right of Americans to speak out against the government by using the IRS to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, said Rep. Jim Jordan.
The Ohio Republican, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, which is conducting the investigation into the IRS, told "Fox & Friends" that Congress would continue its quest to get the facts about the allegations against the agency.
"Of course, we've got to pursue this and get to the truth," Jordan said Thursday. "This is about the violation of your most fundamental right, your right to speak out in a political fashion against your government, and that was systematically targeted by this administration. And that's flat-out wrong."
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In a committee hearing scheduled for Thursday, Jordan said he wanted to ask Justice Department representatives why IRS officials were able to take so long to tell Congress about the the lost emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.
"The main thing we want to find out is, why was it OK for the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen, to wait two months ... to tell the Congress, two months to tell the American people, and most importantly, two months to tell the FBI and the Justice Department [about the lost emails]? Why is that OK?" he said.
Jordan said he also wanted to ask Justice Department attorney Ron Machen when he would "convene a grand jury, like the statute says he's supposed to do," based on a bipartisan contempt resolution the House filed against Lerner.
"When is he going to do that? Take this to a grand jury? And more importantly, get this resolution in front of a judge, where maybe the judge will compel Lois Lerner to come answer our questions and tell the American people the truth," Jordan said.
It was a "good sign" the Justice Department was investigating Lerner's lost emails as a part of their broader probe into the IRS, Jordan explained. He said Congress had been "real suspect about this entire [Justice Department] investigation," especially since the lead attorney on the project was a "maxed-out contributor to the president's [re-election] campaign."
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