Former IRS division director Lois Lerner most likely broke the law and should be prosecuted for targeting conservative groups seeking nonprofit status, Rep. Tim Griffin says.
"We believe that there is substantial evidence that Lois Lerner broke the law, and we want the Justice Department to take a look at what we have pulled out of the tens of thousands of pages of documents we've reviewed," Griffin, an Arkansas Republican and member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We believe there should be a criminal investigation and potentially a prosecution. Once you get a chance to review the information, I think it sort of speaks for itself," he said Wednesday.
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Ways and Means voted 23-14 along party lines to refer Lerner to the Justice Department, which sets the stage for Attorney General Eric Holder to haul her into court if he so chooses.
Griffin said he is not confident Justice will do its job, however.
"What do you think the response from the Justice Department will be?
"If the past is any indication, I don't have great expectations for the Justice Department as a general matter. But I do believe, in this particular instance, the evidence, the facts, are substantial," he said.
"I don't see how they could refuse to take action — although, they've wowed me before with their boldness. I hope that they give this information the due that it deserves, and I think that if they do, they will act accordingly."
Griffin said Congress' role in pushing for a Justice probe is on the money.
"[It] has a role as an equal branch to conduct oversight and to conduct its own investigations," he said.
"When it finds material, or evidence, if you will, that it believes constitutes potential crime, then we have an obligation to bring that or take that evidence and information to the executive branch for review and essentially prosecution.
"That's what we did in this case . . . It goes to the heart of government abuse of power, and that's really what the most troubling allegation out of all of this is."
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