Attorney General Eric Holder must take seriously congressional allegations against former IRS official Lois Lerner if he is to be trusted as the nation's top law enforcement official, Rep. Trey Gowdy says.
"What happened today was really big . . . You remember when the president said there's not a smidgen of criminality?" Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"So, now you have the Ways and Means, which is one of the more widely respected committees in Congress, sending three separate, potential criminal acts to the Department of Justice and a referral.
"This is a perfect opportunity for [Holder] to prove his law enforcement credentials and not his political credentials . . . If you want to be taken seriously as a top law enforcement official in the country, you better handle this investigation in a way that generates public confidence," Gowdy said Wednesday.
A House committee voted Wednesday to formally ask the Justice Department to consider criminal prosecution against Lerner, who was allegedly part of the targeting of conservative groups by the agency. Lerner has denied any wrongdoing.
Gowdy, a member of the House Oversight Committee, said that with the IRS and other scandals looming, he expects Americans to make changes in leadership at the polls this year.
"November is the ultimate chance for our fellow citizens to say, 'You know what? We're not headed in the right direction, and you can pick your reason why. Our feckless foreign policy, healthcare, or maybe, just maybe, since we're a nation of laws, it'd be nice to have a chief executive and an AG that took that responsibility seriously," Gowdy said.
"Now, you can't get rid of the chief executive this November, but you can certainly send a message that we're not happy with the way things are going."
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