Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is calling on Congress to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service targeting scandal, saying that the matter calls for someone who won't be compromised "by partisan political winds."
The hope of the Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee is that a special prosecutor will be able to uncover "what happened at the IRS," he wrote in an opinion piece
for The Wall Street Journal.
The matter has been investigated by the Republican-led House committee and by officials in the Justice Department.
When called to testify before the committee last May, former top IRS official Lois Lerner claimed to "have done nothing wrong" before citing her Constitutional right to not incriminate herself. She also refused to testify again on March 5.
"But Ms. Lerner, we discovered, forwarded confidential taxpayer information to her personal email account in early May 2013, which is a violation of IRS rules," Jordan said.
The Ohio Republican said Lerner also lied about never changing "the criteria for screening tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny," which the committee discovered she did in July 2011.
Lerner was interviewed by the Justice Department, which her attorney said she agreed to do because "she did not believe the Oversight Committee would treat her fairly."
However, Jordan says the real reason she agreed to the interview "is because Justice is friendly territory."
"The lead investigator is a substantial Obama campaign contributor, and Justice has already leaked that it doesn't expect to prosecute anyone," he claimed.
The chairman of the subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs also wants the former IRS official to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer any of the House committee's questions.
"Ms. Lerner's actions easily rise to a level worthy of contempt and Congress's institutional integrity demands nothing less," Jordan wrote.
Jordan concludes by calling on his Democratic counterparts to join him "in acknowledging the time has come for the appointment of an independent and unbiased special prosecutor."
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