Senator Seeks Special Prosecutor on IRS Controversy
Letter asks attorney general to “preserve the integrity” of Justice Department.
Though known best for his time in the national spotlight attacking Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has now weighed in on the Internal Revenue Service’s still-controversial mishandling of primarily conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.
In a Jan. 22 letter, Cruz asked Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a “special prosecutor, with meaningful independence” in order to “personally demonstrate the independence that so many of your predecessors have demonstrated, and act to preserve the integrity of the Department of Justice.”
Cruz repeated complaints that the Obama administration has yet to hold accountable anyone in the IRS Exempt Organization division or higher up, and that central witness Lois Lerner was allowed to retire without testifying to Congress. More recently, Cruz continued, FBI leaks have revealed that, despite ongoing House and Senate committee probes of possible political bias at IRS, no criminal prosecutions are considered likely under an investigation being “led” by a Justice Civil Division attorney who donated to the Obama election campaign.
“Why has no one been indicted?...Why has the administration stonewalled Congress?” his letter asked, warning of continued controversy this election year over proposed IRS-Treasury Department regulations suggesting guidance on how social welfare and political groups’ applications for tax-exempt status should be handled.
President Obama and Holder both called the IRS behavior “intolerable and inexcusable,” yet 253 days have passed with no indictments, Cruz added. The administration’s “anger and outrage” were perhaps “less than sincere,” he said.
“When President Nixon faced charges of ethical improprieties, Elliot Richardson appointed Archibald Cox as special prosecutor, to pursue justice and to insulate the investigation from political pressure,” Cruz wrote, Likewise, President Clinton appointed Robert Fiske, he said. “Sadly the current Department of Justice has failed to live up to its storied history. “
A Justice spokeswoman would confirm only that the department received Cruz’s letter.