A trio of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Republicans wrote Attorney General Eric Holder to ask that if the ongoing investigation into IRS targeting really didn’t reveal “smidgen of corruption” as President Obama recently claimed.
And if it really wasn’t a “smidgen,” perhaps the Justice Department could share those findings with Congress.
“In May of 2013, President Obama said he would not tolerate partisan targeting and vowed to ‘make sure that we find out exactly what happened’ at the IRS. Since this situation came to light, we have received very little information on the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation. You testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 29, 2014, that the investigation is open and still proceeding, and criminal charges are still possible, noting, ‘All the options are on the table, given the fact that there has not been a determination either to bring charges or to decline the case,'” Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) wrote to Holder.
“Additionally, on January 30, Deputy Attorney General James Cole sent a letter to Representative Jim Jordan refusing to allow any Department employees to testify before Congress because of the on-going nature of the investigation, stating it is the commitment of the Department to avoid ‘… any perception that our law enforcement efforts are subject to undue influence from elected officials. Our disclosure of non-public information about this pending investigation would be inconsistent with this long-standing policy and could undermine judicial confidence in the independence of the criminal justice process,'” the letter continued.
“In contrast to these statements, on Sunday, February 2, the President stated there is ‘not a smidgen of corruption’ at the IRS regarding this targeting, despite the fact the investigation, to the best of our knowledge and according to your recent testimony, is not complete. We hope you can restore our confidence that the investigation into the IRS will be thorough and not swayed by any political biases.”
Gowdy, Jordan and Chaffetz said they have three questions for Holder to now answer:
1) “If the IRS investigation is ‘ongoing,’ and there has been no determination as to whether criminal charges will be brought, how does the President know there is no criminality?”
2) “Is the President being briefed on the investigation while it is ongoing?”
3) “Can Congress be briefed on the status of the investigation and preliminary findings through a bipartisan, bicameral briefing?”