House Republicans are expected to vote in favor of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups because the lawmakers have no faith in an investigation of the matter currently being handled by the Justice Department.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) announced the vote in a statement Friday.
The lawmaker said that President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, along with other top-ranking government officials have meddled in the DOJ investigation for political reasons. Cantor and other members of the GOP have also noted in recent months that several top Justice lawyers involved in the investigation are Democratic donors.
“After a lengthy and thorough investigation, the House Ways & Means Committee referred Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution for violating the law by targeting conservative organizations,” Cantor said in the statement. “To date, it appears the Department of Justice has taken no action on this referral.
“It is time for Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal and bring the appropriate charges against those responsible. There can be no doubt the IRS scandal has undermined the public’s trust in our government. This is far too serious a matter to leave to the discretion of partisan political appointees no matter who is in the White House.”
Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who called the ongoing DOJ investigation “a joke,” introduced a resolution calling for a special prosecutor Friday with the backing of several top Republicans.
“The current investigation has no credibility because it is being headed by a maxed-out donor who is financially invested in the president’s success,” Jordan added. “This resolution calls for a real investigation by an unbiased investigator to get to the truth and hold those responsible for this illegal targeting accountable for their actions.”
Cantor said that he wants every member of the House, “Republican and Democrat,” to vote in favor of the measure. Unsurprisingly, Congressional Democrats have already criticized the effort.
“Another day, another desperate Republican effort to dredge up a political scandal even after a year of evidence has proven otherwise,” Representative Sandy Levin (Mich.), top Ways and Means Democrat, said in a statement.
The Democratic lawmaker also accused the GOP of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on investigations in a “wild attempt” to “tar” the Obama Administration.
The House’s special prosecutor announcement came the same day as Republicans in the Senate went on the offensive over Obama’s Benghazi terror attack scandal, organizing a select committee to investigate the attack and subpoenaing Secretary of State John Kerry to appear at a hearing later this month.