Sen. Cruz calls on President Obama's Attorney General to Investigate IRS Abuse of Power
253 days after Obama professed outrage, no one has been indicted; President should call for special prosecutor in State of the Union address
January 22, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Cruz criticized the administration for failing to maintain its commitment to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the targeting, for appointing a partisan, Democrat donor to lead DOJ’s probe into the IRS, and for bypassing Congress to implement new IRS rules that would stifle free speech among non-profit organizations.
“Two hundred fifty-three days have passed since both you and President Obama professed outrage at the IRS’s wrongful conduct,” Sen. Cruz wrote to Attorney General Holder in the letter. "To date, no one has been indicted. And it has been reported that the FBI plans not to file any criminal charges. This is a sad state of affairs. The widespread perception of partisan bias, of manifest conflict of interest, besmirches the reputation of the Department of Justice. And it undermines confidence in rule of law. I ask you personally to demonstrate the independence that so many of your predecessors have demonstrated, and act to preserve the integrity of the Department of Justice and immediately appoint a special prosecutor, with meaningful independence, to investigate the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups.”
Earlier today, Sen. Cruz released a series of questions that Americans expect President Obama to answer in his State of the Union address. His letter to Attorney General Holder follows up on his first question:
Will the President support the appointment of a special prosecutor to fully investigate the IRS's illegal targeting of conservatives? The President should be eager to prove he has clean hands on this issue. He professed to be angry and outraged by the IRS abuse. Will he pledge to stop new IRS rules that restrict the free speech of non-profit groups?
Immediately following the IRS’s admission of targeting conservative groups, President Obama pledged to work “hand in hand” with Congress to learn the truth and ordered the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation. Since then, the Administration has stonewalled any meaningful investigation, no one has been indicted and it has been reported that the FBI does not plan to file criminal charges. Even a top IRS official implicated in the targeting has been able to avoid testifying before Congress, temporarily received paid leave, and eventually quietly retired.
As questions continue to go unanswered regarding who should be held responsible, the IRS has moved forward with pushing new agency rules governing non-profit organizations that would effectively legalize future scrutiny of conservative groups by forcing them to disclose their donors if they wished to engage in voter education. At the same time, the Department of Justice has hired a partisan Democrat, who has donated $6,570 to President Obama and the Democratic National Committee in recent years, to lead the investigation into actions at the IRS.
There is a history of Attorneys General standing up to political pressure, even against the Presidents who have appointed them. When President Nixon faced charges of abusing government power for partisan ends, Elliot Richardson appointed Archibald Cox as Special Prosecutor. Likewise, when President Clinton faced charges of ethical improprieties, Janet Reno appointed Robert Fiske as Independent Counsel. Sadly, the current Department of Justice has failed to live up to its storied history to pursue justice and to insulate this investigation from political pressure.
Americans currently have no assurances that the rule of law will be followed, that those responsible will be held accountable, or that illegal targeting of conservative groups will cease. The administration has the power to make these assurances and ensure it doesn’t happen again, yet recent actions prove the little regard it has for finding out the truth.