House Panel Seeks Criminal Inquiry of Ex-IRS Official
Republicans send letter to Justice Department as Democrats cry foul
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2014 2:25 PM CDT
Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

(Newser) – Last year's IRS scandal is back in the headlines. The House Ways and Means panel today formally asked the Justice Department for a criminal investigation into retired IRS official Lois Lerner, reports the Hill. Republicans on the committee pushed the vote through, alleging that emails show Lerner sought to deny tax-exempt status to conservative groups, particularly Crossroads GPS, while letting liberal ones slide. Democrats, meanwhile, accused the panel of political theatrics ahead of the midterms, given that the Justice Department already is conducting an investigation into the matter, reports AP.

Some dueling quotes:

  • Republican Dave Camp: "We think there's reason to believe that laws were broken, that constitutional rights were violated," said the committee's chairman. "We have to make sure that the signal goes out that this can't happen again."
  • Democrat Sander Levin: "Making this committee an arm of any campaign committee does a deep disservice to the proud traditions and legacy of this committee. I don’t understand why you are doing this, Mr. Chairman.”
  • Lerner's attorney: “Ms. Lerner has done nothing wrong. She did not violate any law or regulation. She did not mislead Congress. She did not interfere with the rights of any organization to a tax exemption. Those are the facts.”
This isn't the only House panel investigating the issue. Tomorrow, Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee will vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions, reports Politico.

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Apr 12, 2014 9:56 PM CDT
this will all be over soon when... The REP WILL take control in Nov. 04, 2014 and do the following: 1-GROW the economy & create good-paying AMERICAN jobs!! 2-GET to repeal OBAMACARE & replace it with reforms that truly LOWER COSTS!!! 3-BALANCE the budget IN 10 YEARS,reduce debt & ease TAXES in the middle-class!! 4-PROTECT social security & medicare for current & future retirees!!! 5-STRENGTHEN the military, honor our vets & restore RESPECT FOR AMERICA!!! 6-FIGHT for our individual freedoms & defend the CONSTITUTION!! 7-Then in Nov. 08, 2016 Gov. Christie will be prez!!!! and everything will be AOK in the USA on Jan 20, 2017!! THERE YA GO!!
Apr 10, 2014 10:15 AM CDT
It's just the GOp's way of wasting time, money and churning up their already misinformed base.
Apr 9, 2014 10:05 PM CDT
Don't we have three branches of government? Since when does a House committee run the DOJ? The House has the power of impeachment. Anything resembling a charge?