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Thornberry Statement on Holding the IRS Accountable
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) made the following statement supporting the House’s vote to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, as well as a measure urging Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Counsel to immediately investigate the IRS for targeting groups because of their political beliefs:
“It’s been more than a year since Congress learned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was unfairly scrutinizing conservative groups as they applied for tax-exempt status. The Administration has not been cooperative in getting to the bottom of this clear abuse of power.
“The American people deserve to know their government will act to protect their constitutional rights and will not tolerate targeting based on political beliefs now or in the future.
“For this reason, I voted to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to testify about the IRS abuses. I also supported a bill calling on Attorney General Holder to immediately appoint an independent Special Counsel to further investigate these crimes. Under current law, the Attorney General is advised to appoint a Special Counsel when a criminal investigation presents a conflict of interest for the Department of Justice and is in the public’s best interest. Both tests are met in this case.
“The public cannot have confidence in the Administration investigating itself. The DOJ attorney appointed to spearhead the investigation is a major donor to the Democratic National Committee and President Obama’s political campaigns. The American people need the assurance that this investigation will be conducted objectively, without political bias, and that justice will be served. A special prosecutor should be appointed.”###