WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 – On January 22, 2014, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of illegal targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. Nearly six weeks later he got his answer from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik. The answer was a resounding “no.”
There will be no special prosecutor investigating alleged illegal use of IRS power. This is indicative of the intense disregard for the tone-deaf impression the highly politicized Justice Department is leaving with the people whom they purport to serve.
In the articulate and impassioned letter Senator Cruz wrote to Attorney General Holder, he outlined numerous reasons why a special prosecutor was warranted in this case. Among them was the seriousness of the charge of IRS wrongdoing made by the inspector general for Tax Administration back in May 2013. There is ample evidence of this criminal conduct as revealed in the report released last week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Cruz also cited that the key figure in this investigation has not only publicly apologized for this grossly inappropriate activity, but has since refused to cooperate with the committee’s investigation and has pleaded the Fifth Amendment to protect herself from self-incrimination.
Furthermore Cruz quoted both Eric Holder and President Obama, who both expressed outrage and vowed to hold those responsible who had perpetrated this illegal behavior in the IRS, but have since done little (if anything) to follow through with those promises. Senator Cruz went on in the letter to chastise them for not having indicted a single person. Even worse, the Department of Justice appointed a maximum donor to Obama’s campaigns to the most politically charged division of the DOJ, the Civil Rights Division. It was also mentioned that the FBI had already leaked that it planned to file no criminal charges, well before the investigation’s conclusion, before the victims had even been interviewed in fact.
Senator Cruz even invoked the basic tactic of trying to shame Holder into doing the right thing by bringing up past attorneys general from both the Nixon and Clinton administrations who had appointed special prosecutors to investigate alleged misconduct. Those respective attorneys general had done so in an effort to put the rule of law above political interest and to combat any public perception of a conflict of interest that would naturally occur should an administration be entrusted to investigate itself.
These powerful arguments fell upon deaf ears, even in light of the revelation that the IRS was in the process of changing decades-old rules to allow the legal and permanent targeting of politically conservative groups. Getting these new and highly unfair regulations in place is apparently a top priority for this administration’s IRS as the 2014 elections draw near.
None of this seemed to matter to arguably the most politicized DOJ in modern history. They do not fear the obvious impropriety of such a blatant conflict of interest. Nor do they object to the lost credibility certain to ensue by the lackluster and seemingly preordained investigation being led by rank partisans rather than an objective and unimpeachably ethical special prosecutor. It appears they are acting upon their priorities, and sadly it looks like the priorities are to protect this administration and neutralize its political enemies.
Kadzik used the excuse that the IRS scandal did not meet the criteria that warrants a special prosecutor. He claimed the regulatory standard for such had not been met, as it did not constitute extraordinary circumstances and there was no clear conflict of interest. One has to wonder just what would qualify in his eyes as a clear conflict of interest.