Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Republicans criticize handling of IRS inquiry

Subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, greets Deputy Attorney General James Cole on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Cole testified that their investigation is widening.

Associated Press

Subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, greets Deputy Attorney General James Cole on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Cole testified that their investigation is widening.

WASHINGTON — Republicans chastised the Justice Department on Thursday for failing to share information with Congress about its investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers called anew for a special prosecutor to look into the matter.

The criticism during a House subcommittee meeting came as Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department's No. 2 official, said the investigation has been broadened to include the disappearance of emails from the computer of Lois Lerner, who formerly headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, told Cole he had "serious concerns" about the investigation and asked what it would take for an independent prosecutor to be appointed. He also demanded that prosecutors investigate why it took the IRS two months to publicly report the missing emails.

Jordan asked, "Are you going to look at the fact that the head of the agency that targeted conservative groups knew in April and didn't tell us" until June?

Cole, who said the Justice Department didn't learn about the email loss until after it was reported in the news media, said he didn't know the reason for the two-month lag but that he expected it to be looked into as part of the broader investigation.

Lerner, who refused to answer questions at two House committee hearings, has become a central figure in several congressional investigations into the handling of applications for tax-exempt status by tea party groups. At both hearings, Lerner cited her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself. In May, the Republican-led House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify.

The IRS revealed last month that it lost the emails in 2011 when Lerner's computer crashed. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has said he has seen no evidence that anyone committed a crime in connection with the lost emails. There is no evidence Lerner intentionally destroyed them, he said, adding that the IRS has gone to great lengths trying to retrieve lost documents on her computer.

Republicans criticize handling of IRS inquiry 07/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.