House GOP wants special counsel to probe IRS

Probe of Internal Revenue Service
The House Ways and Means Committee debates on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, whether IRS official Lois Lerner’s refusal to testify to Congress deserves criminal prosecution. Lerner, former head of the Internal Revenue Service Exempt Organizations Division, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions when twice called before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during its investigation of whether the federal tax agency improperly targeted conservative nonprofit political groups for extra scrutiny. Ways and Means wants the Justice Department to open a criminal probe against Lerner. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders say they want the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service over the way agents scrutinized applications by tea party groups for tax exempt status.

Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio introduced a nonbinding resolution Friday calling for a special counsel. Jordan called an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department, quote, “a joke.”

Several committee chairmen have joined Jordan in sponsoring the resolution, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia says the full House would vote on it next week.

Attorney General Eric Holder has dismissed previous calls for a special counsel. Democrats say the vote is another example of Republicans trying to fire up their base in an election year.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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