Sen. Ted Cruz’s request for the Justice Department to appoint an independent prosecutor to determine the extent of the IRS targeting of conservative groups has been turned down, Politico reported.
Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, called the rejection the “height of hypocrisy,” saying that the current lead investigator — who has a record of campaign and political contributions to the Democratic Party — is “partisan,” loyal to his liberal-leaning causes.
“Both Nixon administration Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Clinton administration Attorney General Janet Reno appointed special prosecutors whose integrity was beyond reproach,” Mr. Cruz told Politico. “Eric Holder should do likewise.”
Mr. Cruz had asked that the federal agency name a special prosecutor “with meaningful independence” to conduct the query. But the Justice Department refused, saying the case did not meet the “regulatory standard set” for making such an appointment.
In a letter Mr. Cruz shared with Politico, the agency wrote that a special counsel may be only be appointed “when an investigation or prosecution by the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest, or in other extraordinary circumstances, such that the public interest would be served by such an appointment.”
The Justice Department also said that the agency investigation into the IRS debacle is going forth under the auspices of “career prosecutors and law enforcement professionals,” Politico reported.