Contact: Jessica Collins, (202) 225-3951
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) today criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for not investigating the leak to the Wall Street Journal in January 2014 that the U.S. Department of Justice does not plan to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups. At today’s House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Justice Department, Congressman Jordan asked the Attorney General who leaked this information to the media and if the Department plans to prosecute the leaker once identified. Although Attorney General Holder has directed DOJ personnel in the past to aggressively pursue leaks of sensitive information to the media, he admitted today that he has not looked into this leak.
Below are statements from Chairman Goodlatte and Congressman Jordan criticizing the Attorney General’s decision to not pursue this leak to the media.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Over a year ago we learned that the IRS had been singling out certain conservative groups for further review as they applied for tax exempt status and today no one has yet been held accountable for this political plan to silence the voices of groups representing millions of Americans. Conservative groups across the nation, including groups in the Sixth District of Virginia, were impacted by this targeting, resulting in lengthy paperwork requirements, prying questions, and delays in their applications.
“Following a leak to the media that the Justice Department doesn’t plan to file criminal charges over the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, I find it disturbing that the Attorney General hasn’t sought to identify the leaker and doesn’t seem to be taking this scandal seriously. Whoever spearheaded this effort at the IRS to target certain Americans for their political beliefs should be held accountable for their actions. I urge Attorney General Holder to put more effort into getting to the bottom of this unsettling issue—Americans deserve to know the facts.”
Congressman Jordan: “The Attorney General refused to answer four simple questions about his investigation into the IRS scandal: Did his office speak with Lois Lerner, when did the interview happen, where did the interview happen, and did she ever assert her Fifth Amendment privilege during the interview. It makes you wonder why he wouldn’t even provide even the most inconsequential answers to basic questions about an investigation that is already lacking credibility in the eyes of the American people.
“Then, the same Attorney General who touts that his office has investigated ‘more leaks than any other past administration’ and who claims to want to protect every shred of information of an ongoing investigation said that he has not looked into who leaked information about the ongoing IRS scandal to the media. This leak allowed potential witnesses like Ms. Lerner to rest assured that they would not face criminal charges for their actions. Mr. Holder’s testimony further proves that ‘the fix is in’ and his so-called IRS investigation is nothing but a sham.”