A Democrat on the House’s investigative committee raised the specter of a special prosecutor on Wednesday to investigate political targeting of conservative groups at the IRS from 2010 to 2012.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, warned IRS and Treasury Department witnesses before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform not to stonewall congressional efforts to get to the bottom of the scandal.
“We know where that will lead, it will lead to a special prosecutor. … There will be hell to pay if that’s the route that we choose to go down,” he said.
The Democrat’s reference to a special prosecutor was noteworthy, since the most vocal criticism for the IRS has come from GOP ranks in recent weeks.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, said Wednesday that the IRS intentionally misled Congress by failing to sound the alarm over political targeting in its tax-exempt division from 2010 to 2012.
He said his committee recently interviewed Holly Paz, a senior IRS official, who said the agency completed an internal review in early 2012 that concluded the same thing that an inspector general’s report publicly revealed only this month.
Everyone with of inappropriate criteria used to single out tea party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny “could have and should been a whistle-blower,” Mr. Issa said.
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