by Tony Perkins
For once, Eric Holder is conducting an investigation instead of being the subject of one.
Even that’s proving to be a tall task for the U.S. Attorney General, whose agency can’t seem to put aside its political motives long enough to give conservatives a fair shake. And while accountability isn’t exactly the motto of this Justice Department, Congress at least expected a pretense of concern over the very serious allegations of conservative targeting at the IRS.
At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Attorney General Holder feigned interest as he listened to members rant about the DOJ’s indifference over one of the most shocking scandals to hit the IRS in modern history. It’s “astonishing,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of Holder’s lack of urgency. Despite stacks of evidence dating back to 2010, DOJ has yet to hold anyone accountable for the high-level shakedown of tea party groups applying for nonprofit status.
“In the 280 days since that inspector general report, nobody has been indicted. Not a single person. In the 280 days since that inspector general report, it’s been publicly reported that no indictments are planned. Today in this hearing, you were unwilling to answer a question whether even a single victim of targeting has been interviewed,”Â Cruz scolded. “Two hundred and eighty days have passed and apparently the anger and outrage that both the President and you expressed has utterly disappeared.” Holder shrugged off the insinuation that the investigation was being conducted with the same bias as the original targeting. He insisted the probe was above board and that there was no need for the special prosecutor Cruz called for. “[I know this] by looking at the facts, applying the law to the facts and reaching the appropriate conclusions.”
That’s hardly a comfort to conservatives, who know that there are two things Eric Holder rarely considers: the law or the facts. The IRS’s viewpoint suppression, which can be traced all the way to senior management, aimed to shut down the President’s opposition by holding back the groups’ application for nonprofit status. One of the victims, True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht, said her organization wasÂ run through the gauntlet, with agents asking “hundreds of questions over and over again. “They requested to see each and every tweet I’ve ever tweeted or Facebook post I’ve ever posted. They also asked to know every place I’ve ever spoken since our inception and to whom, and everywhere I intend to speak in the future.” The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and Occupational Safety Hazards Administration all started snooping around, followed by surprise audits of the family’s business.
And according to Cruz, none of this was a coincidence — not with a generous Obama supporter at the helm. “[I]t has not been publicly reported that the lead lawyer heading the investigation was, No. 1, appointed from the civil rights division, which has historically been the most politically charged division in the Department of Justice. And even more astonishingly, is a major Democratic donor and donor to President Obama.”
Knowing this, Cruz asked, was the DOJ taking a closer look at the meetings between the head of the IRS and White House operatives? As if on cue, Holder clammed up, insisting he couldn’t discuss an ongoing investigation. Either way, Cruz went on, the DOJ’s integrity has been “severely compromised.”
That’s putting it mildly, considering Fast and Furious, Holder’s defiance ofÂ marriage law,Â pornography laws,Â marijuana laws,Â gambling laws, and his own shame of being held in contempt of Congress — which, at this point, is nothing compared to the public’s contempt.