Republicans chastised the Justice Department on Thursday for failing to share information with Congress about its investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, calling anew for a special prosecutor.
The criticism during a House subcommittee meeting came as Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, said the investigation has been broadened to include the disappearance of emails from the computer of Lois Lerner, who had headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, told Cole that he had “serious concerns” about the investigation and asked what it would take for an independent prosecutor to be appointed. He also demanded that prosecutors investigate why it took the IRS two months to publicly report the missing emails.
Jordan asked, “Are you going to look at the fact that the head of the agency that targeted conservative groups knew in April and didn’t tell us” until June?
Cole, who claimed the Justice Department didn’t learn about the email loss until after it was reported in the news media, said he did not know the reason for the two-month lag but that he expected it to be looked into as part of the broader investigation.