The White House thinks it is unnecessary to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the
IRS’ inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups, risking potential backlash from an American public that overwhelmingly supports such a measure across party lines. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday that the White House is not looking into appointing a special prosecutor, something 76 per cent of Americans said they supported in a Quinnipiac poll.
“And the reason for that simply is that there is a new IRS commissioner in place, Danny Werfel, who is a career civil servant, who represented — who served in administrations led by Republican Presidents and Democratic Presidents,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One. “He’s conducting a 30-day review — that was a review that was ordered by the Secretary of the Treasury at the direction of the President. That is an ongoing review that is taking place.”
“There are a lot of people looking at this from a lot of different perspectives,” he added. “And we’re confident that those who need to be held accountable for the wrongdoing that occurred there will be held accountable. And the President is committed to making sure that those steps are taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
As Earnest said, Congress is already investigating the matter. And Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice has opened a criminal probe.
Still, numerous Republicans have called for an independent investigator to conduct a review. And the Quinnipiac poll shows that the public overwhelmingly supports that step.
According to the poll, 76 per cent of Americans would support such a step. That includes 63 per cent of Democrats, 78 per cent of Independents, and 88 per cent of Republicans.
The poll also found that a majority of Americans (53 per cent) view the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups as a “scandal,” while 44 per cent said that members of Congress have “legitimate concerns” in their investigation of the matter.
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