House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan want to know just how seriously the FBI is investigating potential violations of the law perpetrated by IRS agents involved in the agency’s targeting of tea-party groups. In a letter to newly confirmed FBI director James Comey, Issa and Jordan requested all documents and communications relating to the IRS’s evaluation of applicants for tax-exempt status as well as a briefing on the FBI’s own inquiries into two conservative groups, the King Street Patriots and True the Vote.
They may not get much. Gene Kapp, a spokesman for the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents 41 tea-party groups targeted by the IRS, tells National Review Online that the ACLJ has had “no contact from the FBI or any other investigative agency.” Likewise, Cleta Mitchell, an attorney for six tea-party groups targeted by the IRS, says that neither she nor any of the groups she represents have heard from the FBI since news of the scandal broke.
Days after embattled IRS official Lois Lerner disclosed the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups in mid May, attorney general Eric Holder told CNN that the FBI would launch an investigation into the agency’s targeting of tea-party groups. “The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the IRS,” Holder said. “Those were, as I think everyone can agree, if not criminal, they were certainly outrageous and unacceptable.”
The following month, those tracking the unfolding scandal began to wonder how seriously the Bureau was looking into potential legal violations when FBI director Robert Mueller was unable to tell a congressional panel either who was leading the investigation for the FBI or how many investigators were on the case.