“The Time Has Come”, the Walrus Said

I think it should be obvious to everyone that it’s long past time when a special prosecutor should be named to investigate the IRS’s of certain organizations whose politics they didn’t much like for harassment. Republican Congressman Jim Jordan argues for that in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:

A special prosecutor, uncompromised by partisan political winds, provides hope of uncovering what happened at the IRS. As Elijah Cummings, my Democratic colleague on the Oversight Committee, said on May 22, 2013—the day of the committee’s first IRS hearing—getting the truth and restoring trust must be paramount. “This is more important than one election,” he explained. “The revelations that have come forward so far provides us with a moment pregnant for transformation; not transformation for a moment, but for generations to come and generations yet unborn.”

I hope Mr. Cummings and fellow members of his party will join me in acknowledging the time has come for the appointment of an independent and unbiased special prosecutor.

As appropriate as the message may be, I fear that Cong. Jordan isn’t the best person to be making the argument.

Far too many of his fellow partisans have seriously conflicting goals. The goal of a special prosecutor should be to determine exactly what happened and, possibly, determining who if anyone has committed a crime, filing suit if appropriate. When Republican goals include establishing culpability as a highest priority, preferably blaming it on the president, it clouds the issue seriously. It raises the spectre of a special prosecuter who, like the Red Queen, wants to pronounce the sentence first.

If Republicans really wanted to know what happened, they could grant Ms. Lerner immunity and then demand that she testify in full before Congressional committees under threat of contempt of Congress. There appears to be a prima facie case for perjury against her which could also be used as leverage.

Failing to take these steps seems to me to weaken the case for a special prosecutor. Too many Americans still have unhappy memories of an unending Kafka-like tenure of a special prosecutor whose actions more resembled those of a Grand Inquisitor than it did a search for the truth.

3 comments… add one
  • TastyBits

    The question is how to keep from it turning into a thirteen ring circus. An investigation into a real estate deal years before President Clinton took office ended with him impeached for a blowjob.

    Richard Holbrooke reveals Valerie Plame is a CIA agent, and Scooter Libby goes to jail.

    There needs to be a special prosecutor overseer board with a ruler to whack their knuckles if they get off course. I could recommend some Irish nuns with their own rulers.

  • ...

    I couldn’t get past “uncompromised by partisan political winds”. I can safely assume everything that follows must be either grossly naive or pure bullshit.

  • steve

    Their goal is to keep this going as long as possible, so a special prosecutor makes sense for them. Who knows, maybe they can veer off on some tangent and find something not even related. However, if they just want to know what happened, grant Lerner immunity.


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