WASHINGTON -- A House committee Wednesday took the rare step of recommending criminal prosecution of Lois Lerner over the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the
A 14-page letter to U.S. Atty. Gen.
"The Committee asks that you pursue this evidence and ensure that the victims of IRS abuse do not also suffer neglect from the criminal justice system," committee Chairman
Democrats objected to the move, noting that the Justice Department already is conducting an investigation. Rep.
"It now seems clear that Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee have decided that they do not want to be left behind in the Republican campaign to declare this a scandal and keep it going until November," he said.
In a statement, Lerner's attorney said she has "done nothing wrong," and called the timing of the committee's action "odd."
"The Department of Justice is already investigating the IRS," William W. Taylor III said. "This is just another attempt by Republicans to vilify Ms. Lerner for political gain."
The IRS scandal first broke last May after it was revealed that a regional branch office was setting aside applications for tax-exempt status from groups identified with terms such as