*For Immediate Release* Contact: Kristine Michalson
May 15, 2013 Cell: (202) 870-4973
Rep. Salmon Calls for Special Counsel to Investigate
Sending letter to Attorney General calling for full and independent investigation
WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) announced that he is sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on him to appoint a Special Counsel to fully and independently investigate the IRS targeting of the Administration’s political opponents and to prosecute to the fullest any perpetrators found guilty of abusing their government roles. Rep. Salmon released the following statement regarding his letter to Attorney General Holder:
“The recent IRS scandal is both appalling and unconscionable, and once again, this Administration appears unwilling to give the American public the answers they deserve. Attorney General Holder’s recent announcement that the investigation into this abuse of power would be handled by the Justice Department and the FBI is insufficient.
The targeting of any political group by a government agency is unacceptable – if not criminal – and warrants further scrutiny by someone outside of the administration. I am requesting that Attorney General Holder appoint an independent and third party investigative body to further examine who ordered this targeting and how far up the chain of command it went.
Furthermore, the fact that the Justice Department recently admitted to secretly obtaining phone records from Associated Press journalists provides even more evidence that they have no credibility to lead an investigation of this magnitude.
Freedom of speech and thought are essential tenants of the American system of government. Unfortunately, this revelation that the IRS was targeting individuals and groups based on their political beliefs shakes the very foundation of our government and violates in a very real way their constitutional protections.”
The Administration continues to break the trust of the American people by failing to provide honest answers. They can take a step towards restoring some trust by appointing a Special Counsel to fully, fairly, and without bias, or undue influence investigate this latest scandal.”
On May 7, 2013 Rep. Salmon introduced H.R. 1847, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, a bill designed to increase protections for electronic communications, including personal emails, of U.S. citizens. That bill addresses the privacy concerns raised from the recent position by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the Fourth Amendment does not protect the privacy of personal emails because internet users do not “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” Click here for more information.
Rep. Salmon is also an original cosponsor to H.R. 1950, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act, aimed at preventing this type of biased, politically-motivated discrimination.
Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.