According to a Friday story in Newsmax, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas has demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s harassment of tea party and conservative groups. Cruz issued a threat if Holder fails to do so. If the Attorney General fails to appoint a special prosecutor, he should be impeached.
Many Americans, not all of them conservatives, have expressed outrage at both what appears to be a stonewalling effort at the IRS to conceal the details of the scandal and the slow walking of the investigation at the Justice Department. The latest development concerns the claim that the computer hard drives of a number of IRS officials, including that of Lois Lerner, the former IRS employee at the heart of the scandal, had crashed, wiping out emails that have been subpoenaed by Congress. Computer experts doubt that this claim is true, suggesting that the emails are in fact recoverable.
The situation has been compared to the 18 and a half minute gap that showed up in the Oval Office tapes during the Watergate affair. The gap, like the missing emails, was never adequately explained. Eventually Watergate obliged then President Richard Nixon to resign from office.
Hot Air suggests that there is some political stratagem in Cruz’s threat. While he is a senator and thus cannot be directly involved in an impeachment effort, he has much influence among House Republicans. An impeachment proceeding would occur in the House, while the Senate would conduct a trial to determine whether or not to remove Holder from office.
It is considered unlikely that Holder would be removed from office, even if the House did impeach him and even if the Republicans took control of the Senate. However the stratagem seems to be using the threat of impeachment to keep a focus on the scandal and the suspicious lack of enthusiasm by the Obama administration to get to the bottom of it. That the effort would redound to the benefit of Cruz among the conservative base is no doubt just a happy side effect.