Plouffe: No need for IRS special prosecutor

Former senior White House adviser David Plouffe on Sunday rejected calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative groups, saying that the Justice Department and lawmakers would probe the matter “thoroughly.”

“You had Treasury undertaking the IRS, a 30-day review.  You had any number of congressional committees spending an inordinate amount of time on this,” said Plouffe on ABC’s “This Week.” “This is going to be looked into thoroughly, as it should be.”

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Lawmakers have launched a number of investigations into the IRS’s use of heightened scrutiny for Tea Party groups seeking tax exemption. Both Congress and the White House have criticized the IRS over the scandal, but lawmakers in both parties are divided on the need for a special counsel to probe the matter.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) led calls for a special prosecutor, but many of his GOP colleagues want Congress to take the lead on an investigation. Others have also expressed skepticism that a prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder would be able to conduct an impartial review.

A poll last week, though, showed broad support among voters in both parties for a special prosecutor. The Quinnipiac University poll showed 76 percent wanted a special investigator to 17 percent opposing. 

Eighty-eight percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents backed the move.

The White House has said it will not push for a special prosecutor, however. 

Deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters last week that the president had confidence in new IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel and would wait for him to conclude his 30-day review.

“There are a lot of people looking at this from a lot of different perspectives.  And we’re confident that those who need to be held accountable for the wrongdoing that occurred there will be held accountable,” said Earnest. “And the President is committed to making sure that those steps are taken to make sure this doesn't happen again.”

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