Cruz asks feds to save documents in IRS probe

Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe 'Overton Window' and how Trump won the nomination with it Judge rejects attempt to stop internet oversight transfer Tech groups file court brief opposing internet transition suit MORE (R-Texas) wants the Justice Department to save documents related to its two-year investigation of allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

"This Administration’s recent announcement ... has finally made it abundantly clear that the responsibility of ensuring a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation of IRS employees and their potential criminal conduct will fall to the next presidential administration, and relevant materials must be protected accordingly," Cruz, who is running for president, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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He sent the letter Monday, after the DOJ announced last month that it was closing its probe.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in a letter to Congress that investigators "found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution."

But Republicans quickly pounced on the decision not to charge Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the scandal. Cruz, in his letter, called the decision "disappointing but not surprising."

Cruz wants the department to preserve any communications since 2010 from the IRS or its employees that in any way discuss current or past IRS employees, or include the name of a handful of officials including Lerner and former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. 

The Texas Republican added that "the IRS’s targeting of ordinary citizens for their political viewpoints under this Administration is not a minor issue."

"Even a casual observer of the IRS targeting scandal could not help but come to the conclusion that there is a strong appearance that the IRS, under this Administration’s political leadership, used the coercive tools available to the tax collection agency to harass people with conservative viewpoints," he wrote.

Cruz has called on the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to look into allegations the IRS targeted conservative and Tea Party groups, though then-Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderLawyer claims death threats after anti-Black Lives Matter lawsuit Adviser: Obama can’t ‘erase decades’ of racism Airbnb enlists civil rights leaders in discrimination fight MORE declined that request.

He warned in Monday's letter that the Obama administration needs to know that its decision "does not represent the conclusion of this matter."

"Any subsequent administration should reserve the right to reopen the matter, conduct its own investigation, or appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation," he wrote.