Senator Joe Pennacchio said today he plans to introduce a resolution calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the disturbing revelation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.
“The actions of the IRS were a direct breach of the public’s trust and to the fundamental principals of our democracy,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris.) “We can not allow a heavy-handed government to squash Constitutional rights.”
Pennacchio’s resolution will call for a special prosecutor to conduct a thorough and immediate investigation to determine who was targeted by the IRS and under whose directive the actions were taken. The appointed prosecutor is to have investigatory, subpoena and prosecutorial powers.
“Those at the IRS, as well as anyone who allowed or ordered these outrageous actions to take place, must be held directly responsible,” Pennacchio said. “The American government can not be allowed to intimidate or take advantage of any group or individual. All people are afforded the integral right of free speech.”
It was discovered recently that the IRS singled out and specifically targeted Tea Party groups for enhanced scrutiny when they applied for non-profit status. For at least two years, the IRS used keywords like “Patriot” or “Tea Party” to single out conservative groups. Similarly, the IRS has also been accused of targeting pro-Israel groups as well as Christian groups led by Franklin Graham.