The Internal Revenue Service controversy hasn’t yet blown up into a full-scale scandal, no matter how hard the right wing tries to make it so.
Now the talking heads and pols on the right are clamoring for a special counsel to investigate the matter. Recall, now, that it began with revelations that the IRS was vetting conservative political action groups’ requests for tax-exempt status. It does the same thing for liberal groups, too, but the conservative chattering class got all wound up over it and have raised a stink ever since.
Now there’s been further revelations about two years worth of emails that went missing from IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s computer. What the heck happened to them?
Republicans, not surprisingly, are trying to tie the IRS matter to the White House, even though no evidence has been uncovered that the IRS was doing anything under White House orders. They want to implicate the president — naturally! — for all this. So far they’ve come up empty.
A special prosecutor might be a good idea if Congress could limit the scope of his or her probe. The last notable special prosecutor hired was one Kenneth Starr, who was brought in to investigate the Whitewater real estate dealings involving President and Mrs. Clinton. Starr, though, went rogue and discovered the president had engaged in a tawdry relationship with a young White House intern.
The House of Reps impeached him because he lied to a federal grand jury about that relationship; the Senate acquitted the president at trial.
Is a special prosecutor needed in this case? I believe the GOP-led House of Representatives has looked thoroughly into this matter and has found zero evidence of White House complicity in anything involving the IRS.
That, of course, will not end the clamor.