Two Republican leaders of the House's investigative panel have asked the Justice Department to hand over information regarding its probe of the Internal Revenue Service's illegal targeting of conservative groups.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder dated Thursday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who chairs the panel's Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee, specifically want information regarding any contact the Justice Department may have had with former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Issa's committee has been investigating the IRS scandal since last spring, when Lerner admitted her agency singed out groups for special scrutiny that included the conservative buzzwords "Tea Party," "patriot" or "9/12" in their names.
Lerner recently has refused to answer questions when called before Issa'a committee. And Republicans have become incensed over news reports that Lerner gave a lengthy interview to Justice Department lawyers.
Issa and Jordan say they're entitled to know what the Justice Department has learned from its reported interview with Lerner.
"For over eight months, the committee has sought to carry out its oversight obligations in concert with the Department of Justice's law-enforcement duties," the lawmakers wrote. "At every stage, the department has refused to fully cooperate with the committee."
The pair have demanded Holder hand over all documents and communications referring regarding the DOJ’s reported interview with Lerner.
Issa and Jordan also want to know if Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions during the reported interview
Issa has warned Lerner she faces contempt charged for her failure to answer his questions, saying she waved her Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent at a hearing last year, a claim denied by Lerner's attorney.