Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik from the U.S. Department of Justice during a hearing today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the rate and quality of document production by federal agencies, and about the IRS targeting scandal.
Rep. Jordan questioned Kadzik about Justice Department delays in delivering requested documents to the Oversight committee, and also about the Justice Department’s investigation of the IRS and its decision to not prosecute anyone for its targeting of conservative organizations.
During his questioning, Rep. Jordan expressed frustration over the Justice Department’s failure to provide documents to the Oversight committee, even though the department’s investigation of the IRS has concluded. The Justice Department refused to provide case files related to its investigation, instead pointing to a congressional briefing on the subject planned for next week.
Rep. Jordan: “We … sent you a letter on December 1, the Chairman and I, and we requested in that letter all documents that pertain to the [IRS] investigation and we have yet to receive a single document. Why is that?”
Kadzik: “We also received your letter yesterday requesting the file.”
Jordan: “That’s a follow-up letter. We sent the first letter over a month ago.”
Kadzik: I understand, but producing an entire investigation or prosecution file presents particular issues with respect to our law enforcement sensitivities and prosecutorial responsibilities.”
Jordan: “We’ve heard that for three-and-a-half years. I’ve had two different FBI directors, I’ve had Mr. Holder, assistant Attorney General Mr. Cole, give me that exact same answer for three-and-a-half years. And their answer added one other word: ‘ongoing’ investigation. And now the investigation is over. And it’s been over at least since October 23 according to what you just testified and according to the eight-page letter you sent us on October 23. And now you’re telling us you can’t give us any documents and you’re just giving us the same answer?”
How many people with visas have overstayed their time in the United States? What information was included in more than 10,000 files related to the Office of Personnel Management data breach? Is there a paper trail leading to the decision not to pursue criminal charges against IRS officials for targeting conservative groups?
Those are questions members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have been asking — in some cases — for more than a year, but a lack of documentation from federal agencies have prevented complete answers from being given.