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House sets vote on measure pushing special counsel for IRS probe

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April 13, 2014: The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington.AP

House Republican leaders have set a vote for next week on a resolution urging the Justice Department to name a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal. 

The decision follows GOP complaints that the individual currently probing claims that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups. Barbara Bosserman, is an Obama donor. 

“It is time for Attorney General (Eric) Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal and bring the appropriate charges against those responsible,” House GOP leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in a written statement Friday, announcing the vote for next week.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan introduced the nonbinding resolution Friday calling for a special counsel. 

Jordan called an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department "a joke."

“We need this Special Counsel to help us get to the truth because the so-called investigation by the Justice Department has been a joke,” Jordan said. “The current investigation has no credibility because it is being headed by a maxed-out donor who is financially invested in the President’s success.”

He added, “This resolution calls for a real investigation by an unbiased investigator to get to the truth and hold those responsible for this illegal targeting accountable for their actions.”

Several committee chairmen have joined Jordan in sponsoring the resolution.

Holder has repeatedly dismissed previous calls for a special counsel.

“Unfortunately, the Department of Justice’s current investigation has lost credibility and public confidence,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said.  “Appointing a Special Counsel is a necessary step to restore impartiality to a case that requires it.”

Democrats say the move by GOP House leaders is another example of Republicans trying to keep the IRS scandal alive during an election year.

The House is expected to vote this month on holding former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to answer questions at a pair of hearings about IRS agents improperly singling out tea party applications for extra scrutiny.

Lerner directed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She was subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee last year after publicly acknowledging that the IRS had improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010 to 2012.

At the May 2013 hearing, Lerner read an opening statement in which she proclaimed her innocence. Then she refused to answer lawmakers' questions, citing her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The next day Lerner was placed on paid leave. She retired from the IRS last fall, ending a 34-year career in the federal government, including work at the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission.

The Oversight Committee later ruled in a party-line vote that Lerner had forfeited her constitutional right not to testify by making an opening statement. All Republicans voted in favor while all Democrats voted against.

The Associated Press contributed to this report