Calls for special prosecutor to investigate IRS 'targeting'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Are these hearings enough?

To South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, who says, we need a special prosecutor like yesterday.

Congressman, the more this blows up, the more I think even some Democrats are acknowledging you might be right. Where does this stand?

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Well, we have to carry the burden of persuasion and we have to persuade our colleagues that you can have both a special prosecutor and Congress can continue to do its job.

It's not an either/or. You of you can have both. And when I hear testimony like I heard this morning, which is clearly criminal in nature, Congress is not equipped to investigate crimes. So, we have no business investigating that.

It's cross-jurisdictional, so you can't just let one U.S. attorney office in Ohio or the District of Columbia do it. I think we need a special prosecutor with access to a grand jury, the ability to investigate, and Congress can still handle the management, the personnel, the funding. It's not an either/or. You can do both.

CAVUTO: And, in fact, we did, as to your point, Congressman, do both during Watergate, with Leon Jaworski going into the Watergate sort of underlings, and then at the same time Congress was conducting a widespread investigation. So there is precedent.

But a lot of people, especially among the prominent Democrats, are saying, well, for now, we're getting some answers through these hearings, and there's no need to appoint a special prosecutor.

You say what?

GOWDY: We may be get some answers, but we're getting them in five- minute increments.

I cannot think of a less effective way to conduct an investigation than to let members of Congress have five minutes and then flip to the other side and then back to Paul Ryan or whomever is on our side in Ways and Means.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

GOWDY: It's just not effective.

I mean, you need an FBI agent sitting down there for five days, not five minutes. You need grand jury. You need subpoenas. You need toll records. You need the ability to immunize, if necessary. And Congress is just not good at that.

So, yes, we can get answers, but what can we do about it? Has anyone been indicted? Has anyone been brought before a grand jury? Has anyone been arrested?

CAVUTO: But would a prosecutor, Congressman, have any better luck subpoenaing information from the IRS that shields itself under the privacy laws, even though it was the IRS that invaded and took advantage of those privacy laws going after these groups?

How do you rectify that? If you're having trouble getting that information, wouldn't a prosecutor have the same trouble and run into the same walls and blocks put up by an agency that claims privacy laws shield them from having to give this type of information to you?

GOWDY: I will tell you this, Neil.

The one time in my life when I had the least amount of trouble getting information from the IRS was when I was a federal prosecutor, because federal prosecutors can access that information through the grand jury, when no one else can.

So the reality is, prosecutors are best suited to access that information. I'm not sure some of this information, Congress could not get. The question is, what will Congress do with it?


GOWDY: We can't fire anybody. We can control funding, management oversight, all of which we can do while there's a criminal investigation going on.

CAVUTO: I didn't know who the IRS was afraid of, but apparently there's a group even more fearful than the IRS. And that would be prosecutors. I didn't think of that.

Congressman, thank you very, very much.

GOWDY: Yes, sir. Thank you.

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