A top Republican on Tuesday accused the Justice Department of rushing to judgment for reportedly deciding not to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s controversial actions toward advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the FBI does not plan to file criminal charges in connection with the investigation.
The information, credited to “law-enforcement officials,” contradicted a statement FBI director James Comey made to reporters last week, when he said investigators are still working on the case and that it’s “an important one for us.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) accused the Justice Department of “irresponsible leaks before the investigation is concluded.” He added that making a decision before the investigation is completed “seems entirely out of order and inappropriate.”
The Justice Department, which ultimately decides whether to file charges over the investigation, declined to comment on the matter Tuesday.
Last week, Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee criticized the Justice Department for appointing career trial attorney Barbara Bosserman, a donor to President Obama and the Democratic National Committee, to play a lead role in the IRS investigation.
The Justice Department said federal law prohibits the agency from taking an employee’s political leanings into account before making personnel decisions and that its attorneys can perform their duties without bias despite making campaign contributions.
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