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Ted Cruz calls for hearings, subpoenas over IRS audit of conservative news site

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday called for Senate hearings over the IRS's decision to audit the Breitbart News Network.

Cruz also said the Senate Judiciary Committee should be ready to subpoena the IRS for more information about its audit of the conservative website, after the IRS failed to answer Cruz's questions about the audit.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is calling for hearings and subpoenas to learn more about the IRS's audit of a conservative news site. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

In September, Cruz raised seven questions with the IRS, including what other media organizations are being audited, how many have a left or right slant, and how the decision to audit these companies is made.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen replied in a late September letter that said the IRS does not identify taxpayers for audit "on the basis of their viewpoints or political affiliations."

"Given the volume of IRS audits, it is inevitable that organizations of every type, in every industry, whether politically active or not, and of every imaginable political leaning will over time be selected for examination," he said. "Our duty is to conduct all of these audits fairly and impartially, and this is a duty that we take seriously."

But Cruz said Koskinen's letter failed to answer any of his questions, and that a hearing is now needed.

"In response to the serious questions raised by the IRS's targeting a media organization for a deeply intrusive audit, the IRS has chosen to stonewall," he said.

"Accordingly, when Congress reconvenes in January, it is my hope that the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene hearings — with subpoena power, if necessary — to compel the IRS to answer these questions," he said.

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