Eric Holder today said he has launched a criminal investigation into the IRS scandal, and he also disavowed involvement in the AP snooping scandal. On the latter, the attorney general said he'd recused himself from the related leak investigation. In a press conference at the Justice Department today, Holder explained that because he'd been interviewed by the FBI in connection with the case, he'd bowed out early in the process to "avoid the appearance of a potential conflict of interest." That means the decision to subpoena the AP would have been made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, a Justice Department official tells Politico.
Holder also said that the FBI and Justice Department would be collaborating on a probe into the IRS mess. Holder called the agency's admission that it had put more scrutiny on Tea Party groups "outrageous and unacceptable," and he promised to determine whether any laws were broken, the AP reports. (Read more Eric Holder stories.)