The fact that 26 Democrats joined Republicans in voting to seek a special counsel to probe the IRS targeting scandal illustrates that a Department of Justice investigation of the matter is “a joke,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said today.

“That’s a significant number,” Jordan said of the Democrats voting yesterday in favor of a special counsel, and it “highlights the fact … that the criminal investigation at Justice is a joke.”

Jordan, as a member of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, has sought facts in a series of hearings about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups from former IRS official Lois Lerner and others.

He made the remark at today’s Conversations with Conservatives event on Capitol Hill after answering a reporter’s question about how lawmakers would compel Lerner’s testimony following the House’s separate vote yesterday — including six Democrats — to hold her in contempt of Congress for declining to answer questions.

Among the developments that concerned the 26 Democrats, Jordan said, were the Obama administration’s leak to the Wall Street Journal that no one would be prosecuted for wrongdoing at IRS; President Obama’s televised assertion to Bill O’Reilly that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS; and $6,750 in campaign contributions to Obama and the Democratic National Committee made by Barbara Bosserman, the Justice Department’s lead investigator in the IRS case.

Jordan concluded: “Twenty-six Democrats said, you know what? That doesn’t feel right, that doesn’t sound right, that doesn’t smell right. We need a special counsel.”

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.