For Breitbart.com, Charlie Spiering writes: On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency’s politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.
The RNC filed the request on May 21, 2013, in an attempt to expose the documents and emails surrounding agency’s process in handling applications of non-profit organizations such as conservative and Tea Party groups.
“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records.”
After the RNC filed the request, the IRS has requested several extensions, which has already delayed the release by 226 business days.
— Josh Romney (@joshromney) April 15, 2014
This is one of those days where I think Matt Drudge is imitating my obsessions, rather than the other way around. Wishful thinking, I know. But readers here know, Lois Lerner is our favorite voodoo doll. At punditfromanotherplanet, a day without Lois Lerner is a day without sunshine.
For the Washington Examiner, Joel Gehrke reports: House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren’t ruling out the use of the chamber’s “inherent contempt” authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel’s accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner.
The committee voted Wednesday to seek an investigation of whether Lerner violated federal law by using her power to ensure Right-leaning groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the agency, giving misleading information during a probe of the matter by the Treasury Department‘s inspector general and using her personal email to conduct official business, which could have resulted in the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.
Congress votes Lerner in contempt of Congress, refers prosecution to Attorney General who Congress voted in contempt of Congress
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 9, 2014
“The Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman [Dave] Camp [R-Mich.], has conducted a serious and thorough investigation of the IRS, uncovering abuses and criminal acts that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the referral. “As I’ve said, if Lois Lerner continues to refuse to testify, then the House will hold her in contempt. And we will continue to shine the light on the administration’s abusive actions and use every tool at our disposal to expose the truth and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve.”
John D. McKinnon writes: A new report by House Republicans concludes that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner engaged in wide-ranging, politically motivated efforts to hamper conservatives’ use of tax-exempt organizations.
“Can you please send me a copy of the Crossroads [GPS] application? Lois wants Judy to take a look at it so she can summarize the issues for Lois…”
– IRS email from mid-2011
The report by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Ms. Lerner “believed the political participation of tax-exempt organizations harmed Democratic candidates, she believed something needed to be done, and she directed action from her unit at the IRS.”
Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.
BREAKING NEWS: Girl feud! Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus tangle over slip of the tongue
Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus were supposedly girlfriends! — but are they anymore? Comments Perry made on TV while promoting her Prismatic tour Down Under made their way halfway around the world, and Cyrus is not happy.
It all started Monday on Australia’s “Sunrise” program, when one of the hosts riffed off Perry’s hit “I Kissed a Girl” to lead into a discussion of the “Roar” singer’s recent lip-lock with Cyrus during one of the “Wrecking Ball” singer’s shows.
“Scandalous!” Perry joked, before explaining what went down….Read more >>> LATimes
Note: Use Lois Lerner story only if the new photos of Miley Cyrus don’t come in by deadline. Bump this, see if there’s any room for it next week, thanks. –Ed. Move to Page D 17, bottom of page: “Emails Show IRS Lois Lerner Specifically Targeted Tea Party”
Stephen Dinan and Seth McLaughlin report: Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.
In one 2011 email, Ms. Lerner specifically calls the tea party applications for tax-exempt status problematic, which seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t targeted.
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner wrote in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.
A former IRS official who refused to answer questions about the agency’s targeting scandal at a hearing last spring is expected to appear before a House committee on Wednesday, but it’s unclear whether she will answer questions this time, either.
Lois Lerner headed the IRS division that improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
After publicly disclosing the targeting, Lerner refused to answer questions about it at a congressional hearing, invoking her constitutional right not to incriminate herself.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told “Fox News Sunday” he expected Lerner to testify at Wednesday’s hearing. But a committee spokeswoman said Tuesday she could only confirm that Lerner was expected to attend the hearing. Read the rest of this entry »
There are two competing models for reforming the Internal Revenue Service’s oversight of the political activities of certain nonprofit organizations: one put forward by the IRS itself, in the form of a regulatory rule change, a second put forward by Representative David Camp (R., Mich.) on behalf of the House Ways and Means Committee. Neither program is sufficient, because neither reflects the reality behind the recent IRS scandal, which was not the result of murky rules or bureaucratic incompetence but rather of what gives every indication of being deliberate misuse of federal investigatory resources for partisan political ends. That there have not been criminal charges in this matter is probably at least as much a reflection of the highly politicized Department of Justice under Eric Holder as it is of the facts of the case. The problem, then, is that both the IRS plan and the Camp plan assume that the IRS ought to be regulating rather than being regulated.
“No rule change from the IRS… is going to change the fact that the agency is full of highly partisan bureaucrats with a political agenda of their own and an inclination to abuse such police powers as are entrusted to them.”
The United States already has a rather good regulation regarding government oversight of political speech, which is that there isn’t to be any. The First Amendment ought to be the last word on the subject. Asking politicians to oversee the activities of persons inclined to criticize them presents a basic fox-henhouse problem — recall that the Citizens United decision came in response to federal attempts to outlaw the showing of a film critical of Hillary Clinton — so our general bias should be against entrusting any federal agency with such powers.
Issa, House GOP to recall Lois Lerner
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is hauling Lois Lerner back to Congress.
Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5.
“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5.”
– Chairman Darrell Issa
Lerner, the official at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a May 2013 hearing, just days after she apologized for the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups.
See “Sit Down, Bitch, We’re Not Done Yet (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
But the Oversight Committee later ruled that Lerner waived her rights by making an opening statement, setting the stage for her recall next week.
“The IRS may not unilaterally expand its authority through such an expansive, atextual, and ahistorical reading of” the law. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit used these words in a Feb. 11 ruling that struck down an Obama administration regulation on tax preparers.
Federal judges should copy this phrase and be ready to paste it into rulings — sometimes replacing “IRS” with “Health and Human Services” — as President Obama continues to act as legislator in chief, making and amending laws as he sees fit, separation of powers be damned.
In the same week Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate and out of thin air created a bizarre loyalty oath to administer to companies suffering from Obamacare, a federal court unanimously smacked down his IRS for executive overreach.
“We originally had the admission and now the administration is pretending — there never was in the first place, there is no story, and it’s a sideshow…”
Soon after news broke that the IRS was improperly targeting conservative groups, President Obama said such actions are “outrageous” and that “there’s no place for” such behavior. Nine months later, the night before the Super Bowl this Feburary, he said there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” in the agency.
“That’s a farce”
Charles Krauthammer said on Special Report tonight….
“It is a scandal,” Krauthammer said, “that of all the ten thousand lawyers who work in the Department of Justice they have to pick one who is a contributor to Barack Obama.”
Jay Sekulow writes: In the aftermath of an IRS targeting scandal that may have influenced the 2012 election, in the midst of criminal and congressional investigations, while civil litigation is pending in federal court, before a single deposition is taken and while the IRS clings to tens of thousands of documents, the president of the United States has spoken. His meaning is clear.
“…it is not remotely appropriate for a sitting president to make such a declaration in the midst of an ongoing criminal investigation”
Move along, nothing to see here.
“Singling out conservatives wasn’t an accident or mistake; it was an intentional act by lawyers who knew it was wrong”
I suppose that’s just another way of saying “phony scandal.”
While the easy and immediate response is to ask the president whether senior IRS officials typically assert their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when there’s not even a “smidgen of corruption,” his statement actually has deeper problems.
First, it is not remotely appropriate for a sitting president to make such a declaration in the midst of an ongoing criminal investigation.