Posted: July 28, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Chairman, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Darrell Issa, Federal Bureau of Investigation, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Getty Images, Internal Revenue Service, Jason Chaffetz, John Koskinen, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
When it was revealed in 2013 that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for exercising their First Amendment rights, President Obama correctly called the policy “inexcusable” and pledged accountability. He even fired the then-acting IRS commissioner because he said it was necessary to have “new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.”
“A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit the way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation.”
Unfortunately, Commissioner Koskinen, who took over in the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, has failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth. A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit the way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation. Civil officers like Mr. Koskinen have historically been held to a higher standard than private citizens because they have fiduciary obligations to the public. The IRS and Mr. Koskinen have breached these basic fiduciary duties:
• Destruction of evidence. Lois Lerner, at the time the director of the IRS’s exempt-organizations unit, invoked the Fifth Amendment on May 22, 2013, when appearing before Congress; her refusal to testify put a premium on obtaining and reviewing her email communications. On the same day the IRS’s chief technology officer issued a preservation order that instructed IRS employees “not to destroy/wipe/reuse any of the existing backup tapes for email, or archiving of other information from IRS personal computers.”
“John Koskinen has violated the public trust, breached his fiduciary obligations and demonstrated his unfitness to serve. Mr. President, it’s time for Commissioner Koskinen to go. If you don’t act, we will.”
Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Cleta Mitchell
on presidential evasions about the targeting of conservative groups, and the status of Congress’s investigation. Photo: Getty Images
Several weeks later, on Aug. 2, the House Oversight Committee issued its first subpoena for IRS documents, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails. On Feb. 2, 2014, Kate Duval, the IRS commissioner’s counsel, identified a gap in the Lerner emails that were being collected. Days later, Ms. Duval learned that the gap had been caused in 2011 when the hard drive of Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.
Despite all this—an internal IRS preservation order, a congressional subpoena, and knowledge about Ms. Lerner’s hard-drive and email problems—the Treasury inspector general for tax administration discovered that the agency on March 4, 2014, erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails. (Congress learned of the discovery only last month.)
Ms. Duval has since left the IRS and now works at the State Department, where she is responsible for vetting Hillary Clinton’s emails sought by congressional investigations of the Benghazi attacks.
[Read the full text here, at WSJ]
• Failure to inform Congress. Mr. Koskinen was made aware of the problems associated with Ms. Lerner’s emails the same month Ms. Duval discovered the gap. Yet the IRS withheld the information from Congress for four months, until June 13, 2014, when the agency used a Friday news dump to admit—on page seven of the third attachment to a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee—that it had lost many of Ms. Lerner’s emails. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 25, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Backup, Contempt of Congress, Erasure (heraldry), Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Internal Revenue Service, Tax exemption, The Smidgen Report, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, United States Department of Justice, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that ‘most likely’ contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Ohlemache reports: Investigators are blaming mistakes
by IRS employees — not a criminal conspiracy — for the loss of thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal.
IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that “most likely” contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central
figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.
The workers erased the tapes a month after IRS officials discovered that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were lost. The IG says the workers were unaware of a year-old directive not to destroy email backup tapes.
J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee about his investigation into the emails. The Associated Press obtained a copy of his prepared testimony.
George says his investigation “did not uncover evidence that the erasure was done in
furtherance of an effort to destroy evidence or conceal information from Congress and/or
Still, the revelation that computer tapes were erased after officials knew about the lost emails is likely to fuel conspiracy theories among conservatives who say the IRS has obstructed investigations into the scandal.
An IRS spokeswoman said Wednesday evening the agency had no immediate comment.
George set off a firestorm in May 2013 with an audit that said IRS agents improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Several hundred groups had their applications delayed for a year or more. Some were asked inappropriate questions about donors and group activities, the inspector general’s report said.
Lerner used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. In June 2014, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner’s emails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 5, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice | Tags: American Center for Law & Justice, Freedom of Information Act (United States), Freedom of information laws by country, Internal Revenue Service, Jason Chaffetz, Sharyl Attkisson, The Washington Times, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, White House
The American Center for Law and Justice‘s Jay Sekulow reports: New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to hide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.
According to new congressional bombshell testimony today, the IRS set up a previously unknown “special project team” comprised of “hundreds of attorneys,” including the IRS Chief Counsel (one of only two politically appointed positions at the IRS).
The “special project” this team was given? Concealing information from Congress.
The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure division, Mary Howard, testified that soon after the IRS targeting scandal was revealed, the IRS “amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents [requested by Congress] and redact them.”
Members of Congress have long complained that many of the documents produced by the IRS have been “redacted to the point of absurdity.”
Now we know why.
As the Washington Times reports:
Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.
“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.
In other words, as soon as the IRS targeting scandal broke, the IRS set up a special team of hundreds of attorneys, including President Obama’s political head of the Chief Counsel’s office, to keep requests for publicly available information away from the person who would normally review those documents and turn them over to Congress and the public. That “special” team then overly redacted, delayed, and determined which documents it wanted Congress to see.
After setting up a special “group” to target and delay applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, the IRS set up a new “special project team” to delay and redact information from Congress about that targeting. Can you smell a cover-up? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 15, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, White House | Tags: Darrell Issa, Elijah Cummings, Hillary Clinton, Internal Revenue Service, Jason Chaffetz, Tax exemption, United States, United States Department of Justice, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Top officials repeatedly misled investigators without consequences. Congress needs to get tougher.
Cleta Mitchell writes: Two years ago this week, a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Information confirmed what hundreds of tea party, conservative, pro-life and pro-Israel organizations had long known: The Internal Revenue Service had stopped processing their applications for exempt status and subjected them to onerous, intrusive and discriminatory practices because of their political views.
“Lying to Congress is a felony. But the Obama Justice Department has not lifted a finger to prosecute anyone responsible for the IRS scandal, including top brass who repeatedly gave false testimony to Congress.”
Since the report, additional congressional investigations have revealed a lot about IRS dysfunction—and worse. But they’ve also revealed Congress’s inability to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities of this and other executive agencies.
Consider the repeated testimony and other statements to Congress subsequently shown to be false. The report issued in December by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.)—then chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—details numerous instances in which senior IRS officials, including former Commissioner Doug Shulman, Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lernerlied to Congress, denying and covering up the targeting of tea party and conservative groups before the inspector general’s May 2013 report.
Mr. Shulman told the Ways and Means Committee in March 2012 that there was no targeting of conservative groups. Congressional investigations, the Issa committee report notes, established that at the time of his denial Mr. Schulman knew there was “a backlog of applications, delays in processing, and the use of inappropriate development questions.”
In the early months of 2012, Ms. Lerner made multiple false statements to Congress. In personal meetings, telephone interviews and written communications with congressional investigators, Ms. Lerner denied there were any changes in the criteria for evaluating applications for exempt status. She stated, falsely, that the intrusive demands from her agency for proprietary information from grass-roots organizations were “ordinary”—a characterization the inspector general’s report specifically rebutted.
Ms. Lerner also told Congress that “nothing had changed” about the way her unit handled such applications. But at the very time she said that, the IRS, including Ms. Lerner, had already identified seven types of information that it had inappropriately demanded from conservative groups between 2010 and 2013. These included donor lists, transcripts of speeches by public officials to meetings, and lists of groups to whom leaders made presentations.
Between May 2012 and May 2013, Mr. Miller testified before Congress on at least six occasions, first as deputy IRS commissioner, then as acting commissioner. He withheld information from Congress each time about the targeting. In a November 2013 interview with congressional investigators—well after the targeting had been documented in the inspector general’s report—Mr. Miller admitted that he became aware of possible IRS misconduct in February 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 5, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Economics, Politics
WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS issued $5.6 billion in potentially bogus education tax credits in a single year — more than a quarter of all education credits claimed by taxpayers, a government watchdog said Tuesday.
“The IRS still does not have effective processes to identify erroneous claims for education credits. As a result, taxpayers continue to receive billions of dollars in potentially erroneous education credits.”
— J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
A new report by the agency’s inspector general says the credits were issued to more than 3.6 million taxpayers in 2012. Most of the credits went to students even though the IRS never received a tuition statement from the school.
Some students attended schools that weren’t eligible for federal funding while others didn’t take enough classes to qualify for the tax break.
“The IRS still does not have effective processes to identify erroneous claims for education credits,” said J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
George said the IRS has taken some steps to better police the credits, but has not addressed all the deficiencies that George’s office identified in a 2011 report. In that report, the inspector general said the IRS issued $3.2 billion in potentially bogus education tax credits in 2010.
“As a result, taxpayers continue to receive billions of dollars in potentially erroneous education credits,” George said.
The IRS said stepped up enforcement was largely responsible for a steep drop in credits issued in 2012. The amount of education credits issued dropped from $23.6 billion in 2011 to $19.1 billion in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 20, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Economics, Entertainment, Humor, Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Bus Stop, corruption, IRS, Posters, satire, Street art, Tax Day, The Smidgen Report
Arty Absatz – Twitter
Posted: April 1, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Attorney general, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lois Lerner, Police officer
The masks are all off now.
The DoJ won’t press contempt charges against her for her busted attempt to plead the fifth (Here Is a Statement of Alleged Facts I Want to Introduce Into the Record/Having Done That, I Now Say I Don’t Want to Speak for the Record).
Supposedly the DoJ is still considering bringing some sort of charges against her over the Tea Party Targeting.
Sure. I’m sure Eric Holder and Barack Obama want to get right to the bottom of the conspiracy they were participants in.
Posted: March 17, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Economics, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Associated Press, Barack Obama, Earned Income Tax Credit, Government Accountability Office, Medicare (United States), Ron Johnson (U.S. politician), Supplemental Security Income, Tom Carper, Unemployment benefits, United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agencies set a new record for improper payments last year, shelling out $125 billion in questionable benefits after years of declines.
The payments included tax credits for families that didn’t qualify, Medicare payments for treatments that might not have been necessary, and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working.
“This taxpayer money was not spent securing our borders, it was not spent on national defense, and it was not spent contributing to a safety net for those in need.”
— Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Improper payments increased by $19 billion over the previous year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments, as well as payments made without proper documentation.
“This is a problem that is going to get worse year after year if we do not get a handle on it now.”
— Sen. Ron Johnson
While the errors were spread among 22 federal agencies, three programs stood out: Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Together, the three programs accounted for more than $93 billion in improper payments.
“This taxpayer money was not spent securing our borders, it was not spent on national defense, and it was not spent contributing to a safety net for those in need,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “This is a problem that is going to get worse year after year if we do not get a handle on it now.”
Johnson’s committee held a hearing Monday on reducing improper payments.
Federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments each year as part of a government-wide effort to tackle the issue. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 12, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Al Salvi, Barack Obama, Chairman, Cleta Mitchell, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Election Commission, Internal Revenue Service, National Treasury Employees Union, Peter Roskam, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Politico is not the only news organization to ignore Salvi’s story
T. Becket Adams writes: Politico scored a journalistic coup with its exclusive 2014 profile on Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.
But a former Illinois lawmaker who said Politico contacted him repeatedly that year with questions regarding claims he was targeted by Lerner in the mid-1990s has been left wondering why the news group chose to ignore his documented dealings with the former federal official.
“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”
“I was shocked,” Al Salvi told the Washington Examiner‘s media desk, describing what he characterizes as several “lengthy” interviews with Politico reporter Rachael Bade.
Lerner went after his 1996 Senate campaign with a lawsuit totaling $1.1 million — an enforcement action that was eventually thrown out of court — when she was working at the Federal Election Commission, according to Salvi.
“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation. People thought I was going to jail!”
— Al Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency.
“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”
With its Lerner profile, titled “Exclusive: Lois Lerner breaks silence,” Politico became the first news group to gain access to the embattled former bureaucrat, who resigned from the Internal Revenue Service after bombshell revelations in 2013 that the IRS had singled out Tea Party and other conservative nonprofits for exceptional scrutiny and slow-walking of applications for tax exemptions.
Lerner headed the tax agency’s exempt organizations division at the time.
In 1996, Salvi, a representative in the Illinois state house, ran for an open U.S. Senate seat against then-Rep. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. His campaign attracted powerful scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement division, creating a scandal that Salvi said cost him the race.
The FEC was responding to a complaint lodged by Gary LaPaille, the Democratic Party’s state chairman. And the commission’s enforcement division was headed at the time by none other than Lois Lerner.
On Oct. 22, 1996, Lerner’s FEC division found”reason to believe” Salvi misreported nearly $1.1 million in contributions and loans, the agency said in a court filing. Later, in an letter dated Oct. 29, 1996, addressed to Salvi’s legal representative at the time, Bobby Burchfield, which shows that Salvi did have some form of contact with Lerner, the FEC announced it had closed its file against the Republican candidate.
And although the FEC’s case was eventually dismissed that year on technical grounds, Salvi ended up losing to Durbin, who is now a powerful senator. Salvi continues to blame the FEC scrutiny and the negative press it brought his campaign for souring voters in the Prairie State.
“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation,” Salvi told the Examiner. “People thought I was going to jail!”
Later, after losing his Senate bid, Salvi announced he would run for Illinois secretary of state. But the charges of financial wrongdoing continued to dog Salvi, even after he secured the nomination of the state’s Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 3, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Cause of Action, corruption, Douglas Ernst, FOI, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Information Act (United States), Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Smidgen Report, Taxpayer, Washington Times, Watchdog
Douglas Ernst reports: The federal government will not disclose thousands of documents sought by an IRS watchdog that may prove that taxpayer data was improperly shared with the White House.
[Also see “Improper Disclosure” – The Daily Caller]
The nonprofit Cause of Action filed a lawsuit against the federal government when its Freedom of Information Act requests were stonewalled roughly two years ago. A judge agreed with the organization and ordered the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to honor the request for transparency.
An attorney with TIGTA wrote Cause of Action on Tuesday and informed the organization of “2,509 pages of documents potentially responsive to your request,” Fox News reported Wednesday. Of those documents, 2,043 were in fact responsive to the organization’s request. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 4, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: 501(c)(4), Al Franken, corruption, Daily Caller, Intimidation, IRS, Jeanne Shaheen, Smidgen Report, William J. Wilkins
The memo, obtained by The DC, briefed Jeanne Shaheen about a coordinated IRS-Treasury Department plot to target political activity by nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups. The plot was operating out of Lois Lerner’s Tax Exempt Government Entities Division.
Patrick Howley reports: Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was principally involved in a plot with Lois Lerner and President Barack Obama’s political appointee at the IRS to lead a program of harassment against conservative nonprofit groups during the 2012 election, according to letters exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.
“Shaheen got the inside info from the IRS, making it clear she was the point person in a group composed of six close Democratic colleagues…who joined with Shaheen in quietly writing a letter to then-IRS commissioner Doug Shulman expressing their concern about new nonprofit groups engaging in political activity…”
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not want to publicly release 2012 correspondences exchanged between the IRS and Jeanne Shaheen at her personal Washington office: the agency delayed releasing the information to a major conservative super PAC multiple times, even threatening to see the super PAC in court, according to emails.
“I hope this information is helpful. I am sending a similar response to your colleagues. If you have questions, please contact me or have your staff contact Cathy Barre…”
“The IRS is aware of the current public interest in this issue,” IRS chief counsel William J. Wilkins, a White House visitor described by insiders as “The President’s Man at the IRS,” personally wrote in a hand-stamped memo to “Senator Shaheen” on official Department of the Treasury letterhead on April 25, 2012.
The memo, obtained by The DC, briefed the Democratic senator about a coordinated IRS-Treasury Department plot to target political activity by nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups. The plot was operating out of Lois Lerner’s Tax Exempt Government Entities Division.
“These regulations have been in place since 1959,” Wilkins wrote. “We will consider proposed changes in this area as we work with Tax-Exempt and Government Entities and the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy to identify tax issues that should be addressed” in designing new regulations and “guidance.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 23, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Politico, Smidgen Report, Tea Party, United States Congress, Washington
Everyone in Washington has a P.R. machine, or at minimum, an agenda. That’s certainly the case with Lois Lerner, the former IRS executive whose division targeted conservative nonprofit applicants with delays and harassment.
“Lerner is willing to testify only in the news media, where the whole truth is not required and irrelevant information can be shared to make her seem less unsympathetic.”
Lerner’s division of the IRS systematically obstructed and denied status to Tea Party groups while subjecting many of the smallest ones — those most vulnerable and least likely to be lawyered up — to inappropriate demands for information that was not legally required. In one case, this included the content of the opening prayer recited in meetings, and in others, this IRS Inquisition demanded that leaders of certain groups pledge never to run for office.
Lerner is out of that business now, and on to a new campaign. This campaign, in which she has enlisted friends and former colleagues, aims to tell the side of the story that she has refused to give Congress under oath.
The resulting Politico piece includes — this is no joke — the revelations that she once baked brownies for colleagues and that she loves dogs. How delightful for her and the dogs! But so what? Lerner cited the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions about her involvement in this scandal. The reason for doing that is that she believes her answers could facilitate a criminal prosecution against her. The mysterious destruction of evidence in this case strongly suggests she is right to worry about that. So does her concerned email inquiry to government IT workers as to whether her instant messages with colleagues could ever be obtained by congressional investigators. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 8, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Canada, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Tax exemption, Tea Party, Treasury, Twitter
The documents show Lerner’s efforts to persuade Treasury auditors that there was no institutional bias at the IRS, the agency’s attempts to head off a damaging investigation with a pre-emptive apology, and Lerner’s pep talk to her staff after the apology.
WASHINGTON — Gregory Korte reports: The day that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner publicly apologized for using “inappropriate criteria” to delay tax exemptions for Tea Party groups, she told her colleagues that they were being “beaten up by the press for all the wrong reasons.”
It was only going to get worse, she told them in an e-mail, and there was no way around it other than to “ride it through.”
Then she left for a week’s vacation in Canada.
That e-mail comes in 1,706 pages of newly released documents that shed light on the damage control happening at the IRS — and at the watchdog agency investigating it — as the scandal blew up last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 5, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Arizona, Associated Press, Carl Levin, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, John McCain, Tax exemption, Tea Party
IRS says it has lost emails from FIVE MORE employees associated with Tea Party targeting scheme
Associated Press reports: The Internal Revenue Service has lost emails from five more employees who are part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, the tax service disclosed on Friday.
The IRS said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status during the time that the targeting of Tea Party groups occurred.
That revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings.
On Friday, the IRS issued a report to Congress saying the agency also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status.
Not only did the IRS lose former former tax-exempt director Lois Lerner’s emails, it said today it lost the emails of five other employees associated with a Tea Party targeting scheme.
Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, left, talks with Republican Sen. John McCain, on Capitol Hill in Washington. After investigating the IRS for more than a year, the two senators said today that they disagree on whether the tax agency treated conservative groups worse than their liberal counterparts when they applied for tax-exempt status.
The disclosure came on the same day the Senate’s subcommittee on investigations released competing reports on how the IRS handled applications from political groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
The Democratic report, released by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, said both liberal and conservative groups were mistreated, revealing no political bias by the IRS. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 1, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Judicial Watch, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Office of Labor-Management Standards, OLMS, Trade union, Twitter
Connor D. Wolf reports: The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS.”
In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.
At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 28, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Disbarment, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Office of Professional Responsibility, Takisha McGee, The Florida Bar, Washington Times
When News Becomes Parody: The IRS Supervisor of Promoting Moral Values is Accused of Swindling
For Washington Times, August 26th, Jim McElhatton:
A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she’d done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client.
The disciplinary arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals has recommended that Takisha McGee, a section manager in the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, lose her law license over the charge, which stems from a personal injury case she worked about a year before she joined the tax agency.
Ms. McGee, who recently gave a speech to the Florida bar titled “When your license to practice before the IRS is on the line,” acknowledged in a phone interview Tuesday that her own job is on the line as she fights disbarment proceedings…. (read more) Washington Times
And in an editorial on August 27th, the Washington Times continues:
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Tax Man’s Ethics
Posted: August 26, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: BlackBerry, Chief information officer, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Judicial Watch, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Stephen Manning, United States Congress
IRS Destroyed Lois Lerner Blackberry When? AFTER Congressional Inquiry Began, That’s When.
NRO‘s Ian Tuttle reports: According to the second round of IRS affidavits submitted to U.S. district court judge Emmett Sullivan, who is presiding over the lawsuit brought against the nation’s tax agency by watchdog group Judicial Watch, Inc., IRS technical analysts did not search Lois Lerner’s Blackberry for her allegedly “lost” e-mails — and the smartphone was destroyed after congressional investigation had begun.
“There is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the Congressional investigations or this litigation.”
— Stephen Manning, IRS Information Technology business unit
Lerner’s government-issued laptop reportedly crashed in June 2011, at which time IRS analysts tried but failed to recover data, including e-mail communications, according to previous testimony. In his sworn declaration, Stephen Manning – deputy chief information officer for strategy and modernization with the IRS Information Technology business unit – reports that “there is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the Congressional investigations or this litigation.” This despite the fact that Lerner had been in possession of a government-issued Blackberry since November 2009, according to the statement of Thomas J. Kane – deputy associate chief counsel for procedure and administration within the IRS Office of Chief Counsel – and it would likely have hosted at least some of Lerner’s electronic communications….(read more)
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 25, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Censorship, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Internal Revenue Service, Judicial Watch, Lois Lerner, Obama, Obama administration, Tom Fitton, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, United States Department of Justice
This is a rather stunning admission: Justice Department attorneys have acknowledged that there are not, and have never been, any missing Lois Lerner e-mails. Judicial Watch, which has been pressing the IRS and the Obama administration for the Lerner e-mails in its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, has just released this statement by JW president Tom Fitton:
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system...(read more)
We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.
This is a jaw-dropping revelation…(read more)
The press release is here…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 25, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Emmet G. Sullivan, Freedom of Information Act, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Judicial Watch, Lois Lerner, Tom Fitton, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, United States Department of Justice
Tom Fitton discussing the new revelation
Via Judicial Watch:
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced the following developments in the IRS’ missing emails investigation. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated:
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.
This is a jaw-dropping revelation…(read more)
Here is the second set of sworn declarations by IRS officials in response to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s investigation into the missing emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. The declarations were provided after close of business on Friday, August 22. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 15, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Think Tank, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Darrell Issa, Fred Upton, Marilyn Tavenner, MSNBC, National Review, Obamacare, White House
Jillian Kay Melchior writes: During the first week of HealthCare.gov’s troubled launch, Marilyn Tavenner, the chief of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told an agency spokesperson to delete an e-mail exchange with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, according to new records released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Right on cue, when the going gets tough, the Obama administration proclaims it can’t find the documents.”
— Committee Chairman Fred Upton
This development comes just a week after CMS’s admission that Tavenner had probably deleted e-mails that may be public record — “in order to stay below the agency’s Microsoft Outlook email size limit,” wrote MSNBC, which broke the story on August 7.
But today’s letter from the House committee to Tavenner says: “One of the e-mails in this production shows that you directed a subordinate to delete an e-mail communication featuring a number of White House representatives. This e-mail is an October 5, 2013, communication in which you forwarded a discussion with White House representatives to the Director of Communications for CMS with the message: ‘Please delete this email- but please see if we can work on call script.’”
[Also see – SCRATCH THAT! IRS Tech Said Lerner’s Hard Drive WASN’T Damaged]
The committee concludes: “This contradicts the letter [CMS recently] sent to the National Archives, which explained that your practice was to instruct subordinates to retain copies of e-mails.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 23, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Backup, Congress, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, John Koskinen, Lerner, Mark Meadows, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Fox News reports: July 23, 2014: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifies before a House oversight subcommittee hearing in Washington.AP
The head of the IRS confirmed Wednesday that investigators looking into missing emails from ex-agency official Lois Lerner have found and are reviewing “backup tapes” — despite earlier IRS claims that the tapes had been recycled.
“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive.”
— House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” But he said the inspector general’s office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any “recoverable” material.
The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes “no longer exist because they have been recycled.”
It is unclear whether the tapes in IG custody contain any Lerner emails, but Koskinen said investigators are now checking. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 21, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Cincinnati, Daily Caller, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Patrick Howley, Twitter, United States Congress
“There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule.”
— IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane
For The Daily Caller, Patrick Howley reports: IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are stillbacked up somewhere.
“So some of those backup tapes may still exist?”
“I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 15, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere | Tags: Barack Obama, California, DarrellIssa, FEC, Federal Election Commission, Hard disk drive, Internal Revenue Service, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Posted: July 14, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, Daily Caller, Darrell Issa, FEC, Federal Election Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Lois Lerner, Sands, Twitter
The Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross reports that the Federal Election Commission recycled the computer hard drive of April Sands — a former co-worker of Lois Lerner’s — hindering an investigation into Sands’ partisan political activities, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“Dear every single Republican ever, When will U learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed #Obama2012 #p2”
— April Sands, former co-worker of Lois Lerner
Sands resigned from the Federal Election Commission in April after she admitted to violating the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities on federal time and at federal facilities.
The twist is that Sands also worked under Lois Lerner when the ex-IRS agent — who is currently embroiled in a scandal over the targeting of conservative political groups — worked at the FEC’s enforcement division.
In a letter to FEC chairman Lee Goodman, Oversight chairman Darrell Issa and committee member Jim Jordan laid out Sands’ partisan activities and asked for records pertaining to the recycling of her hard drive and of the agency’s records retention policies.
“The bias in these messages is striking, especially for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election laws fairly and dispassionately.”
— Oversight letter to Goodman
Sands took part in a heavily partisan online webcam discussion from FEC offices and also operated a Twitter account with the handle @ReignOfApril which were sent during Sands’ normal working hours. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 14, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, National Review, Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, Peter Roskam, Treasury Department, United States House of Representatives
National Review Online‘s Eliana Johnson reports that the House of Representatives on Monday evening will begin considering a Financial Services appropriations bill that funds the Department of the Treasury, including the IRS.
Illinois representative Peter Roskam will attempt to use the legislature to curb the power of the agency, which has been under fire since it revealed in May 2013 that it inappropriately targeted conservative non-profit groups seeking tax exemption. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 14, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Andrew C. McCarthy, Attorney general, Barack Obama, Congress, Eric Holder, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, National Review, Smidgen Report
Don’t hand the IRS investigation over to a special prosecutor.
“Let’s talk reality. As a matter of constitutional law, there is no such thing as an independent counsel. In our system, prosecution is a plenary executive power. All federal investigations and prosecutions proceed under the authority of the president; neither the Congress nor the courts have police powers. Any prosecutor, regardless of how “independent” we’d like him to be, would have to serve at the pleasure of the president, and would report to Eric Holder…”
(read more) National Review Online
Posted: July 3, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Democratic Party (United States), Internal Revenue Service, Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, Obama, United States, White House
Re: The poll data on the IRS scandal and lost emails, Investor’s Business Daily‘s John Merline notes:
“…Those defenses aren’t flying with most Americans who’ve been tracking this story. Among independents, 66% think the lost emails were an attempt to cover up wrongdoing. Even 36% of Democrats say it was a cover-up.”
Even 36% of Democrats say it was a cover-up? What do the other 64% of Democrats say? It’s a phony scandal? IRS gets the benefit of the doubt? Receiving generous federal benefits and reluctant to question? Low-information, tuned-out responders? The mainstream media’s lack of scrutiny? Question: Why are Obama’s poll numbers so good?
Investor’s Business Daily‘s John Merline reports on the poll, Hot Air‘s Bruce McQuain adds some commentary:
As the crisis at our southern border continues to stagger on, a recent IBD/TIPP poll found that a majority of Americans hold President Obama and his administration responsible for the problem:
The public largely blames President Obama for the flood of children who have poured over the border in recent weeks, creating a growing humanitarian crisis, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll released Monday…
The poll found that 59% of those closely following the immigration crisis agree that “current administration policies and lack of focus on securing the border” are behind the human tide of illegal crossings. Six in 10 say that the children should be ordered to leave the country. (The survey found that 73% of Americans are following this story closely.)
The responsibility for the border crisis is one Obama can’t duck or deny – it is a crisis of his own making. His refusal to enforce the laws of the land and his permissive policies and rhetoric all but invited this to happen. Now that it has, he’s “frustrated” with Congress – his personal candidate for being tossed under the blame bus, and is asking for 2 billion in emergency funds to address the crisis he created. As you can see, most Americans aren’t buying the White House spin. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 1, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News
For The Daily Caller, Patrick Howley writes: Ex-Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner spoke at a 2010 government conference where Lerner’s underling Nikole Flax announced the new IRS program scrutinizing groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Both Lerner and Flax experienced “computer crashes” that led to the permanent deletion of their emails, according to the IRS, which said it cannot hand over their emails to congressional investigators on two House committees.
“The IRS began flagging tea party applications in February 2010, the month of the Washington conference.”
Both Lerner and Flax briefed fellow government bureaucrats on the new targeting at the conference, where Lerner appeared at a workshop called “Will the IRS Come Knocking?”
“Flax made 31 visits to the White House between July 12, 2010 and May 8, 2013, according to White House visitor logs.”
Flax announced the new program scrutinizing groups at the Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. from February 18-19, 2010. At the time, Flax worked under Lerner in the Exempt Organizations office. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Andrew Johnson, Barack Obama, Darrell Issa, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Republican Party (United States), United States, United States Department of Justice, William Taylor
For National Review Online, Andrew Johnson writes: Lois Lerner isn’t to blame for the loss of thousands of emails sent during the period of the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups, according to her attorney…
“The truth is this was one of those things that happened — at the time she did everything she could to retrieve it.”
Appearing on State of the Union, William Taylor explained that Lerner’s computer screen “went blue” one day, and ultimately resulted in her losing all of her emails during a two-year span.
“That’s the story — that’s all there is to it.”
National Review Online
Posted: June 29, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Arlen Specter, Dana Milbank, Internal Revenue Service, John Boehner, John Koskinen, Paul Ryan, Thad Cochran, United States, World War II
Making a Mockery
Via The American Spectator, Enemy Central names its EOW – Enemy of the Week:
Call John Koskinen a late bloomer. According to records on our hard drive before we crashed it, he is 74 years old, thirty-three days short of the magical 75. Before he caught Paul Ryan’s attention, we had never heard of him. Now he’s unanimous victor in the EOW sweepstakes. Such insolence, such arrogance, such contempt for all humanity we had not seen in a public official since the last time we paid attention to those who escaped from the losing side of World War II to some friendly dictatorship in the southern parts of South America and got caught. Is it any surprise that the Koskinen soccer stadium at Duke University is named after him? Wonder where he picked up his expertise in soccer?
“So the official line must remain: Computers crash, dogs eat homework, and Republicans have no standing to complain about anything or even be in politics”
What about his lowly competition this week? The maestros at Politico have hailed our president’s becoming “mocker-in-chief on climate change skeptics.” Only problem is we have yet to hear him play mocker-in-chief vis-à-vis, say, V.V. Putin, ISIS, Iran, cholera at the border, and the leader responsible for our nation’s GDP shrinking by 2.9 percent last quarter. No fair, this last charge? It was, after all, a very cold winter. Climate changed in every wrong way. Oh, well, no need, Mr. Prez, to apologize to those you have mocked. We expect the honorable Mr. Koskinen will jump at the chance to do the job for you. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 28, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Breitbart.com, Democratic Party (United States), Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lois Lerner, Politico, Tea Party, William Taylor
For Breitbart.com, Robert Wilde reports: Although former IRS official Lois Lerner refuses to speak, pleading the fifth amendment, her attorney spoke on her behalf regarding the controversy over two years of missing IRS emails.
“It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.”
— Lois Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor III
William Taylor III said that accusations by Republicans that she is hiding something is “silly… she doesn’t know what happened… It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.”
[Also see: Majority of Voters believe IRS emails were deliberately destroyed]
[Lois Lerner attorney: She has no records of missing emails]
The IRS and Democrats contend that the emails were lost due to a hard drive crash. Yet, as Politico reported, it so happens that the computer glitch was concomitant with the 2009 time period in which Cincinnati IRS agents started delaying the approvals of Tea Party groups vying for 501(c)(4) non-profit status. Notably, the not-for- profit designation would have allowed the conservative groups the capacity to carry out a limited amount of political activity. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 10, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Floor (legislative), Freedom Caucus, Impeachment, Internal Revenue Service, John Fleming (American politician), John Koskinen, Louisiana, Republican Party (United States), United States House Committee on the Judiciary
Congress should fulfill its constitutional duty to police executive-branch lawlessness. Don’t hold your breath.
“Congress has become a paper tiger within our tripartite system.”
These Republican leaders’ reasons are cumulatively unpersuasive. Resuscitating the impeachment power would contribute to revitalizing Congress’s Article I powers. Impeachments are rare — no appointed official of the executive branch has been
impeached in 140 years. But what James Madison called the “indispensable” power to impeach should not be allowed to atrophy, as has Congress’s power to declare war.
[Read the full text here, at National Review ]
Here are a few pertinent facts. At the IRS, Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner participated in delaying for up to five years — effectively denying — tax-exempt status for, and hence suppressing political advocacy by, conservative groups. She retired after refusing to testify to congressional committees, invoking the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.
Koskinen, who became commissioner after Lerner left, failed to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation of IRS misbehavior.
[George Will wrote about this in October of 2015, too: The Case For Impeachment]
Under his leadership, the IRS failed to comply with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation. He did not testify accurately or keep promises made to Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 30, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Ameri-Shred, Americans for Tax Reform, AMS-750HD, Barack Obama, Commissioner, Electronic media, Hard disk drive, Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, United States Congress, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
SPOILER ALERT: The AMS-750 HD Shredder WINS!
Alexander Hendrie continues: The House Oversight Committee report cites an officially transcribed
interview with John Minsek, senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) unit. Minsek examined the Lerner hard drive in 2011. In the transcribed interview, he notes Lerner’s hard drive contained “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” The Oversight Committee report states:
Detail from amber-shred.com product website
“Using the CI unit’s digital forensic facilities, Minsek opened the hard drive and conducted additional tests. Once he opened the hard drive, Minsek noticed “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.”
Ameri-Shred’s AMS-750HD hard drive shredder will shred 900 to 1800 hard drives per hour, depending on your voltage and shred width. It can be plant based or placed in a truck for mobile hard drive shredding.
So how did the scoring get there?
Last month, testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had “scoring on the top platter of the drive.” The testimony also noted that the IRS technician that inspected the hard drive believed that additional steps could have been taken to recover data, although this did not occur and the hard drive was later destroyed by an industrial strength AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD shredder.
[Read the full story here, at Americans for Tax Reform. For more about industrial strength Ameri-Shred HD shredders, visit ameri-shred.com]
Given these facts, it is logical to question how the “scoring” occurred and whether there was foul play involved. Here it what is known thus far:
– According to TIGTA testimony submitted to the Oversight Committee on June 25, 2014, Lerner’s laptop stopped communicating with the IRS server on Saturday June 11, 2011, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Hard Drive Shredding Truck AMS-750 HD – AMERI-SHRED
– According to the same testimony,the laptop was likely physically located in Lerner’s office the moment it stopped communicating with the server: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 8, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, White House | Tags: Cause of Action, Confidentiality, Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service, Jack Lew, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Secretary of the Treasury, White House
John Hayward reports: Hey, remember how a watchdog group called Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to the investigation of taxpayer information handed over to the White House by the IRS, and the request went nowhere, so they sued, and a judge told the Treasury Department they had to cough up the documents, and then the Treasury Inspector General was all like, “Oh, wow, we’ve got 2,500 pages of documents on this deal, so we need a little more time to finish going through them before we hand them over?”
If it wasn’t so bad – if there wasn’t a ‘smidgen of corruption’ – why try so hard to keep these records silent?”
Never mind about seeing those documents, peons. The Administration has decided not to hand them over after all, citing a statute that basically says the privacy of the people whose privacy the White House violated would be violated by revealing details of the White House violation to the public. It all sounds pretty fishy to Cause of Action, as quoted in the Washington Examiner:
Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using “sophisticated” lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents. And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into “potential liability” that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 26, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Judicial Watch, Lois Lerner, National Review, Obama administration, Richard Nixon, United States Department of Justice
Okay, George didn’t say Cuckoo Bananas Off the Rails Criminally Insane, he just said off the rails and it is thoroughly corrupted. But, you get the idea…
“The IRS is the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government and it is a law-enforcement institution and it is off the rails and it is now thoroughly corrupted.”
— George Will
From The Corner:
On Tuesday’s Special Report, George Will reacted to the revelation that the IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s BlackBerry without searching it, after a congressional investigation into her conduct had begun.
[SMIDGEN REPORT: Federal Attorney Says Backup of Lois Lerner Emails Exist]
[SMIDGEN BOMB: There Are No Missing Lois Lerner E-mails, Justice Department Concedes ]
Will said he could hardly wait for IRS lawyers to show up in court and tell the judge it would be too onerous to stop obstructing justice in this case. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 2, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics | Tags: FCC, Federal Communications Commission, General Services Administration, Kevin D. Williamson, United States Department of Commerce, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of the Treasury
“He stated he is aware it is against government rules and regulations, but he often does not have enough work to do and has free time.”
For the Washington Times, Jim McElhatton reports: For one Federal Communications Commission worker, his porn habit at work was easy to explain: Things were slow, he told investigators, so he perused it “out of boredom” — for up to eight hours each week.
Over at NRO, Kevin D. Williamson summarizes the State of the Union this way:
…In other news, the CIA is spying on the Senate, the president is assassinating American citizens, our governors are ungovernable, our cops are criminals, our corruption investigations are corrupt, our anti-crime programs are criminal enterprises, the IRS agents charged with keeping nonprofits from turning into fronts for crass and illegal political campaigns have turned the agency into a front for a crass and illegal political campaign, our Border Patrol agents are engaged in human trafficking . . .
But let’s talk about porn…(read more)
Lack of work has emerged time and again in federal investigations, and it’s not just porn, nor is it confined to the FCC. Across government, employees caught wasting time at work say they simply didn’t have enough work to do, according to investigation records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 30, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Daily Caller, Dave Camp, Eric Holder, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Smidgen Report, Tax exemption, United States House Committee on Ways and Means
Lois Lerner Called Conservatives ‘Assholes,’ Fantasized About Working At Obama Group
For The Daily Caller, Chuck Ross reports: New emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday provide more evidence that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner is not fond of conservatives.
“Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”
— Lerner’s unnamed email correspondent
“So we don’t need to worry about teRroists [sic]. It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” Lerner wrote in a Nov. 9, 2012 email exchange with an IRS colleague.
Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp revealed the emails in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Lerner’s disdain for the right is central to an investigation into whether she targeted conservative groups who were seeking tax-exempt status. Republicans have accused the former director of the IRS’s exempt organizations division of possible criminal wrongdoing in targeting the groups.
“Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many assholes.”
— Lois Lerner
“This email shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives,” Camp wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 17, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Contempt of Congress, Eric Holder, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, United States Department of Justice, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
WASHINGTON (AP/ Breitbart) reports: The Justice Department is investigating the circumstances behind the disappearance of emails from a former senior Internal Revenue Service official, part of a broader criminal inquiry into whether the agency had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, according to congressional testimony released Wednesday.
In a statement to be delivered to a congressional committee on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole says investigators are looking into emails that went missing from the computer of Lois Lerner.
Cole was to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating the matter. He declined to provide additional information about the investigation, according to prepared remarks issued ahead of his appearance.
The IRS has said it lost the emails in 2011 when Lerner’s computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 13, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Ed Rogers, Instant messaging, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lerner, Lois Lerner, Twitter, Washington Post
For The Washington Post, mirroring punditfromanotherplanet‘s favorite ongoing theme, Ed Rogers writes: Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays,lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.
“This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation.”
Who knows how many of her colleagues and allies are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning that their e-mails to Lerner were destroyed and their instant messages not recorded? I think Lerner must have a sizable silent cheering section in Washington; people who are rooting for her to hang tough in pleading the Fifth and hoping that she does not go wobbly on them.
[Also see Jazz Shaw‘s commentary – The Lerner Files: “smidgens upon smidgens” of corruption]
I’ll bet her government retirement check is one check that never gets lost in the mail or delayed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 13, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Bob Woodward, Internal Revenue Service, IRS scandal, National Review, Republican, Washington, Washington Post, Woodward
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward knows a thing or two about investigating Washington scandals, and he believes the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups merits a deeper look.
“We should dig in to it — there should be answers. For the president to take that position is very, very unusual and say there’s not a ’smidgen of evidence here.’”
Woodward raised questions about the Republican House committees’ ability to properly and effectively carry out such an investigation…
Read the rest of this entry »