Cameron Easley reports: As political journalists prepare to gather at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday to celebrate their work, a new Morning Consult poll is likely to make many of them cringe.
In the new poll, roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media “is out of touch with everyday Americans,” compared with 28 percent who said it “understand the issues everyday Americans are facing.”
President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.
Only 38 percent said they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the media covering Trump’s White House fairly, compared with about half (52 percent) who said they didn’t have much or none at all. Almost half (48 percent) also said they thought the media has been harder on Trump than other past presidential administrations.
Partisanship was the main determining factor on how Americans felt about the state of national political reporting and analysis, with Republicans expressing much stronger misgivings about the media than Democrats.
Republicans (67 percent) were almost twice as likely as Democrats (36 percent) to say the media was out of touch with everyday Americans. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Republicans also said they trust the White House more to tell the truth, compared with 54 percent of Democrats who backed the media. Read the rest of this entry »
The new release includes 29 voice messages pulled from the emails of high-ranking DNC officials, totaling 14 minutes.
One file (#16014) involves a Clinton supporter calling to demand that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders be prevented from winning the primary.
The emails released over the weekend showed that officials within the ostensibly neutral organization had a clear bias toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had a reality check this morning when she tried to talk to a room full of Florida delegates at breakfast.
…Apparently, the delegates were upset over the embarrassing DNC email leak that showed the party’s corruption and bias…(read more)
Now there is a list of a few of the most shocking emails released by Wikileaks.
DNC member killing horses for insurance money.
DNC making fun of black womans name.
DNC telling each other, “I love you too. no homo.”
DNC requesting a pull an MSNBC commentary segment.
DNC controlling the narrative with time released stories.
DNC conspiring to create false Trump information and release with Reuters.
DNC Hillary supporters infiltrated Sanders campaign.
DNC members going to complain to Morning Joe producers about his mentioning of a “rigged system.”
DNC discussing their relationship with NBC/MSNBC/CNN and how to get better treatment.
Super PAC paying young voters to push back online Sanders supporters. Paid shills.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz having an off the record meeting in MSNBC President Phil Griffin’s office.
DNC being messed with by the Washington Examiner.
DNC discussing Hillary’s policies as unfeasible.
$200k for a private dinner with Hillary.
Offering to send interns out to fake a protest against the RNC.
Faking outrage and pasting in a video later.
A mole working inside of the Sanders campaign.
Bringing up Sanders religion to scare the southern voters.
Possible money laundering by moving money back and forth to bypass legal limits.
Politico writer sending his stories to the DNC before he sends them to his editor.
DNC feeding CNN the questions they want to be asked in interviews.
Creating a fake job ad for a Trump business to paint him as a sexist.
Hillary funding 2 million dollars in a cooridanted campaign in battleground states to win back the Senate.
DNC is upset that their “allies” didn’t send in protestors so they sent out interns.
“Clinton Foundation quid-pro-quo worries are lingering, will be exploited in general.”
$50,000 – Lawrence Benenson.
Daily Fundraising Report for the DNC.
Content & Social Strategy Discussion.
Re: BuzzFeed and DNC connection.
Draft linking news articles about trump to use as negative press.
Fwd: State Dinner Countdown.
Some chick is angry she hasn’t been given more stuff from the Obama administration…might be interesting to follow up.
Re: State Dinner Countdown.
Tim O’Brien: Trump’s Fixation on Inflating his Net Worth is a Cause for Concern.
RE: May Fundraising Numbers.
Hillary for America Raised $26.4 Million in April, Began May with More than $30 Million Cash on Hand.
Re: For approval: Trump supporter graphics.
Press talking points, states Hillary is their candidate, dated May 5, 2016. More of a smoking gun than the ambiguous talk in the emails themselves.
Consultant calling megyn kelly a bimbo. Has PDF attached that says the same.
DNC trying to get away with violating the Hatch Act.
Democrats using interns to organize fake “protests.”
RE: Action on DNC tomorrow (Immigration Raids).
CNN: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party’s convention, which is set to begin here Monday.
The Florida congresswoman’s resignation — under pressure from top Democrats — comes amid hackers’ release of emails that show DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party’s 2016 nominating contest.
Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation in a statement Sunday afternoon, saying she remains committed to seeing Clinton elected president. She talked with both President Barack Obama and Clinton before making her announcement.
“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention,” Wasserman Schultz said in her statement.
DLTDHYOTWO, Debster! https://t.co/KDVUhRUqdb
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 24, 2016
“As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans,” she said. “We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”
Wasserman Schultz had faced intense pressure Sunday to resign her post, several Democratic leaders told CNN, urging her to quell a growing controversy threatening to disrupt Clinton’s nominating convention.
DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as interim chair through the election, it was announced Sunday.
Separately, a Democratic operative said Hispanic leaders close to Clinton and her high command were discussing Housing Secretary Julian Castro as a possible successor to Wasserman Schultz at the DNC helm.
Party officials decided Saturday that Wasserman Schultz would not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week.
The DNC Rules Committee has named Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as permanent chair of the convention, according to a DNC source. She will gavel each session to order and will gavel each session closed.
“She’s been quarantined,” another top Democrat said of Wasserman Schultz, following a meeting Saturday night.
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to Obama’s presidential campaigns and a CNN senior political commentator, said Wasserman Schultz should resign.
“I would ask her to step aside. I would ask her to step aside because she’s a distraction in a week that is Hillary Clinton’s week,” Axelrod told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
One close Clinton ally said the hope is that Wasserman Schultz would get the message and leave her position before the convention kicks off Monday. “But she is stubborn,” the Clinton ally said.
Wasserman Schultz reluctantly agreed to relinquish her speaking role at the convention here, a sign of her politically fragile standing. But party leaders are now urging the Florida congresswoman to vacate her position as head of the party entirely in the wake of leaked emails suggesting the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Sanders by questioning his religion.
Democratic leaders are scrambling to keep the party united, but two officials familiar with the discussions said Wasserman Schultz had been digging in and not eager to vacate her post until after the November elections. Read the rest of this entry »
“Commissioner violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled.”
“Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress. This action will demonstrate to the American people that the IRS is under repair, and signal that Executive Branch officials who violate the public trust will be held accountable.”
— Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz in a news release
“I believe there are two key ingredients of a successful performances in congressional hearings. One, shameless, grandiose, spectacular displays of emotion. This is important when TV cameras are present.”
“And two, extreme, earsplitting volume. The louder I yell, and the more emotional I am, you see, the better my performance is.”
“The facts, and the purpose of the hearing, are secondary to showing people how angry and upset I am. I pretend to be really, really upset.”
“The single most important factor in a successful performance is how much volume I can achieve, with my voice.”
“Being able to yell louder than anyone in the room is the most effective way to demonstrate that I am passionate, irrational, emotionally unstable, and a righteous and loyal member of my party.”
— from “The Elijah Cummings Guide to How to Perform in Televised Committee Hearings“, now in paperback.
Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.
“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”
— the caucus said in its statement
Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)
...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.
The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)
The Wall Street Journal reports:
…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.
“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”
Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
FAINTING COUCH: Dem Rep Carolyn Maloney Freaks Out, Accuses Jason Chaffetz of ‘Beating’ Female Planned Parenthood Executive by…Asking Salary Questions?Posted: September 29, 2015
Carolyn Maloney Sees ‘War on Women‘ Discrimination in GOP Daring to Question Half Million a Year Salary of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
“I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory. I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary.”
— Rep. Carolyn Maloney, suffering a full-blown Victorian case of the vapors
In a charged hearing filled with intense exchanges, Maloney accused Chaffetz of being out of line for questioning Richards’s rising salary.
“I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory,” said Maloney, the top Democrat on the panel. “I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary.”
Chaffetz questioned Planned Parenthood’s expenses on travel, its real estate holdings and Richards’s salary in suggesting it is not really putting its money behind women’s healthcare. He noted that Richards’s salary has gone up by more than $100,000 between 2009 and 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: FRESH BAKED HOT MESS! State Department Releases 1st Round of Hillary Clinton Emails in Benghazi InquiryPosted: May 22, 2015
The State Department released Friday its first round of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, offering a new look at her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“The Committee’s interest is in building a complete record from which the final, definitive accounting regarding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi can be provided.”
The roughly 300 emails, about 850 pages, are part of the 30,000 that she turned over to State from her private email server, which she used almost exclusively to conduct both private and public business during her time at State.
“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” the State Department tweeted shortly after the announcement.
Facing considerable backlash and deep skepticism over her use of a private server as she makes her second bid for the White House, Clinton asked State to make her emails public this past March, and repeated her public push to have them released on the campaign trail this week.
“The best way to answer all questions related to the attacks in Benghazi continues to be having access to the full public record, not a ‘record’ controlled, possessed and screened exclusively by Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyers.”
The State Department initially planned to release them in January 2016, but a federal judge ruled this week that there should be a “rolling production” of the emails, and they must be disclosed publicly in batches before then. Clinton called for State to expedite their release this week in Iowa, saying “nobody has a bigger interest in getting [the emails] released than I do.”
“We will not reach any investigative conclusions until our work is complete, but these emails continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi.”
— Trey Gowdy
A congressional panel investigating the Benghazi attacks, meanwhile, has had the emails related to Benghazi and Libya since February.
Details of Clinton’s email habits that have trickled out over the past few months suggest she used email sparingly, mostly for logistics and to forward information to aides. She’s said previously that she was careful to never use email to exchange classified information, and the initial batch isn’t expected to show otherwise — the highest classification of messages was “sensitive but unclassified.”
On Thursday, the New York Times published a portion of the emails relating to Benghazi, which include a handful from controversial Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal tipping Clinton off to volatile conditions on the ground in Libya, including one blaming the Benghazi attacks on an anti-Muslim video, which he later walked back. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
Damage from rioting in Baltimore over the death of a black man from injuries in police custody is estimated at $9 million, a U.S. government survey showed on Wednesday.
The survey by the Small Business Administration found that more than 30 businesses and one home sustained major damage between April 25 and May 3 in unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, 25.
“The Baltimore Development Corp, a non-profit group that promotes economic development, said 351 business reported damages and inventory loss.”
The survey also found 254 businesses and one home experienced minor damage.
Damages to businesses totaled $8,927,000, and to homes $60,000, a Small Business Administration spokeswoman said.
“The mayor’s office has said 144 vehicles were set ablaze.”
Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, in a letter on Tuesday also signed by fellow Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and U.S. Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, called on the Small Business Administration to help with the creation of disaster centers.
They also urged the agency to come up with a plan to inform business owners who are eligible for benefits about how to apply for disaster loan assistance.
A spokesman for the Baltimore Fire Department said the city recorded 61 structural fires over April 27 and 28, during the height of the arson and looting. The mayor’s office previously said that 15 buildings were burned.
The spokesman had no update for the number of burned vehicles. The mayor’s office has said 144 vehicles were set ablaze. Read the rest of this entry »
Ben Kamisar reports: Capitol Police officers misplaced their loaded guns in plain sight on at least three separate occasions, including once when a small child found the weapon, according to a Roll Call analysis of a Capitol Police Board report.
“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters.”
— Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman
One officer assigned to protect Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left his gun in a toilet seat cover holder in a bathroom stall in the Capitol Visitor Center in January, according to the paper.
Another assigned to the detail of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left a firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s suite, where a 7- or 8-year-old visiting child discovered the gun. The Glock pistol left by Boehner’s detail does not have a traditional locking mechanism and could still be fired when left out, Roll Call reported.
“Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment.”
A janitor found the third pistol out in the Capitol Police headquarters, according to the paper.
The report on the January incident reportedly shows that police brass recommended a six-day suspension without pay for the officer from McConnell’s detail as punishment, but Roll Call reports that the other two incidents are still under investigation.
“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the incidents, referring questions to Capitol Police. Read the rest of this entry »
Baldwin and CNN just can’t help themselves
John Nolte reports:
UPDATE: Via Twitter, Baldwin is bizarrely attempting to deflect blame away from herself. I say bizarre because most of us first hear things from others. We then go through the grown-up process of filtering out anti-science smears. Baldwin chose to repeat this one:
Folks. Please don’t misunderstand me. Dear friends/family of mine are veterans. I was repeating a concern vocalized to me lately. That’s it.
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) April 28, 2015
After more than a year of CNN pouring gasoline all over America with hysterical, and oftentimes phony, stories of American racism, the left-wing network’s afternoon anchor Brooke Baldwin finally took it to the next level by blaming American veterans for the Baltimore riots.
In a pathetic suck-up interview with Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummins, Baldwin never once had the moral courage to ask the failed Baltimore City congressman if the left-wing policies ushered in by a half-century of a Democrat monopoly in Baltimore might have something to do with the city’s ills. Instead, she said of young military veterans who become police officers, “I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities, and they are ready to do battle.” Read the rest of this entry »
(WASHINGTON)— Matthew Daly reports: The chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has called former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify next month, setting up a high-profile showdown over Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina says he wants Clinton to testify the week of May 18 and again before June 18. The first hearing would focus on Clinton’s use of private emails; the second on the September 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Gowdy’s action comes a day after the GOP-led panel signaled its final report could slip to next year, just months before the presidential election. Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate.
Hillary Clinton’s Response to Gowdy’s Letter is Due by April 4
Alex Moe and Carrie Dann report: Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attorney requesting that she turn over her private email server to the State Department‘s Inspector General or to another neutral third party.
“The Committee must have objective assurances it, and by extension the House of Representatives as a whole, has received all relevant information requested and necessary for a thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” he wrote in the letter. “More broadly, the equities in these emails extend beyond this Committee. The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”
“The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”
“Should Secretary Clinton continue to maintain that the server and its contents are hers alone, I will inform the Speaker of the House of Representatives so that he can use the full powers of the House to take the necessary steps to protect the best interests of the American people,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] ‘Wish to God You Protected the White House Like You’re Protecting Your Reputation Here Today’Posted: September 30, 2014
“I don’t think the Secret Service is taking their duty to protect the American president and his family at the White House very seriously. That’s exactly my point.”
From The Corner:
Representative Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) could scarcely contain his scorn for Secret Service director Julia Pierson’s evasive testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, saying “I wish to God you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today.”
“I wish you spent that time and that effort to protect the American president, and his family, like I’m hearing people covering for the lapses of the Secret Service on these several occasions. I really do.”
The Massachusetts lawmaker upbraided Pierson for her agency’s inability to stop one man, armed only with a knife, from jumping a fence and penetrating deep into the White House earlier this month. And he found her repeated justifications for the breach inexcusable.
“I have very low confidence in the Secret Service under your leadership,” he added. “I have to say that.”
“I’ve listened to your testimony very deliberately here this morning,” he said, Read the rest of this entry »
“I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
WASHINGTON — The Daily Caller reports: The Republican chairman of the new Benghazi select committee pledged Wednesday during the first public hearing to conduct an investigation “worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
“Benghazi was not the first time our diplomatic facilities and people have been attacked,” Gowdy said. “The barracks in Beirut, our facilities in Tanzania and Kenya are a few that come to mind amid too many others.”
“I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics,” South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, said in his opening statement in a Capitol Hill hearing room. “I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
“So to those who believe it is time to move on, that there is nothing left to discover, that all questions have been asked and answered, that we have learned the lessons to be learned — we have heard that before. And yet the attacks and the tragedies keep coming.”
Earlier this year, lawmakers in the House passed a bill to establish the new committee to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Read the rest of this entry »
— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) August 5, 2014
[VIDEO] Noted Constitutional Expert Eleanor Holmes Norton Schools Congress: ‘You DON’T Have a Right to Know Everything’ Government Does!Posted: July 26, 2014
OUT: Government Transparency. IN: Government Secrecy, and proud of it! Oversight is not cool, my friend.
Washington, D.C.’s non-voting congressional Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton told her House colleagues on Friday that other branches of government do not necessarily have a right to know what the White House does in private. The remarks came during a Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, as the Democratic official railed against Republicans for ignoring a White House assertion that Office of Political Strategy and Outreach director David Simas cannot be subpoenaed to appear before Congress.
“You don’t have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government.”
Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., noted he was not alleging any wrongdoing by Simas, but there was a history of violations involving that particular office in prior administrations that justified requesting his testimony. Read the rest of this entry »
“This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?”
— House majority leader Eric Cantor
Lawmakers in the House passed a bill on Thursday to establish the new committee to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner ordered the establishment of the committee to investigate the attacks. On Monday, Boehner announced that he is tapping South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to serve as chairman of the select committee hearings. Read the rest of this entry »
“… it’s absolutely un-American.”
Kurt Bardella is a former Senior Advisor and Spokesperson for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and is the President of Endeavor Strategic Communications, a PR-firm that represents Issa for Congress.
“You cannot have a one-sided investigation,” shouted Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the Ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “There is something absolutely wrong with that. And it’s absolutely un-American.”
His tirade–and it should be noted that while Cummings was yelling Issa remained composed and calm–was an instant made-for-YouTube moment, and I suspect that was exactly the point.
If anything, this moment personifies the entire reason why Cummings is the ranking member today.
People forget that the panel’s former chairman, Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY), was in-line to be the leading Democrat on the Committee, but the Democratic Leadership pushed him out and Cummings was instilled (over the more senior Carolyn Maloney) for the sole purpose of obstructing the investigations led by incoming Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
DEMOCRATIC BASE THRILLED, ELECTION-YEAR SHOWBOATING AT IT’S FINEST. FIVE STARS!
Deirdre Shesgreen reports: Former IRS official Lois Lerner declined to answer any questions Wednesday when she appeared before a House committee investigating the tax agency’s scrutiny of applications from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
House Republicans summoned Lerner to testify before Congress on Wednesday, more than nine months after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has argued that she unintentionally waived her right when she answered a question at that hearing.
In response to a series of pointed questions from Issa, Lerner repeatedly said, “On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.”
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.
With an assist from Elijah Cummings, the media is now casting the IRS targeting of conservative groups as a Cincinnati-originated brainchild of a self-described conservative Republican, John Shafer, who, well, let’s let McClatchy tell the tale:
Shafer described himself as a conservative Republican and explained how applications that met criteria that the IRS has since called inappropriate were selectively screened. The criteria included buzzwords such as constitution, Bill of Rights and other tea party themes referring to the Founding Fathers. These words caused applications to be pulled aside and sent to what’s called Group 7822. He did not say how the criteria were developed or by whom.
He said the tea party cases were called “emerging issues” by agency officials, apparently because they had received media attention.
“Each case is again reviewed and the determination is made on the facts and circumstances within that case,” he said. Asked what caused an emerging issue, “I 100 percent do not know, OK?” he answered. “What I would do is go into the electronic system and I would transfer these cases to Group 7822.
So there you have it. Nothing to see here. Move along. A Republican started the whole thing, inoccently referring applications to “Group 7822,” and the rest is history.
Yet this story dramatically understates the extent of targeting. Rather than serving as “patient zero” of the scandal, Mr. Shafer was but a cog in a much larger machine of partisan and unlawful targeting. As I’ve said before, at the ACLJ we represented 27 tea-party groups initially embroiled in this scandal, we filed suit against the IRS on behalf of 25 (full disclosure: I’m a lawyer on the suit), and we’ll shortly be amending the complaint to add more than a dozen additional plaintiffs. During the last 18 months, we’ve dealt with Group 7822, but we’ve also dealth with eleven other IRS groups (including groups in California) and a Washington division: Group 7821, Group 7823, Group 7824, Group 7827, Group 7828, Group 7829, Group 7830, Group 7838, EOG-7887, EOG 7888, and the Tax Exempt and Government Entitites Division in Washington, D.C.
This list encompasses only our orginal clients. We expect other IRS groups to be implicated as requests for help continue to pour in.
Every time the administration or its Democratic allies in Congress have tried to minimize or explain away the scandal, at the ACLJ we’ve released documentary evidence decisively refuting their factual assertions. Every time. And it’s documentary evidence the IRS provided us in the course of more than a year of communications.
In other words, they knew we had contradictory evidence, yet spun anyway — hoping the media would buy their story.
The IRS abuse is severe, it has always been widespread, and — crucially — it is ongoing. Even as Represenatitive Cummings not long ago declared “the case is solved” and Jay Carney claimed that all misconduct had stopped more than a year ago, many of our clients still don’t have their tax exemptions. Some even received intrusive additional inquiries as recently as last month.
It strains credulity to believe that a gang of low-level employees initiated and sustained a multi-group, multi-state campaign of targeting that lasted — for some conservative applicants — through two full election cycles. The case is not “solved.” To paraphrase John Paul Jones, we have not yet begun to investigate.