[VIDEO] Benghazi Hearing Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy on Hillary Clinton’s ‘Unusual Email Arrangement’

Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said Hillary Clinton’s “unusual email arrangement” complicated the investigation into the attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

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Comedy: Benghazi Committee ‘Whistleblower’ is a Professional Storyteller

 reports: The fired House staffer who is accusing the Benghazi select committee of running an anti-Clinton witch-hunt also moonlights as a professional storyteller around the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Maj. Bradley Podliska, who is suing the committee after getting axed in June, claims the panel is running a “partisan” probe against Clinton. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), called Podliska’s allegations “sensationalist and fabulist” on Sunday. The committee said that Podliska was fired after mishandling classified information and using resources for an unrelated PowerPoint project.

The former staffer has some experience with storytelling. Podliska performed last year with the live Virginia-based storytelling group “Better Said Than Done,” where he recounted a terrible blind date he went on as part of the Washington Post’s “DateLab” feature in 2011.

His story started out mild and self-deprecating, but he soon launched into a tirade of insults against the woman.

According to Podliska, his date was a drunken disaster who “liked to drink like a fish” and told him to “quit the chit-chat, I’m here to drink on the Washington Post’s dime” when he attempted polite conversation.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Free Beacon]

By the end of the night, Podliska said, the woman “was looking as if she had run 300 miles in a tornado, while jumping on a trampoline, all while upside down, underwater. In other words, she was two sheets to the wind.”

He also claimed the “blindly drunk female” bad-mouthed him in the Washington Post article after their date, calling him a “Neanderthal” for attempting to walk her to the train. Read the rest of this entry »


Connecticut Firm Backed Up Hillary’s Server, Might Still Have Personal Emails in Cloud 

hillary-cloud

Cloudy With a Chance of Thunderstorms.

Greg Gordon reports: Hillary Clinton hired a Connecticut company to back up her emails, and due to a technical glitch some may still reside on one of the firm’s “cloud” storage sites, a Republican Senate committee chairman revealed.

The disclosures, in a letter Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, heighten the possibility that some of Clinton’s more than 31,000 personal emails may still be PANTSUIT-REPORTrecovered. She said last March that she deleted them all upon turning over her official emails to the State Department in December 2014.

Congressional committees have voiced skepticism as to whether the 30,940 emails that the Democratic presidential candidate handed over represented all of her official emails. The FBI is separately investigating whether Clinton’s arrangement put classified information at risk.

His letter to the chief executive of Datto Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., offers the first public confirmation that Clinton or her aides arranged for a backup of her email server after leaving office.

The letter also recounts a series of events that led an employee of Colorado-based Platte River Networks to air suspicions in an email as to whether “this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy shit,” according to an excerpt of an email cited by Johnson, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

[Read the full story here, at McClatchy DC]

On May 31, 2013, four months after Clinton left office, the Clinton Executive Service Corp., which oversaw her email server contracts, hired Platte River to maintain her account. Its New Jersey-based server replaced the server in the basement of her New York home that handled her emails as secretary of state.

At the same time, Platte River retained Datto to set up a virtual backup server that could provide immediate recovery if the primary server failed, Johnson said in his letter. Datto says it offers two kinds of backup storage: a private cloud virtual server that takes data from a server and converts it into “virtual machines that can be booted instantly,” and an off-site “secure cloud.”

The Clinton firm chose the private cloud virtual server for Platte River to manage, Johnson wrote. Read the rest of this entry »


Woah, Hold On There, Buddy: No indication that Clinton’s E-Mail Server was ‘Wiped’?

 report: The company that managed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server said it has “no knowledge of the server being wiped,” the strongest indication to date that tens of thousands of e-mails that Clinton has said were deleted could be recovered.

hillary-clean

“Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped. All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.”

— Platte River Networks spokesman Andy Boian

Clinton and her advisers have said for months that she deleted her personal correspondence from her time as secretary of state, creating the impression that 31,000 e-mails were gone forever. There is a distinction between e-mails being deleted and a server being wiped. If e-mails are deleted or moved from a server, they appear to no longer exist on the device. But experts say, depending on the condition of the server, underlying data can remain on the device and the e-mails can often be restored.

drudge-wiped

“There is a distinction between e-mails being deleted and a server being wiped. If e-mails are deleted or moved from a server, they appear to no longer exist on the device. But experts say, depending on the condition of the server, underlying data can remain on the device and the e-mails can often be restored.”

To make the information go away permanently, a server must be wiped — a process that includes overwriting the underlying data with gibberish, possibly several times.That process, according to Platte River Networks, the Denver-based firm that has managed the system since 2013, apparently did not happen.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

“Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped,” company spokesman Andy Boian told The Washington Post. “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t PANTSUIT-REPORTwiped.”

Clinton and her staff have avoided directly answering whether the server was ever wiped.

In a memorable exchange at a campaign event in Las Vegas last month, Clinton turned aside a question about whether the server had been wiped with a joke: “Like what, with a cloth?” she said, adding, “I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”

Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon gave a similar answer this month, telling CNN: “I don’t know what wiped means. Literally the e-mails were deleted off of the server, that’s true.”
Read the rest of this entry »


THE SMIDGEN REPORT: IRS Workers ‘Mistakenly’ Erased Tea Party Emails

IRS-moron

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
smdg-tv2by 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.

White-House-w-Fence

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
O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDlaw enforcement.”

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.

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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 »


SMIDGEN REPORT: Cry us a river, Lois Lerner

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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.O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

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 »


How are Obama and the IRS Getting Away with a Blatant Coverup?

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For New York Post, Kyle Smith writes: To understand the latest outrage in the IRS scandal, mull over what might happen if regulators found significant evidence to implicate Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in an insider trading scheme.

“This is “the dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”

Let’s say Blankfein asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions. Say Goldman was subpoenaed to provide all of Blankfein’s e-mails. Goldman replied that, instead of complying with the subpoena, it was itself reviewing the e-mails in question and was considering which ones to release.

No-Accident-IRS

It’s already been 13 months, and no one has even been charged. And no one will be charged. Congress has called the cops — the Justice Department — and the cops simply don’t care.

Now imagine that, nearly a year later, Goldman admitted that it had not, in fact, reviewed the e-mails in question, because they had been lost in a computer crash two months before it claimed to be reviewing them. Imagine Goldman also said copies of the e-mails were lost, because while under subpoena it had destroyed the “backup tapes” (whatever those are) that held them and that it had also thrown away Blankfein’s actual hard drive.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Photo: Reuters

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein  Photo: Reuters

The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t.

This is “the dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”

What we learned about the IRS this week is that there is an obvious criminal coverup that comes in addition to the possible underlying crimes. Prosecutions need to be brought against all of those involved.

Why isn’t this happening already? Read the rest of this entry »


Oh Yes They Did: House Votes 231-187 to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt

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Giving it to you straight, is Mediaite:

The House of Representatives voted 231-187 tonight to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, weeks after the House Oversight Committee voted to bring the contempt charge to the House floor. The point of contention is whether Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights during hearings into IRS political targeting. In addition to the contempt charge, last month the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner to the Justice Department for a possible investigation into criminal charges.

Josh Feldman – Mediaite

For the more comforting pro-Democrat spin, try the NYT. Their headline: “House Holds Ex-I.R.S. Official in Contempt (in what the NYTimes, and only the NYTimes calls) the “Tea Party Case“.

Written by Jeremy W. Peters, it’s crafted to be the least upsetting to their Tea-Party hating readers. It’s meant to reassure them that it’s not a real hearing, about real crimes, it’s 100% political, lead by mean, witch-hunting, conspiracy-deranged Republicans, against innocent, law-abiding, hard-working servants of the people. Thank goodness it’s not about Lois Lerner’s accountability, or abuses against citizens by the IRS.

It includes this photo of an “angry-looking” Republican white male:

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Here’s some choice quotes:

 “Democrats invoked former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and delusions of widespread conspiracy.”

Read the rest of this entry »


It Begins: Oversight Committee Will Move to Hold Lerner in Contempt

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For National Review OnlineEliana Johnson reports: The House Oversight Committee will vote next Thursday on whether to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, sources say.

(read the whole thing here, but Eliana added the following update)

UPDATE: Issa has announced the hearing, saying in a statement that “Ms. Lerner’s involvement in wrongdoing and refusal to meet her legal obligations has left the Committee with no alternative but to consider a contempt finding.”

A committee aide tells National Review Online the panel will “make an announcement on the contempt process for Lois Lerner sometime today,” and a GOP congressman confirms that committee chairman Darrell Issa has indicated the vote will take place “next week.”

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

Lerner has twice declined to answer questions from lawmakers about her role in the targeting of right-leaning groups. At a June hearing, the panel determined in a party-line vote that she had waived her Fifth Amendment rights by making an opening statement declaring her innocence when she appeared at hearing in May. “I have not done anything wrong,” Lerner said at the time. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

Read the rest of this entry »


New House GOP Report Reignites IRS Scandal

Too late now to plead the Fifth?

John D. McKinnon writes:  A new report by House Republicans concludes that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner engaged in wide-ranging, politically motivated efforts to hamper conservatives’ use of tax-exempt organizations.

“Can you please send me a copy of the Crossroads [GPS] application? Lois wants Judy to take a look at it so she can summarize the issues for Lois…”

— IRS email from mid-2011

The report by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Ms. Lerner “believed the political participation of tax-exempt organizations harmed Democratic candidates, she believed something needed to be done, and she directed action from her unit at the IRS.”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Elijha Cummings Stages Crazy Beans Cuckoo Bananas Phony Rage Fit on TV

DEMOCRATIC BASE THRILLED, ELECTION-YEAR SHOWBOATING AT IT’S FINEST. FIVE STARS!

Elijha Cummings Phony Grandstanding Performance – YouTube


BREAKING [VIDEO] COPS A PLEA: Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth Again When Asked About IRS Scandal

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.

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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.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Will She or Won’t She? Awaiting Lois Lerner’s Testimony at IRS Scandal Hearing

lois-loisA former IRS official who refused to answer questions about the agency’s targeting scandal at a hearing last spring is expected to appear before a House committee on Wednesday, but it’s unclear whether she will answer questions this time, either.

[See IRS emails shed light on dispute between Lois Lerner, congressional investigators]

Lois Lerner headed the IRS division that improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

[Also see [VIDEO] Lois Lerner to Testify before Congress on Wednesday]

After publicly disclosing the targeting, Lerner refused to answer questions about it at a congressional hearing, invoking her constitutional right not to incriminate herself.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told “Fox News Sunday” he expected Lerner to testify at Wednesday’s hearing. But a committee spokeswoman said Tuesday she could only confirm that Lerner was expected to attend the hearing. Read the rest of this entry »


Best Excuse to Avoid Being Sworn in, Give Testimony: Lois Lerner’s Lawyer Whines to Darrell Issa ‘My Client is Facing Threats’

“Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family,” her lawyer William Taylor III wrote to Issa on Wednesday morning in a letter obtained by POLITICO…

Darrell Issa attending House Oversight and Government Reform Committee / AP - See

“Oh, yes, well, that changes everything, definitely. You’re right. She doesn’t have to obey the same laws the rest of us do. Lois? You can go home, it’s okay,  you don’t have to testify.”

Too late now to plead the Fifth?

POLITICO.com


‘Sit Down, Bitch’ Part 2

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

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.

Read the rest of this entry »


ONE DOWN: Lois Lerner, IRS official at heart of tea party scandal, retires

Photo by: Carolyn Kaster

Photo by: Carolyn Kaster

Stephen Dinan reports: The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the tea party targeting scandal, has resigned from the agency — though because of privacy rules it could say nothing more.

Ms. Lerner, who had been on paid administrative leave, was the director of the division that reviewed the applications for tax-exempt status from political groups over the past few years and that, according to an internal audit, gave extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups.

She remains subject to congressional investigation.

Her actions put her at the center of the controversy, and several congressional committees had been looking into her behavior and into emails that seemed to suggest she was looking for reasons to deny political groups approval for tax-exempt status.

Last week, acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said he had asked both a review board and the agency’s inspector general to look at the emails.

Republicans said Ms. Lerner’s resignation, while a first step, isn’t the end of the scandal. Read the rest of this entry »


Emails Show Liar Lois Lerner Deliberately Targeted ‘Dangerous’ Tea Party

Too late now to plead the Fifth?

Too late now to plead the Fifth?

Politics: New emails show that the woman at the center of the IRS scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status targeted tea party applications specifically and directed they be held up. Read the rest of this entry »


High School Teacher Faces Discipline for Informing Students About Their Rights

By 

A high school social studies teacher in Batavia, Illinois, faces disciplinary action for informing students of their Fifth Amendment rights in connection with a survey asking about illegal drug use. The survey, ostensibly aimed at assessing the needs of students at Batavia High School, was distributed on April 18. After picking up the survey forms from his mailbox about 10 minutes before his first class of the day, John Dryden noticed that they had students’ names on them and that they asked about drinking and drug use, among other subjects. Dryden, who had just finished teaching a unit on the Bill of Rights, worried that students might feel obliged to incriminate themselves—an especially ticklish situation given the police officer stationed at the school. Since there was no time to confer with administrators, he says, he decided to tell his students that they did not have to complete the forms if doing so involved admitting illegal behavior. Tomorrow the school board will consider whether and how to punish Dryden for taking advantage of this teachable moment. The Batavia Daily Herald reports that “Dryden faces having a ‘letter of remedy’ placed in his employment file,” which “could have consequences up to dismissal.” Dryden’s supporters are collecting signatures on a petition asking the board to refrain from disciplining him.

via  Reason.com


Darrel Issa: Lerner Waived Her 5th Amendment Rights By Offering Her Claims Before Invoking Her Right to Silence

She’ll be recalled tomorrow.

What I expect is that she will be forced to invoke the 5th for each of a series of pointed questions, such as her previous refusal to investigate an illegal Al Gore donor, and her previous hardline stance against Christian organizations. As well, of course, about her complicity in the IRS scandal.

She will look very bad doing so.

I didn’t know the law on this and Allah recaps it at the link: While you may not selectively invoke the 5th in a criminal trial, you probably can at a Congressional hearing, so she won’t be held in contempt.

She will, however, be made to look awful, which sounds about right.

via Ace of Spades HQ.


Tomorrow’s News, Today

Top IRS official will invoke 5th Amendment. “A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups. Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.” She’s lawyered-up, and not just with any lawyer, either.

UPDATE: “Look forward to reading tomorrow’s pieces explaining how GOP is overplaying hand by pointing out that Lerner is pleading 5th.” No scandal here — she just doesn’t want to talk because telling the truth might incriminate her…

via Instapundit