IRS Sued for Refusing to Release Secret ‘Church Investigations’ Procedures

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Nobody knows what the ‘procedures’ are for conducting ‘church investigations’.

Bradford Richardson reports: Government watchdog groups have filed a motion in federal court to compel the IRS to reveal how it determines when to initiate “church investigations” after accusing the tax-collecting agency of “stonewalling” efforts to bring to light its procedures.

“Our country has a long history of religious leaders speaking freely on matters of public discourse. Whether it is Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leading the charge against segregation, or preachers opposed to the Vietnam War, Americans expect their religious leaders to be able to speak freely to their flock without government oversight.”

— From a 2014 letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, signed by nine members of Congress

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The motion, filed jointly Friday by the Alliance Defending Freedom and Judicial Watch, came in response to a legal settlement struck in 2014 with an atheist organization, which said the IRS had “resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations.”

“The IRS is not above the law, and Americans deserve to know the truth about the agency’s secret deals with activists.”

— ADF Legal Counsel Christina Holcomb

“The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a press release.

But nobody knows what those “procedures” are for conducting “church investigations,” the watchdog groups said.

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The Obama IRS first ignored the ADF FOIA request and is now stonewalling in federal court. The public has a right to know about any new IRS guidelines for investigating the practice of our basic First Amendment freedoms.”

— Judicial Watch President Tom Litton, in a press release

“The IRS is not above the law, and Americans deserve to know the truth about the agency’s secret deals with activists,” ADF Legal Counsel Christina Holcomb said in a press release. “The IRS has a legal obligation to explain why it is hiding things or else produce documents. Its ongoing refusal to follow the law is absurd, particularly since much of [what] we are asking for is information that the IRS has already provided voluntarily to Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

Shulman, Lerner and Wolin take their seats to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington

The IRS began producing documents in July, months after the ADF and Judicial Watch had sued the agency for failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. But even then the agency withheld more than 10,000 of the 16,000 requested documents, and thousands of the released documents were completely redacted, according to the ADF.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Times]

“The Obama IRS first ignored the ADF FOIA request and is now stonewalling in federal court,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press release. “The public has a right to know about any new IRS guidelines for investigating the practice of our basic First Amendment freedoms.”

The IRS could not be reached for comment by press time. Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Clinton & NRA: Who’s More Popular?

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“Seductive as it might be, there is little within the facts to recommend this approach. As Gallup confirmed just this week, the NRA is not a fringe organization that has managed somehow to impose a greatly undeserved octopus’s grip, but a mainstream plank of American civil society with approval ratings of which the vast majority of national politicians could only dream. ‘Despite a year of blistering criticism,’ the polling firm notes, ‘58% in the U.S. have a favorable opinion” of the NRA — a number that “includes the highest recording of ‘very favorable’ opinions (26%) since Gallup began asking this question in 1989.’ That trend line is moving upwards.”

— Charles C.W. Cooke

Read more…

Source: National Review Online


[VIDEO] OH YES SHE DID: Clinton Knew ‘Attack Had Nothing to Do with the Film’  

“Your experts knew the truth, your spokesperson knew the truth, Greg Hicks knew the truth,” Jordan said during a House Benghazi Committee hearing. “But what troubles me more is I think you knew the truth.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) relentlessly questioned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday over why she and other administration officials initially blamed a YouTube video for the Benghazi terror attacks, a claim contrary to available intelligence at the time.

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“The American people want to know why. If you look at the statement that I made, I clearly said it was an attack. Calling it an attack is like saying the sky is blue — of course it was an attack.”

“Your experts knew the truth, your spokesperson knew the truth, Greg Hicks knew the truth,” Jordan said during a House Benghazi Committee hearing. “But what troubles me more is I think you knew the truth.” Jordan accused Clinton of telling the president of Libya, Egyptian prime minister and even family members that terrorists were behind the attack, but later suggested an anti-Muslim video sparked the attack.

[Read more here, at The Corner, National Review Online]

“The American people want to know why,” Jordan added. “If you look at the statement that I made, I clearly said it was an attack,” Clinton replied. “Calling it an attack is like saying the sky is blue — of course it was an attack,” Jordan shot back.

At one point, Clinton looked visibly annoyed by Jordan’s line of questioning….


SMIDGEN BOMB: There Are No Missing Lois Lerner E-mails, Justice Department Concedes

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:O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

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 »


SMIDGEN REPORT: Federal Attorney Says Backup of Lois Lerner Emails Exist

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:smdg-tv2

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 »


Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public

President Obama and his successors in the Oval Office are not obligated to make public the names of individuals visiting the White House, according to a decision of the federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia made public Friday. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Obama and his successors in the Oval Office are not obligated to make public the names of individuals visiting the White House, according to a decision of the federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia made public Friday. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Obama and his successors in the Oval Office are not obligated to make public the names of individuals visitingthe White House, according to a decision of the federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia made public Friday.

The case was brought by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog nonprofit that has been fighting a long legal battle seeking to force release of the White House visitor logs as public records under the Freedom of Information Act.

But in a decision that is drawing intense criticism from across the ideological spectrum, the circuit court said the president has a “constitutional perogative” not to tell the American people who he or his staff meets with in the White House.

Read the rest of this entry »