Sunday, June 15, 2014
IRS: 'Sorry, We Lost All Of Lois Lerner's E-Mails'
That, essentially was the response of the Internal Revenue Service to congressional subpoenas for two years of emails from Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the White House or to Democrats on Capitol Hill.
The IRS is blaming - wait for it - a computer crash. Apparently, they would have congress and the American people believe the IRS has no backup system for its data! Try using that one back at them if you're ever audited.
Lerner, the former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations still won't testify before Congress about how the IRS targeted conservative and pro-Israel groups. So this convenient computer crash is a neat tactic to try to ensure that we never know whose orders she was following, or what orders she was giving and to whom.
'Not even a smidgeon of corruption', Mr. President? If nothing else, aside from being obstruction of justice, this is pretty clear evidence in itself that the stench from IRS-Gate leads directly to the White House. After all, how can you have a reasonable presumption of innocence hen the White House is ordering a former IRS top executive not to testify, stonewalling aninvestigation at every turn and destroying evidence through convenient 'computer crashes?' ?
This is especially interesting since it's now come to light that days before the 2010 election, the IRS sent a 1.1 million page database about tax-exempt groups to the FBI. Why they did it and who ordered them to do it is something the IRS is still hiding, but let's remember that Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee has already uncovered e-mails showing that Lerner was working with officials in the Obama Department of Justice to to investigate and possibly prosecute any groups critical of the president.
Organizations can retain their tax exempt status provided they spend less than 50% of their resources on politics. The normal procedure in cases where the IRS suspects this statute has been violated is to assign an agent to investigate and then revoke the group's 501 C3 status if necessary. There's no criminal prosecution.
But what we know now is that Lerner shipped a huge database of conservative tax exempt organization's confidential tax records including confidential information on their donors to the FBI, which is the Justice Department's official office for investigating criminal activities. And that a separate email from September 2010 shows Jack Smith, the head of Justice's Public Integrity Unit in its Criminal Division, was openly discussing ways of criminally prosecuting conservative groups under "371" a fairly broad section of the U.S. Code of Justice that allows prosecutors to claim a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, we also know that the IRS used this information to create 'individualized questions' to target groups’ donors, seize training information, demand personal information on college interns, and even target individuals by name.
There's even a whole series of letters between Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, and top IRS officials throughout 2012 discuss how better to target conservative groups.And Levin wasn't alone by any means. Several nonprofit groups have filed complaints with the Senate Ethics Committee against nine Democratic Senators for improperly interacting with the IRS to urge the targeting and possible criminal prosecution of specific groups and even individuals and/or to hand over confidential nonprofit tax information.
So where do we go from here?
It's blatantly obvious the White House is deeply involved, or they wouldn't be spending this much energy on trying to hide evidence and quash the scandal. We may very well be talking about something impeachment worthy, not that there's be any shortage of that in this lawless, corrupt regime.
Ron Fournier over at the National Journal could best be described as a former Obama fan whose fallen out of love with the president. His latest piece "Let A Special Prosecutor Find The Missing E-Mails" is an outraged call for the president of the United States to appoint an independent prosecutor to get to the bottom of this.
Fournier isn't stupid by any means,but it ought to be fairly obvious that President Barack Obama has no desire to get to the bottom of Fast And Furious, Benghazi, the VA scandal, NSA-Gate, IRS-Gateor any of the other scandals this president and his people have been involved in. As Michael Barone, one of America's most long serving and well regarded political writers one referred to them, they are, quite simply a lawless gang.
This president is not going to appoint a special prosecutor who has any intention of cooperating with congress and getting to the truth. The president's new RS Commissioner John Koskinen promised to cooperate with Congress, and it was supposed to be a whole new ballgame.
Does it sound like it? "Oops, sorry, heh heh, we lost two years worth of e-mails."
Thanks to Bill Clinton, there is no such thing as a truly independent special prosecutor's office any more. When the Democrats dominated congress after Watergate, they passed the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 that created a special prosecutor, later called an Independent Counsel position, which could be used by either Congress or the Attorney General investigations of Officials in the executive branch. It was totally independent of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. That's who Kenneth Starr worked for, whose work led to President Clinton's impeachment for the felonies if perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of office.
As I've mentioned before of Mr. Bill's last 'gifts' to the country before he left office in 2000 was to eliminate the Office of the Independent Counsel totally and replace it with the very different Office of Special Counsel, controlled by the Attorney General as part of the Justice Department.
Exactly what kind of Special Counsel do you think Eric Holder is going to appoint to investigate IRS-Gate?
The key to solving this problem lies in congress allotting funds to hire its own independent prosecutor to investigate this and other sordid scandals. That will be especially effective after November, when the Republicans stand a good chance of taking the4 Senate with its subpoena powers as well.