Wednesday, July 09, 2014
New E-mails Reveal Intent To Hide Evidence From Congress
The House Oversight Committee has released a newly surfaced e-mail chain between former IRS Official Lois Lerner, IRS’ Director for Exempt Organizations Exam Unit Manager Nanette Downing who was in charge of audits and Maria Brooke, an IRS technology employee. It reveals something very important:
Here, as of April 9 2013, we have Lois Lerner discussing hiding information from congress after the investigation of IRS-Gate had already started.
She is asking whether communications via OCS (Microsoft Office Communications Server) were automatically saved on the server, because of they weren't, those messages could be used to communicate strategies to stonewall the investigation and hide evidence that was requested by the congressional committees.
When Hooke,the IRS IT worker says that they won't be revealed as part of an electronic request for information unless one of the recipients specifically saved it as an e-mail, Lerner's response is "perfect."
This exchange is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it show that there was a clear intent to avoid the IRS's legal duty to preserve evidence in an ongoing legal matter, AKA obstruction of justice. It clearly shows intent.
'Intent' is a legal strategy lawyers developed some time ago to get certain felons, particular government officials, wealthy businessmen and fellow lawyers off the hook. It's not enough to simply prove that documents were forged or that someone was given information by a trusted adviser that caused them to act in a way detrimental to that person's interest. You have to prove that there was a criminal intent to do so.
Normally, to prove intent, you need evidence from someone else involved in the crime willing to testify to communication between themselves and the accused about the crime in question. That, by the way, is why Hillary Clinton never went to jail over Whitewater. Even though forged documents were definitely prepared by her in connection with Whitewater, the prosecutor was unable to prove intent because Web Hubbel and Susan McDougal decided to stick it out in jail and keep their mouths shut until Mr. Bill could come through with a presidential pardon, and whatever other considerations they might have been promised.
In Lerner's case, such testimony isn't needed, because Lerner's email clearly reveals an intent to hide evidence and obstruct justice when the investigation by congress was still ongoing.
The only real way out for her is either to come clean in exchange for immunity or to hold out for a presidential pardon from Barack Obama.Of course, if he does so, an absolute firestorm would develop because it would be clear proof of something most of us already realize - that the directions to the IRS to illegally target the president's perceived political enemies came directly from the White House.
UPDATE: My pal Terresa over at the always essential site The Noisy Room has an in depth take on this well worth reading.