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IRS Scandal: Latest chatter on the IRS Scandal

IRS: Um, Yeah, We Never Actually Looked for Lois Lerner's Emails or Anything

Nov 7, 2014 8:27 AM PT

Today's banana republic update comes to us from the exasperated watchdogs at Judicial Watch, which has a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pending in the IRS targeting scandal.  Some months ago, we learned that former Tax Exempt Organizations honcho Lois Lerner generates an intense bio-electric field that causes every hard drive that comes anywhere hear her to crash and lose all its data, something that never seems to happen to hard drives outside the government any more, but verily the Age of Obama is an age of wonders.  Lerner's mutant hard-drive crashing powers supposedly wiped out a ton of electronic correspondence relevant to the scandal.

When it was pointed out that every major business organization in the world has systems for backing up its data, and every agency of the federal government has rules requiring such backups, but somehow those procedures weren't followed, all the backups got deleted too, yadda yadda yadda.  The federal judge overseeing the Judicial Watch suit, District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan, keeps ordering the IRS to explain what steps they have taken to retrieve Lerner's emails, but they keep resisting.  They've thrown up a lot of static when Congress asked about those emails, too.

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Another ObamaCare Critic Targeted by IRS

Oct 9, 2014 10:36 AM PT

The producer of a movie that criticizes Obamacare is being slapped with an IRS audit and he suspects that the invasive probe is politically motivated.

Via the Washington Times:

Logan Clements, producer of “Sick and Sicker: ObamaCare Canadian Style,” announced via press release Tuesday that he is being audited for the first time ever.
“I had never been audited before I made this movie,” he says in a YouTube video. “There seems to be a pattern here.”

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What was the justification for doing a puff piece on Lois Lerner, anyway?

Sep 23, 2014 8:18 AM PT

In response to Issa Calls On Lois Lerner To Testify Before Congress Under Oath:

Having followed the IRS scandal closely since Day One, I had a number of less-than-flattering thoughts about her big interview with Politico, which I could summarize by asking: What's the journalistic justification for doing a puff piece on a disgraced official, while the investigation into the scandal is still ongoing?  In what way does any of this enhance the public's understanding of what transpired at the Tax Exempt Organizations division?  

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Issa Calls On Lois Lerner To Testify Before Congress Under Oath

Sep 22, 2014 3:29 PM PT
House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa renewed his call Monday for ex-IRS official Lois Lerner to testify before Congress, following her Politico interview in which she reasserted her innocence, and said she’s “not sorry for anything.” 

In the first media interview since the scandal broke in May of 2013, the former head of the tax-exempt unit claimed she “didn’t do anything wrong,” and was "never partisan." 

“I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country,” the 63-year-old Lerner, who also is a lawyer, said in the roughly two-hour interview.

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News Site Seeks Mutually Beneficial Exclusive with Former IRS Exec (Must Love Dogs)

Sep 22, 2014 10:35 AM PT

You could sum up Politico's exclusive interview with Lois Lerner by noting that it opens with the former IRS executive claiming, "I didn't do anything wrong," and closes with a quote-free section subtitled "Unanswered questions."

Politico's Rachael Bade reportedly talked with Lerner for two hours but doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere on the questions that anyone cares about. That's likely because Lerner was accompanied to the interview by her two personal attorneys and her husband who is also an attorney. We don't know anything about the process of the interview, there's no transcript, but it's clear that tough questions and awkward answers were not on Politico's agenda. David Frost this is not.

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DOJ impedes investigations, but eagerly facilitates Democrat media spin

Sep 10, 2014 8:39 AM PT

In response to Justice Dept. Watchdog Says DOJ Is Impeding Investigations:

The DOJ inspector general complaining about the stonewalls littering his department makes a lovely companion piece to the black comedy of Attorney General Eric Holder's aide Brian Fallon trying to get in touch with a House Democrat - most likely the investigation-thwarting Rep. Elijah Cummings, himself a major player in the IRS scandal - for assistance with leaking some documents to the media... only to realize he had accidentally contacted the office of House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa instead.

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Shazam! 5 more IRS email accounts vanish!

Sep 5, 2014 1:48 PM PT

The nefarious Homework-Eating Dog lunged from the shadows and gobbled up the email accounts of five more employees involved in the Tax Exempt Organizations voter-suppression scandal, including two of the famed "low level employees from the Cincinnati office," according to a report from the Associated Press on Friday.

If memory serves, the agency has already claimed at least ten other officials had their emails mysteriously annihilated, plus of course a batch of correspondence from the winsome Lois Lerner, the head of the operation.  Except it turns out Lerner's emails weren't totally vaporized after all.  The Administration finally admitted they're probably still parked on a backup tape somewhere, but it would be too "onerous" to recover them.  I'm not sure if the five new employees' emails are Disintegrated, or merely Onerous.

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Judicial Watch: The IRS Cover-Up Continues

Aug 13, 2014 8:35 AM PT
On July 10, as part of a freedom of information lawsuit by Judicial Watch, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the IRS one month to explain in writing and under oath how it lost so many emails to and from Lois Lerner, a central figure in the IRS targeting scandal.

During the interim, House Ways and Means Committee investigators learned from interviews that Lerner's hard drive was “scratched,” but data was recoverable. 

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IT Group Offers 6 Questions Investigators Should Ask About Lois Lerner's Emails

Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM PT

The President of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, a group with expertise in IT best practices, posed six questions she thinks lawmakers and the DOJ should ask about the loss of Lois Lerner's emails.

Recall that the IRS informed Congress earlier this year that nearly 2 years of Lerner's emails to outside agencies (such as the White House) were lost in a computer crash. This raised the eyebrows of investigators who note that the crash apparently happened about 10 days after a member of Congress expressed interest in the topic for which the emails were later subpoenaed. We've since learned that the email of six other individuals who may have had some relevant information were also lost.

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IRS Commissioner: Nothing Odd About Lois Lerner Asking if Instant Messages Are 'Searchable'

Jul 9, 2014 3:02 PM PT

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifed before a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today. During one exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan, Koskinen seemed to find nothing at all suspicious about Lois Lerner's interest in whether IRS instant messages were "searchable" and could be turned over to Congress.

Rep. Jordan: [Lerner] says "perfect" when she learns that it is not traceable, not trackable, not stored...What I want to know is, why did it take us this long to get these emails? We've been after these for 6 months and you dump them on us on July 3rd. Have you ever seen this email...have you ever seen this stuff before.

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That wheezy old Obama speech doesn't sound any better the 1000th time

Jun 27, 2014 12:00 PM PT

In response to Video: Obama Decries 'Phony Scandals' In MN - 'It's Not On The Level':

I leave it up to dead-end Obama supporters to decide if they find it encouraging that he's been giving the exact same speech for years, no matter what happens.  I know they've completely forgotten what he said when all of these "phony scandals" first broke, and he had to slog through a tough news cycle by pretending he was outraged when he read about the IRS scandal / the VA scandal / the digital panopticon / Benghazi / Operation Fast and Furious / etc. in the newspapers, in fact madder than anyone, and would leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of it all.  Selective amnesia is the defining trait of the Obama enthusiast.

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Video: Obama Decries 'Phony Scandals' - They're 'Not On The Level'

Jun 27, 2014 10:20 AM PT

The president was in Minnesota Thursday and Friday talking to "the folks" about how hard he's been fighting for middle class families. He also found time to fight for Democrats by delivering remarks at a fund-raiser for congressional Democrats at a private residence in Minneapolis, Thursday night.

Speaking to a crowd in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, Thursday, Obama sounded a tad defensive as lamely decried "fabricated issues and phony scandals." 

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Fox News Poll: 76% of Voters Think IRS Emails Were Deliberately Destroyed

Jun 26, 2014 1:37 PM PT

According to the latest Fox News poll, 76% of American voters believe what the Obama administration argues is a Republican generated conspiracy theory. 

More than three-quarters of voters -- 76 percent -- think the emails missing from the account of Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting of conservative groups, were deliberately destroyed.

That suspicion is shared across party lines, albeit to varying degrees. An overwhelming 90 percent of Republicans think the emails were intentionally destroyed, as do 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats.

Overall, just 12 percent of voters believe the emails were destroyed accidentally. Another 12 percent are unsure.

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Slow Tuesdays at the IRS: Hey, let's audit a Republican

Jun 26, 2014 8:45 AM PT

In response to Lois Lerner Sought Audit Involving Sen Chuck Grassley:

It's not surprising that the outrage meter pegged on this because the target was a sitting Republican Senator who just happens to be sitting on the Finance Committee.  (I know some people think Lerner actually wanted to hit the organization extending the invitation, which would be more in line with her purview as Tax Exempt Organizations honcho, but the no-can-do reply from her subordinate specifically refers to Grassely's tax returns, not the redacted organization.)  

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Lois Lerner Sought Audit Involving Sen Chuck Grassley

Jun 25, 2014 3:01 PM PT

An email has surfaced indicating former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner "sought an audit involving"  Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley in 2012 after a mix up somehow led to her inadvertently led to her receiving an event invitation meant for Grassley.

He also apparently received hers due to an envelope stuffing error. 

The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley's wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife.

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One Million Dollar IRS Bounty Offered For Info Leading to White House

Jun 24, 2014 11:13 PM PT

With idea that surely someone somewhere knows something, one of the non-profits that was victimized by the IRS, is offering a million dollar bounty for smoking gun evidence that leads to the White House.

In May, Catherine Englebrecht's group, True the Vote created  The IRS Bounty which offers a million dollar "crowd-funded award for new, relevant evidence implicating IRS senior leadership or Obama White House officials in the IRS scandal."

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IRS admits wrongdoing, pays $50k settlement to National Organization for Marriage

Jun 24, 2014 1:14 PM PT

After years of court battles, an early victim of the politicized Internal Revenue Service finally gets a little satisfaction, as the agency admits wrongdoing and ponies up a settlement for handing confidential information on the National Organization for Marriage over to same-sex marriage activists.  From today's NOM press release:

“It has been a long and arduous process to hold the IRS accountable for their illegal release of our confidential tax return and donor list, which was ultimately given to our chief political rival by the recipient,” said John Eastman, NOM’s chairman and a member of the ActRight legal Foundation team that brought the lawsuit against the IRS on NOM’s behalf in October, 2013. “In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.”

NOM said that an investigation revealed that its 2008 tax return and list of major donors was released to Matthew Meisel, a gay activist in Boston, MA. Email correspondence from Meisel revealed that he told a colleague that he had “a conduit” to obtain NOM’s confidential information. While testifying under oath in a deposition in the litigation, Meisel invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination and refused to disclose the identity of his conduit. Documents obtained during the litigation prove that Meisel then provided NOM’s tax data to the Human Rights Campaign (whose president was a national Co-Chair of the Obama Reelection Campaign). The information was also published by the Huffington Post.

“While we are very pleased that the IRS has been exposed as being responsible for this leak of our confidential information to our political opponents, we believe the IRS may still be hiding information from the American people,” Eastman said. “We have called on the Attorney General to grant Matthew Meisel immunity from prosecution so that we can force him to disclose the identity of  his conduit . We urge the Congress to explore this issue with the appropriate government officials. It’s imperative that all those who have engaged in corrupt practices and illegal acts in the IRS be identified and held accountable.”

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Issa To White House Counsel: 'You're a Hostile Witness' (Video)

Jun 24, 2014 11:50 AM PT

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee characterized White House Counsel, Jennifer O'Conner as a "hostile witness" Tuesday morning as she testified before congress. He would later walk back his accusation, calling her a "non-cooperative witness."

O'Connor  was subpoenaed by Chairman Darrell Issa, last night, to testify about her time at the IRS from May to November 2013. 

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U.S. Archivist Tells Congress IRS Didn't Follow The Law

Jun 24, 2014 11:34 AM PT

During part two of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on IRS Obstruction, Tuesday morning, the nation's top archivist told Congress that the IRS "did not follow the law" when it failed to report the loss of Lois Lerner's emails.  

In June of 2011, ten days after House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp sent a letter of inquiry to the IRS regarding possible targeting of conservative groups seeking tax exempt status, Lerner’s computer crashed, resulting in the loss of records that Republicans needed to prove the agency was targeting conservative groups.

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Expect More Fireworks At Tonight's Prime-time Oversight Hearing on IRS Obstruction

Jun 23, 2014 10:40 AM PT

Tonight at 7:00 Eastern the House Oversight Committee will have their shot at getting answers from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on the destruction of two years of key IRS  emails at a hearing entitled, “IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner’s Missing Emails.” 

I expect even more fireworks tonight than there was at the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Friday, given the latest developments on the IRS scandal that came to light over the weekend.

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'Not A Smidgen of Corruption' in IRS Scandal - And If You Think Otherwise You're A Conspiracy Nut

Jun 21, 2014 11:56 AM PT

There's not a "smidgen of corruption" in the IRS scandal, and if you believe otherwise, you're a paranoid winger who believes in wacky conspiracy theories. That's the narrative being pushed by the Obama White House, Democrat congressmen and Dem strategists in the wake of the latest highly suspicious developments in the scandal. 

Let's review for a moment what we're being asked to believe: 

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Rep. Chaffetz on Missing IRS Emails: 'Bring in the geeks and the nerds.'

Jun 20, 2014 5:13 PM PT

Thursday Rep. Jason Chaffetz appeared on Sean Hannity's TV show to discuss recent developments in the IRS scandal. As part of that discussion, Hannity once again highlighted video of Lois Lerner discussing pressure on the IRS in 2010 which was first brought to light at Breitbart News.

The revelation last Friday that Lerner's emails to outside agencies are gone was followed this week by the announcement that emails for six other individuals have also vanished as the result of computer problems. The lost emails have become a subject of renewed controversy because Congress has been seeking them for more than a year. Then, in February of this year, the IRS realized the emails were lost but took months to tell Congress.

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Rep. Stockman introduces 'The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act'

Jun 20, 2014 1:14 PM PT

Why shouldn't taxpayers be allowed to use the same excuses the IRS, and other elements of our imperial government, deploy when they get in trouble?  Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) aims to make it happen with his "The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act."

"Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama Administration uses," Stockman declared, offering legislation that would require the IRS to accept any of the following reasons when we can't meet their demands for documentation:

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Congress Needs To Ask The WH To Turn Over Emails Between Nikole Flax and President's Office

Jun 20, 2014 12:39 PM PT

In response to Carney: WH Search Found 'Zero Emails' Between Lois Lerner And President's Office (Video):

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp should also asked the White House to turn over any emails between its offices and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax, who was the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller when she was scheming with Lois Lerner and the DOJ to find ways to prosecute conservative groups. The IRS managed to lose her email, too (incredibly enough!)

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Advice for the IRS: How to Backup Important Data

Jun 19, 2014 6:10 PM PT

As you may have heard, the IRS claims Lois Lerner's emails are gone forever. Apparently Lerner was storing her archived email on her local drive when it crashed and could not be recovered.

I'm certainly not the first to suggest that this excuse might not fly if the roles were reversed, i.e. if the missing documents were tax related and the IRS was demanding them from Joe Taxpayer. In fact, I found some advice on safekeeping electronic records for the IRS that the IRS itself probably should probably consider adopting.

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The White House worked closely with IRS on ObamaCare, but left HHS in the cold

Jun 19, 2014 7:21 AM PT

While we enjoy the latest developments at the technology-challenged IRS - which now claims Lois Lerner's computer not only crashed and deleted her emails without any backups whatsoever, but her hard drive was physically destroyed - a thought about a less spectacular, but persistent, aspect of the scandal:

One of the other key officials who supposedly suffered a freak computer crash and lost all email correspondence is Nikole Flax - who, like former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, visited the White House with remarkable frequency.  (Shulman was cleared for far more visits than he actually made, but he still made more visits than his predecessors.)  We are told there's nothing untoward about these visits, because the IRS plays a major role as enforcers of the massively complicated ObamaCare, and they were coordinating closely with the White House to prepare.

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Darrell Issa: Records Like Lois Lerner's Emails 'Don't Just Disappear... Unless That Was the Intention'

Jun 18, 2014 7:57 PM PT

Amid new reports claiming that Louis Lerner's emails sought by Congress pursuant to claims the IRS targeted Tea Party groups are lost forever, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a blistering statement alleging that such federal records can only disappear like this through deliberate destruction.

If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about "losing" e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception. Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don't just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention.

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More IRS Emails Go Missing

Jun 18, 2014 9:53 AM PT

Yesterday Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp revealed that Lois Lerner is not the only person involved in the improper targeting of conservative groups whose emails have gone missing.

In a press release Camp reveals that the emails of 6 other individuals have also gone missing. Only one of the six is mentioned by name.  Nikole Flax was the Chief of Staff to Deputy Commissioner Steve Miller. Miller was later promoted to acting Commissioner and then resigned last May amid fallout from the scandal.

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IRS Commissioner Previously Testified Lois Lerner Emails Were Archived

Jun 14, 2014 8:53 AM PT

As news breaks that the IRS is claiming to have lost 2 years worht of Lois Lerner's Emails to Outside Agencies Are Gone, Representative Jason Chaffetz took to Twitter to point out previous testimony in which it was claimed Lerner's emails were archived.

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Nobody's buying the IRS story

Jun 14, 2014 7:23 AM PT

In response to IRS Commissioner previously testified Lois Lerner emails were archived:

Not only did the Commish testify - under oath, I believe - that these emails were archived, but the IRS turns out to have explicit rules for making hard-copy backups of such correspondence.  I'll repeat my immediate response upon learning of those rules: "Of course, given that the Obama Administration regards actual laws as mere suggestions, I can’t see any top officials paying a stiff price for ignoring inconvenient rules in a handbook.  Or else the IRS will assure Congress it can expect those hard copies no later than June 2019, and sometime between now and then, it will regretfully announce that all the papers were consumed in a fire, or perhaps eaten by locusts."

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IRS: Lois Lerner's Emails to Outside Agencies Are Gone

Jun 13, 2014 2:38 PM PT

Most news watchers are familiar with the Friday afternoon document dumps, but the IRS seems to have gone one step further. Buried in a letter on another topic they revealed that two years worth of Lois Lerner's emails are gone, conveniently erasing any record of contacts she might have had with the White House, FEC or Democrats on Capitol Hill during the timeframe when the IRS was improperly targeting conservative groups for scrutiny.

House Committee on Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp revealed today that he has been informed by the IRS that Lois Lerner's emails between Jan. 2009 and April 2011 have been lost "due to a supposed computer crash." The IRS says the crash destroyed all of Lerner's emails to outside agencies such as, for instance, the White House. Emails sent within the IRS are unaffected.

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Walls Closing In On IRS With New Ruling In Favor Of Pro-Israel Group

May 31, 2014 10:57 AM PT

A court decision handed down earlier this week by an Obama appointed judge will force the IRS to disclose the procedures it used to target the pro-Israel group, Z-Street, and may shed more light on how other conservative groups were unfairly scrutinized.

Z Street’s lawsuit was filed years before the IRS scandal hit the news and   before even the conservative media understood how badly the agency had become weaponized under Obama. 

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The Obama Administration is still stonewalling IRS scandal documents

May 17, 2014 10:51 AM PT

I'm not surprised to learn, via Katie Pavlich's post at Townhall, that the Obama Administration is hiding even more smoking-gun emails pertaining to the IRS scandal, even though Freedom of Information Act requests were filed over a year ago.  

It's a fairly straightforward request for correspondence between Democrat members of Congress, such as unindicted co-conspirators Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Elijah Cummings.  Levin and Cummings are just the tip of the iceberg.  These FOIA requests are going to unveil a massive trove of emails that show Democrat politicians blatantly using the IRS as a political weapon to take down conservative groups before the 2012 election.  The emails recently unveiled by Judicial Watch show Levin picking targets for IRS scrutiny and slow-walking like Lyndon Johnson selecting Vietnam bombing targets.  The response from the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division included assurances that their procedures were "flexible" enough to harass the hell out of whatever political targets Levin fed them.

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IRS Stonewalling NRSC FOIA Request RE Correspondence With Dem Members of Congress

May 16, 2014 12:52 PM PT

Nearly a year ago, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent the IRS a Freedom of Information Act request for any and all documents and records related to correspondence from January 1, 2009 and May 21, 2013 between thirteen different Democrat members of Congress and top IRS officials.

Members of Congress named in the unfulfilled request are Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), DSCC Chair Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen. Franken (D-MN), Sen. Warner (D-VA), Rep. Braley and Rep. Peters (D-MI). 

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A new chapter in the IRS scandal begins

May 15, 2014 7:43 AM PT

Judicial Watch - the same folks who blew the Benghazi story wide open a few weeks ago, by securing "smoking gun" emails the Administration illegally concealed - just performed the same service for the IRS scandal.  They've got smoking-gun emails that conclusively prove the persecution of conservative groups was coordinated from Washington; the Administration's story about "low-level rogue employees in Cincinnati" is as phony as the "spontaneous video protest" crap they peddled about the Benghazi attack.

Once again, I'm struck by how well Obama's delaying tactics work to protect him from scandals that could have brought down his Administration.  He and his team of paid liars long ago hit on the tactic of living from one news cycle to the next - a deliberate reversal of the old Washington wisdom that it's better to dump everything at once (preferably in a literal dumpster out back of the White House, on a Friday afternoon, ideally before a holiday weekend) to avoid the corrosive drip-drip-drip of scandal.  Old Washington hands thought it was dangerous to drag these things out and keep them in the news; better to muscle through a round of tough Sunday shows and get it over with, instead of seeing stories about "new revelations in Whatever-gate" on the front pages, week after week.

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Boehner: Arrest of Lois Lerner is Up To AG Eric Holder

May 11, 2014 12:14 PM PT

House Speaker John Boehner went on Fox News today to discuss the establishment of a House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. He qalso said he would not seek the arrest of former IRS official Lois Lerner for being in contempt of Congress.

"This is a serious invetigation," said Boehner. " I don't want theater. I don't want a side show. I want the members of this committee to find the facts for four families who lost their loved ones and to find the facts for the American people.

In responding to Democrat critics, Boehner also defended the make-up of the committee pointing out that Republicans have the majority on all House committees, which is standard procedure for both parties in the House. 

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House Oversight Investigates Justice Department Connection to IRS Scandal

Apr 26, 2014 3:44 PM PT

Last week, it was discovered - not by official investigators, but by outside watchdog group Judicial Watch, which spends its days waterboarding the Most Transparent Administration in History with Freedom of Information Act requests - that IRS scandal kingpin Lois Lerner made inquiries with the Justice Department about the possibility of ginning up criminal investigations against the conservative groups she was targeting.  Basically, Lerner wanted to establish that these groups were engaged in the sort of partisan political activity they promised not to pursue in their applications for tax-exempt status, then prosecute them for lying to the IRS.

According to the Washington Examiner, House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa wants a more thorough explanation for at least one of the emails Judicial Watch uncovered:

In the email, Richard Pilger, director of the Election Crimes Branch of the DOJ's Public Integrity Section, noted to Lerner, “When you have a moment, will you call me? I've been asked to run something by you.”

Pilger doesn't say who had asked him to contact Lerner but provides some context for the prospective conversation, saying he wanted to know who at the IRS “DOJ folks could talk to” about ways to target 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups that are heavily involved in politics and may be pushing the boundaries of the law with their political activity.

Pilger sent the note two days before Lerner disclosed the targeting of conservative groups and apologized during remarks at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association. The email was part of a trove Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released last week showing Lerner in contact with DOJ about the potential for prosecuting tax-exempt groups.

Issa argues that the email shows that the DOJ was considering prosecuting these groups for actions that are legal for 501(c)(4) nonprofits under federal tax law – “that is, engaging in political speech.”

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WH Asked For Apology From Ben Carson For Offending Obama In His Inspiring Prayer Breakfast Speech

Apr 15, 2014 12:39 PM PT

According to Dr. Ben Carson in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future, the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” the president after he delivered a bold and powerful conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast, last year.

In February of 2013, Dr. Carson's words were like a healing balm to disappointed and demoralized conservatives who were still licking their wounds after the 2012 election. His speech caused a sensation and a star was instantly born. But not everyone was happy with it.

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The Transparency Trap

Apr 11, 2014 4:59 AM PT

Following plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon’s victory in the campaign finance reform case, several conservatives have hailed him as a hero. Certainly, he was on the right side of the issue of campaign donation limits, but like many he still doesn’t get the heart of the free speech issue and the current political climate. 

McCutcheon told Slate’s Dave Weigel, “I’m in favor of transparency and knowing where the donations come from. If you’re really doing free speech, and you’re willing to spread ideas, you should be in favor of transparency. Donating to campaigns? That should be disclosed, if it’s above $100.” 

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Oversight Republicans Approve Contempt Charges For Lerner While Democrats Charge McCarthyism

Apr 10, 2014 11:07 AM PT

The House Oversight Committee approved contempt charges on a  21 to 12 party line vote Thursday against former IRS official Lois Lerner, moving the contempt resolution to the full House. 

The Hill reported:

Republicans have ruled that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights by proclaiming her innocence in a May 2013 opening statement before Oversight, and say that she can fill many of the holes left in the committee’s investigation into the IRS’s scrutiny of groups seeking tax-exempt status.
It would be irresponsible for the committee not to vigorously pursue her testimony,” Issa said in his opening statement. 

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House Oversight Committee Votes to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt

Apr 10, 2014 10:40 AM PT

The House Oversight Committee voted 21-12 to find Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. A vote must now be taken up by the full House.

Before the vote there was strong disagreement over what it would accomplish. Republicans have maintained since last year that Lerner waived her right to assert the Fifth Amendment when she made a speech proclaiming her innocence at the first hearing. Republicans argue that forcing Lerner to testify is the only way to get to the bottom of the incident in which she seems to have been heavily involved. In contrast, Rep. Cummings made an opening statement comparing the coming vote to the behavior of the House Un-American Activities Committee and to Joesph McCarthy.

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