In an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News about a year ago, President Obama said that President Richard Nixon was actually more liberal in his policies than Obama is.
But, while comparing their policies, Obama conveniently left out one chilling similarity: Both presidents used the virtually unbridled power and authority of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target their political opponents. In fact, in many respects Obama’s IRS abuses actually have been much worse than Nixon’s.
It was in May 2013 that the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit report confirming that the IRS used “inappropriate” criteria to identify, hamstring, and handcuff conservative organizations that stand in opposition to the administration’s policies. In short, it violated the First Amendment rights of countless Americans just as Obama sought reelection. If you want to know how an election is stolen in plain sight, this is how.
To further confirm the criminality of Obama’s IRS abuse, in 2014, Lois Lerner, the former Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit that was “suppression central” for the tax agency, was held in contempt of Congress after refusing to testify at a congressional hearing about the agency’s witch hunts.
President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is supposedly conducting an investigation into the IRS’ wrongdoing. And the operative word there is “supposedly.” The fact is, we have very good reason to believe that the DOJ may not get to the truth – or even try all that hard. Why not? Well, we are not alone in noting that DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman, whom Eric Holder appointed back in January 2014 to lead the investigation, is not exactly what anyone would call a nonpartisan, neutral civil servant. Far from it.
Federal Election Commission records show Bosserman contributed $6,750 to Obama’s campaigns and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 2004 to 2012, including 12 separate contributions to Obama for America between 2008 and 2012. Small wonder then that House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA) described the Bosserman appointment as “a startling conflict of interest [that has] compromised the Administration’s investigation of the IRS.” That’s what Issa wrote in a letter to Attorney General Holder protesting the appointment of Obama loyalist Bosserman to head up the Obama IRS investigation.
This is the kind of conflict of interest that screams out for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request – which JW filed in February 2014 asking for information about contacts, calendars, cases, documents, time tracking, and billing that would detail the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the IRS targeting conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status in the 2010 and 2012 elections cycles.
This is a simple request for information. The American people deserve to know how much time the government employee being paid with tax dollars is putting into the effort to investigate the IRS’ outrageous assault upon the First Amendment. Yet, it took the DOJ five full months to reject our FOIA request, claiming outlandishly that telling the public how much work she was doing on a major national scandal somehow violated Ms. Bosserman’s privacy. Well, the Justice Department is not above the law and we filed a FOIA lawsuit in an effort to shake loose the records that would show us how many hours this Obama donor had devoted to its IRS investigation.
So far, the DOJ has claimed no less than four separate privileges in federal court to keep Bosserman’s hours secret. In November 2014, the DOJ filed a Motion for Summary Judgment that was laced with obfuscation. DOJ lawyers argue that there is no public interest served in releasing the information. While the DOJ confirms that there is an investigation of sorts, the Motion omits any acknowledgement that improper IRS targeting was directed against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations opposed to Obama’s agenda. Judicial Watch’s lawyers are asking the court to reject the DOJ’s arguments to continue its stonewalling, to review the documents in question, and to rule summarily in our favor:
[Judicial Watch] does not seek information describing the type of work Ms. Bosserman conducted. Nor does it seek information about how she spent her time. Nor does it seek Ms. Bosserman’s notes about locations visited, persons consulted, staff briefings, and other case developments. Again, [Judicial Watch] solely seeks information about the number of hours Ms. Bosserman expended on the aforementioned criminal investigation. Nevertheless, Defendant claims everything but the kitchen sink in its effort to withhold the time records in their entirety.
Prior Judicial Watch lawsuits forced the release of IRS and Justice Department documents that implicate the Justice Department, its Public Integrity Section, and Obama supporters in Congress. These Judicial Watch disclosures also led to the discovery by Congress that the FBI had obtained, illegally, over a million pages of IRS files.
The Attorney General, or in cases in which the Attorney General is recused, the Acting Attorney General, will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and–(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and (b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.”
I urge you to read and widely share today’s piece entitled “ABCs of IRS mess: Justice Department is tainted, too” in the New York Post by our lead investigative reporter Micah Morrison. Micah lays out in painstaking detail, including some never-before-revealed facts, about what is obvious to any honest American: that the Obama Justice Department can’t be trusted to investigate the Obama Justice Department. For instance, Bosserman isn’t the only “conflicted” lawyer at the Justice Department:
Then there’s Andrew Strelka. Working in Justice’s Tax Division, he represented the IRS in two civil cases related to the targeting of tax-exempt groups, including a Freedom of Information battle with Judicial Watch. And before Justice, he worked for the IRS in Lois Lerner’s Exempt Organizations division.
“I cherished my time in the EO family,” Strelka e-mailed Lerner, “and I owe a big thanks to you for hiring me.”
Strelka’s ties to Lerner were so strong that both Treasury and Justice interviewed him in their IRS probes. But when he was defending the IRS in targeting matters, he failed to disclose to the judge or opposing counsel his ties to the IRS and Lerner.
If the Senate is to confirm Ms. Lynch (and that is a big “if” – see below), it should require the appointment of a special counsel that can begin, finally, to investigate seriously the worst abuse of the IRS by a president in memory. This is the least the Senate should do because, as I noted with Nixon, a president has resigned for less.
Feel free to call your senators and alert them to this information. You can reach them at 202-224-3121. Tell them to give us a call. We are happy to educate any United State Senator, Republican or Democrat, about what our Obama IRS scandal investigation has revealed.