Taylor claimed that Lerner’s life has been threatened if she testified. TheDC has independently verified Taylor’s claim.
Taylor claimed that Lerner’s life has been threatened if she testified. TheDC has independently verified Taylor’s claim.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has recalled the Regime’s former IRS henchwoman, Lois Lerner to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the agency’s targeting and abuse of Tea Party and conservative groups.
As noted by PJ Media’s Bryan Preston, “she has since retired from the IRS and is receiving a six-figure retirement income, making more money per year after leaving her government job in disgrace than most Americans make working full-time.”
Last time America saw Lerner was last May, when she raised her hand and was sworn in to testify, then declared her innocence and took the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) pointed out at the time that Lerner is not allowed to declare innocence and then take the Fifth. The committee reserved the right to bring her back and compel her to testify.
When asked by Fox’s Bill Hemmer today if the Oversight Committee would consider giving Lerner immunity in order to get her to testify, he answered, no way.
“We’re not giving her immunity – period.”
Asked what it means that she would ask for immunity, he answered, ”that she’s guilty and we should buy a used car over the telephone. Nobody does that. We don’t know what she’s done so why would you give someone immunity when you have no idea what criminal conduct they’ve engaged in. I don’t know if she killed Jon Bonet Ramsey. He went on to explain the proper procedure, “you write out a proper, the prosecutors evaluate it and then we decide if we would rather have you as a defendant or a witness.” He said right now, he would prefer for her to testify as a defendant because he doesn’t think she has any credibility.
But I’m thinking, if they gave her immunity, they might be able to wrangle out of her some valuable information they might otherwise not be able to get.
Gowdy went on to say, “I think she connects this scandal all the way to Washington and she’s holding out for a better deal. But it’s not going to be immunity until we know what your testimony would be. And you can’t sit there and say you’ve done nothing wrong, and nothing illegal, and then hide behind the Fifth Amendment and expect us to give you immunity. That is not going to happen.”
There are two things that could happen, next week, when she reappears before Congress, according to Gowdy. 1. She could plead the Fifth, again, in which case she would be held in Contempt of Court which he said “could include a visit from the Capitol police” or 2. “her lawyer smartens up and says, ‘let’s go in the back and discuss a resolution to this.”
Bradley A. Smith, the WSJ: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal - The ‘smoking gun’ in the targeting of conservative groups has been hiding in plain sight.
The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there’s been no “smoking gun” tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn’t have to.
First, some background: On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens Unitedv. FEC upholding the right of corporations and unions to make independent expenditures in political races. Then, on March 26, relying on Citizens United, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rights of persons (including corporations) to pool resources for political purposes. This allowed the creation of “super PACs” as well as corporate contributions to groups organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that spend in political races.
The reaction to Citizens United was no secret. Various news outlets such as CNN noted that “Democrats fear the decision has given the traditionally pro-business GOP a powerful new advantage.”
The 501(c)(4) groups in question are officially known as “social-welfare organizations.” They have for decades been permitted to engage in political activity under IRS rules, so long as their primary purpose (generally understood to be more than 50% of their activity) wasn’t political. They are permitted to lobby without limitation and are not required to disclose their donors. The groups span the political spectrum, from the National Rifle Association to Common Cause to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. If forced out of 501(c)(4) status, these nonprofit advocacy groups would have to reorganize as for-profit corporations and pay taxes on donations received, or reorganize as “political committees” under Section 527 of the IRS Code and be forced to disclose their donors.
Now consider the following events, all of which were either widely reported, publicly released by officeholders or revealed later in testimony to Congress. These are the dots the media refuse to connect:
Keep reading at the link…
This morning, Sen. Cruz offered two amendments in the Judiciary Committee to safeguard citizens’ free speech against unlawful and unjust targeting and designations by the Internal Revenue Service.
He brought to light the disturbing hypocrisy of Democrats who all objected to the IRS’s abuses when the scandal first broke, but are now playing defense for the IRS.“Nearly nine months ago, President Obama declared the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups ‘intolerable and inexcusable,’ yet his administration has authored a new rule to specifically limit free speech for many of those groups, which are classified as ‘social welfare’ organizations,” Sen. Cruz stated.“Free speech is not a partisan issue. The IRS has no business meddling with the First Amendment rights of Americans. Rather than further stifling free speech, the IRS and the Department of Justice should provide the American people with all the facts surrounding the IRS’s targeting of certain organizations based on their political activity. We should all agree the IRS should not be used as a tool for partisan warfare.”***Democrats on the Judiciary Committee unanimously defeated both of Cruz’s proposals.
In fairness – after going on five Sunday talk shows to spout the Regime’s phony cover story – what else is she gonna do? Admit it was all a huge lie to deflect from the ugly truth that al Qaeda was not “on the run” in 2012, but “on the offensive?”
Still, this is pathetic, and it inspired John McCain to burst out in derisive laughter when he saw it.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice says she has no regrets about her Sunday show appearances where she peddled the false talking point that the Benghazi terrorist attack was a spontaneous reaction to a video.
Actually Miss, what you peddled on the Sunday talk shows was not the best you had at the moment, and contrary to your assertions, your bogus narrative has not been validated. Your “best information” defense has in fact been, invalidated. We know the White House knew, okay already?
The only question is whether Rice was acting as an unknowing stooge at the time, or a willing participant in the subterfuge. There is no question of what she currently is doing.
Oh – and kudos to Meet the Depressed host, David Gregory who did such a splendid job holding Rice’s feet to the fire, there. Always nice to see a hard-nosed journalist doing his part to keep a Washington power broker honest with a few tough follow up questions. What’s that you say? There wasn’t a followup question to that obvious lie? Wow. (The FCC seen nodding in approval.) NBC knows what its audience’s “critical information needs” are – and the truth about Benghazi – or any of the Regime’s other scandals are not among them.
Here’s John McCain’s “almost speechless” response to Rice’s BS on CBS, this morning:
Fox News’ “Political insiders”, Pat Caddell, Doug Schoen, John LeBoutillier with Harris Faulkner talked about Rice’s appearance on NBC still peddling what Caddell called “the greatest lie of my lifetime.”
LeBoutillier saw the appearance as an indication that the Regime is still getting away with the cover-up, and took the opportunity to repeat what all the insiders have been calling for – a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi.
(By the way, I don’t agree that a Select Committee would be some kind of panacea – I think the multiple House hearings have actually done an adequate job rooting out the truth, myself. A Select Committee would remove some of the most effective House Oversight members (like Gowdy and Chaffetz) from involvement because ranking members (dead wood) would be appointed to the committee. The investigation is taking time because we’re dealing with a bunch of shameless, lying, stonewalling, Fifth Amendment-pleading, ends-justify-the-means, Alinsky trained corruptocrats. As Darrell Issa has said, “the fact is, I have all the same powers and have used the same authorities as a Select Committee would use. This administration is slow.”)
Anyway, LeBoutillier was adamant. He said, “We have a 180 members of the House Republican Conference who have called for a Select Committee to finaally get to the bottom of Benghazi. They need to get together tomorrow, and they need to tell Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy, you’ve got one day to appoint the Committee, and if you will not do it, we’re throwing all of you out of the leadership….”
The Rice discussion starts 6:35 minutes in…
Video via Johnny Dollar
Four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are looking onto the highly suspicious indictment of conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who appeared on the Kelly File with Megyn Kelly, Friday night, to talk about the case.
Concerned that the indictment on campaign finance charges may be an example of “selective prosecution,” Senators Charles Grassley, Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz have sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey asking the bureau to explain the practices that led to D’Souza’s arrest, last month. Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported:
“The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the investigation that led to the [D'Souza] indictment began as a result of a ‘routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC of various candidates after the 2012 election,’” the senators wrote. “The articles, however, did not provide any details regarding the scope and methodology of these routine reviews.” Noting speculation that D’Souza might have been singled out for scrutiny, the senators added, “To dispel this sort of public perception that Mr. D’Souza may have been targeted because of his outspoken criticisms of the president, it is important for the FBI to be transparent regarding the precise origin of this investigation.” Reminding Comey that during his Senate confirmation hearings he had promised a more transparent FBI, the senators posed several questions.
I really do wish Republicans would stop tip-toeing around these scandals. Obama is only going to get worse because they are letting him. Nixon was impeached for much, much less than this guy has gotten away with.
On the Kelly File, D’Souza was able to tell Megyn Kelly that he knew that the president had been “unnerved” and “upset” by his first film 2016 . He then added, if that if Obama was unnerved by 2016 – wait until his new film, America comes out.
Asked how he knows that the president was upset about the movie, 2016, D’Souza answered, “a few weeks after the movie came out, there was a vituperative attack on me and on 2016 that appeared on Barack Obama’s personal website, barackobama.com in which he railed against the film as a smear campaign and took issue with a number of the facts in the film — he was wrong on every instance, but it was very clear from his diatribe that the film got under his skin.”
The “vituperative attack” was by Obama’s “Truth Team”, Sept. 5, 2012: “2016: Obama’s America” is a deliberate distortion of President Obama’s record and world view.
Kelly asked D’Souza if after the movie came out, he feared he may have “pushed it too far”, and would be retaliated against. D’Souza answered that he had always heard that Obama was a very vindictive guy. He added that while he was in Kenya, the Obama family was extremely paranoid and protective of Obama.
Megyn was incredulous that the president be capable of this sort of retribution, but D’Souza reminded her that the director for the movie, Gerald Molan was targeted by the IRS shortly after the movie came out. (Much like the ObamaCare critics, Bill Elliot and C. Steven Tucker, last Fall.) “It’s part of the broader pattern of going after people who are critics”, he continued. “Not just me. The Hollywood guys - the Friends of Abe…he treats his critics not as merely people who disagree – but as enemies.” He pointed out that this is a big theme of Saul Alinsky, “you don’t treat opponents as well meaning people who disagree with you – but as bad guys who must be polarized and demonized – and that’s what the Obama administration has been doing in general.”
We should all be painfully aware by now of how Obama frames every dispute with Republicans. They never oppose him because they have principled disagreements with his policies. It’s because they’re playing petty politics, or they just don’t want to let the black man win. It’s a horribly divisive tactic he’s employed time and again.
In James O’Keefe’s latest sting in Texas, he catches the community organizing group Battleground Texas breaking Texas election law.
As PJ Media’s J Christian Adams explains, “the group registers voters as deputy registrars, illegally copies information from voter registration forms, and then cranks the illegal information into the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor.”
Battleground Texas Field Organizer Jennifer Longoria is caught on camera multiple times making statements such as, “So every time we register someone to vote we keep their name and number.” Which is of course – illegal.
” According to the Secretary of State, it is unlawful to transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a voter registration application.”
“Battleground Texas, is the new ACORN”, O’Keefe explains in the video:
Bryan Preston: How the Texas Tribune Will Cover James O’Keefe’s Latest Video:
The Texas Tribune is a non-profit news gathering organization that bills itself as non-partisan. It has come under serious and sustained criticism recently for getting a sweetheart deal to cover a fundraiser and speech by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. The news content it generates is syndicated all over Texas, for free, to local news outlets, which calls into question its non-profit status — it’s not supposed to be in competition with for-profit news organizations.
When it comes to hidden camera video that makes Democrats and their allies look bad, the Tribune consistently handles such videos in a backhanded way.
The Community Organizer in Chief has his Top HHS Stooge scrounge around for possibly illegal Democrat votes….
On Friday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke and took questions on Obamacare in an online forum sponsored by Voto Latino. This group primarily exists for the purpose of encouraging Hispanics to register to vote, but it additionally advocates for leftist causes. From their website:
In 10 years and with your support, we have engaged and developed the leadership skills of Latino Millennials; registered nearly a quarter million voters; rallied for immigration reform; ensured our community got counted in the 2010 Census and enrolled in the new healthcare law; and together, we have fought against laws that would make it harder for Latinos to vote.By “laws that would make it harder for Latinos to vote,” they are referring to Voter ID laws.
They are using ObamaCare to encourage likely Democrats to register to vote (possibly illegally) and they are doing it in the open. Disgusting.
The legal scholar who last December warned of the “rise of an uber-presidency” at a House Oversight hearing about Obama’s executive overreach, reiterated his concerns Wednesday on “The Kelly File,” calling Obama’s habit of bypassing Congress to enact legislation is “a very dangerous thing.”
“The framers created a system that was designed to avoid one principle thing, and that’s the concentration of power in any one branch, because that balancing between these branches in a fixed orbit is not only what gives stability to our system, but protects us against authoritarian power, protects civil liberties from abuse,” Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University Law School, told host Megyn Kelly. “And what we’ve been seeing is the shift of gravity in that system in a very dangerous way that makes it unstable.”
Turley said his opposition is not due to the president’s politics.
“I happen to agree with many of President Obama’s policies,” he said. “But in our system, it’s often as important about how you do as what you do.”
I’m astonished at the passivity of the Republicans.
Jonathan Turley’s blog is here.
Via White House Dossier, another law professor weighed in on the argument that the Treasury Dept. has authority to extend statutory deadlines in order to provide “transition relief” to those affected by laws.
Turns out it’s not okay.
… according to Constitutional law professor Jonathan Adler, writing in the Washington Posts Volokh Conspiracy blog, the Obamacare delay is certainly illegal:
Whatever the stated reason for the new delay, it is illegal. The text of the PPACA is quite clear. The text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides that the employer mandate provisions “shall apply” after December 31, 2013. The Treasury Department claims that it has broad authority to offer “transition relief” in implementing the law. That may often be true, but not here.
The language of the statute is clear, and it is well established that when Congress enacts explicit deadlines into federal statutes, without also providing authority to waive or delay such deadlines, federal agencies are obligated to stay on schedule. So, for instance, federal courts routinely force the Environmental Protection Agency to act when it misses deadlines and environmentalist groups file suit.
Even if we don’t take Adler’s word for it that you can’t waive deadlines without statutory authority, the delay seems a clear violation of the Constitution’s prescription that the president shall “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Delaying a mandate for two years that employers have already known about for four years is not “faithfully” executing anything. It’s an abuse, particularly given that it delays the mandate until January 2016 and has the political motive of keeping employer compliance from becoming a problem during the 2014 election.
Last month, Megyn Kelly asked Senator McConnell if a better remedy than fighting Obama in the courts might be to ‘try to impeach him.’
Former Federal Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote a column at National Review Online, last November, noting that Obama having committed serial fraud and multiple misrepresentations, would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if he had been in private business. He went on the Kelly File to argue his case.
He said the remedy to rein in executive abuses such as we’ve seen, is impeachment, but there has to be a much larger public outcry about the abuse, for there to be the political will to do it.
McCarthy weighed in on the latest rewrite of the Employer Mandate at NRO: Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution:
What is illegal and irrational is not a company’s commonsense deliberation over its costs, it is Obama’s edict. And look what attends this one: criminal prosecution if Obama’s Justice Department decides the business has falsely certified that its staffing decision was not motivated by Obamacare.
Think about that for a second. The waiver is illegal. It flouts the language of theObamacare statute, under which the employer mandate is required already to have been implemented by now. There is nothing in the law that empowers Obama to waive the mandate, much less to attach lawless conditions to such a lawless waiver. A business that seeks the waiver and fails to pay the mandated tax (in lieu of providing the required coverage) is in violation of federal statutory law, regardless of its compliance with Obama’s outlaw edict. The payments required by the statute, after all, are owed to the public, not to Obama – he’s got no authority to deprive the government of these funds just because it would harm Democrats to collect them.
Yet, Obama proclaims his illegal waiver with impunity – Congress apparently unwilling to stop him. You, on the other hand, will be prosecuted for breaking the “law” if you do not comply to Obama’s satisfaction with the illegal and irrational condition he has unilaterally placed on his illegal waiver.
I’m just wondering what – if anything – Republicans plan to do about this out of control little dictator we have on our hands.
Hat tip: Geo.
Of course, comparing Barack Obama to Richard Nixon is a huge insult to Richard Nixon. Via The Independent Journal, this Ben Howe video contrasts Obama’s words with testimony from last week’s House Oversight hearing.
As Steve Huntley at the Chicago Sun Times noted, “it is unimaginable that IRS special scrutiny of liberal groups during a Republican administration would be written off as bureaucratic bungling. To many conservatives, Obama’s assertion of “not even a smidgen of corruption” sounds a lot like another White House’s claim that Watergate was ‘a third-rate burglary.’”
Exit question, now that some liberals are getting tired of defending Obama on ObamaCare - will they also tire of defending him on the IRS scandal? (Not to mention the Benghazi, NSA, DOJ spying, Fast and Furious and the rest of the scandals.)
In an exclusive report for WND, investigative journalist Aaron Klein revealed that the IRS has contracted with ”an avowedly progressive organization funded by George Soros to process data filed by smaller tax-exempt groups.”
The federal agency process sends details contained in the annual filings for organizations with $50,000 in annual receipts or less to the Urban Institute, which is funded at least partly by government payments as well as contributions from far-left activist George Soros.
The IRS page directs groups to file with the Urban Institute, although apparently other providers also can file the Form 990 documentation, which is required of every nonprofit, small and large.
The IRS.gov page on the “Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations – Form 990-N (e-Postcard)” includes instructions to file online, and includes a direct link to the Urban Institute.
It’s for “most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less,” since they are “required” to electronically submit Form 990-N, unless they choose an alternative Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.
“The organization that fails to file required e-Postcards … for three consecutive years will automatically lose its tax-exempt status,” the IRS warns.
There, in the “How to File” box, are instructions to use “this link” to file. The IRS explains, “When you access the system, you will leave the IRS site and file the e-Postcard with the IRS through our trusted partner, Urban Institute. The form must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.”
Click here to see images of the forms.
Klein goes on to note that employees at the Urban Institute” have a record of donating nearly 100 percent of their political contributions to Democrats, and officially, the Urban Institute advocates for totally socialized medicine, carbon taxes and amnesty for illegal aliens.”
The president of allegedly nonpartisan organization is Sarah Rosen Wartell, who is also the co-founder of the Center for American Progress, which is widely considered to be the brain trust behind many of the Obama administration’s progressive policies.
Cleta Mitchell, the attorney for a number of tea party and conservative groups targeted by the IRS, told WND, “If true, this is a violation of federal law. And since most of the tea-party groups have annual revenues of [$50,000] or less, this would redirect their filings to a group whose mission is fundamentally at odds with tea-party organizations.”
She continued, “Federal law strictly prohibits the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information to persons outside the IRS. It is a felony to disseminate the information.
“Surely this cannot be happening. Surely,” she said. “This would be well more than a ‘smidgen’ of corruption.”
A disgusted Christopher Monckton said the entire IRS is corrupt. “Sack the lot,” he declared.
“Where a department behaves as corruptly as the IRS, first selectively moving against conservative nonprofits only and then forcing all nonprofits to file their tax returns with a hard-left group only, with the menace that if they did not do so they would lose their nonprofit status, one statute springs to mind.
“The RICO statute,” he wrote.
“The IRS, by its actions, has shown itself to be a racketeer-influenced criminal organization. The nonprofits should band together, now, and mount a RICO action against it.
“Their lawyers will tell them they cannot possibly win. But they will win. And win big. The RICO statute, designed to deal with an earlier generation of Chicago gangsters, pays the successful plaintiffs three times their costs in fighting the action. Once the courts have held the IRS to be corrupt, it can and will be closed down,” he wrote.
He said a foreign company should be contracted for the IRS work.
“An organization that has behaved with such outrageous disregard for the iron obligation of strict political neutrality that is the first and most sacred duty of any tax-gatherer can only have done so because throughout its senior management there is ingrained contempt for the taxpayer and for the law,” he added. “The IRS has put politics above the law. Sack the lot.”
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, is representing 41 conservative groups that say they were illegally targeted by the IRS.
After testifying on the scandal before the House Oversight committee yesterday, he appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom to talk about the latest.
During his testimony, he pointed to what he called “smoking gun” emails sent by former IRS official Lois Lerner that directly contradict the Regime’s claims that there wasn’t a “smidgen of corruption.”
The emails were released by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of its probe of the IRS scandal.
Sekulow explained that the emails show Lerner in contact with the IRS’ chief counsel and other top lawyers at least a year before the scandal became public. He said that Lerner wrote about coming up with new rules to restrict non-profit groups.
“They wanted to do it ‘off-plan,’ which means off the books so it’s not on the public calendar. And all of that was taking place while the targeting was going on,” he explained. Sekulow says the emails disprove the Obama administration’s story about the targeting originating in a remote office among lower level IRS agents.
“Legally, the IRS has been caught red-handed and the American people and certainly our plaintiffs are not taking it lying down,” said Sekulow. He believes a special prosecutor must be called on to investigate, since the head of the current probe has been found to be a big Obama campaign donor.
“When you see these emails and you understand what’s in them, you realize the highest level of the IRS was conspiring with Lois Lerner at least a year before this scandal broke. And what they’ve attempted to do now is just cover their tracks.”
“The reality is, the more information that comes out – including the information that we are now receiving with the high level IRS Chief Counsel involved with this – I think this is the smoking gun in this case, and of course the Chief Counsel is appointed by the President of the United States,” Sekulow said.
In a statement after the hearing, Sekulow said:
The Obama Administration refuses to provide Americans with the truth about the unlawful and unconstitutional targeting scheme by the IRS – a scheme that violated the First Amendment rights of numerous Tea Party and conservative groups,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, following today’s hearing. “The latest proclamation from President Obama himself – asserting that there’s ‘not even a smidgen of corruption’ at the IRS – simply fails to reflect the facts.”
It is difficult to overstate the extent and magnitude of federal government misconduct so far uncovered,” added Sekulow. “In our lawsuit, we provide specific evidence that focuses on no less than 12 IRS officials, including the IRS’s Commissioner and Chief Counsel. The facts clearly show that our clients were unlawfully singled out because of their political views – a politically-motivated attack designed to derail the emergence of a new political movement. With the Obama Administration continuing its strategy of denial and deflection, Congressional oversight is absolutely essential. That’s why the work of this – and other – committees must continue unimpeded.”
Meanwhile, Republican leaders are requesting that the newly appointed IRS commissioner scrap the new 501 (C) (4) rule that would codify into law the illegal targeting…
“This proposed rule is an affront to free speech itself,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The letter — signed by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others — marks the most coordinated effort yet by the GOP to fight the rule change, first proposed in November.
The letter comes as more conservative groups testified Thursday about IRS targeting, before a House oversight subcommittee.
“They were harassed at the hands of their very government,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
There are currently 22,587 comments on the rule change at the Regulations.gov website - almost all of them negative.
Does the Regime really think they’re going to get away with this?
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!
Tuesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan today requested that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen withdraw the controversial proposed IRS regulation that would limit political speech by nonprofit organizations. Issa argues that his Committee’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting scandal “has raised serious flaws and concerns about the process and substance of the proposed rule.”
“The proposed regulation is intended to clarify the tax-exemption determinations process and resolve problems identified in a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit report. It does not,” wrote Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan. “As written, the Administration’s proposed rule will stifle the speech of social welfare organizations and will codify and systemize targeting of organizations whose views are at odds with those of the Administration. In addition to these substantive concerns, we also have serious concerns about the process by which the Administration promulgated this rule.”
Concerns include the following, detailed in the letter:
· The proposed rule codifies the Obama Administration’s earlier attempts to stifle political speech.
· The proposed rule improperly applies Federal Election Commission standards to tax-exempt organizations.
· The IRS’s efforts to develop new restrictions on political speech for non-profit groups, led by Lois Lerner and the IRS chief counsel’s office, began long before the TIGTA audit was released.
· The proposed regulation will needlessly harm social welfare organizations.
Read today’s letter here.
Meanwhile, it is now being reported that Obama didn’t consult Justice before saying there was not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS.
President Obama didn’t check with the Justice Department before saying there was no corruption at the IRS, the department’s deputy told Congress on Tuesday, ahead of several potential showdowns on Capitol Hill this week.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is scheduled to appear before the tax-writing committee Wednesday, where he will likely have to defend new rules clamping down on non-profit groups. And Republicans have invited a Justice Department lawyer involved in investigating the IRS to testify Thursday — though Deputy Attorney General James Cole has said he won’t allow her to appear.
Wednesday Thursday morning’s Oversight hearing, The IRS Targeting Investigation: What is the Administration Doing? starts at 9:30 a.m.
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!
I blogged about this at The Conversation earlier, today: President Declares ‘Not a Smidgen’ of Corruption in IRS Scandal Despite Ongoing DOJ Investigation:
White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler brings up another thing from the Obama/O’Reilly interview more people should be talking about – Obama’s total dismissal of the IRS scandal as a big Fox News driven nothingburger with “not a smidgen” of corruption involved – was articulated while there’s still an active investigation going on!
I can’t think of a better example of Chicagoland politics than to signal to your investigators how the probe is supposed to turn out. Now, Justice Department officials have their marching orders. And anyone who uncovers a “smidgeon” of corruption will have to worry about making the boss look like a liar or a fool, not to mention worrying about their employment status.
Actually, the fix has been so in with the DOJ sham IRS “investigation”, I don’t think we have to worry about any officials worrying about making their boss look bad.
The boss, by the way, did the same thing during his softball interview with Chrissy Matthews on MSNBC, back in December.
Kudos to Jonathan Karl for catching this. Bill O’Reilly admitted on his show just now that he missed it.
Karl asked, “Jay, in the president’s interview with Bill O’Reilly, last night, he said that there was not even a smidgen of corruption regarding IRS targeting of conservative groups. Did the president misspeak?”
Carney, scoffing, answered, “no he didn’t.” And then demonstrating that he was anticipating an question about Obama’s dismissal of the IRS scandal, he arrogantly went on, “but I can cite I think I have about 20 different news organizations that cite the variety of ways that was established including by the independent IG….etc etc bs bs bs…” and read from a prepared script about how it has been so concretely established
But before he could finish talking, Karl threw him the curve ball he wasn’t expecting: “Jay, he said there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption – nothing about some qualifier about being outside the IRS, and there’s an active Justice Department investigation – unless it’s been concluded without anyone telling the news media – I mean – there’s an active Justice Dept. investigation – doesn’t the president prejudge that investigation? To which Carney could only mumble in response, “what we have learned through the independent Inspector General and through the testimony that we’ve seen, completely backs up what the president said.” He went on to say that “a lot of that has been very good reported on by various news organizations” ( which he makes sure to sneer), some people might have missed.” One wonders what they hell he’s talking about. Daily Kos, Huffpo, PMSNBC? The Oversight investigation into the scandal isn’t over, although the Regime has been stonewalling their investigation. They’ve found evidence that it goes to the White House. Lois Lerner pled the fifth.
“So the Justice should just pull the plug on this investigation?” Karl pressed. Carney shot back, “obviously we don’t interfere with a Justice Dept. investigation.”
A favorite Carney ploy is to use peer pressure against reporters who ask tough questions. “Hey dummy, everyone in this room knows the IRS scandal is over, except you. “
I’m so glad Karl isn’t intimidated by it. He keeps coming back with more headaches for Carney.
Starts at 9:18:
Image via Powerline
In 2012, Obama.com—which was run by Robert Roche, an American businessman and Obama fundraiser who lives in Shanghai — raised a boatload of money for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign..
Roche’s China-based media company, Acorn International, runs infomercials on Chinese state television. Obama.com redirects to a specific donation page on BarackObama.com, the official campaign website. Unlike BarackObama.com, Obama.com’s traffic is 68 percent foreign, according to markosweb.com, a traffic-analysis website. According to France-based web analytics site Mustat.com, Obama.com receives over 2,000 visitors every day.
The name Robert W. Roche appears 11 times in the White House visitors log during the Obama administration. Roche also sits on the Obama administration’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and is a co-chair of Technology for Obama, a fundraising effort. (In an email exchange, Roche declined to discuss his website, or his support for the Obama reelection effort, referring the inquiries to the Obama campaign team. The Obama campaign, in turn, says it has no control over Roche’s website; it also says only 2 percent of the donations associated with Obama.com come from overseas.)
But it isn’t just foreign donations that are a concern. So are fraudulent donations. In the age of digital contributions, fraudsters can deploy so-called robo-donations, computer programs that use false names to spew hundreds of donations a day in small increments, in order to evade reporting requirements.
This makes it all the more surprising that the Obama campaign does not use a standard security tool, the card verification value (CVV) system—the three- or four-digit number often imprinted on the back of a credit card, whose purpose is to verify that the person executing the purchase (or, in this case, donation) physically possesses the card. The Romney campaign, by contrast, does use the CVV—as has almost every other candidate who has run for president in recent years, from Hillary Clinton in 2008 to Ron Paul this year. (The Obama campaign says it doesn’t use the CVV because it can be an inhibiting factor for some small donors.) Interestingly, the Obama campaign’s online store requires the CVV to purchase items like hats or hoodies (the campaign points out that its merchandise vendor requires the tool).
The Obama Campaign claimed that it was rigorous in its self-regulation effort. “We take great care to make sure that every one of our more than three million donors are eligible to donate and that our fundraising efforts fully comply with all U.S. laws and regulations,” a campaign spokesman told GAI president Peter Schweizer.
But as Schweizer noted, instead of allowing outsiders—the press, the public, good government watchdog groups, or the Federal Election Commission—to independently determine whether everything was on the up and up, the Obama camp instead relied on self-policing combined with a lack of transparency – leaving an opening for foreign and fraudulent donations. In 2012, Obama raised over $1 billion.
Finally, the feds are looking into massive campaign finance fraud. Just not Obama’s. And actually not all that massive.
See, there’s this guy who is accused of reimbursing “people who he had directed to contribute $20,000″ to the campaign of a U.S. Senate candidate.
The accused is conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, the author of books like Illiberal Education, What’s So Great About America, and The End of Racism, and the the film 2016: Obama’s America, which was based on his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage.
According to Reuters, D’Souza was accused of “arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.” He is accused of reimbursing “people who he had directed to contribute $20,000″ to the campaign of a U.S. Senate candidate who is not named in the indictment. He was also charged on one count of “causing false statements to be made.”
In 2012, federal law “limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.”
Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee who is the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, said, “As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process.”
An *Obama* appointee who takes “a zero tolerance approach to corruption.” It is to laugh.
D’Souza’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told The Hollywood Reporter that D’Souza “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever… at worst this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
Gerald Molen, a co-producer of the 2016 movie, accused the Obama administration of “criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law.”
As you may remember 2016: Obama’s America became a box office hit in the summer of 2012 – a rare thing for a political documentary. You may also remember – it wasn’t complimentary of Obama or his vision.
“After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go.” - Valerie Jarrett 11/2012 (Allegedly)
Retaliation against political enemies? – check.
It’s like the night of the long knives – Chicago style.
Congress won’t be a problem for them, this time - check.
Two judges ready to go – check.
They’re not even being subtle. We are officially living in a Banana Republic, now folks….
And the Stupid Party is doing what?
Let this seep in for a few minutes. The entire force of the GOP establishment is being applied towards Obama’s most cherished agenda item for his second term, not towards fighting Obamacare and the debt ceiling. While Americans are concerned about out-of-control government, Obamacare, debt, and jobs, these clowns are concerned about illegal immigrants, foreign lobbies, and special interests. –Daniel Horowitz
Rolling over and playing dead.
Update via Weasel Zippers:
Keep in mind, D’Souza is facing a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Update: Now I’m hearing $1,000,000 fine from D’Souza plus up to seven years of jail…(I’m guessing his debate with Bill Ayers at Dartsmouth on Jan 30 is now cancelled…)
Let’s look at what happens when you do even more than what Dinesh is alleged to have done, but you’re a Democrat…
The Federal Election Commission has fined an Arkansas law firm for making illegal contributions to John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign. Tab Turner solicited four $2,000 contributions from his co-workers at Little Rock law firm Turner & Associates in January 2003 and illegally reimbursed them for their contributions using a company credit card, according to the FEC. He also used a company credit card to make an illegal campaign contribution in his own name and to pay for various campaign expenses. Federal law prohibits donors from making contributions in others’ names and prohibits direct corporate contributions to a federal candidate. Edwards for President also agreed to pay a $9,500 fine, and called the commission’s announcement “old news,” reported the AP.
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!
While investigating Obamacare Navigators, Battleground Texas, and their connection to Obama’s Organizing for America, Project Veritas caught some “deeply offensive comments on tape.”
When I first saw the headline for this, I thought – surely not. Surely they’re exaggerating.
You tell me.
“Greg Abbott (The Attorney General of Texas) is not, he’s really not a sure thing, and he’s really not real electable. First of all he’s not good looking, he doesn’t speak very well, he doesn’t have a good personality, and he’s in a wheelchair.”
They even explore the possibility that he has a personality disorder because he “he has no sympathy for anyone or anyway.” Keep in mind these are supporters of a candidate who lashed out at the affable Abbott because of a news report he had nothing to do with. There’s plenty of fodder for a discussion on ”personality disorders” if you take a good look at Wendy Davis’ checkered past.
No Project Veritas video would be complete without some exposition of left-wing corruption.
But that’s not it. When asked about forging signatures on absentee ballots, Deputy Voter Registrar and attorney Lisa Wortham covered her ears and then went on to admit, “I’ve seen people do that all the time.” Battleground Texas volunteer Celeste Grahm then added, “I don’t think it’s legal but I didn’t hear you say that.”
That’s right. Cheating is the only way these losers can win Texas. That’s why supporting the work groups like True the Vote and Project Veritas do, is so important. They do the work the MSM should be doing – shining a light on corruption and fraud.
Looks like the Governor of NY is taking his cues from the Obama administration.
O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas is behind a series of hidden-camera investigations against left-leaning groups and causes, made the claims on the heels of the controversy over a recent Cuomo interview. In it, Cuomo blasted “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay” and said they “have no place” in New York. He later walked back his remarks, and said they were being taken out of context in the media.
But O’Keefe claimed that Cuomo’s government is acting on those words, revealing that the Department of Labor has hit his office in Westchester County, N.Y., with demands for financial documents for months. He compared it to IRS targeting of conservative groups nationwide.
“Governor Cuomo’s shocking words this past week aren’t simply words,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Labor are on a witch hunt, demanding all documents and financials since our founding. … His goal, of course, is to harass us and limit our effectiveness by tying us up in court. Just like President Obama used the IRS to target and suppress conservatives, Governor Cuomo is using his Department of Labor to do the same exact thing.”
And by “overwhelmingly negative” I mean 0 1 positive out of 717 comments, thus far. Where are the tea- party haters – the anti-Koch brothers paranoids spewing their hate? I
see nothing but overwhelmingly intelligent, literate, well-reasoned comments.
The proposed rule, “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities” does not impact labor unions or the Chamber of Commerce, but does impact the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
It is out in the open that the IRS is targeting perceived political opponents, but this truth is frustratingly not being shouted from the rooftops by the mainstream media or the Republican establishment, who have been quite clear in their disdain for the Tea Party.
Speaking of the proposed rule, professor of law at the University of Tennessee Glenn Harlan Reynolds, wrote an article for USA Today yesterday saying in part,
“…the Obama administration is currently changing IRS rules to muzzle Tea Partiers.”
In fact, it is believed that this rule has been “reverse engineered” in such a way to specifically target common activities among Tea Party groups and recategorize them as “candidate-related political activity,” as reported by Kimberley A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.
Tea Party activities oftentimes include issue advocacy, candidate forums and voter registration drives, but Strassel reported that the rule would effectively
“…shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs.” [emphasis added]
Not one of the 686 (out of 9,532) comments currently available for viewing is supportive of the measure.
It’s 717 comments, as of this writing, and before I could post, one anti-Koch brother moonbat appeared (probably via Instapundit’s link.) And true to form, the lib is a lofo with no idea what he/she is talking about.
More effective regulation of political activities by 501(c) groups is long overdue. People like the Koch brothers, and the groups they fund such as “Americans For Prosperity” have demonstrated how ineffective current regulations, and their enforcement, are in preventing 501(c) groups from being used to avoid taxes and to engage in obviously political activity.
Regulations and enforcement need to cover ANY politically- or financially-motivated activities such as Americans For Prosperity placing fake eviction notices on homes in Detroit, mailing “We know you didn’t vote” correspondence to people and threatening to tell their neighbors you didn’t vote, and making awards or special recognition to politicians who promote the group’s political agenda.
The Kochs, other plutocrats, and corporations should not be allowed to hide their political funding by funneling it through 501(c) groups. Consider requiring that all groups designated as nonprofit make available a complete disclosure of contributions and from whom they were received.
Why do these people never mention George Soros, or liberal groups like Media Matters and the Tides Foundation, I wonder?
The proposed regulations do not affect 501(c)(3) nonprofits, they “provide guidance under section 501(c)(4) relating to the measurement of an organization’s primarily activity and whether it is operated primarly for the promotion of social welfare, including guidance relating to political campaign intervention.” Via Regulations.gov(complete with gaffetastic misspelling of primarily.)
In one comment, the left-wing Bauman Foundation demanded public hearings on the rule. Interestingly, the rule would not apply to them as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but they were concerned that the rule for 501(c)(4)s would confuse their donors.
501(c)(3) organizations are either a public charity, private foundation or private operating foundation with open membership whereas 501(c)(4) organizations are civic leagues or associations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare or local associations of employees with limited membership.
When it comes to lobbying and political activity, 501(c)(3) organizations can appeal directly to legislative bodies and representatives and may support issue-based legislation. However, they must notify the IRS of their intent to lobby by filing form5768, which formally informs the federal government that one has elected to use the expenditure test to have the organization’s lobbying activity measured. Under this test, lobbying capacity is typically limited to spending less than 5 to 20% of the organizational budget on lobbying activities, depending on the size of your organization.
501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above.
The Obama IRS is changing the 501 (c) (4) rules so the IRS can continue targeting conservative, libertarian leaning groups legally.
Here is tea party atty Cleta Mitchell explaining the proposed IRS rule changes.
The House Ways and Means Committee chair wants more time to investigate the agency’s targeting of conservative groups and to review potential rule changes.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation (H.R. 3865) last week to block the Internal Revenue Service from finalizing new restrictions on the political activities of 501(c)(4) social welfare groups.
Camp, who led an investigation into the IRS’s targeting of organizations seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status, said that the investigation is still ongoing and that the committee needs more time to review documents they are still waiting to receive. His bill would delay implementation of the new rules for one year to allow the committee to complete the investigation and review public comments on the proposal.
“It is premature to publish new rules before getting all of the facts,” Camp said in a statement. “The administration’s proposed rules openly target groups that are exercising their First Amendment rights. We cannot allow these draft regulations to go into effect. Congress must make sure every American’s right to participate and engage in civic debate is protected, and this legislation will provide some much-needed assurance that IRS targeting and surveillance will not continue.”