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Trey Gowdy blasts Obama – “How can President say there was not a smidgen of corruption!”
IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups: Senate Judiciary Hearing – Pt 1
Rep. DeSantis Questioning at OGR Hearing on IRS Targeting
Congress Democrat Tries to Talk at Tea Party Founder, Rep Jim Jordan in for the Save!
Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting Scandal Is Ongoing
Cleta Mitchell asked if she would defend Occupy: Lord I wouldn’t represent one of them on a bet:
IRS Investigation Hearing – What We Learned From Today’s Testimony – America’s News HQ
The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.
The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.
Powerline: BILL HENCK: INSIDE THE IRS:
As noted at the top, William Henck has worked inside the IRS Office of the General Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. Although it goes over some old ground, we submit the following personal account by Mr. Henck for the consideration of readers in the context of current controversies without further comment. He writes:
I have been an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for over 26 years. Over a number of years, I have attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to alert the public to abuse within the IRS. One of my kids suggested that I contact a blog and Power Line has graciously agreed to publish this account.
I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring. As stated in more detail below, I have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit. I have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug.
WSJ: Obama’s IRS “confusion”:
House committees are still digging into the IRS political targeting scandal, and based on a hearing Wednesday there’s more to learn. The day produced more evidence blowing apart President Obama’s claims that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” or political motivation in the IRS handling of groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe that the targeting resulted from the confusing tax law governing nonprofits, which he says was “difficult” to interpret and resulted in mere “bureaucratic” mistakes. This is also the Administration’s justification for issuing new regulations governing 501(c)(4)s that would effectively silence White House opponents this election year. Published in the Federal Register in November, the new rules cite the “lack of a clear and concise” regulation as reason for the rewrite.
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp blew up this fairy tale at Wednesday’s hearing with new IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Mr. Camp unveiled a June 14, 2012 email from Treasury career attorney Ruth Madrigal to key IRS officials in the tax-exempt department, including former director Lois Lerner.
The email cites a blog post about the political activity of tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups and reads: “Don’t know who in your organizations [sic] is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off-plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting.”
Interesting for sure. The IRS typically puts out a public schedule of coming regulations, and Mr. Camp noted that in this case “off-plan” appears to mean “hidden from the public.” He added that committee interviews with IRS officials have found that the new 2013 rules were in the works as early as 2011, meaning the Administration has “fabricated the rationale” for this new regulation.
Big Government: TEA PARTY LEADER FILING ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST DEM REP:
One of the most high-profile victims of the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal is planning to unveil surprising new allegations about the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing this morning.
Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of election integrity group True The Vote and Tea Party group King Street Patriots, alleges Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) demanded information from her group in a similar manner to the IRS, according to her testimony. “Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization,” Engelbrecht said.
The Tea Party leader is filing a formal ethics complaint against Cummings with the Office of Congressional Ethics, a panel of outside advisers who review allegations and refer those they consider to have merit to the official Hosue Ethics Committee.
Engelbrecht is one of several witnesses testifying at an oversight subcommittee hearing on the IRS scandal on Thursday. The committee’s subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs will be holding a hearing titled: “The IRS Targeting Investigation: What is the Administration Doing?”
In her opening statement, published on the committee’s website late Wednesday, Engelbrecht offers the painstaking details of how the IRS and administration as a whole targeted her, noting “my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.”
Engelbrecht said she is disgusted with Cummings’ behavior, and that Cummings was engaged in activity that “misrepresent[s] this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens.”
The ACLJ: The IRS Assault of Dissenting Speech:
It is difficult to overstate the extent and magnitude of federal government misconduct so far uncovered. The list of senior IRS officials directly involved in the targeting scheme itself seems to grow each day. Indeed, at the ACLJ we’ve filed suit on behalf of 41 clients from 22 states, naming – and providing specific allegations against — no less than twelve IRS officials, including the IRS’s Commissioner and Chief Counsel. We will provide a copy of this Complaint and attached exhibits to the Committee.
As for the magnitude of the scandal, on June 20, 2013, Stan Veuger, writing for the American Enterprise Institute, cited a study showing the impact of the Tea Party’s “ground game” on the 2010 election and noting that suppressing the Tea Party could well have provided President Obama his margin of victory in 2012.
In other words, not only was the targeting scheme repugnant to the Constitution, it could well have had decisive real-world effects in a presidential election.
Given this reality, it’s hardly surprising that the Administration is proving utterly incapable of policing itself. According to published reports, it has delayed turning over tens of thousands of relevant documents to Congressional investigators, it is currently in the process of attempting to dismiss litigation filed against it by groups it admitted it harmed, and its criminal investigation – announced with much fanfare in May, 2013 – is led by a large donor to President Obama’s two presidential campaigns, a person so close to the President that she was invited to the White House to attend a bill-signing ceremony.
Millions of Americans with good reason perceive the IRS as inherently partisan, doubt the Obama Administration’s good faith in faithfully executing the laws of the United States by defending the First Amendment rights of all American citizens, and are understandably cynical when an avowed partisan accepts the assignment to investigate perhaps our nation’s most politically-significant scandal.
Under such circumstances, Congressional oversight is absolutely essential. The work of this – and other – committees must continue unimpeded and my colleagues and I at the ACLJ stand ready to assist in any way that we can.
In addition to today’s testimony, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent this letter off to Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday regarding the President’s comments claiming not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, despite an ongoing criminal investigation.
The Honorable Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Holder:
We are writing you today to inquire about the President’s recent comments regarding the criminal investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) treatment of taxpayers applying for nonprofit status for their organizations based on political persuasion.
In May of 2013, President Obama said he would not tolerate partisan targeting and vowed to “make sure that we find out exactly what happened” at the IRS. Since this situation came to light, we have received very little information on the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation. You testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 29, 2014, that the investigation is open and still proceeding, and criminal charges are still possible, noting, “All the options are on the table, given the fact that there has not been a determination either to bring charges or to decline the case.”
Additionally, on January 30, Deputy Attorney General James Cole sent a letter to Representative Jim Jordan refusing to allow any Department employees to testify before Congress because of the on-going nature of the investigation, stating it is the commitment of the Department to avoid
“… any perception that our law enforcement efforts are subject to undue influence from elected officials. Our disclosure of non-public information about this pending investigation would be inconsistent with this long-standing policy and could undermine judicial confidence in the independence of the criminal justice process.”
In contrast to these statements, on Sunday, February 2, the President stated there is “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS regarding this targeting, despite the fact the investigation, to the best of our knowledge and according to your recent testimony, is not complete. We hope you can restore our confidence that the investigation into the IRS will be thorough and not swayed by any political biases.
In that vein, we are hoping you can answer several questions:
1) If the IRS investigation is “ongoing,” and there has been no determination as to whether criminal charges will be brought, how does the President know there is no criminality?
2) Is the President being briefed on the investigation while it is ongoing?
3) Can Congress be briefed on the status of the investigation and preliminary findings through a bipartisan, bicameral briefing?
Thank you in advance for your prompt response.