TriggerFinger


BOMBSHELL: Judicial Watch uncovers new IRS documents

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

This is breaking news. We always heard and suspected some Republicans were involved, now we have proof. And "audit so many it becomes financially ruinous" sure sounds like political targeting not simply enforcing the rules. Lerner's quotes from the meeting indicate she wasn't the hero who stopped the political targeting, she was the person overseeing it all. Plus proof that other people at the IRS were involved.

Categories IRS Scandal

Thu Jun 21 16:29:30 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ settles with last group of IRS scandal plaintiffs

TaxProf quoting from announcement“Chief Justice John Marshall wrote 'that the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied.' And it should also be without question that our First Amendment prohibits the federal government from treating groups differently based solely on their viewpoint or ideology.”

"But it is now clear that during the last Administration, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to screen applications for 501(c) status. These criteria included names such as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” or “9/12” or policy positions concerning government spending or taxes, education of the public to “make America a better place to live,” or statements criticizing how the country was being run. It is also clear these criteria disproportionately impacted conservative groups.”

“As a result of these criteria, the IRS transferred hundreds of applications to a specifically designated group of IRS agents for additional levels of review, questioning and delay. In many instances, the IRS then requested highly sensitive information from applicants, such as donor information, that was not needed to make a determination of tax-exempt status.”

"The IRS’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred. It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions. Any entitlement to tax exemption should be based on the activities of the organization and whether they fulfill requirements of the law, not the policy positions adopted by members or the name chosen to reflect those views.”

“There is no excuse for this conduct. Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS. We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”

It's a shame these cases ended in settlement rather than in jail time.

I'd still like to be able to read Lois Lerner's testimony. She thinks people might want to kill her if they were able to read it. Doesn't that seem like something people have a right to know about?

Categories IRS Scandal

Mon Feb 05 09:53:01 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ IG recovers missing text messages between Page and Strzok

CNNThe Justice Department's inspector general has informed lawmakers that a trove of missing text messages exchanged between FBI employees has been recovered. In a letter to lawmakers on Thursday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote that this week his office was able to recover texts sent between Strzok and Page over a five-month span from December 2016 to May 2017.

Well, they sure didn't stay missing long, did they? As this incident should remind us, when the government wants to recover text messages, they can generally recover the text messages. When they don't want to recover the text messages, as with the case of the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, it's a cover up.

And speaking of coverups, I feel that I should point out that the IG had to use "forensic tools" to recover those missing text messages. That means someone tried to delete them, probably Page and Strzok themselves, which speaks to consciousness of guilt.

I wrote about the missing text messages and reported on Hannity's tip last night that they were being recovered. And I would like to offer a hat tip to an anonymous reader for pointing out the story, since I don't usually follow CNN...

UPDATE: I meant to point out that the notification does not say "all" messages were recovered, which potentially leaves some wiggle room. We don't know how many messages were actually recovered, out of how many total.

Thu Jan 25 12:59:29 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


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