Tag Archives: Lois Lerner

Top IRS officials approved and supervised harassment of conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released FBI interviews prove that top IRS officials in Washington, like Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, organized and ran the harassment of conservatives prior to the 2012 election.

The FBI documents also reveal that IRS officials stated that the agency was targeting conservative groups in the summer of 2011 because of their ideology and political affiliation. According to one senior tax law specialist, “The case seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way … [Redacted] said he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations.” And IRS senior official Nancy Marks, appointed by Miller to conduct an internal investigation stated, “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.” [emphasis mine]

In others, the evidence shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the IRS was being used by Democrats in Washington for the express purposed of harassing and attacking their political opponents.

Documents prove IRS targeted conservatives because of ideology

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released FBI documents show that the IRS purposely aimed its harassment against conservatives and tea party groups solely because of their opposition to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

The FBI documents also reveal that IRS officials stated that the agency was targeting conservative groups because of their ideology and political affiliation in the summer of 2011. According to one senior tax law specialist, “The case seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way … [Redacted] said he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations.” And IRS senior official Nancy Marks, appointed by Miller to conduct an internal investigation stated, “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.”

Read the whole thing. The documents show that the targeting was under the direct supervision of high IRS supervisors such as Lois Lerner and Holly Paz. The documents also show that the IRS commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, lied to Congress when he claimed that “There is absolutely no targeting.” He was clearly informed at the time that conservatives were being targeted for harassment.

Sadly, I will not celebrate when and if Donald Trump uses the precedent of this scandal (whereby the government got away with using the IRS to destroy its opponents) to go after his opponents. I fully expect him to do so, and though some of them might deserve it for their own illegal and oppressive behavior, such retaliation by Trump will only signal the coming end to American freedom.

Justice Dept ends IRS investigation with no charges

Working for the Democratic Party: The Obama Justice Department has decided to file no criminal charges against anyone, including Lois Lerner, in the IRS scandal.

I was going to label this a whitewash in the headline, but decided to leave that conclusion to my readers. This quote from the article however should help you decide whether it was a whitewash:

Some Republicans have questioned the validity of the probe from the beginning, after learning that one of the Justice Department lawyers assigned to the investigation was a contributor to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns. [emphasis mine]

So, Lerner and the IRS conspire with the Obama administration from 2010 to 2012 to squelch the ability of conservatives to organize and raise funds prior to the 2012 election. The result: Obama wins, and the Republicans fail to win the Senate. Afterward the Democrats shrug their shoulders, say they shouldn’t have done it, but it wasn’t really bad anyway.

The worse part will be the number of reporters and media folk who will rally to the Democrats for this corrupt use of government power to crush their political opposition.

IRS reveals Lerner used more than one personal email address

Surprise! The IRS today revealed that it has just discovered that Lois Lerner used a second private personal email account, under a different name, for conducting government business.

IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency. “In addition to emails to or from an email account denominated ‘Lois G. Lerner‘ or ‘Lois Home,’ some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated ‘Toby Miles,’” Mr. Klimas told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is hearing the case.

It is unclear who Toby Miles is, but Mr. Klimas said the IRS has concluded that was “a personal email account used by Lerner.”

There is additional concern that this insecure account, not yet searched, might have been used by Lerner to communicate confidential taxpayer information.

The next Lois Lerner, this time at the Federal Election Commission

Working for the Democratic Party: The chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has voiced support for Lois Lerner’s harassment of conservatives at the IRS, and wants to wield her agency’s power in the same manner.

[Critics] take special aim at the commission’s Democratic chairwoman, Ann Ravel, who also served as chairwoman of California’s equivalent to the FEC, the Fair Political Practices Commission, before coming to Washington in 2013. Ravel has lambasted the commission as “dysfunctional” because votes on enforcement issues have often resulted in ties, and she has said the commission should go beyond its role of enforcing election laws by doing more to get women and minorities elected to political office. She has complained that super PACs are “95 percent run by white men,” and that as a result, “the people who get the money are generally also white men.”

To remedy those problems, Ravel sponsored a forum at the FEC in June to talk about getting more women involved in the political process. She has also proposed broadening disclosure laws to diminish the role of outside spending, and suggested that the FEC should claim authority to regulate political content on the Web. She’s also voiced support for eliminating one member of the commission in order to create a partisan majority that doesn’t have tie votes, saying in an interview with Roll Call, “I think it would help.”

In other words, she doesn’t like how Americans vote, and wants to change the results, by any means necessary.

Her partisan willingness to use the FEC to influence elections, something it is fundamentally not supposed to do, illustrates an important aspect of the IRS scandal. Obama might be leading the way in using the government to squelch any political opposition, but he couldn’t do it if he didn’t have the support of a lot of individuals within the government, both political appointees and civil service workers.

I have a saying: “It is the audience that counts.” Having someone in charge demanding action means nothing if he or she doesn’t have a legion of supporters willing to back him or her up. It appears the fascist beliefs of many leaders in the Democratic Party and in leftwing academic circles do have that legion of supporters. We who believe in freedom and democracy had better recognize this at some point, since an unwillingness to do so (as illustrated by the Republican leadership) will only allow these fascists to gain more power.

Persecution of conservatives by the IRS and Wisconsin Democrats linked

Working for the Democratic Party, nationwide! Newly revealed emails now show that even as Lois Lerner was heading the IRS effort to harass conservatives at the IRS, she had a close email correspondence with the official in Wisconsin who helped prosecutors there run their secret investigation of conservatives that included midnight SWAT raids.

It does appear that Lois Lerner worked to get other Democrats in state governments to use their power, as she was, to squelch the first amendment rights of conservatives.

The IRS and Obama administration planned to criminally prosecute its opponents

Working for the Democratic Party: New Justice Department documents released today show that in 2010 the Obama administration and the IRS were conspiring to criminally prosecute opponents of the Obama administration.

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

This bears repeating: It is illegal for the IRS to give the confidential tax returns of citizens to anyone, including the Justice Department. Worse, having done so the IRS has given the very partisan Obama administration a giant treasure-trove of data it can use to smear and destroy its opponents.

Lois Lerner’s hard drive failed because of “impact”

Working for the Democratic Party: It appears that the reason Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed initially is because of “an impact of some sort.”

So, how often have you seen a hard drive fail because something got thrown at it, or it got thrown at something? And if such a thing happened, how often do you think it happens by accident?

And of course, the IRS immediately did its job and had that hard drive shredded and destroyed, so that no one could look at it and determine precisely how it failed.

One month after it realized it needed them, IRS erased email backups

Working for the Democratic Party: One month after the IRS realized it had lost many of Lois Lerner emails demanded by a number of investigations looking into the tax agency’s harassment of conservatives, IRS employees erased the backup tapes for those very emails.

The lost emails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. In June 2014, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner’s emails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011.

The IRS had discovered that the emails were lost in February 2014. A total of 422 computer backup tapes were erased a month later, George says in his testimony. At the time, IRS officials said the emails could not be recovered.

[IRS Inspector General J. Russell] George says the workers were unaware of a 2013 directive from the agency’s chief technology officer to halt the destruction of email backup tapes. The IRS says it has produced 78,000 Lerner emails, many of which have been made public by congressional investigators. George says his investigators were able to recover more than 1,000 additional Lerner emails. However, he said, as many as 24,000 emails were destroyed when IRS employees erased the computer tapes.

And then there is this: “The investigators, however, concluded that employees erased the tapes by mistake, not as part of an attempt to destroy evidence.”

They really do think we are stupid. This scandal has been a major story for several years, one that every IRS employee has got to be aware of. In March 2014 it was an especially hot story, with IRS commissioner John Koskinen about to testify to Congress about it (which is when he revealed the loss of these emails).

For them to continue to routinely destroy backup tapes at that time, and for their bosses to do nothing to stop them, can only because they wanted those tapes destroyed.

IRS Inspector General finds another 6,400 lost Lois Lerner emails

Working for the Democratic Party: Emails by Lois Lerner that IRS head John Koskinen has sworn were lost forever and could never be recovered have miraculously been rediscovered by the IRS’s inspector general and will be turned over to Senate investigators.

Or as one of the leaders of one of the conservative groups that the IRS (and Lerner) had deliberately targeted for harassment noted, “I wouldn’t believe John Koskinen or Lois Lerner if they told me the sky was blue.”

Lerner illegally provided Democrats with confidential tax information

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released emails now prove that Lois Lerner not only illegally provided confidential tax information to Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), her harassment of conservatives was apparently coordinated with the Congressman’s office.

In addition, Cummings had denied these facts publicly and privately to the House as he tried to shut its investigation down prematurely.

“These documents, indicating involvement of IRS officials at the center of the targeting scandal responding to your requests, raise serious questions about your actions and motivations for trying to bring this investigation to a premature end. If the Committee, as you publicly suggested in June 2013,’wrap[ped] this case up and moved on’ at that time, the Committee may have never seen documents raising questions about your possible coordination with the IRS in communications that excluded the Committee Majority,” [states] the letter sent by [Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa and the chairmen of five congressional subcommittee chairmen].

“As the Committee continues to investigate the IRS’s wrongdoing and to gather all relevant testimonial and documentary evidence, the American people deserve to know the full truth. They deserve to know why the Ranking Member and Minority staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform surreptitiously contacted the IRS about an individual organization without informing the Majority Staff and even failed to disclose the contact after it became an issue during a subcommittee proceeding…We ask that you explain the full extent of you and your staff’s communications with the IRS and why you chose to keep communications with the IRS from Majority Members and staff even after it became a subject of controversy.”

It must be made clear here what happened: Cummings’ office contacted Lerner at the IRS about a specific conservative organization, demanding confidential tax information about it and that it be targeted for investigation by the IRS. Lois Lerner immediately complied. And his office did it not because of any illegal act by this conservative organization but because that organization was successfully uncovering voter fraud that helped Democrats get elected.

How does this make you feel? Criticize a Congressman and he has the power to send the IRS after you.

Investigators say 32,000 Lerner IRS emails have been recovered

Transparency! The Treasury investigators told a House committee on Thursday that they have been able to recover 32,000 emails by IRS official Lois Lerner that IRS officials had sworn were lost forever.

[Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration,] said it took investigators two weeks to locate the computer tapes that contained Lerner’s emails. He said it took technicians about four months to find Lerner’s emails on the tapes. Several Oversight Committee members questioned how hard the IRS tried to produce the emails, given how quickly independent investigators found them.

In other words, IRS officials lied to Congress when they said these emails were unrecoverable and couldn’t be found.

Unfortunately, the investigators have not yet gone through these emails in detail, and were not yet prepared to reveal what was in them. For that show we will have to wait a bit longer.

Update: During his testimony Camus also said that they are considering a criminal investigation into whether there was a real cover-up.

The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed. Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

Camus also said that when his investigation went to the software people to try to get the tapes, they discovered that IRS officials had never talked to them, demonstrating clearly that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was lying when he said the agency had searched high and low for the tapes and discovered them lost.

Inspector General to report tonight on Lois Lerner email recovery

Transparency! The inspector general for the Treasury Department is scheduled to testify this evening before a House committee on his investigation into the IRS’s effort to recover emails of Lois Lerner that the IRS said were forever lost.

“House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz remains concerned the IRS potentially mislead the American people about its efforts to recover former Director Lerner’s emails. The IRS has claimed under oath that most of her emails from a key time period were destroyed by a crashed hard drive, that back-up tapes were erased, and were therefore unrecoverable,” a statement from the Committee says. “Through their ongoing efforts, the Inspector General’s office has discovered that the back-up tapes do exist, the data on them was never erased, and the emails are in fact recoverable.”

Should be quite interesting.

More computer crashes and lost emails at the IRS.

Cover-up: In testimony at House hearings on Wednesday, IRS chief John Koskinen admitted that computer crashes continue at the IRS.

“Hard drive crashes continue as we speak,” Koskinen admitted at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing when asked if any computers had recently crashed under his watch. Koskinen admitted that destroying records would be an act “not consistent with the law,” but maintained that there’s no evidence that the IRS intentionally destroyed records. [emphasis mine]

The simple fact that the IRS proceeded with the destruction of Lois Lerner’s hard drive and Blackberry, even as the investigation was on-going, is direct evidence that the IRS did intentionally destroy records. They, and Koskinen, are breaking the law, and spitting in the face of Congress and the American people as they do it.

Why did the IRS wipe clean Lois Lerner’s Blackberry?

An excellent question. The answer? The IRS refuses to say.

Among the most pressing is the fact that a Blackberry belonging to Lois Lerner, a former official at the center of the scandal, was wiped clean shortly after investigators started asking questions about her alleged role in the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Despite the fact that this revelation first came to light in August, the IRS has yet explain why this was done.

Considering her former role as chief of the IRS’ tax exempt division, and its proximity to the targeting scandal, the decision to wipe her phone after investigators started asking questions is both suspicious and troubling.

I have to admit I missed this minor detail. In previous examples where the IRS destroyed a hard drive, it was because the hard drive had had problems. The destruction was still illegal, but in at least in that case there was a somewhat reasonable if unlikely reason to do it. With Lerner’s Blackberry they haven’t given us any reason, other than it was done shortly after the investigation had begun.

More IRS emails lost

Cover-up: The IRS claimed today that it has lost emails from five more employees that were involved in the agency’s harassment of conservatives.

The article also spends a lot of time talking about a partisan Democratic Senate report issued today that whitewashes the IRS harassment. As far as I can see, that Democratic report confirms only one thing: Senate Democrats are working hand-in-glove with IRS bureaucrats and the Department of Justice to stonewall the investigation and to justify the use of the IRS as a partisan weapon by Democratic politicians. Isn’t that nice?

New emails provide more details of the IRS harassment of conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: New IRS emails reveal that the agency’s demand for donar lists was unnecessary according to the law and took place almost entirely against conservatives.

Worse, the donor lists were then used by the IRS to compile a list of conservatives to be audited.

Then-IRS Commissioner Miller initially testified to Congress on May 17, 2013 that “instructions had been given to destroy any donor lists,” but donor lists were actually produced to the House Ways and Means Committee four months later. The House Ways and Means Committee also announced at May 7, 2014 hearing that, after scores of conservative groups provided donor information “to the IRS, nearly one in ten donors were subject to audit.” In 2011, as many as five donors to one conservative (c)(4) organization were audited, according to the Wall Street Journal. [emphasis mine]

Apparently, the only reason these people were audited by the IRS is because they were contributors to conservative causes. In other words, the IRS was working to squelch the free speech rights of Americans who opposed the Democratic Party.

Read the whole article. There’s a lot more, such as proof that the claim by Lois Lerner and Barack Obama that the harassment was instigated solely by low level IRS employees was an outright lie. They didn’t misspoke. They didn’t misunderstand. They didn’t make a mistake. They lied, knowingly, consciously, and with forethought.

Lerner ignored questionable union political activities

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released emails show that Lois Lerner once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting to the IRS millions of dollars in political activities — almost all of which helped Democrats — that they did report to the Labor Department.

In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor. Also in 2006 the Teamsters Union reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $7,081,965 with the Labor Department. Again in 2006, Unite-Here reported no political activity with the IRS and $1,451,002 with the Labor Department. In 2005, the National Education Association also reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $24,985,250 with the Labor Department.

The lack of reporting to the IRS was essentially illegal. Yet, when complaints were made to Lerner about this, she poo-pooed the issue and apparently squelched further investigations.

Lois Lerner’s Blackberry destroyed by IRS

Cover-up: The IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s Blackberry after her computer crashed and after the Congressional investigation into the harassment of conservatives had begun.

In two elusive and nebulous sworn declarations, we can glean that Ms. Lerner had two Blackberries. One was issued to her on November 12, 2009. According to a sworn declaration, this is the Blackberry that contained all the emails (both sent and received) that would have been in her “Outlook” and drafts that never were sent from her Blackberry during the relevant time.

With incredible disregard for the law and the Congressional inquiry, the IRS admits that this Blackberry “was removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.” This is a year after her hard drive “crash” and months after the Congressional inquiry began.

The IRS did not even attempt to retrieve that data. It cavalierly recites: “There is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the Congressional investigations or this investigation,” according to Stephen Manning, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Strategy & Modernization.

I am once again reminded of the Watergate coverup, where Nixon’s effort to block the investigation did nothing but slow the release of evidence, turning it into a steady trickle that kept coming, again and again and again, with each revelation acting like another nail in the coffin. We are seeing this same process unfold again here.

DOJ attorney once worked under Lois Lerner at IRS

Working for the Democratic Party: The attorney in the Justice Department representing the IRS directly participated in the harassment of conservatives when he worked under Lois Lerner at the IRS from 2008 to 2010.

The article calls this a conflict of interest. I instead see it as a continuing and unified effort by the Obama administration and all levels of the federal bureaucracy to use the power of the federal government to squelch any opposition to the Democratic Party.

New emails reveal Lois Lerner’s hatred of conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: In newly revealed emails, Lois Lerner refers to Obama’s conservative opponents as “–holes” and “terRorists”.

In that Nov. 9, 2012 email, Lerner further suggests that conservatives will ruin the country: “So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists (sic). It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” she wrote.

The evidence also shows that Lerner used her private email account to conduct official IRS business, while also clearly favoring liberal organizations.

I wonder what we would find if those lost emails could turn up?

More destroyed evidence at the IRS

Working for the Democratic Party: The IRS now reports that as many as 20 individuals under investigation for the agency’s harassment of Obama’s political opponents have had computer crashes, losing their emails.

IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

But hey, Lois Lerner says she did nothing wrong!

Lerner’s pension defunded

Pushback: When the House voted to slash the IRS budget last week, they also included a provision to defund Lois Lerner’s pension as long as she is in contempt of Congress.

The article above is an op-ed, so it doesn’t go into details and could have the facts wrong. Nonetheless, if true it puts a great deal of pressure on Lerner to spill the beans.

An illegally destroyed hard drive blocks an investigation into a collegue of Lois Lerner

Obstruction of justice: The investigation of April Sands, a subordinate of Lois Lerner when both were at the Federal Election Commission, was stymied because the agency destroyed and recycled her computer illegally.

The FEC’s Office of Inspector General sought to conduct a criminal investigation into Sands’ activities but were stymied when they found that the agency had recycled her computer hard drive. “Therefore the OIG was unable to show that Ms. Sands’ solicitations and political activity were done from an FEC computer,” reads the letter. Because of this, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia declined criminal prosecution. “The FEC’s failure to retain Ms. Sands’ hard drive prevented the FEC OIG from fully pursuing appropriate criminal sanctions for Ms. Sands’ admitted violation of federal law,” wrote Issa and Jordan.

Sands was under investigation for using her position in the government for partisan purposes. In other words, though she was being paid to work for the Federal Election Commission, she was actually working illegally for the Democratic Party instead.

Lois Lerner intentionally sought to hide her emails from Congress

A newly released 2013 email from Lois Lerner reveals that she made a conscience effort to hide what she was doing from Congressional investigators.

Realizing that her emails at that time were being saved in some manner (this is long after her computer crash that supposedly destroyed her correspondence from 2011), she writes “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails”.

Really? Is that what an honest government worker does? I don’t think so.

Update: This good analysis of these new revelations notes that her email comment above was made only about six weeks before she took the fifth in House hearings. How interesting.

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