IRSgate & Smokin’ Hot E-Mails: When Will ‘The People’s’ Nightmare End? Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

There are so many impeachable scandals flying out of Obama Inc’s direction one can be forgiven for failing to keep up. Not only that, but becoming ‘sick and tired’ and just closing ones ears to all the negative news can be very enticing. Besides, tuning out bad news is simply human nature. This blog understands as much. The (mental) weight can seem unbearable. But what doesn’t kill you often makes you stronger, at least that’s the thinking on this end. Soldier on.

Regardless, it is infinitely worse to allow the reprobates ruling Washington to get away with said criminal charges, even those which may very well include murderas otherworldy as it appears. Talk about being dropped on your head…

Besides, being more than familiar with the ‘regular’ tactics of the IRS, as they hound, harass many law abiding citizens for ‘this and that’, imagine their brute force techniques under Obama Inc! Would anyone want to let them get away with upping the ante, knowing full well that IRS enforcement agents will soon be armed with shotguns? So, no wonder the IRS is stonewalling.

Issa Accuses White House, IRS of Stonewalling on Targeting Probe

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013

By Todd Beamon

Rep. Darrell Issa accused the Obama administration and its new IRS chief on Tuesday of obstructing his panel’s investigation into the agency’s targeting of tea party, conservative and religious groups.If “the IRS continues to hinder the committee’s investigation in any manner, the committee will be forced to consider use of compulsory process,” the California Republican, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote in a letter to Internal Revenue Service Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel.The letter, which was reported by The Washington Times and CNN, was also signed by Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who also sits on the committee.Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll The letter, however, did not elaborate on exactly what steps Issa’s panel might take, though he noted that impeding congressional investigators could result in prison terms of up to five years.”Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime,” Issa and Jordan stressed in the letter.”Despite your promise to cooperate fully with congressional investigations, the actions of the IRS under your leadership have made clear to the committee that the agency has no intention of complying completely or promptly with the committee’s oversight efforts,” the letter said.”The systematic manner in which the IRS has attempted to delay, frustrate, impede, and obstruct the committee’s investigation raises serious concerns about your commitment to full and unfettered congressional oversight,” the document said.The Issa-Jordan letter came on the same day when another House panel, the Ways and Means Committee, released an analysis showing that conservative groups faced more probing questions than did liberal groups seeking the same tax-exempt status.Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp told the Times that conservative groups were asked three times as many questions, and were less than half as likely to get approval from the IRS.Like the oversight committee, Camp said his investigators were also waiting on the IRS to turn over more information.”This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he told the Times. “We have received less than three percent of the documents responsive to the investigation.”Meanwhile, an IRS spokeswoman, Michelle Eldridge, told both the Times and CNN that the agency was “aggressively responding to the numerous data requests we’ve received from Congress.”We are doing everything we can to fully cooperate with the committees, and we strongly disagree with any suggestions to the contrary,” Eldridge said.The letter claimed, for instance, that the IRS has handed over only 12,000 of the more than 64 million pages of documents initially identified as potentially relevant to the investigation into the alleged unfair targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.”This incredibly slow pace of production has been an unnecessary attempt to frustrate the committee’s oversight efforts,” Issa and Jordan said in the letter.Eldridge contended, however, that “while the volume of raw data collected … is quite high, it is a misleading figure to use in order to determine the volume of material the IRS will ultimately produce.””The vast majority of it is completely unrelated to the congressional investigations,” she said.”Once the data is limited to the time period in question, and the issue in question, we expect the final tally of produced documents will be far lower — in the neighborhood of 460,000 documents or fewer.”Eldridge said that 70 of 1,500 or so attorneys in the IRS chief counsel’s office were currently working full time to respond to congressional inquiries into the matter.It is a “time- and labor-intensive review process,” she said.In addition, the Issa-Jordan letter also complained that documents produced by the IRS “contain excessive redactions that go well beyond those necessary to protect confidential taxpayer information.”The letter also asserted that a senior IRS official — Cindy Thomas — had been “affirmatively prevented” from providing congressional investigators with relevant documents in her possession.Additionally, Issa blasted the agency for allegedly trying to “carefully orchestrate the public release” of information contained in a 30-day review of the matter back in June — before providing the information to the committee.

Capitol Hill Republicans have long insisted that after President Barack Obama was first elected, the IRS started unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Democrats, however, argue the IRS improperly scrutinized groups on both the left and right as part of a clumsy attempt to administer vague election-related tax laws.

Now, along comes another ! nail in the IRS’s coffin, and it leads straight back to the Federal Elections Commissionin violation of its own inherent principles: “Members shall be chosen on the basis of their experience, integrity, impartiality, and good judgment and members (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) shall be individuals who, at the time appointed to the Commission, are not elected or appointed officers or employees in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Federal Government. Such members of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Any individual who is engaging in any other business, vocation, or employment at the time of his or her appointment to the Commission shall terminate or liquidate such activity no later than 90 days after such appointment.”

Breathe…then onto the promised additional ! nail….

E-mails Suggest Collusion Between FEC, IRS to Target Conservative Groups

Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online. The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law. Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.

“Several months ago . . . I spoke with you about the American Future Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization that had submitted an exemption application the IRS [sic],” the FEC attorney wrote Lerner in February 2009. The FEC, which polices violations of campaign-finance laws, is not exempted under Rule 6103, which prohibits the IRS from sharing confidential taxpayer information, but the e-mail indicates Lerner provided that information nonetheless: “When we spoke last July, you had told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” the FEC attorney wrote.

The timing of the correspondence between Lerner and the FEC suggests the FEC attorney sought information from the IRS in order to influence an upcoming vote by the six FEC commissioners. The FEC received a complaint in March 2008 from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party alleging that the American Future Fund had violated campaign-finance law by engaging in political advocacy without registering as a political-action committee. The American Future Fund responded to that complaint in June 2008, telling the commission that it had applied for tax exemption in March of that year and was a “501(c)(4) social-welfare organization that was organized to provide Americans with a conservative and free-market viewpoint and mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern them.” According to the e-mail correspondence, a month after receiving the American Future Fund’s response, the FEC general counsel’s office — which is prohibited under law from conducting an investigation into an organization before the FEC’s six commissioners have voted to do so — contacted Lerner to investigate the agency’s tax-exempt status.

The FEC general counsel’s office, in its recommendation on the case, apparently didn’t tell the agency’s commissioners about how it had obtained the information about the group’s tax-exempt status. Recommending that the commissioners prosecute the American Future Fund, the general counsel’s office wrote, “According to its response, AFF submitted an application for tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service . . . on March 18, 2008.” The footnote to that sentence reads, “The IRS has not yet issued a determination letter regarding AFF’s application for exempt status. Based on the information from the response and the IRS website, it is likely that the application is still under review.” In fact, an FEC lawyer knew that the organization had yet to obtain tax-exempt status because Lerner provided the confidential information.

The general counsel’s report was issued in September 2008, but it was over five months before the six FEC commissioners voted, in late-February 2009, on whether to prosecute the American Future Fund for violations of campaign-finance laws. (The typical lag time between the submission of a general counsel’s recommendation and a commission vote is about a month, according to a source familiar with the workings of the commission.) As the vote approached, on February 3, 2009, the FEC lawyer went back to Lerner for an update on the status of the American Future Fund’s application. “Could you please tell me whether the IRS has since issued an exemption letter to the American Future Fund? Also if the IRS has granted American Future Fund’s exemption, would it be possible for you to send me the publicly available information and documents related to American Future Fund?”

Despite the recommendations of the general counsel’s office, the six FEC commissioners split on whether to pursue the American Future Fund’s case andvoted six-to-zero to close the case.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp and oversight-subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany are calling on the IRS, in the wake of these revelations, to provide all communications between the agency and the FEC between 2008 and 2012. “The American public is entitled to know whether the IRS is inappropriately sharing their confidential tax information with other agencies,” Camp and Boustany write in a letter they will send to acting IRS administrator Danny Werfel on Wednesday.

The FEC enforcement attorney also inquired about the tax-exempt status of another conservative organization, the American Issues Project. “I was also wondering if you could tell me whether the IRS had issued an exemption letter to a group called the American Issues Project? The group also appears to be the successor of two other organizations, Citizens for the Republic and Avenger, Inc.” Also sought were “any information and documents that would be publicly available in relation to the American Issues Project, Citizens for the Republic, or Avenger, Inc.”

Lerner was placed on paid administrative leave in late May after she revealed the IRS had inappropriately targeted conservative groups. The IRS has yet to respond to requests from lawmakers about her current employment status with the agency.

NOT done yet with the trail of bombshells….

So, isn’t it past time to round up the whole gang, as well as their surrogates, thus, placing them before a People’s Court and be done with it?

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