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Thread: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

  1. #281
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Adriana Cohen: No magic strong enough to make IRS emails vanish

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    By:

    Adriana Cohen





    CNN Mocks Lois Lerner's Vanished IRS Emails:...


    CNN Mocks Lois Lerner's Vanished IRS Emails: 'Do You Believe In The Easter Bunny?'












    In a highly suspect news dump, the IRS announced days ago that years of critical emails that took place between disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner and key players in government tied to the IRS targeting scandal have “magically” disappeared.


    Even Democrats aren’t buying it.


    Everyone knows that emails are backed up on servers daily — if not multiple times throughout the day. Making emails “vanish” is just about impossible. Not to mention that cyber experts, hackers, the FBI and NSA can easily find them.


    “There are various laws and regulations governing the IRS and their records that mandate that they be retained, preserved and backed up. The notion that the emails are ‘gone’ is preposterous,” Chris Farrell, director of research and investigations at Judicial Watch, told Herald Radio.


    Quite concerning given the IRS will be managing our health care.


    Is the fact that after a very lengthy delay, the IRS is now telling Congress they’ve “lost” years of important data an indicator they will be “losing” years of Americans’ medical records as well? Let’s not forget the disastrous IT problems Healthcare.gov has had and continues to have.


    Also telling is that the IRS gladly released a large quantity of emails requested by Congress that are — surprise! — not incriminating, but those emails that potentially carry serious ramifications for many Democrats in power have suddenly “vanished.” This obfuscation has outraged many and prompted U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa to subpoena IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next week.


    Why should you care?


    Because in America, we have free speech and the freedom to adhere to our own political beliefs. When Americans are punished by the government, in this case the almighty IRS, for holding beliefs contrary to those in power, our Constitution and political system comes crashing down.


    Members of our government — and abusive IRS agents — have no right to audit, target, harass and bully random Americans and groups they simply don’t like. Worse, it’s speculated that the IRS was targeting Tea Party, pro-life and other conservative groups to weaken their political influence during the 2012 presidential election. How convenient.


    Bottom line: Democrats should be as outraged with the IRS scandal as Republicans.
    Adriana Cohen is co-host of “Trending Now” on Boston Herald Radio. Go to adrianacohen.com, and follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.
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  2. #282
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    IRS Eases Up on Accidental Tax Cheats

    Agency Lowers Some Offshore-Account Penalties, Raises Others






    By Liam Pleven and
    Laura Saunders
    connect

    Updated June 18, 2014 6:40 p.m. ET

    A five-year campaign has helped the IRS collect $6.5 billion. Associated Press







    The Internal Revenue Service is sharply increasing the penalties on U.S. taxpayers who hide assets abroad, while lowering or eliminating fines on taxpayers if their failure to disclose offshore accounts was unintentional, the agency said Wednesday.


    The changes mark the latest stage in a five-year-old U.S. government campaign to force millions of U.S. taxpayers who live abroad or have accounts in other countries to disclose accounts and pay what they owe. It also includes a new law that pressures foreign banks to share information about U.S. account holders starting July 1.


    The campaign, which was the focus of a page-one article in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, has helped the IRS collect some $6.5 billion in taxes, interest and penalties from more than 45,000 taxpayers who have come forward voluntarily, the agency said. Federal prosecutors have filed more than 100 criminal indictments since the campaign began in 2009.


    Yet record numbers of U.S. taxpayers are cutting official ties with the U.S. amid the campaign, by renouncing their citizenship or turning in their green cards. Experts say the spike is a response to tougher enforcement and stiff penalties that can equal half the balance of a foreign account for each year a required disclosure form isn't filed—even if no tax is owed.


    The IRS has been accused of coming down disproportionately hard on taxpayers with small accounts, and unfairly burdening people who didn't understand the filing requirements.
    Earlier





    The agency acknowledged the issue Wednesday. "Our aim is to get people to disclose their accounts, pay the tax they owe and get right with the government," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement, adding that "a compliance regime that is too harsh won't net the desired result."


    Experts said the new rules could make it easier for taxpayers to approach the IRS if they weren't violating the law willfully.


    "The changes will help many people both in the U.S. and abroad who didn't mean to cheat on their taxes by having offshore accounts," said Seth Entin, a lawyer at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Miami who has handled hundreds of taxpayer confessions. "But it pushes people who have been trying to hide money abroad to come forward to the IRS sooner."


    Yet some lawyers cautioned that the IRS would have the final say on whether a taxpayer's failure to comply with the law was unintentional.


    Taxpayers who decide to stay in the shadows could face far stiffer penalties under the new rules. The IRS said it will increase penalties to 50% of the balance in an account, up from 27.5%, for taxpayers who apply to enter its limited-amnesty program after it becomes public knowledge that the financial institution where the account is held is under investigation by U.S. authorities.


    About a dozen Swiss banks are being investigated by the U.S., and scores of others currently are negotiating penalties with U.S. authorities.


    The U.S. launched the campaign in the wake of UBS AG UBSN.VX -0.52% 's 2009 admission that it helped American taxpayers hide money abroad. The Swiss banking giant paid $780 million to the U.S. and turned over information on more than 4,400 accounts.


    The case marked the beginning of the end for Swiss-bank secrecy. For decades, wealthy taxpayers were able to hide assets in well-known tax havens such as Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Panama.


    U.S. authorities used information from UBS to pursue tax cheats and pressure their advisers. Credit Suisse Group pleaded guilty to similar charges in May and agreed to pay $2.6 billion.


    The new rules will allow a far wider range of taxpayers to qualify for lower penalties, or none. Previously, the IRS allowed only those who owed $1,500 or less in tax to qualify, a stringent limit that many couldn't meet. Now it is eliminating that requirement and others for taxpayers who say their violations were unintentional.


    If the IRS accepts their claims, U.S. taxpayers who live in other countries will face no penalties for failing to disclose income or assets abroad. Instead, they will be liable for taxes they owe for the previous three years. U.S. taxpayers who reside in the U.S. and have undeclared foreign accounts could face penalties capped at 5%, on top of taxes owed.


    "While these modifications don't address all our concerns, I believe they are a significant step in the right direction," Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, an official IRS ombudsman, said in a statement.


    One potential drawback: Taxpayers who come forward in the future may end up faring better than those who heard about the U.S. campaign in the past and presented their case to the IRS then. For example, experts said, taxpayers from the latter group who owed more than $1,500 in taxes could have paid a penalty as high as 27.5%.


    In addition, taxpayers abroad face the risk of double taxation, said John Richardson, a Toronto lawyer who works with U.S. taxpayers living in Canada. "The problem is that, penalties aside, the U.S. tax laws are very punitive for U.S. citizens abroad," he said.


    Write to Liam Pleven at liam.pleven@wsj.com and Laura Saunders at laura.saunders@wsj.com
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Apparently Paul Ryan just ripped the IRS head to shreds...

    IRS boss refuses to apologize over ‘cover-up’ claims ahead of Hill hearing on missing emails

    FoxNews.com


    1.1K





    June 10, 2014: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen speaks at IRS headquarters in Washington.AP





    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Friday there is no need for his agency to apologize amid accusations of a cover-up in the targeting scandal of conservative groups after claims surfaced that ex-official Lois Lerner's hard drive was destroyed and emails from several other officials also have gone missing.


    Koskinen, testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, faced angry accusations from lawmakers, including Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., who pressed the commissioner on the timeline of events and accused the agency of “keeping secrets.”


    GOP lawmakers are furious after learning a week ago that many Lerner emails from a two-year period supposedly have disappeared. Committee Republicans now say that the IRS may have known about this for months, and that the agency may have lost emails from another six employees.


    “The IRS in charge of hundreds of millions of taxpayers' information. And you’re now saying your technology system was so poor that years' worth of emails are forever unrecoverable?” Camp charged. “How does that put anyone at ease? How far would the excuse 'I lost it' get with the IRS for an average American trying to file their yearly taxes who may have lost a few receipts.”


    To boot, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he's been told that Lerner's hard drive was simply destroyed.


    "They just got rid of it," he told Fox News. "It really looks bad and I've got to say it looks like a cover-up to me."


    But Rep. Carl Levin, D- Mich., stood up for the IRS Friday and likened the investigation and calls of a cover-up to a political witch hunt brought on by Republicans who he claims will try “to tie the problem to the White House” and will “keep up this drumbeat until the November election.”


    Hatch and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are leading a bipartisan investigation in the Senate Finance Committee into the targeting scandal, separate from the House Ways and Means probe.


    House and Senate Republicans, though, have common questions for the commissioner and the rest of the agency.


    Hatch fired off a letter to Koskinen on Thursday voicing concerns that he met with him on Monday, yet the commissioner and his staff did not mention that emails from six other employees might be missing.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Key Dates in the Missing IRS Emails Mystery

    Jun 20, 2014, 10:19 AM
    By The Associated Press








    Key dates regarding the missing emails sought in the investigation into the IRS' targeting of tea party groups:


    June 13, 2011: Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the investigation, reports her computer's hard drive has crashed, according to an email from another member of the Exempt Organizations Division, which Lerner led.


    June 29, 2011: Lerner first learns that groups with "Tea Party," ''Patriot" or "9/12 Project" are being targeted for extra scrutiny by members of her staff, according to a report from Treasury inspector general for tax administration.


    Aug. 5, 2011: Lerner is told that the data on her hard drive is unrecoverable, according to an email provided to Congress.


    December 2011: The computer of Lerner's boss' chief of staff, Nikole Flax, crashes.


    June 2012: Treasury inspector general selects cases of applications for tax-exempt status for review after concerns had been raised months earlier in the media.


    May 3, 2012: Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of House Ways and Means Committee, sends letter to IRS commissioner requesting all applications seeking tax-exempt status in 2010 and 2011, including all files, correspondence and internal IRS records related to the applications.


    May 10, 2013: Lerner apologizes on behalf of IRS for "inappropriate" targeting of conservatives. White House says the matter is already being investigated by an inspector general.


    May 14, 2013: Treasury inspector general releases report finding that IRS supervisors knew since 2011 that conservative groups applying for tax exempt status were being unfairly targeted. The Justice Department says it will conduct a criminal investigation.


    Late May/early June 2013: IRS asks certain employees to retain records.


    February 2014: IRS realizes emails are missing.


    May 8, 2014: IRS promises to turn over all Lerner's emails to the House Ways and Means Committee.


    June 13, 2014: IRS tells Congress some of Lerner's emails are missing because her computer crashed in 2011.


    June 20, 2014: IRS tells Congress that a total of eight employees whose emails are sought in the congressional investigation experienced computer crashes, resulting in an unknown amount of lost data.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Posted: Friday, June 20th 2014 at 10:18am
    Congress probes how IRS emails could go missing

    By The Associated Press

    EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT Tweet


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eight federal employees connected to the tea party investigation experienced hard drive crashes, resulting in an unknown number of lost emails, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen told lawmakers Friday in an unusually tense congressional hearing.

    A week ago the IRS acknowledged it could not produce some of the emails of the IRS executive at the center of the probe because her computer crashed in 2011. Koskinen acknowledged to lawmakers that the hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed.

    "I want that hard drive and I want the hard drive of every computer that crashed," said the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.

    Koskinen said the IRS took extra measures to try to retrieve the lost emails. But he was unapologetic about the computer crashes or the period when the IRS advised Congress that emails it had sought were lost.

    "I don't think an apology is owed," Koskinen said.

    Koskinen says it's not clear whether all eight of the hard drive crashes resulted in lost emails.

    Koskinen also said appointment of a special federal prosecutor to investigate the IRS handling of tax-exempt applications would be a "monumental waste of taxpayer funds."

    The congressional investigation has been highly politicized because of allegations that the IRS improperly singled out tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Friday's hearing was unusually tense, as Camp and other Republicans occasionally interrupted Koskinen and continued to ask other questions before Koskinen had an opportunity to answer.

    The senior Democrat on the committee, Rep. Sander Levin of Mich., chided his colleagues that, "Witnesses deserve some respect."

    An FBI investigation is ongoing.

    The former IRS official at the center of the investigation, Lois Lerner, has invoked her Fifth Amendment right at least nine times to avoid answering lawmakers' questions. Lerner did not learn that IRS staffers were improperly reviewing applications of tea party and other conservative groups for tax-exempt status until weeks after her computer crashed, according to an earlier audit by the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration.

    Lerner's computer crashed sometime around June 13, 2011, according to emails provided to Congress. She first learned about the tea party reviews on June 29, according to the inspector general.

    Koskinen told Congress that Lerner's hard drive was unavailable to them because it had been recycled.

    The IRS said last week it became aware of the missing emails in February of this year. The IRS did not know whether the other computer crashes have resulted in lost emails as well. It will also not say how often its computers fail and lose data.

    The lost emails are raising questions even by the government's records officer. In a June 17 letter to the IRS, Paul Wester Jr. asked the agency to investigate the loss of records and whether any disposal of data was authorized. Wester, the chief records officer at the National Archives and Records Administration, was responding to the IRS' June 13 disclosure of Lerner's lost emails.



    Wester's letter did not address the lost records of six other employees that the IRS disclosed that day. Wester said the IRS is required to report its finding within 30 days. Federal agencies are supposed to report destruction of records - whether accidental or intentional - to the National Archives "promptly" after an incident.

    The IRS said that after Lerner's computer crashed in June 2011, technicians were not able to retrieve data from her hard drive.

    In May, more than two months after the IRS discovered the emails were missing, the IRS assured Camp that it would provide all applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status in 2010 and 2011, including all files, correspondence and internal IRS records related to them. Camp had asked for the records in May 2012.

    It's similarly unclear why the IRS didn't attempt to recover the emails from backup servers in June 2011, especially since Lerner told an IRS computer technician in a July 2011 email, "There were some documents in the files that are irreplaceable."

    Shawn Henry, the FBI's former cyber director, said technicians should have been able to retrieve data from the servers around the times the computers crashed.

    "If they knew there was a problem in 2011," said Henry, now president of CrowdStrike, a security technology company, "they could have or should have been able to recover it."

    The IRS told Congress last week that recovering emails has been a challenge because doing so is "a more complex process for the IRS than it is for many private or public organizations."

    The IRS was able to find copies of 24,000 Lerner emails from between 2009 and 2011 because Lerner had sent copies to other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it was producing 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering 2009 to 2013. The agency said it searched for emails of 83 people and spent nearly $10 million to produce hundreds of thousands of documents.

    At the time that Lerner's computer crashed, IRS policy had been to make copies of all IRS employees' email inboxes every day and hold them for six months. The agency changed the policy in May 2013 to keep these snapshots for a longer, unspecified amount of time. Had this been the policy in 2011, when at least two of the computer crashes occurred, there likely could have been backups of the lost emails today.

    The chief executive for an email-archiving company, Pierre Villeneuve of Jatheon Technologies, said most public and private sector organizations keep emails for several years, not six months, because of financial regulations and inexpensive computer storage.

    "To have a large agency like the IRS have a very weak policy for email archiving and retention is quite shocking," Villeneuve said. "If this were a private enterprise and they couldn't produce this information on demand, they'd be in trouble. They'd either be fined or accused of hiding information."

    The IRS has said technicians sent Lerner's hard drive to a forensic lab run by the agency's criminal investigations unit. But the information was not recoverable, a technician told her in an Aug. 5, 2011, email.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Wow. Ryan ripped him apart.

    he flat out called the head dud(e) a liar.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Assholes.

    SEVEN YEARS I have to keep stupid papers and files around.

    They can't keep emails for six months????????????????????????????


    DISBAND THE IRS, NOW! Fire every one of them. Fire Obama.

    Damn it. Congress get off your ass and stop accusing and DO SOMETHING about this.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://www.niagara-gazette.com/webex...nother-scandal

    June 20, 2014 IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Taylor Armerding CNHI News Service



    I have to give President Obama credit: He’s brazen. If he gets away with one lie, he doesn’t wipe the sweat off his brow and vow never to do it again. He ups the stakes.

    If you believed the one about “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period,” try this one: The attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya was just a demonstration about a video! And now: The computer ate Lois Lerner’s emails!

    That’s right. Forget everything you’ve heard for a couple of decades from information technology experts that email is forever. That those risqué pictures we posted back when we were adolescents will haunt us when we’re post-30 because once it’s on the World Wide Web, it has the closest thing to life eternal this side of heaven or hell.

    Apparently, not if you work for the Internal Revenue Service and you’ve done something that might embarrass or cause legal problems for the president.

    By now you may have heard that the IRS announced last Friday - the traditional day to dump bad news - that certain emails to and from Lerner, the now-retired IRS official who ran the unit responsible for tax-exempt organizations, have vanished due to a computer crash.

    The “lost” emails were from January 2009 to April 2011, a crucial period in the investigation of the agency’s harassment and intimidation of conservative groups, thereby delaying their applications for nonprofit status. The agency later said it also could not find emails of six other employees involved in the scandal.

    No other time period was affected. Nor was there any problem reported with other emails in the agency – just those that might have shed light on whether the corrupt targeting of those groups was simply a case of a few “rogue” agents in an Ohio office, as the administration claimed at the start, or whether there were connections higher up in the administration.

    Beyond that, those emails were subpoenaed a year ago, and it is only now that the IRS is claiming they have vanished with no way to recover them.

    This takes preposterous to a new level. There are 50,000 IRS employees, but somehow only Lerner’s emails disappeared and her hard drive was then “recycled”?

    It is the kind of thing that would cause a liberal media meltdown if it occurred while George W. Bush was president. It is the kind of thing that would have a Sen. Barack Obama calling for investigations, hearings and even impeachment of a Republican president.

    In short, it is the kind of thing an administration would do only if it believes it can get away with anything. And so far, it has good reason to believe that. Scandal after scandal is forgotten as quickly as a “Sesame Street” skit.

    That’s even though, as multiple computer experts have noted, the crash of a hard drive is irrelevant to the preservation of emails. They exist on servers, and in the email accounts of others who sent and received emails to or from Lerner. Supposedly there are backup systems that preserve IRS communications if a single computer goes down.

    It was not all that long ago that four-star U.S. Army General and later CIA Director David Petraeus had an affair exposed because the FBI got access to emails that Petraeus thought were safe in a “private” account.

    Yet, we’re supposed to believe that neither the National Security Agency nor FBI nor any computer expert can recover emails from an account belonging to an IRS official who invoked the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before Congress.

    As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put it, with a barely concealed smirk, “Sorry to disappoint you.”

    What is most disturbing is that this apparently doesn’t bother a majority of Americans – something the administration has learned it can count on. While evidence builds of corruption and criminal activity in the most powerful, intimidating agency in government, the public is more than willing to be distracted by promises of an increase in the minimum wage and an end the “war on women” by making sure they all get free contraceptives.

    I have a theory about why this works so well, which goes back to my days as a local newspaper editor. Parents, teachers, coaches and high school administrators would demand publicity for students who had achieved made the honor roll, sunk the last-second shot, won a debate award, etc. We were happy to do so.

    But, when some of those students, who were older than 17 and therefore legal adults, got into any kind of trouble, there were equally vociferous demands that we keep their names out of the paper. If we didn’t, we would be responsible for “ruining their lives.”

    They wanted public credit for anything good and no accountability for anything bad.

    That adolescent philosophy describes the Obama presidency. He wants the credit for things like killing Osama bin Laden, but when it comes to gun running by the ATF, domestic spying by the NSA, corruption within the Veterans Administration or a failure to secure U.S. embassies from terrorist attacks, well, he’s not really responsible because he just found out about it when we did, and it was caused by just a few “rogue” workers who somehow never get fired.

    Don’t blame me, he says. And we don’t. Which means we can expect lots more of this over the next couple of years.

    Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/06/20...er-irs-scandal

    Breaking News WATCH LIVE: IRS Commissioner Testifies at House Hearing on IRS Targeting Scandal



    AP

    A New, More Sinister IRS Scandal





    By J. Christian Adams



    Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.


    Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal Lois Lerner cooking up plans with Justice Department officials to talk about ways to criminally charge conservative groups that are insufficiently quiet.


    Larry Noble, a law professor now with the Soros-funded Campaign Legal Center, was cited in the emails as someone agitating to jail conservatives who “falsely” report on IRS forms that they are not engaged in political speech. Lerner talked about setting up meetings with Justice Department election lawyers who wanted to talk about making Noble’s dreams a reality — this after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse raised the idea of criminal charges for conservatives who are not sufficiently quiet, charges that they falsely completed an IRS tax exemption form.


    Their theory is a favorite among speech regulators in the Soros-funded left and academia. It goes like this: “Too much speech is bad (unless unions do it.) Groups who talk about things leftists find uncomfortable are necessarily political and thus should never have 501(c) tax exempt status. Criminally charge any group that said on their IRS tax exempt form that they were not political if they say things the left finds uncomfortable. Get Eric Holder’s Justice Department on the case.”


    The emails obtained by Judicial Watch reveal this is essentially what was going on behind the scenes at the IRS, DOJ, and with outside leftist interests.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepa...times-n1853823

    IRS Official Whose Emails Were "Lost" Visited White House More Than 30 Times

    Katie Pavlich | Jun 20, 2014














    Last night on The Kelly File Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulo revealed that the former chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, Nikole Flax, visited the White House 35 times after talking with former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner about working to criminally prosecute conservative tea party groups for "lying" about political activity. At the White House, Flax met with a top Obama aid during some of those visits. This entire exchange is worth your time.





    The email discussed in the segment above is detailed in this previously reported story, along with Lerner's contact with Democrat Elijah Cummings and suggestions from former FEC Attorney Larry Noble and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that conservative groups should be targeted for criminal prosecution in order to"make an impact and they [conservative groups] wouldn't feel so comfortable doing the stuff."
    "I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ ... He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who "lied" on their 1024s --saying they weren't planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS," Lerner wrote in a May 8, 2013 email to former Nikole C. Flax, who was former-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller's chief of staff.

    "I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?" Flax responded on May 9, 2013.

    "As I mentioned yesterday -- there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn't feel so comfortable doing the stuff," she wrote. "So, don't be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity."

    The White House denied any involvement in the IRS targeting scandal and responded to revelations of "lost" emails as a normal computer crash.
    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify today in front of the House Ways and Means Committee about the "lost" emails.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://www.beaufortobserver.net/Arti...Watergate.html

    Obama should be impeached. IRS Scandal far worse than Watergate

    June 20, 2014
    Paul Bedard, who writes the Washington Secrets column for the Washington Examiner reported:The revelation that the computers of Internal Revenue Service workers, including Tea Party prober Lois Lerner, were erased of critical emails sought by lawmakers has elevated the affair to -- and maybe beyond -- an old familiar presidential scandal, Watergate.

    "The IRS tea-party audit story isn't Watergate; it's worse than Watergate," according to deputy Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Daniel Henninger.

    "The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable," he added.

    "The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable,"
    Some argue that it is certainly worse than when former President Bill Clinton was accused of using the IRS to punish huge conservative groups including the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation and Judicial Watch.

    The reason: Obama's IRS went after the grassroots. Henninger suggested the order to do so came in Obama's code language. "Mr. Obama himself in a March 2010 radio address spoke of 'shadowy groups with harmless sounding names' that threaten 'our democracy,' " he wrote.

    And like Richard Nixon, he added, Obama didn't have to hound the Tea Party and conservative groups because he was in a good position to get reelected, especially with the GOP so divided.

    "They didn't need to do this," concluded Henninger. "The Obama campaign machine was a wonder, perfecting the uses of social media in 2008 and 2012. But the Democrats were so crazed in 2010 by Citizens United, so convinced that anyone's new political money might bust their hold on power, that they sicced the most feared agency in government on people who disagreed with them." Click here to go to the original source.

    Commentary

    We agree with Henninger. What Obama has done—yes, he personally is responsible—is far worse than what Nixon did in Watergate. And Nixon was forced to resign or be impeached. The fact that the U. S. House of Representatives has not already brought impeachment charges against Obama is unconscionable. It matter not whether the Senate would convict him, the House should do its job nonetheless.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Posted EDITORIAL: IRS excuses for obstruction suggest cover-up



    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL


    Do the folks at the Internal Revenue Service think we’re stupid? They must if they believe Americans will buy the agency’s increasingly suspicious explanations for its lack of cooperation with congressional investigators.
    The House Ways and Means Committee had requested the email messages of former official Lois Lerner from the IRS as part of the panel’s investigation into the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. After a year of dragging its feet, the agency just days ago informed committee chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., that more than two years of her emails had been lost when her computer’s hard drive crashed. And it turns out the agency had known as far back as February that the email records were lost, yet it failed to share that information with the committee. Hmm.
    Ms. Lerner was in charge of the division that delayed and derailed applications for tax-exempt status submitted by politically conservative organizations after the tea party movement delivered Republican gains in the 2010 election. She retired last year amidst the controversy, and the House voted last month to hold her in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the inquiry. Rep. Camp says Ms. Lerner’s missing emails cover a critical period of time coinciding with the beginning of the targeting campaign.
    But Ms. Lerner wasn’t the only IRS official with computer problems. News broke this week that emails from six other employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups are missing, as well. Among those six is Nikole Flax, who was chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who resigned as a result of the scandal. That’s a lot of coincidental, simultaneous, devastating hard drive crashes.
    But wait! There’s more!
    Earlier this week, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., subpoenaed Ms. Lerner’s supposedly crashed hard drive. But it was reported Wednesday that Ms. Lerner’s hard drive was discarded in 2011 and is now likely gone forever. How very fortunate for Ms. Lerner.
    “If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about ‘losing’ emails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception. Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the emails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention,” Rep. Issa said in a statement.
    Imagine how it would play with IRS if, amid an audit, a taxpayer said his crashed hard drive had been thrown out. Hello, prison.
    We know that Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, urged the IRS to investigate, delay and otherwise impede conservative nonprofit groups and to get it done well before the 2012 election. We know the targeting was directed from Washington and wasn’t the work of rogue officials in Cincinnati, as the IRS and the Obama administration initially claimed.
    This is not a partisan witchhunt. It is an inquiry to determine whether a federal agency conspired with elected members of a political party to influence the outcome of an election. And it already screams of a cover-up.
    This fiasco is an inevitable byproduct of the staggering amount of power the IRS has built off the complexity of its tax code, which allows the agency to intrude on almost every facet of our lives, from child care to health care to political activism. Holding Ms. Lerner and others accountable — whether through mass firings or criminal prosecutions — won’t be enough to rein in the IRS. The best way to prevent the IRS from abusing its power is to take away its power through massive tax reform and simplification.
    Abused taxpayers and elected representatives need not make the argument. The IRS is taking care of that all by itself.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Someone should wipe that smirk off that asshole's face. What a smug, arrogant asshole.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Analysis: IRS Excuses Pile Up, Insulting Americans' Intelligence

    Guy Benson | Jun 20, 2014











    Katie covered this Politico report yesterday, but it merits revisiting -- especially as the IRS mounts a defense of itself on Capitol Hill this morning. Consider the statements in bold:


    Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources...“We believe the standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive. A bad hard drive, like other broken Information Technology equipment, is sent to a recycler as part of our regular process,” an IRS spokesman said in response to a query from POLITICO...On Wednesday, the White House retorted that for the time frame in which Lerner’s emails are missing, there are no direct communications between 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and the now-retired Lerner. Earlier this week, Ways and Means Republicans said as many as six IRS employees involved in the scandal also lost email in computer crashes, including the former chief of staff for the acting IRS commissioner.


    Never mind the IT professionals who've stepped forward to cast heavy doubt on the notion that years' worth of government emails could be entirely lost in today's technological age. Never mind the IRS commissioner's intriguing testimony in March. Let's put those arguments off to the side for now. Agency bureaucrats are arguing that they can't comply with Congressional investigators' subpoena for Lois Lerner's hard drive because it was discarded, in accordance with "standard IRS protocol." It is beyond rich for the IRS public relations team to try to present the agency as sticklers for adhering to required operating procedures. The entire reason Congress asked for the hard drive at all is because the IRS claims many Lerner emails were stored on it, and nowhere else. That explanation means that the IRS utterly failed to comply with -- wait for it -- "standard IRS protocol" on records maintenance. Rooted in federal law, IRS guidelines require that virtual copies of all official emails be permanently and separately stored, in addition to hard copy records (the IRS commissioner has been arguing today that official emails don't count as official records). Neither of those requirements were apparently met with Lerner's emails. The agency basically admits to blowing off protocols in losing Lerner's emails, and now has the gall to hide behind protocols in defending their decision to dispose of the busted hard drive. "Self-serving" doesn't even begin to capture it -- especially since IRS officials waited until this week to inform Congress that the emails (supposedly) aren't retrievable. Investigators' request has been pending for more than a year.

    As for the White House's assertion that there were "no direct communications" between the White House and Lerner during the time frame in question, pardon me for not just taking their word for it. The White House's story about when and how it first learned of wrongful IRS targeting shifted multiple times last spring. President Obama repeated long-debunked claims about the nature of the targeting earlier this year. And the White House withheld relevant, narrative-busting Benghazi emails from Congress after claiming everything had been turned over. I made several of these points with Gretchen Carlson on Fox News:





    I'll leave you with Nancy Pelosi's big solution to all of this:



    A lack of "new technology" had nothing to do with the targeting itself, which is the core scandal. And if -- if -- outmoded email storage technology was the decisive factor in losing Lerner's emails, it was only because required safeguards were disregarded.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    The only way this shit ends is when people start swinging. Since that isn't going to happen, these things are never going to end.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/20/videos-the-irs-commissioner-doesnt-really-care-what-you-think/

    Videos: The IRS Commissioner Doesn’t Really Care What You Think




    by
    Bryan Preston
    Bio



    June 20, 2014 - 7:41 am














    The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing on the Lois Lerner emails that the IRS claims to have lost, along with the emails of six other officials, in hard drive crashes. Those “lost” emails just happen to cover January 2009 to April 2011 — the most intense period during which the IRS targeted conservative groups.

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) isn’t buying the IRS’ excuses. Today he lit into IRS Commisisoner John Koskinen.



    Notice at the beginning of the exchange, Ryan is given five minutes to speak. He speaks for less than four minutes before Democrats start disrupting him. It looks like Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), himself a suspect in the IRS targeting scandal, does the dirty work. Ryan ends up having about a minute of his time lopped off.
    Koskinen displays a typical Obama administration official’s attitude toward wrongdoing: We didn’t do anything wrong, and you’re wasting your time investigating us.
    You try waltzing in with that attitude of Koskinen’s IRS investigators audit you.
    And by the way, American people, you’re not getting any apologies from over those “lost” emails from us either.
    Every Republican on the committee can expect an IRS audit within a couple of years.



    Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    White House: No Emails Between White House, Lois Lerner

    By JIM KUHNHENN



    Posted: Updated:










    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Wednesday it has found no emails between any person in the executive office of the president and a top Internal Revenue Service official who has been connected to the improper scrutiny of political groups.



    White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House searched for all communications between the former IRS official, Lois Lerner, and executive office personnel. "We found zero emails," he said.



    He said the search discovered three emails in which a third party emailed both Lerner and executive office staff. He said one was spam and two others were from a person seeking tax assistance. Carney said those emails have been provided to congressional investigators.



    The investigation is looking into why the IRS targeted political groups, particularly conservative ones, that sought tax exempt status. Republicans in Congress have been trying to find out whether anyone outside the IRS directed the targeting.



    The IRS said last week it had lost an untold number of emails when Lerner's computer crashed in 2011. Lerner used to head the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. On Tuesday, two key lawmakers said the IRS has also lost emails from six additional IRS workers whose computers crashed.



    The two House committees and the Senate Finance Committee are investigating the IRS over its handling of tea party applications from 2010 to 2012. The Justice Department and the IRS inspector general are also investigating.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/let-me-fi...esty-exchange/

    ‘Let Me Finish!’ GOP Rep. Dave Camp and IRS Commissioner’s Testy Exchange

    by Andrew Kirell | 10:44 am, June 20th, 2014 video








    Friday morning’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing quickly became tense when Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and IRS commissioner John Koskinen got into a heated exchange over the agency’s alleged loss of two years worth of emails involving former official Lois Lerner.


    At the close of Koskinen’s prepared remarks, Camp immediately went for the gut in thanking the commissioner: “What I didn’t hear him from that was an apology to this committee.”


    “I don’t think an apology is owed,” Koskinen replied. And we’re off. “There’s not a single e-mail has been lost since the start of this investigation.”


    The back-and-forth remained at a near-boil for the next several minutes, with Camp accusing the commissioner of deliberately keeping the lost emails a secret. Despite knowing about the email loss in February, the IRS had not informed Congress until last Friday.


    “It was my decision that we complete the investigation so we could fully advise you with what the situation was,” Koskined explained of the delay. “We were not keeping it a secret. My position has been that when we provide information, we should provide it completely.”


    Camp was not satisfied with that answer, suggesting instead the appointment of a new official to investigate the email situation. He attempted to get a “simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer” on whether the commissioner to answer whether he’d support such counsel.


    After repeated pressing, the commissioner said: “The appointment of a special prosecutor after the six investigations ongoing and the [Inspector General] investigation into this matter ongoing, would be a monumental waste of taxpayer funds.”


    “So is that a yes or a no?” a frustrated Camp asked.


    “That’s a no.”


    And so it ended.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Networks Censor Coverage of Lois Lerner's Destroyed Hard Drive, Cover Car Chase on Golf Course, Kate Gosselin Instead

    By Curtis Houck | June 19, 2014 | 15:24

    A A

    Wednesday night, word came out via Politico that the hard drive to the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner was destroyed and recycled. This follows the news that emails from Lerner and six other officials that were being investigated for the IRS' pointed targeting of conservative non-profits were lost. Without a doubt, this revelation is big news. But not in the minds of ABC, CBS, and NBC as all gave no mention to the matter.


    Only ABC’s Good Morning America included a brief mention on the scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen. The small headline read, ‘Computer Hard Drive Belong to Former IRS Official at Center of Targeting Scandal Was Destroyed, According to Politico.’

    That was it. NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning refused to mention the news. Also, you know it’s bad when MSNBC made mention of the news, but not any of the networks.
    Good Morning America did have time though to devote 37 seconds to a video of computer chair racing in Denmark and 3 minutes and 1 second to talking with reality star Kate Gosselin about a two-part special about her sextuplets turning 10 years old. Meanwhile, Today found time to spend three minutes and 26 seconds on how Kim Kardashian has been since she married rapper Kanye West last month in France.



    All three networks covered a viral video of a police chase that included driving across a golf course. While that video may be funny, the fact that hard drive of the official most responsible for the deliberate targeting of conservative non-profits was lost is far from amusing or funny.



    As the Media Research Center has reported repeatedly, the coverage has been scant in the months since the scandal first broke. A report from the MRC’s Rich Noyes in May found that after producing 135 stories on the scandal on their morning and evening news shows, ABC, CBS, and NBC produced only 14 more stories from July 2013 to April 2014.


    In April, the MRC’s Kyle Drennen found that, while the networks found time last month to cover budget cuts to the IRS, they failed to mention the scandal that has engulfed and deeply damaged the agency’s credibility.


    Whether it was the vote to Lerner in contempt of Congress or the House subpoena of Eric Holder on the IRS scandal or the initial report of the lost emails last week, the only mention of any three events came in the form of two stories (both from CBS This Morning) on the Lerner emails and a 15 second mention from Good Morning America on the contempt vote.

    About the Author

    Curtis Houck is a Media Research Center news analyst. Click here to follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Email-gate threatens to 
sink Obama

    Print Email Comments

    By:

    Boston Herald staff








    Chris Bedford, managing editor of the Daily Caller, spoke to Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” hosts Hillary Chabot and Jaclyn Cashman about the new missing IRS emails scandal and whether President Obama is likely to face impeachment as the White House scandals mount.


    Q: Do you think that there will be a federal 
investigation into this alleged hard drive crash?


    A: Definitely a congressional investigation. ... It’s kind of like the erased parts of the Nixon tapes. It’s incredibly implausible that this was an accident. I mean, emails just suddenly missing from 2011, when the Tea Party was really coming up just after the 2010 election, and when all of this targeting is going on, they’re just gone, I mean, if you go through government warehouses down here in D.C. or anywhere, it’s just box after box of meticulously kept records of things far less important than this. ... and first the president said this was outrageous and he was going to get to the bottom of it and they all suddenly said, wait, there’s nothing here.


    Q: What about the idea ... could this be something that the president could be impeached for?


    A: ... Yes, legally impeachable, I think. But in order to get any kind of movement on impeachment, you need the American people to want to get rid of the president. You need to win the battle of public opinion before you can think about Congress, and I think that if Republicans right now are trying to do that, they’d probably lose a lot of support of the American people, who don’t want to see it.


    Q: Does the president have to rescind that comment now that there’s not a smidgen of corruption or scandal going on in the IRS? I mean, that just feels very far-fetched at this point.


    A: It’s a complete reversal from his original statement that it is a horrible scandal ... it’s outrageous. I don’t know what they discovered when they were going through all of these emails, but Republicans were clamoring saying, give us the emails, give us the emails. They suddenly changed that tune from, ‘It’s a scandal’ to ‘It’s not a scandal’ to ‘There’s nothing here’ to ‘Whoops, we’ve recycled the hard drive.’ ... Nixon’s biggest mistake wasn’t the break-in, it was the cover-up attempt, and that’s what ended up sinking him, and if it shows that what was originally just talked about was a couple of midlevel IRS bureaucrats or one lone wolf IRS bureaucrat turns out to have some kind of connection to the White House or to his advisers or somewhere higher up the chain ... they would be in a lot of trouble.”
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