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Thread: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

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

    Camp Calls for Special Prosecutor in Missing IRS E-Mails

    By Derek Wallbank June 20, 2014


    The House Ways and Means Committee chairman called for a special prosecutor to probe the Internal Revenue Service’s loss of e-mails from the time the agency gave extra scrutiny to Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status.
    “We are missing a huge piece of the puzzle,” committee Chairman Dave Camp said at a hearing today in Washington. The two years of missing e-mails cover the “very peak” of the IRS scrutiny, the Michigan Republican said. “How convenient for the IRS and the administration.”
    The IRS said last week that a computer crash, combined with routine recycling of backup tapes, meant it couldn’t recover many e-mails written from 2009 to 2011 by Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the time.
    Story: The IRS's E-Mail System Looks Crazy, and Not Only to Republicans
    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the committee today a computer hard drive was destroyed and recycled in line with normal processes, prompting audible groans from Republicans on the panel.
    The Obama administration also released a letter that said Lerner didn’t exchange any e-mails with White House officials during that period.
    Reviewers “were unable to identify any communications between Lois Lerner and persons within” the president’s executive office, W. Neil Eggleston, a White House counsel, said in a June 18 letter to Camp and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden. The letter didn’t explain how officials came to that conclusion.
    Story: What to Do When the IRS Makes a Mistake
    Republicans have said the IRS gave extra scrutiny to some Tea Party-related groups asking for tax-exempt status.
    IRS documents said after Lerner’s computer hard drive crashed in 2011, experts at the IRS Criminal Investigations forensic lab unsuccessfully attempted to recover its contents. In a July 19, 2011, e-mail, Lerner told the technicians there were “irreplaceable” documents that she wanted to retrieve.
    Koskinen read a statement describing the computer crash and IRS response. Camp responded that the statement didn’t include an apology.
    Story: Who Doesn’t Want to Close the E-Mail Privacy Loophole?
    “I don’t think an apology is owed,” Koskinen responded.
    To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at dwallbank@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net Laurie Asseo
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/irs-chie...aste-of-money/

    ByStephanie CondonCBS NewsJune 20, 2014, 10:49 AM
    IRS chief: Special prosecutor would be "monumental" waste of money


    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee June 20, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong, Getty Images

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    With six investigations already digging into the IRS's inappropriate targeting of political groups, appointing an independent special prosecutor to investigate the matter would be "a monumental waste of taxpayer funds," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a heated exchange with a House Republican leader Friday morning.
    Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in the wake of the revelation that the IRS cannot produce emails from Lois Lerner -- the former IRS official at the heart of the controversy -- from 2009 through April 2011 because of a computer crash that Lerner suffered in 2011.
    "What you have lost is all credibility," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., told Koskinen. He added, "I don't believe the IRS went through every possible exercise to recover these documents."


    He said appointing a special prosecutor to the case would be the only way to resolve the controversy and restore credibility to the agency. Camp also asked for the serial numbers of all relevant hard drives that crashed and the actual hard drives themselves, if possible.
    Camp said it was "convenient" for the IRS to lose Lerner's emails from 2009 through mid-2011, the period during which the inappropriate targeting of groups took place. He also noted that the IRS could have informed Congress about the lost emails earlier, suggesting some kind of deliberate cover-up.
    Koskinen said there is a record that shows I.T. technicians tried for three weeks in 2011 to recover Lerner's hard drive to no avail. Since investigators started to look into the IRS scandal last year, "not a single email has been lost," he noted. By the end of this month, the IRS will have turned over to investigators every email to and from Lerner that it still has -- 67,000 in all, including 24,000 sent or received during that period from 2009 through April 2011. The IRS has already spent nearly $10 million producing documents for congressional investigators.
    The IRS chief also told Camp that "there's been no attempt" to keep the lost emails a secret. Instead, Koskinen said he made the decision to finish a review of the situation before reporting to Congress.
    "When we provide information, we should provide it completely," he said. Otherwise, he said, people are "tempted to leap to the wrong conclusion not based on the facts."
    In fact, Koskinen said, Camp's committee has done just that: Earlier in the week, the Ways and Means Committee issued a press release complaining about lost emails sent from an IRS official named Nikole Flax. However, Koskinen said the press release was published before the committee heard the full story -- Flax in fact had two computers, so her emails were not lost.
    "Those press releases... were inaccurate and misleading," Koskinen said. "It has been clearly demonstrated that piecemealing out information... simply results in press releases and angry letters to me."
    Democrats on the committee railed against Republicans for politicizing the issue and attempting to tie the inappropriate targeting to the White House.
    Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Mich., the top Democrat on the committee, said that congressional Republicans "are so determined to find a needle in the haystack, they seek desperately to add to the haystack, even though no needle has been discovered."
    Levin said that the IRS should be spending $150 million to $200 million annually on computer maintenance but instead "spends virtually nothing" because the GOP-led House has under-funded IRS operations. Koskinen agreed that some crashed hard drives was "not surprising" given the "aging information technology infrastructure" at the agency.
    Republicans, meanwhile, continued to pile on Koskinen.
    "Why, at this point, should anybody believe you?" Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, asked. "This is the most corrupt IRS in history."
    Koskinen retorted that he did not come out of retirement six months ago to lead an agency that doesn't strive for transparency.
    "To say that this is the most corrupt IRS in history ignores a lot of history," he said, calling it a "classic overreaction to a serious problem that we are dealing with seriously."
    Koskinen added that every American should be "comfortable and confident when they deal with the IRS they're going to be treated fairly... no matter who they are."
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    IRS: Inspector general probing hard drive crash



    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 8:00 AM
    Updated today at 8:05 AM






    WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the IRS says his agency's inspector general is investigating a hard drive failure in connection with a congressional probe.


    The probe is about whether the IRS singled-out tea party groups for tax-exempt status.


    Commissioner John Koskinen (KAHS'-kihn-ihn) is testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee. He says eight federal employees experienced hard drive failures.

    That means emails related to the investigation could be unrecoverable.


    Koskinen is telling lawmakers that a hard drive belonging to former IRS executive Lois Lerner was recycled and presumably destroyed after unsuccessful efforts to recover information on it. He says the inspector general is investigating that.


    A week ago, the IRS acknowledged it could not produce some of Lerner's emails because her computer crashed in 2011.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    'I don't believe you!': Paul Ryan levels blistering attack against IRS boss over 'lost' emails explanation

    FoxNews.com


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


    WASHINGTON – Incredulous lawmakers tore into IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the agency's claims that subpoenaed emails of ex-official Lois Lerner and other employees are gone forever because a hard drive was destroyed.
    “This is unbelievable," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., angrily told Koskinen. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”
    Koskinen responded, “I have a long career. That’s the first time anyone’s said I don’t believe you.”
    "I don't believe you," Ryan shot back again.
    Koskinen set a defiant tone during his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, telling lawmakers he felt no need for the agency to apologize amid accusations of a cover-up in the targeting scandal of conservative groups. Republican lawmakers had demanded the emails between Lerner and other government officials - including at the White House - be turned over to determine whether there was a coordinated effort to stymie conservative groups prior to the 2012 elections.
    “I don’t think an apology is owed,” he said. “We haven’t lost an email since the start of this investigation.”
    "I don't believe you."- Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wisc., to IRS commissioner
    That didn’t sit well with Chairman David 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.”
    The tone and exchanges between lawmakers and the commissioner frequently became heated.
    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.”
    During the testy exchange between Ryan and Koskinen, Levin tried to intervene.
    “Will you let him answer the question?” Levin asked Ryan.
    Ryan responded angrily, “I didn’t ask him a question!”
    Levin chided his colleagues that, “witnesses deserve some respect.”
    Earlier this week, 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."
    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.
    Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the investigation, invoked her Fifth Amendment right at least nine times to avoid answering lawmakers’ questions. According to an audit by the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration, 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.
    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.
    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)

    Cleta Mitchell appaled by double standard over 'lost' IRS e-mails

    Published June 17, 2014 | The Kelly File | Megyn Kelly
    With: Cleta Mitchell





    This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 17, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.



    MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Earlier tonight I sat down exclusively with Attorney Cleta Mitchell, she represents Tea Party groups targeted by the IRS, and she is not happy.
    (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)


    KELLY: Cleta, good to see you. And so, now we know that it's not just Lois Lerner whose e-mails have gone missing but those of six other key IRS employees. You believe this was a cover-up, tell us why.


    CLETA MITCHELL, ATTORNEY WHO REPRESENTS TEA PARTY GROUPS: Well, I absolutely think that there's something crazy about this. I mean, first of all, there's all these federal laws that require that these government employees, documents and files and correspondents and e-mails all be maintained. As citizens, we all have the right to file a FOIA request -- the freedom of information request -- and we get to see.


    KELLY: But they say. OK. But let me jump in. What they say, they were saved on a server, but the server only retained e-mails for six months, and then it would write over the tapes.


    MITCHELL: Well, if that is true, and that is an egregious breach of trust and a violation of federal Law. And in fact, once the congressional investigations began, and once the lawsuits were filed by my clients and others, they had a duty to immediately notify Congress and immediately notify the federal judge who's assigned to handle these cases. They have -- in fact, not only did they not notify anybody, but they, we got a very snippy letter from Lois Lerner's attorney last September saying that when we say that litigation hold letter, which is standard in litigation. You say, don't destroy anything. And she basically wrote back and said, well, you don't have to tell me my job. Well apparently we do have to tell them their job. That -- I'm absolutely shocked that number one, that this is their process because that violates federal law. And number two, that they did not immediately notify the Congress, and then immediately notify the federal judge when these lawsuits were filed. This is just preposterous.


    KELLY: Well, do you think that that is evidence. That this is bull -- that, I mean, because what I'm hearing from other lawyers who representing other victim and from those who are on the House Ways and Means Committee, who are outraged over this. They don't believe it, they believe that that server overwrites itself every six months, they think that this is all a big excuse. Especially now that we've heard it's not just Lois Lerner, but conveniently six other people who's e-mails cannot be produced.


    MITCHELL: Well, I don't believe it. And I must tell you this, Megyn, I've been hearing from forensic experts across the country who've e-mailed me, I've been hearing from government employees who say that all of that is downloaded every night, it's constantly saved on the server and for them to now say we only keep it for six months? Let me tell you this, I had a client a few years ago, the IRS is going to revoke its tax exempt status, because they deleted their e-mails at the end of the calendar year, and the only way we were able to persuade them not to was to agree we would stop doing that. So now the IRS does it?


    KELLY: They would have us believe that if you work at the IRS and you e-mail somebody, and then six months pass, that's it. If you happen to have a hard drive crash and it's not available on your desktop, no e-mail, that predates six months, you know, prior would be retrievable. That's insane. What -- how could the IRS ever do business like that?


    MITCHELL: Well, they don't do business like that. That's the point. This is all false. I absolutely don't believe it. It is a sign of bad faith in the litigation, and I think it's contemptuous of Congress and the congressional investigations. I know -- I would note that today Congressman Issa has issued a subpoena for all of the backup documents relating to this. Because I think it is a scandal in and of itself. It is absolutely not credible.


    KELLY: The Lois Lerner e-mail where she's first complaining about her crashed hard drive back in August of 2011 talks about how she's missing her lost personal files. It doesn't talk about losing e-mails, Cleta. Do you think that they are trying to sell us a pig in a poke here. You know what I mean, saying, look over here, she talks about lost personal files, oh, I'm telling you, that means all of her e-mails, oh, and by the way, it also means all the personal e-mails from six other IRS employees. That was one hell of a computer glitch.


    MITCHELL: Let me tell you something, I think the person we all need to be looking at right now is the director of the FBI. Because surely the FBI, our government agency that's supposed to be able to protect us from criminal activities, surely with all of its sophistication that it could've gone and it should be going in immediately and pounding all of this, and getting and getting and conducting an investigation an independence investigation. But failing that, what we're gonna ask the court for is permission to bring in our own independent forensic experts to have access to these computers and hard drive.


    KELLY: Let me ask you this, because right now it appears that the reason they're not producing these documents that do guys they say, back when Lois looked for the documents in 2011, the IT department says they couldn't retrieve them. There's been no satisfaction, has there, that an actual independent expert has come in and said, I'm telling you, they're irretrievable.


    MITCHELL: That is absolutely correct. And that is what has to happen next. We need to get credible independent forensics experts who are not just the IT Department, somewhere in the bowels of the IRS, who are just doing probably what they've been told to do. I certainly didn't detect that Lois Lerner was particularly upset about the loss of her e-mails and files if you read those emails.


    (CROSSTALK)


    KELLY: Well again, if we lost personal files and who knows what that means. Now they want us to believe that e-mails all e-mails during the relevant times. The other thing is the Ways and Means Committee is now looking at the White House, saying, OK, we can't get communications from Lois to you from Lois, why don't you produce them, White House, if there are any. Why don't you Democratic senators produce them if there are any. Why don't you, Barack Obama's reelection team produce any e-mails who had been Lois Lerner during the relevant time frame. Quick answer on this one, do you believe they will?


    MITCHELL: I don't believe they will without a court order, and I think that's -- we are at the point in time in this whole scenario where absent a federal judge ordering them to do these things and to follow the law, I think that they believe that they could avoid compliance with the law.


    KELLY: Cleta, thank you.


    MITCHELL: Thank you.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    no. No more money for them. Period. Screw the IRS, they weren't following FEDERAL law, why should they get federal money? No more taxpayer's money for the IRS!

    And Democrats can go straight to hell too. STOP ASKING FOR MONEY!

    Dem answer to IRS scandal: More money for new IRS computer system

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    Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) said Friday that the IRS’s reported computer crashes that led to two years’ worth of lost emails shows that the IRS needs more funding for a more modern information technology system.
    Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee, rejected the Republican idea that the IRS is hiding or lost Lois Lerner’s emails on purpose, and said all evidence points to a computer crash.
    House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), right, said Friday the IRS needs more money to boost its IT systems. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards



    “There is absolutely no evidence… to show that Ms. Lerner’s computer crash was anything more than equipment failure,” he said.


    Levin then blamed Republicans for repeatedly cutting funds the IRS would have used to modernize its IT system.


    “Was her computer crash a conspiracy? No,” he said. “Was the Internal Revenue Services’s system for backing up its email system entirely underfunded and wholly deficient? Clearly yes.”


    “In fact, Congress has cut the IRS budget for operations, which includes what it spends on computers and other information technology, every year for the last five years.”


    Levin concluded by saying the government needs to “invest” more in the IRS to improve its information management system. “Lost data under the Bush administration, coupled with the number of computer crashes at the IRS, clearly demonstrate the need for government agencies to have adequate budgets to invest, upgrade and maintain information technology,” he said.


    Levin’s comments were echoed by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who accused Republicans of purposefully underfunding the IRS in order to undermine the progressive taxation system.


    On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she agrees that more money is needed for the IRS.


    “What the missing emails tell me… is they need a new technology system at the IRS,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “I think they need to upgrade their technology, get it right, so that there’s no suspicion about what agenda anyone may have on that.”


    Democrats at the Friday hearing spent most of their time defending IRS Commissioner John Koskinen from Republican criticism. Many complained that Republicans were too aggressive in their questioning and refused to let him answer their questions.


    Several Republicans asked Koskinen for yes or no answers to questions, and interrupted him when he tried to deliver longer answers. The hearing was marked by several interruptions from Democrats who complained about how Koskinen was treated, and used their time to let Koskinen state his point of view.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Audience GASPS As IRS Commissioner Admits Missing Lois Lerner Hard Drive Was Trashed (Video)

    Posted by Jim Hoft on Friday, June 20, 2014, 11:28 AM




    There were audible gasps in the room today when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that Lerner’s hard drive was tossed out. Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Committee today on the IRS conservative targeting scandal.
    Via OutNumbered:


    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014...trashed-video/
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Darrell Issa calls White House attorney on IRS email loss





    Issa suspects Jennifer O’Connor may have known about the missing Lois Lerner emails. | Getty




    By RACHAEL BADE | 6/19/14 9:39 PM EDT Updated: 6/19/14 10:21 PM EDT



    House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is hauling in a former IRS counsel-turned-White House attorney to testify on the disappeared Lois Lerner emails.


    The California Republican on Thursday evening requested Jennifer O’Connor of the White House Counsel’s office to testify on Tuesday morning about her knowledge of the crashed hard drive of ex-IRS tax exempt chief Lerner. The IRS says the crash erased two years’ worth of Lerner’s emails just when the IRS was beginning to pull conservative social welfare groups for additional scrutiny.

    O’Connor was hired on at the IRS from May 2013 to November 2013 to serve as counselor to Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. One of her primary duties was to help the IRS respond to congressional inquiries after the tea party-targeting controversy came to light. And IRS chief counsel William Wilkins told the panel during its IRS probe that O’Connor was one of two people supervising the collection of “documents relating to the committee’s requests for material.”


    (Also on POLITICO: 5 questions for IRS chief)
    Oversight Republicans had requested Lerner’s emails.
    Issa suspects O’Connor, a former partner at D.C.’s WilmerHale, may have known about the missing Lerner emails.


    “Given your prominent role in supervising the IRS’s document review and production processes, you likely knew or should have known that the IRS was missing a portion of e-mails sent or received by Ms. Lerner responsive to the Committee’s subpoena,” Issa said in a statement.


    (Also on POLITICO: Sources: Lerner's emails likely gone)
    O’Connor specializes in responding to congressional investigations and was also detailed to help out the Health and Human Services Department following the botch Obamacare roll out in the early winter of last year. She headed to the White House earlier this year, according to the panel.


    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who will appear before House Ways and Means Friday morning in the first hearing on the email controversy, will also sit in Issa’s hot seat just a few hours before O’Connor on Monday night.


    The hearings come just days after the IRS told lawmakers that all Lerner’s emails between January 2009 and April 2011 were lost in a computer crash in mid-2011. The defunct hard drive was also thrown out as per IRS procedure, sources say. Ways and Means said six additional people involved in the sandal have also had emails lost since the IRS at the time did not back up email.


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

    ‘We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility’: House Republicans Grill IRS Commissioner as they Subpoena White House Lawyer

    Posted: June 23, 2014 | Author: Pundit from another Planet | Filed under: Law & Justice, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Darrell Issa, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, John Koskinen, United States, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, White House, White House Counsel |2 Comments No apologies: In a separate congressional hearing on Friday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted the loss of Lerner’s emails was due to an oddly timed glitch

    For Mail Online, David Martosko reports: Republicans dropped a hammer on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a testy hearing covering the disappearance of emails tied to the agency’s tea party targeting scandal.
    “You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.”

    The emails, covering the period January 2009 to April 2011, belonged to embattled former official Lois Lerner and could shed light on whether an expansive scheme to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny was guided by members of Congress or administration officials outside the IRS.
    ‘The committee requested all of Lois Lerner’s emails over a year ago,’ said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa. ‘And we subpoenaed the emails in August 2013 and again in February 2014. … You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.’
    ‘You personally did not cause the targeting,’ he told Koskinen, referring to the tea party scandal. ‘You personally did not destroy the emails. But by your actions and your deception, you now own this scandal.’
    ‘We have a problem with you,’ Issa sniped, ‘and you have a problem maintaining your credibility.’
    Rep. Darrell Issa slammed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen: ‘We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility’



    Monday’s unusual evening hearing came as the result of a subpoena, and will continue Tuesday morning with a command performance from another Obama administration official.


    Issa subpoenaed White House lawyer Jennifer O’Connor on Monday afternoon. He had invited her on Thursday to testify during the Tuesday session, but on Monday afternoon White House Counsel W. Neil Egglestonwrote Issa to say his underling would not appear.
    Koskinen fended off accusations Monday night that he lied to Congress on March 26 when he promised the IRS would turn over all of Lerner’s emails

    Before O’Connor’s promotion to the White House Counsel’s office, she was counsel to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.


    Just ten days ago the IRS informed congressional investigators that a hard drive crash had destroyed 28 months of emails to and from Lerner, who led the IRS’s office in charge of vetting and policing tax-exempt nonprofit groups.


    In an opening statement Monday night, Koskinen argued that ‘it is not unusual for computers anywhere to fail, especially at the IRS in light of the aged equipment IRS employees often have to use in light of the continual cuts in its budget these past four years.’


    ‘Since Jan. 1 of this year, for example,’ he claimed, ‘over 2,000 employees have suffered hard drive crashes.’


    Koskinen referred several times on Monday to a lack of budget resources within the IRS, and raised the issue when asked why the agency didn’t do a better job keeping a backup of Lerner’s emails.


    An outraged Issa insisted that Americans should be able to know ‘they’re being honestly treated by your employees, especially somebody at such a high level. Isn’t that in fact a priority that should have allowed for full retention?’


    ‘If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities,’ Koskinen shot back.


    ‘So the American people should believe that if they don’t have the resources to pay their taxes, they shouldn’t pay their taxes’ Issa jabbed, ‘because if the IRS doesn’t have the resources, it won’t keep records?’


    ‘That’s pretty much what you’re telling us here tonight, is that resources are a question of whether or not you retain key documents.’


    When Tennessee Republican Rep Scott DesJarlais asked Koskinen how much money it would take to replace the IRS’s computer systems in order to prevent another major data loss, he answered that it would cost between $10 and $30 million…(read more)
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Separated at Birth:

    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, a Major Democratic Donor

    24 Tuesday Jun 2014
    Posted by bydesign001 in Uncategorized




    Washington Free Beacon
    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.
    Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.



    Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012….
    Read full article



    Is there anyone left in Washington, D.C. who believes in a conflict of interest? From the non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac to Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Pretty darned disgusting.
    LINK:
    http://freebeacon.com/politics/remin...donor-to-dems/
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    The Arrogance Of The IRS And A Violation of 18242

    By Nicholas Short on • ( 1 Comment )

    When Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) questioned IRS commissioner John Koskinen during Monday’s congressional hearing, Gowdy demonstrated that the entire investigation of the IRS by commissioner Koskinen has been based upon fantasy. A fantasy that willfully neglects the reality of the law.

    Gowdy, in a fiery exchange with Koskinen stated, “You [Koskinen] have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing..I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated”. Koskinen responded, “I haven not looked at any”.
    As if this response wasn’t troubling enough, Gowdy pointed out something the media has yet to catch. Specifically, in reference to a Lois Lerner email alluding to the need for a disguised “project” that the IRS could use to justify its targeting of political groups. Gowdy asked Koskinen, “What did she mean when she said we need a project but we need to be careful that it doesn’t appear to be per se political? You don’t think thats a potential violation of 18242?”
    Koskinen responded, “I have no idea”.
    That response to Gowdy’s question truly epitomizes the arrogance within our own government. When Gowdy asked if thats a “potential violation of 18242″, he is asking about the violation under TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242.
    Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
    Acts under the “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties.
    It is alarming that the commissioner of the IRS can claim that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on behalf of Lois Lerner’s actions, when in fact, the commissioner himself admits he has “no idea” what evidence of a violation of 18242 is.
    Moreover, it shows that the entire IRS scandal is a complete sham committed by an absolutely corrupted administration that has used the incompetency of people such as Koskinen to further its deviancy.
    When the government can claim they don’t know what a deprivation of rights under the color of law looks like, you know their “investigation” into criminal wrongdoing is everything but.
    For how can you claim, as Koskinen did Monday, that there is “no evidence of criminal wrongdoing” when you yourself admitted you have no idea what those actions are based upon?
    Is that what the law has become?
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    THE POWER TO DESTROY
    IRS chief scorched as 'liar'
    'We are sick and tired of your game playing'
    Published: 17 hours ago

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/irs-chief-scorched-as-liar/

    John Koskinen

    IRS Chief John Koskinen

    WASHINGTON – Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wasted no time in accusing the head of the IRS of lying to Congress, unloading a blistering barrage of accusations at a Monday night hearing.

    “At a minimum, you did not tell the whole truth,” during previous testimony, Issa told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, scornfully adding, “We are wondering what your word is worth.”

    In his opening statement, Issa flatly told Koskinen he had given false testimony by promising to provide all emails of former IRS tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner, while knowing two years of those emails were actually missing.

    “You promised to produce documents,” he said. “You did not.”

    “The committee requested all of Lois Lerner’s emails over a year ago,” said the chairman, noting the emails had been subpoenaed in August 2013 and again in February 2014. But, Issa accused, “You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.”

    “Did you hope you could run out the clock on this scandal? Perhaps you hoped Congress would never know it was missing emails.”

    Issa acknowledged Koskinen did not “personally did not destroy the emails. But by your actions and your deception, you now own this scandal.”

    In a stunning admission under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Koskinen divulged that the IRS made no effort to recover Lerner’s email archive from the six month backups after her initial computer problems in June of 2011.

    Koskinen had informed the committee that emails were not backed-up on a server, but on a tape that recorded emails for only six months.

    So, Chaffetz simply asked, “When Lois Lerner figured out on June 13th (2011) that her computer crashed, and there have been emails showing that she was going to great lengths to try to get that recovered, why didn’t they just go to that six month tape?”

    “Because that six month tape is a disaster recovery tape that has all of the emails on it and is a very complicated tape to actually extract emails for, but I have not seen any emails to explain why they didn’t do it, so it would be difficult, but I don’t know why,” replied the IRS boss.

    “Did anybody try?” asked Chaffetz.

    “I have no idea or indication that they did,” admitted Koskinen.

    An incredulous Chaffetz then recounted, “So you have multiple emails showing she was trying to recover this, it’s the testimony of the IRS that they were trying desperately, in fact you got a forensic team to try to extract this, you went to great lengths, you made a big point over the last week about all the efforts you’re going through, but they were backed up on tape, and you didn’t do it?”

    “As far as I know they did not,” the head of the IRS.

    Earlier, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, made a remark even more pointed than Issa’s accusation of lying, subtly suggesting during a heated exchange that Koskinen himself might come under investigation at some point.

    Noting that the IRS learned about the loss of nearly two year’s worth of Lerner’s emails back in February, but had not informed Congress until ten days ago, Jordan wondered out loud, “At one point does it become obstruction of justice?”

    “After days, weeks, or months?”

    Jordan and other committee members were also tremendously frustrated that Koskinen continually maintained that he could not even remember who at the IRS told them about two years worth of missing emails.

    The congressman was livid when the commissioner said his excuse was the IRS was in the “middle of filing season” in April.

    When Jordan pointed out that the IRS informed Congress by burying the announcement of the missing emails on page 7 of a lengthy document on a Friday, Koskinen corrected him, saying it was page 5.

    “Page 5!” Jordan yelled in mock-amazement, causing laughter to ripple through the hearing room. “Ridiculous,” he added.

    Jordan also asked why Koskinen did not inform the FBI or the Justice Department of such an important find in a major investigation.

    The IRS chief said that was because criminal charges had not been filed.

    Issa later reminded him, for the record, that the Ways and Means Committee had referred four criminal counts against Lerner to the Justice Department.

    Issa began the hearing by playing a video of Koskinen’s previous appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on March 26, 2014.

    The video contained a montage of GOP committee members demanding that Koskinen produce all of Lerner’s emails, including “every single email in the time period in the subpoena.”

    “Will you commit to provide all those emails?” asked Jordan on the video.

    “Yes, we will do that,” answered Koskinen, adding, “We never said we would not provide all the emails.”

    Also in the video, GOP committee members stressed how crucial those emails were. They explained that was because Lerner had refused to testify before Congress (after invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination), making her emails the only records of her activities during the period she admitted to improperly targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

    After the video, Issa told the IRS chief, “We are sick and tired of your game playing.”

    Issa later asked if Koskinen was aware on March 26, when he previously testified, that Lerner’s hard drive had crashed in June of 2011.

    When Koskinen replied “No,” Issa asked if his IT people were aware of it, and the top tax man said, “Yes.”

    Later, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., reminded Koskinen that in his testimony Friday before the Ways and Means Committee, he acknowledged the IRS learned there was some kind of problem in February, because they had not found nearly as many of Lerner’s emails as they would have expected, in that time period.

    Koskinen said the IRS knew in February but claimed he did not learn until April.

    But, under further questioning, he admitted he did know there was an “issue” but did not know how serious a problem it was in February.

    DeSantis remarked that did not seem like completely candid testimony.

    Under questioning by a Democrat, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., Koskinen issued a statement that stopped lawmakers in their tracks, claiming he believed that all of Lerner’s emails would be recovered.

    Issa was so struck by the remark he interrupted to make sure he had heard correctly, asking Koskinen if he meant to say “all” of her emails or just “some?”

    “All,” the IRS boss affirmed.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. took to task Koskinen for claiming there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing before all the facts had been gathered.

    “You have already said, multiple times today, that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy said. “I want you to tell me, What criminal statutes you have evaluated?”

    “I have not looked at any,” the IRS commissioner admitted.

    “Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there is no criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” a stunned Gowdy asked.

    “Because I’ve seen no evidence that anyone consciously…” the IRS chief attempted to assert.

    “Well how would you know what elements of the crime existed? You don’t even know what statutes are in play,” Gowdy continued, becoming more agitated. “I’m going to ask you again: What statutes have you evaluated?”

    “I think you can rely on common sense,” said Koskinen.

    “Common sense? Instead of the criminal code, you want to rely on common sense? No, Mr. Koskinen, you can shake your head all you want to, commissioner. You have said today that there’s no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and I’m asking you what criminal statutes you have reviewed to reach that conclusion.”

    “I reviewed no criminal statutes,” said the commissioner.

    Just before taking the hot seat in front of the committee, Koskinen spoke with WND, and the commissioner revealed the IRS had a plan to try to recover Lerner’s emails.

    The IRS chief said the Treasury Department is now searching archives to see if it can find Lerner’s two years of missing emails.

    After Koskinen said the IRS only backs up six months worth of emails, WND asked if the same problem could happen again?

    When Koskinen replied yes, WND asked if that wasn’t a fundamental problem, given the IRS requires taxpayers to keep seven years worth of records?

    After admitting that was true, he then revealed the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, was now looking into the archives to see if they could recover anything.

    Koskinen said he notified TIGTA 10 days ago.

    The commissioner also told WND that the company Sonasoft, which had a contract to archive IRS emails, was responsible only for the office of the Chief Counsel’s email, covering some 3,000 employees, not the entire agency.

    When the subject of Sonasoft came up during the hearing, Issa asked Koskinen why the IRS did not have a reliable backup system.

    The IRS chief said the estimated cost of $10-to-30 million was too much.

    Expressing disbelief, Issa said, given the IRS’s $1.8 billion IT budget, should that not have been a priority?

    “If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities,” testily retorted Koskinen.

    However, Rep. Scott Desjarlais, R-Tenn. pointed out that $10-to-30 million was not much compared to the $89 million the IRS paid in bonuses last year, including $1 million to employees who actually owed back taxes.

    The rare evening hearing was convened following a dramatic revelation 10 days ago when the IRS claimed to learn in February that Lerner’s hard drive had crashed on, or around, June 13, 2011 – exactly three years earlier.

    The IRS claimed the crash caused the loss of28 months of Lerner’s emails sent to addresses outside the IRS, from roughly mid-2009 to mid-2011, a crucial period for investigators.

    Lerner’s emails to people outside the IRS are particularly important because she contacted members of the Department of Justice about the possibility of criminally prosecuting conservatives for their political activities.

    The IRS claimed to have discovered the loss of Lerner’s emails in February, even though the investigation had been underway for almost a year.

    In April, the IRS informed the Treasury Department, which then informed the White House.

    But, without explanation, the IRS did not tell Congress and the public for another six weeks, until June 13.

    An irate Jordan asked Koskinen to pledge he would find out who at the IRS told the Treasury Department about the missing emails.

    “I will do my best,” a clearly hesitant Koskinen replied, which caused Jordan to scoff.

    As recently as a meeting last Monday with Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Koskinen failed to inform investigators that the emails of six others IRS employees were missing, in addition to Lerner’s.

    Koskinen withheld that information even though Hatch had asked the IRS chief to formally attest that all communications had been provided to Congress.

    The IRS boss testified that he wanted to complete the collection of all of Lerner’s emails before informing Congress of the two years of missing emails, a claim that made GOP lawmakers howl with anger.

    Something else that has congressional investigations very suspicious is the remarkable coincidence that Lerner’s supposed hard drive crash happened just 10 days after the very first time Congress asked the IRS whether it was targeting of conservatives.

    Lerner’s reported her hard drive failed on, or around, June 13, 2011.

    The first time the IRS learned Congress was looking into the targeting of conservatives was on June 3, 2011.

    That means two years of Lerner’s communications disappeared just 10 days (or fewer) after Congress had made its first inquiry into the IRS targeting of conservatives, a coincidence that many GOP lawmakers found too suspicious to be happenstance.

    On June 3, 2011, Ways ad Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., had sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman questioning the agency’s investigations into donations to conservative nonprofits, upon which gift taxes were being imposed, as well as the agency’s audits of some 501(c)(4) organizations.

    “Every aspect of this tax investigation, from the timing to the sudden reversal of nearly thirty years of IRS practice, strongly suggests that the IRS is targeting constitutionally protected political speech. The IRS must explain its actions or risk creating a chilling effect that threatens not only political advocacy groups, but all tax-exempt organizations that depend on contributions from individual donors,” wrote Camp.

    Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, suggested that lack of urgency on the part of IRS and Koskinen to find out what happened to Lerner’s emails suggested a coverup.

    The congressman repeatedly asked why the commissioner had not called upon the FBI to investigate.

    “We have Lois Lerner having invoked the Fifth in front of this committee, indicating that she’s fearful of criminal prosecution, which should be enough for you, a man of integrity, to pause and think, maybe crimes were committed within my agency. And now that these emails are missing, maybe someone not of integrity committed a crime in destroying them? You should call the FBI. You should call for a special prosecutor.”

    ” I cannot enter into Lois Lerner’s mind. I’ve never met her. As to what she…” Koskinen replied.

    Turner countered, “I asked you to pick up the phone and call the FBI, not enter Lois Lerner’s mind.”

    “I am not, I am not going to call the FBI. The inspector general has started. When the inspector general…” said the commissioner.

    Turner said Koskinen’s own personal integrity was at stake if he did not call the FBI.

    “I reject the suggestion that my integrity depends upon my calling the FBI. The inspector general will issue a report. We will all get the benefit of that report. And then we can determine what the appropriate action is to be,” insisted the commissioner.

    But Turner wasn’t having it, concluding, “I have always believed that what happened in your agency with Lois Lerner is a crime. I believe that there were others involved. I believe the emails that are missing are the ones that would probably give us an ability to establish that. And I believe that somebody undertook criminal act in its destruction. And I believe that since you can’t tell me I’m wrong, and it’s enough of a doubt in your mind, as the commissioner of the agency you should call the FBI.”

    Koskinen has been a major donor to Democratic candidates and groups, contributing $100,000 over four decades.

    He has contributed to the Democratic candidate for president in every election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.

    Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/irs-chief...syJjJSSz20I.99
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    I think that may the least of their worries…

    Archivist: IRS didn’t follow law with lost emails

    The Internal Revenue Service did not follow the law when it failed to report the loss of records belonging to a senior IRS executive, the nation’s top archivist told Congress Tuesday.


    “Any agency is required to notify us when they realize they have a problem,” David Ferriero, archivist of the U.S. during a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing.


    In June 2011, former IRS executive Lois Lerner’s computer crashed, resulting in the loss of records that are sought in investigations into the agency targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. At the time, the agency tried to recover the records, but without success.


    Republicans have questioned the timing of the hard drive crash, suggesting key records sought in the investigation have conveniently gone missing.


    In a rare evening hearing before the same committee Monday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that he has seen no evidence anyone committed a crime when the agency lost emails that might shed light on the targeting of tea party and other political groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Jun 25 2014
    Leave a comment
    "Intelligence", "Transparency", Cronyism, Democrats, Elitism, Employment, Entitlement, Government, Hypocrisy, Insurance, IRS, Liberals, ObamaCare, Useful Idiots
    IRS Employees Union Is ‘Very Concerned’ About Being Required To Enroll In Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges

    Forbes
    In the private sector, many workers are concerned about losing their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, and being dumped into Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges. Two weeks ago, representatives of three large labor unions fired off a harsh letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, complaining that Obamacare would “shatter…our hard-earned health benefits” and create “nightmare scenarios” for their members. Today, we learn that the National Treasury Employees Union—the union that includes employees of the Internal Revenue Service—is asking its members to write letters to their Congressmen, stating that they are “very concerned” about legislative efforts requiring IRS and Treasury employees to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
    “I am a federal employee and one of your constituents,” the letter begins. “I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”
    “If the ObamaCare exchanges are good enough for the hardworking Americans and small businesses the law claims to help, then they should be good enough for the president, vice president, Congress, and federal employees,” said Rep. Dave Camp’s (R., Mich.) spokeswoman in a statement at the time.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Emails: IRS official sought audit of GOP senator

    Emails show that former IRS official in tea party probe sought audit involving GOP senator














    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012.


    The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.


    The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley's wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife.


    "Perhaps we should refer to exam?" Lerner wrote.


    It was unclear from the emails whether Lerner was suggesting that Grassley or the group be audited — or both.


    The other IRS official, Matthew Giuliano, waved her off, saying an audit would be premature because Grassley hadn't even accepted the invitation.


    "It would be Grassley who would need to report the income," Giuliano said.


    The name of the event organizer was blacked out on copies of the emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee because they were considered confidential taxpayer information. Grassley and his wife signed waivers allowing their names to be released.


    In a statement, Grassley's office said the senator did not attend the event, and did not receive any invitation intended for Lerner.


    "This kind of thing fuels the deep concerns many people have about political targeting by the IRS and by officials at the highest levels," Grassley said. "It's very troubling that a simple clerical mix-up could get a taxpayer immediately referred for an IRS exam without any due diligence from agency officials."


    The IRS said in a statement that it could not comment on the specifics of the case "due to taxpayer confidentiality provisions."


    "As a general matter, the IRS has checks and balances in place to ensure the fairness and integrity of the audit process," the IRS statement said. "Audits cannot be initiated solely by personal requests or suggestions by any one individual inside the IRS."


    The IRS says it has lost an untold numbers of Lerner's emails because her computer crashed in 2011, sparking outrage among Republican lawmakers who have accused the tax agency of a cover-up. The emails released Wednesday were among the thousands that have been turned over to congressional investigators.


    "We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States senator is shocking," Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said. "At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights."


    Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS has acknowledged that agents improperly scrutinized applications by tea party and other conservative groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections. Documents show that some liberal groups were singled out, too.


    Grassley had been an outspoken critic of the way the IRS policed tax-exempt groups even before the tea party controversy erupted last year.


    In one email, Lerner indicates that she won't attend the event.


    "Don't think I want to be on the stage with Grassley on this issue," she wrote.


    Ways and Means is one of three congressional committees investigating the way the IRS processed applications for tax-exempt status. The Justice Department is also investigating.


    Also Wednesday, a group of Republican senators — including Grassley — said they want to expand a Senate investigation to look more closely at how the agency lost the emails.


    Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee said they want know why the Treasury Department and the White House were told about the lost emails more than a month before Congress was told. They have asked committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to schedule a hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.


    Wyden's office was noncommittal Wednesday, saying he hadn't seen the request.


    The Republicans, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, are also asking the Treasury and Justice departments, and the Federal Election Commission, to turn over any emails they might have from Lerner.


    "The IRS' failure to inform the committee months or even weeks ago about the missing emails raises serious questions about its commitment to cooperate with this investigation," the letter said.


    In testimony before a House panel this week, Koskinen said the IRS waited to tell Congress until officials knew the full extent of the email loss.


    Koskinen said the Treasury Department has agreed to turn over emails it has from Lerner. The White House said last week it has found no emails between anyone in the executive office of the president and Lerner.


    At the time of Lerner's computer crash in June 2011 the IRS had a policy of backing up emails on computer tapes, but the tapes were recycled every six months, Koskinen said. He said Lerner's hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed.


    The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because she had copied in other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it was producing a total of 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013.

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






    Dems Fawn Over IRS Commissioner Who Contributed Over $85,000 to Their Committees, Candidates

    June 24, 2014 - 3:35 PM


    By Barbara Boland




    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen contributed more than $85,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, MRCTV research has discovered - with a $5,000 donation to President Obama in 2012 and $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. This may explain the fawning "thank yous" Koskinen received for his public service from many Democrats last night on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


    "You know when you've got a person who's given what you've given and been brought into difficult circumstances..." said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to Koskinen during last night's hearing. "You know, at my age, I began to stop and think about my own mortality, and think about my reputation. I want to thank you for being who you are. I want to thank you for giving a damn and caring about our country."


    Warming to his subject as if he was speaking about the sacrifice of veterans, Cummings went on, "Some of the statements that have been made here today make it look like you're just coming up here, trying to fool people, when under Republican and Democratic administrations you have been highly regarded."


    Listening to Cummings, those watching at home may have thought that Koskinen had served a long and storied civil service career "under Republican and Democratic administrations" - but as a matter of fact, prior to his appointment to the IRS six months ago, Koskinen worked as non-executive chairman of publicly-traded Freddie Mac (from 2008 to 2012.)


    Koskinen was CEO at Freddie Mac in 2009 (He earned a cool $550,713 for his "service" that year). Before working at Freddie Mac, Koskinen was President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of Washington D.C. and "assistant to the President and Chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Koskinen also spent 21 years in the private sector in various leadership positions with the Palmieri Company, including President and Chief Executive Officer," according to his biography on the IRS.gov website.


    None of that reads as the long-suffering civil servant Democrats described and showered with accolades last night.


    According to Open Secrets records, the IRS Commissioner that so many described as "arrogant" contributed to every Democratic nominee for president since 1980. He gave $2,300 to Obama's first run for president in 2009 and $5,000 in 2012.


    Hillary Clinton has received $3,800 from Koskinen.


    Koskinen has never contributed to a Republican, a search of records shows.


    "This is about theater," said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA). "Fair play, presumption of innocence, civility...are out the window. Because there's an agenda that presupposes some guilt, that is based in part on supposition, on paranoia, on conspiracy theory."


    "Badgering witnesses is inappropriate and shameful for this Committee to conduct itself in that manner," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said in Koskinen's defense during last night's testimony. "I want this committee to be run as it should be run, with respect and decorum. And badgering this Commissioner as virtually every member on the Republican side has done [tonight] is shameful. And it's gotta stop. Or I'm telling you, one member here is going to walk out and not return."


    Nowhere in their impassioned defenses of Koskinen (or his noble public service) did Democrats mention that he has contributed almost $100,000 to their party.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Chuck Todd on IRS Scandal: ‘Are There Any Actual Real Victims?’

    By Jeffrey Meyer | June 25, 2014 | 11:03
    131 342 Reddit30 9
    A A


    Chuck Todd, NBC’s Political Director, Chief White House Correspondent, and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC did his best to deflect from the IRS scandal by wondering if “there are any actual real victims’ of the IRS targeting of conservative groups.”



    Appearing on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown on Wednesday morning, Todd insisted that “the question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code” and suggested that such groups weren’t deserving of such tax exempt status at all. [See video below.]
    Todd began by arguing that the scandal surrounding the IRS ignores the larger problem at hand:
    The controversy surrounding IRS may be more than a year old but of course we're still talking about it. On Monday the IRS Commissioner testified before Congress. A week after the IRS told Senate investigators that two years of e-mails disappeared in a computer crash back in 2011. While this certainly doesn't make the Obama administration nor the IRS look very good, it's important to remember what this actual story is about because it's gotten lost.
    The MSNBC host continued to question whether social welfare groups should even have tax exempt status:
    Why should primarily political organizations get a taxpayer exemption, basically get a handout from the tax code? Both sides are in an uproar because they couldn't take advantage of a borderline shady way to raise money for political purposes or launder money for political purposes. So while the IRS is certainly not a good guy here they have been terrible about being forthcoming.
    The NBC Political Director concluded his “Takeaway” segment by suggesting that not only no “real victims” exist in the IRS scandal but that these social welfare groups are to blame:
    Folks, this scandal is not black and white since frankly two wrongs don't make a right. We know what really is working here for Republicans. Beating up the IRS, good for the base. Good politics there makes for great fundraising e-mails. But let's remember what the controversy itself is about.
    MSNBC's The Daily Rundown

    June 25, 2014
    9:56 a.m. Eastern


    CHUCK TODD: Time now for my “Takeaway.” The controversy surrounding IRS may be more than a year old but of course we're still talking about it. On Monday, the IRS Commissioner testified before Congress. A week after the IRS told Senate investigators that two years of e-mails disappeared in a computer crash back in 2011. While this certainly doesn't make the Obama administration nor the IRS look very good, it's important to remember what this actual story is about because it's gotten lost.


    The question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code and both political parties are pointing blame. Republicans say that just conservative-sounding groups were targeted by the IRS. That's why they want to see the e-mails. Democrats have responded by claiming, hey, liberal groups were targeted, too. But here is the story many are missing. Why should primarily political organizations get a taxpayer exemption, basically get a handout from the tax code? Both sides are in an uproar because they couldn't take advantage of a borderline shady way to raise money for political purposes or launder money for political purposes.
    So while the IRS is certainly not a good guy here they have been terrible about being forthcoming. Are there any actual real victims? Folks, this scandal is not black and white since frankly two wrongs don't make a right. We know what really is working here for Republicans. Beating up the IRS, good for the base. Good politics there makes for great fundraising e-mails. But let's remember what the controversy itself is about.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Issa Calls for Special Prosecutor in IRS Case; Suggests Immunity for Lerner

    Back to Breitbart TV


    on Breitbart TV 25 Jun 2014 87 post a comment
    House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) demanded a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS over its targeting of conservative groups and the disappearance of emails from key officials.

    Issa declared that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is “not the ideal person, not even an appropriate person” to oversee the investigation into the IRS’ conducts, and that this case calls for a true, special, independent prosecutor who has the ability to issue warrants, to seize materials, to safeguard documents and other information before it goes away and get to the truth.”
    He added that a special prosecutor will almost certainly not be named by President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder.
    Issa added that the revelation that Lois Lerner improperly gave the personal information of donors to the Justice Department made it clear that her attorney should “take back that statement she made, that perjured statement that she broke no laws, she broke no regulations.” He concluded, “of course she broke laws and of course she broke regulations and we need to hold her accountable.”
    Even though he said that Lerner was “biased,” “had an agenda,” and “broke laws,” Issa stated that he “absolutely” would be willing to give Lerner immunity “if she would deliver to us the explanation of who she worked with in this conspiracy.”
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    http://tomfernandez28.com/2014/06/26...g-for-the-irs/

    Videos at the link

    Scandal, what scandal? Meet the six top Democrats covering for the IRS
    Image | Posted on June 26, 2014 by tomfernandez28

    Scandal, what scandal? Meet the six top Democrats covering for the IRS

    Republican lawmakers have pressed the IRS to tell the full story ever since the agency first admitted to targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

    An overwhelming majority of Americans don’t believe emails crucial to the investigation were “lost” in a hard drive crash.

    But many Democrats have taken to heart President Obama’s assertion that there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” in what they’ve taken to calling a “phony scandal,” and have offered loud and persistent defenses of the IRS, arguing that the federal agency needs to be better funded and free from tough congressional scrutiny.

    Here’s a quick list of those Democrats who have dedicated more time to telling the world what a great organization the IRS is than figuring out whether it was used to silence opposition to the Obama administration.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

    Don’t be put off by the fact that there’s a set of questionable emails involving Lois Lerner, the disgraced former IRS official at the heart of the scandal, and this Baltimore-area lawmaker. Those emails probably have nothing to do with Cummings’ loud and forceful protests of continued congressional investigation of the scandal.

    True, Cummings’ at first had some criticism for the IRS, but those feelings disappeared a long time ago. In fact, as recently as Monday, Cummings nearly brought himself to tears as he praised IRS commissioner John Koskinen for being a hero to the American people.

    Elsewhere, Cummings has repeatedly derided efforts by Republican lawmakers to get to the heart of the targeting scandal, despite the fact that a majority of Americans reportedly support these efforts.

    Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.

    Despite the fact that the IRS admitted to improperly targeting conservative groups, the Virginia lawmaker has been extraordinarily persistent in pooh-poohing the issue.

    Whether it’s badgering Tea Party witnesses or trading barbs with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Connolly is always ready to stand up for the big guy.

    Here’s a clip of Connolly trying to explain to a victim of the targeting scandal why she’s wrong to think anything scandalous occurred:

    Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

    Congressman Becerra wants the IRS to know that he’s deeply sorry for the congressional “inquisition.”

    “You deserve better,” Becerra told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.

    “This hearing has been conducted as less of a hearing then it might have been as an inquisition. You deserve better. You certainly are obligated to give truthful answers, and we appreciate your trying to,” he said.

    “If you find that you are being badgered or not given an opportunity to respond, take a breath and then try to get your answer out. If you are not given the opportunity, then recognize that again this is maybe not a hearing but an inquisition.”

    Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.

    Kind is sure of two things: There’s has been no coordinated effort to cover-up the mysterious loss of nearly two years’ worth of Lois Lerner’s emails, which were subpoenaed by Congress, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is a very bad person.

    The House Ways and Means Committee is “desperate to find any type of evidence that may point to a cover-up that does not exist,” Kind said Friday, apologizing to the IRS commissioner for Ryan’s “overzealous” questioning.

    He went on to lavish praise on the Koskinen for being a “public servant who by all accounts is a model of integrity, honesty and professionalism.”

    He added that Congress’ investigation of the IRS is a “fishing expedition and witch hunt.”

    Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas

    Doggett doesn’t think it’s strange for Republican lawmakers to question the disappearance of Lerner’s emails. He’s thinks it’s conspiracy theory-level crazy.

    And he said as much during a House hearing when he compared asking questions about Lerner’s emails to asking questions about space aliens.

    “How about Area 51 out in Roswell, New Mexico, where all those space aliens allegedly came? Have you ever had any responsibility for that?” he asked.

    “No,” Koskinen said.

    “Have you ever had custody of the president’s birth certificate?” Doggett continued.

    “No,” Koskinen said.

    “I believe one of the mistakes that you’ve made in dealing with the committee today is that you did assume professionally that this is a serious inquiry,” Doggett said. “I believe it’s an endless conspiracy theory here.”

    Trial attorney Barbara Bosserman

    The lawyer picked by the Justice Department to head the investigation of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups is also a major Democratic donor.

    Obviously, this raises serious questions about impartiality.

    Republican lawmakers have objected to her appointment, noting that her affiliation with the Democratic Party could influence her handling of the case.

    Likewise, the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents more than 30 groups suing the IRS over the scandal, also protested the department’s choice.

    “Appointing an avowed political supporter of President Obama to head-up the Justice Department probe is not only disturbing but puts politics right in the middle of what is supposed to be an independent investigation to determine who is responsible for the Obama administration’s unlawful targeting of conservative and tea party groups,” ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement.

    For its part, Justice has argued that its hands are tied and that it can’t possibly remove an employee for her political affiliations, noting that it could violate various equal opportunity laws.

    Mmm-hmm.

    Bonuses: IRS commissioner John Koskinen and Attorney General Eric Holder

    The IRS commissioner is fairly certain no wrongdoing took place in regards to the agency’s handling of Lerner’s lost emails — and he doesn’t believe the American people deserve an apology.

    Because of course he doesn’t.

    “I don’t think an apology is owed,” Koskinen said during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, adding that the loss was due to “technical glitches.”

    Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder, who was asked long ago by lawmakers to open a criminal investigation of Lerner, whom the House voted to hold in contemptin May, has done exactly nothing.

    Surprised?
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Issa is now calling this a "Conspiracy", as it should have been called from the beginning.
    Libertatem Prius!


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