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Thread: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

  1. #341
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    PURELY a coincidence...


    Breitbart News Says IRS Targeted Company For Audit

    September 9, 2014

    The company that runs the conservative Breitbart.com news site says the IRS has selected the network for an audit, in a move company executives suggest is politically motivated.

    Breitbart News Network, a California-based company which runs several conservative websites, says the IRS recently audited its 2012 financial information.

    "The Obama administration's timing on this is exquisite, but try as they might through various methods to silence us, we will only get more emboldened,” Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, said in a written statement.

    The audit comes as the agency faces sustained complaints that it targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought nonprofit status, before the agency ended the practice last year.

    Since the practice was made public – by the IRS itself and the inspector general’s office – other conservative groups have come forward claiming they were subjected to unwarranted scrutiny by the agency.

    In this case, it remains unclear whether the apparent audit of Breitbart News is anything out of the ordinary. The IRS conducts audits of tens of thousands of businesses every year.

    The agency said in a statement: "Federal privacy laws prohibit the IRS from commenting on specific taxpayer situations. The IRS stresses that audits are based on the information related to tax returns and the underlying tax law -- nothing else. Audits are handled by career, non-partisan civil servants, and the IRS has safeguards in place to protect the exam process."

    A copy of the IRS notice to Breitbart News, obtained by FoxNews.com, asked about the company’s financial information for calendar year 2012.

    The IRS asked for a litany of documents, including logs of its receipts and expenses, but also its partnership agreement and a “written narrative” of the business.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raised "deep concern" about the audit in a letter sent Tuesday to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

    In the letter, he called the inquiry a "far-reaching, burdensome, and open-ended audit," and asked for details about any audits of other news organizations.

    "In another time, under another Administration, the decision to audit a conservative news organization might not have risen to a worrisome level of concern," he wrote. "However, given the IRS's disturbing track record of illegally targeting conservative organizations ... the decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC appears highly questionable."

    Larry Solov, president and CEO of Breitbart News Network said: "We stand ready to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service on its audit of our company, but this will not deter us in the least from continuing our aggressive coverage of this president or his administration.”

    The company was founded by the late media entrepreneur and conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.

    The main website, Breitbart.com, houses a number of offshoot sites including Big Hollywood and Big Journalism. The website played a key role in breaking the scandal over former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner sharing sexually explicit photos on Twitter.

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

    Just saw this too.
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  3. #343
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)


    Holder Aide Accidentally Calls Issa's Staff For Help Spinning IRS Scandal

    September 9, 2014

    A senior communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder seemingly called House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa's staff by accident and asked for their help spinning new revelations about the IRS scandal, Issa said in a September 8 letter to Holder.

    The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming's staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.

    According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”

    Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.

    Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.”

    “At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a 'change in plans' and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early.

    Fallon “proceeded to pitch the idea that the Department and the Committee should 'help one another' while simultaneously saying that 'you need to say what you need to say.'”

    In the letter, Issa told Holder the phone call suggests ongoing coordination between DOJ aides and Cummings' staff to undermine oversight committee investigations.

    Fallon's “efforts to prejudice the Committee's oversight work demands examination,” Issa wrote.

    Fallon, however, said in a written statement that nothing untoward occurred.

    “There is nothing inappropriate about department staff having conversations with both the majority and minority staff as they prepare responses to formal inquiries. That includes conversations between the spokespeople for the Department and the committee,” Fallon said.

    Other than confirming he made the phone call in question, Fallon did not respond to any of the details of what took place during the call.

    The letter referred to a “subsequent explanation” from Fallon that “he simply called to improve the Office of Public Affairs' working relationship with the Committee” but said the explanation “is inconsistent with statements and requests he made before he placed the call on hold.”

    “It strains credulity to believe that the Department would seek to begin to improve relations via a telephone call between two individuals who had never spoken to each other before at 5:01pm on a Friday afternoon at the end of a District Work Period in the waning days of the 113th Congress,” Issa wrote.

    Issa said he is “disturbed” by the “apparently longstanding collaboration between the Obama administration and Ranking Member Cummings' staff to obfuscate and prejudice the Committee's work through under-the-table coordination.”

    At the outset of the 112th Congress, when Republicans had just taken control of the House, Democrats forced former Rep. Edolphus Towns to step down as ranking member for fear that Issa would run roughshod over him. Since then, Cummings is widely considered to have done an effective job pushing back against Issa-led investigations.

    In many cases, documents provided to congressional committees by the White House and administration are preemptively leaked to the media as they are being released to Congress. Called the “document dump,” the practise frequently occurs on Friday afternoons to help mitigate the political damage from the news contained in the documents.

    Issa Letter to Eric Holder About Brian Fallon


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

    Coincidence?

    A damned LOT of coincidences today.

    Calling Issa to undermine Issa.

    Russians dropping satellites over Colorado Springs.

    The IRS targeting Breitbart.
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  5. #345
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    Neighbor Refuses To Shelter Lois Lerner As She Flees From Press

    Video Filed under: Arrogance, Civil Discord, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Corruption, Election, Fail, Hope and Change, Hypocrisy, Law Enforcement Thuggery, Leadership, Politics, Privacy, Scandal, Statism, Tax Reform Now, Tea PartyLeave a comment
    October 7, 2014


    Lois Lerner Tries Barging Into Neighbor’s Home To Evade Questions


    ” Lois Lerner attempted to bust into a neighbor’s home uninvited, in a desperate attempt to avoid answering questions about her involvement in the targeting of conservative groups.
    Jason Mattera, author of the explosive new book CRAPITALISM: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars, recently caught up with the disgraced former IRS official in her ritzy neighborhood outside Washington, D.C.
    Mattera, who publishes the Daily Surge, asked Lerner if she had any regrets for her role in the ongoing IRS corruption case, and if she wanted to take the opportunity to give a genuine apology to conservatives for using the force of government to harass and single them out.”
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)




    Investigators Into IRS Scandal May Have Recovered Lost Lois Lerner Emails

    November 22, 2014

    Federal investigators have told Congress that they have recovered data that may include lost emails from one of the pivotal figures in the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of tea party groups, congressional aides said Friday.

    Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Republicans who run the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the investigators said at a staff briefing Friday that they have recovered up to 30,000 emails to and from Lois Lerner.

    A statement from Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee was more measured. It said the investigators have recovered data that may include Lerner emails.

    The investigators were from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which audits the IRS. A spokeswoman for the inspector general, Karen Kraushaar, declined to comment, saying the investigation was continuing.

    The investigators ignited a political firestorm in May 2013 with a report saying that IRS agents had given exceptionally close scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

    Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax exempt status. She has since retired.

    IRS officials have said that Lerner's computer crashed in 2011, destroying an untold number of emails.

    Hill said it will take weeks for the investigators to process the information into a usable format and give it to the IRS, which would then review it. By law, the IRS would also have to delete information about taxpayers that is considered private before it can be released to the House Oversight panel, which is headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

    The Senate Finance Committee aides said the investigators will assess if the data can be made readable before it can be turned over to the committee.

    They said their committee, which has been conducting a bipartisan investigation of the IRS's treatment of groups, expects to complete its work early next year.

  7. #347
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    I've known all along that most if not all of those emails were on backups somewhere.
    "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."
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  8. #348
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    We all knew it.

    Believe me, if it had been some low level system admin guy floating around a building doing computer work who wrote one thing wrong, that email would have splashed all over the front page of the NY Times (especially if the System admin was an Obama hater). lol
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  9. #349
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    MORE IRS scandal

    At IRS 'Do Not Rehire' Means Welcome Aboard


    The government is different from private employers, and the IRS is different from other parts of government. But when a former employer’s file says “DO NOT REHIRE” doesn’t that mean what it says? Not at the IRS. The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says the IRS rehired hundreds of problem former employees with prior substantiated conduct or performance issues, the kind most employers are happy to shed.
    Not the IRS. The bad behavior that was later welcomed back with open arms ranged from unpaid taxes, unfiled tax returns, unauthorized access to taxpayer information, leave abuse, falsification of official forms, unacceptable performance, misuse of IRS property, and off-duty misconduct. The Treasury Inspector General concluded that the rehires pose increased risks to the IRS and taxpayers.
    Firing and rehiring are being scrutinized these days. Even Congress wants to get in on the act. For example, dozens of House members put forward a bill to require the IRS to fire anyone who targets people or groups based on their political beliefs. A few Democrats even joined in. The Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act is a response to the scandal over IRS officials scrutinizing conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. It would make it easier to fire IRS officials.

    The bill from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) would add political targeting to a list of reasons for immediately firing IRS workers. That list appears in Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. IRS employees must be terminated from Federal employment if they violate certain rules in connection with the performance of their official duties:

    1. Willful failure to obtain the required approval signatures on documents authorizing the seizure of a taxpayer’s home, personal belongings, or business assets;
    2. Providing a false statement under oath with respect to a material matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative;
    3. With respect to a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, the violation of: (A) any right under the Constitution of the United States ; or (B) any civil right established under (i) title VI or VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (ii) title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; (iii) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; (iv) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; (v) section 501 or 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; or (vi) title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
    4. Falsifying or destroying documents to conceal mistakes made by any employee with respect to a matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative;
    5. Assault or battery on a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, but only if there is a criminal conviction, or a final judgment by a court in a civil case, with respect to the assault or battery;
    6. Violations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Department of Treasury regulations, or policies of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Internal Revenue Manual) for the purpose of retaliating against, or harassing, a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service;
    7. Willful misuse of the provisions of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry;
    8. Willful failure to file any return of tax required under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on or before the date prescribed therefor (including any extensions), unless such failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect;
    9. Willful understatement of Federal tax liability, unless such understatement is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect; and
    10. Threatening to audit a taxpayer for the purpose of extracting personal gain or benefit.

    Apart from misconduct, the IRS also faces budget scrutiny. Recently, key Senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and all other Republicans on the Finance Committee, fired off this letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The letter was in response to the IRS chief’s warning of a bad tax filing season due to budget cuts. It’s not budget cuts that are to blame, the Senators, suggested, it’s IRS waste. Some of the IRS expenses that bothered the Senators? How about these hard to understand IRS moves:

    • Paying millions of dollars in bonuses and giving tens of thousands of paid vacation hours to employees with recently substantiated conduct issues and disciplinary actions, including bonuses to 1,100 employees owing back taxes;
    • Spending over $23 million and more than 500,000 working hours devoted to union activity, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars for union travel expenses;
    • Spending billions of dollars every year on information technology systems – roughly twenty percent of its entire budget.
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)


    Lois Lerner, Former IRS Official, Won’t Be Charged With Contempt

    April 1, 2015

    The Obama administration informed Capitol Hill this week that it won’t prosecute former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress, concluding that she did not waive her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid answering questions when she was called to testify nearly two years ago.

    Ms. Lerner, the figure at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, is still facing investigation over the intrusive scrutiny of conservative groups, but the decision by U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen does away with at least some of her legal jeopardy.

    Still, Republicans were furious with the decision by Mr. Machen, who issued it on Tuesday, his final day in office before returning to the private sector, saying it raises major questions over the separation of powers and heightens tensions between President Obama and the GOP-led House that voted to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt.

    For her part Ms. Lerner, through her lawyer, sounded a triumphant note.

    “We are gratified but not surprised by today’s news,” said William W. Taylor III, who has handled Ms. Lerner’s defense. “Anyone who takes a serious and impartial look at this issue would conclude that Ms. Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment rights. It is unfortunate that the majority party in the House put politics before a citizen’s constitutional rights.”

    The House Oversight Committee had tried to question Ms. Lerner about the tea party targeting soon after it was revealed in May 2013. Ms. Lerner, a longtime federal bureaucrat, attended the hearing, delivered an opening statement professing her innocence, and then declined to answer any of the panel members’ questions, citing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

    Republicans on the committee said her opening statement amounted to a waiver of those rights, saying she shouldn’t be allowed to have her say and then refuse to be cross-examined by committee members.

    But Mr. Machen said making a general statement of innocence “did not amount to ‘testimony’ about the actual facts,” so Ms. Lerner was in the clear.

    “The Constitution would provide Ms. Lerner with an absolute defense if she were prosecuted for contempt,” Mr. Machen said in a statement.

    Perhaps just as important as his decision not to prosecute was Mr. Machen’s defense of his ability to make such a decision in the first place.

    Mr. Machen said the House has constitutional powers to call witnesses and to hold them in contempt when they violate the rules, but said the executive branch has the power to decide whether or not to carry out the actual prosecution.

    Some Republicans charged that Mr. Machen had a duty to follow through once the House held Ms. Lerner in contempt, in a 231-187 vote last May.

    Ms. Lerner retired from the IRS in 2013, keeping her pension.

    Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner, said Mr. Obama still has an obligation to get to the bottom of the targeting scandal, and said the decision not to prosecute undercut that.

    “Once again, the Obama administration has tried to sweep IRS targeting of taxpayers for their political beliefs under the rug,” Mr. Steel said. “The White House still has the opportunity to do the right thing and appoint a special counsel to examine the IRS‘ actions.”

    The IRS has admitted that it asked inappropriate questions and used improper screening with tea party groups’ nonprofit applications beginning in 2009 or 2010 and extending at least through 2013. Some groups caught up in the targeting are still awaiting approval — with one, the Albuquerque Tea Party, waiting more than five years.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. directed the FBI to begin a criminal investigation to see if laws were broken, and as of the middle of March that investigation was still open, according to a response the FBI sent to True the Vote, which had submitted an open-records request for Lerner records. The FBI said it couldn’t release those records, citing an exemption in law for documents that could “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

    Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, said they are still eagerly awaiting the results of that probe, but said it’s stunning that Ms. Lerner is using the shield of the Constitution to avoid answering questions from Congress.

    “The double standard is breathtaking,” Ms. Engelbrecht said. “Lois Lerner played the part of front-line operative in a targeting scandal that reveled in ‘putting politics before a citizen’s constitutional rights.’ Time and again, Lerner abused the power of her IRS position to shut down organizations whose views she did not share.”

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

    The IRS Assures an Atheist Group It Will Monitor Churches

    by Quin Hillyer April 20, 2015 4:00 AM

    It was bad enough, as I wrote here last August, that the Internal Revenue Service appeared to reach an agreement to monitor the pulpits of ill-favored churches. What’s worse is that the IRS, directly counter to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements, steadfastly has refused to make public key documents pertaining to that decision. So the IRS, acting with the whole power of government behind it, seems to be saying it can monitor and presumably punish churches for the content of their sermons, but the churches can’t know exactly if, how, and why they are being monitored.

    RELATED: The House Takes On IRS Lawlessness

    To fight this combined assault on religious liberty and on government transparency, conservative legal stalwarts Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Judicial Watch together filed suit April 9 to force release of the IRS documents. ADF asserts that the IRS already has shared the documents with the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

    Once again, the IRS bends over backwards on behalf of leftists while harassing and ignoring the rights, on multiple levels, of conservative groups or faith communities. And if the IRS continues to flout FOIA, we ought to treat its obstinacy as a major scandal. Then again, the IRS’s connivance with FFRF is itself a scandalous and deliberate trampling of our founding freedom of religious exercise and expression, guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    More IRS About Those IRS Budget Cuts Pelosi: 'They Need a New Technology System at the IRS' Warning: Obamacare Implementation Now Hitting Dangerous Levels of Irony The controversy arose when FFRF sued the IRS to force it to monitor churches (the IRS apparently monitored at least 99 churches) for alleged lack of compliance with rules against express electioneering by nonprofit organizations.

    As executive agencies under Barack Obama so often have done, the IRS reached a friendly settlement to dismiss the suit.

    FFRF was so pleased with the settlement that it claimed, in a headline: “Anti-church electioneering victory is final.”
    FFRF described how it achieved its “major victory”: FFRF agreed to voluntarily dismiss its closely watched federal lawsuit against the IRS after being given evidence that the IRS has authorized procedures and “signature authority” to resume initiating church tax investigations and examinations. The ADF, on behalf of threatened churches, merely demanded through FOIA that the IRS share that same “evidence” with it, including details about the new “procedures.”

    Pretty basic stuff. Not only does the public in general have the right to know the basis for and substance of a federal agency’s procedures, but the parties directly affected (or targeted) by those procedures, as per a legal settlement, are especially entitled to that information. That’s the law. It’s also Common Sense 101.

    In an August 28, 2014, letter to ADF attorney Christiana Holcomb, IRS “tax law specialist” Bonnie Mullins acknowledged that the ordinary deadline for compliance with ADF’s FOIA demand was a day earlier, on August 27, and that she had exercised supposed authority to extend that deadline by ten business days, to September 11, “after which you can file suit.”

    But even at the start of that extension, Mullins wrote that she did not expect to be able “to locate and consider release of the requested records by Sept. 11, 2014, [so] we have extended the response date to Sept. 29, 2014 when we believe we can provide a final response.”

    But no response came in September. Or October. Or November. The IRS instead continued to stonewall. On January 29, a new “tax law specialist,” Corinna Smith, wrote to Holcomb to say that while she (Smith) had on November 26 “asked for more time to obtain the records you requested,” she now “need[ed] additional time to March 31, 2015.”

    Smith concluded: “I will contact you by March 31, 2015 if I am still unable to complete your request.” Holcomb told me there are two problems with that. First, ADF never received any November request for “more time” (nor was it warranted by law, and neither was there an explanation why or when Smith had taken the case from Mullins).

    Second, March 31 came and went without the promised further contact from Smith, or Mullins, or anybody else from the IRS. Thus, even though the IRS originally acknowledged that the ordinary statute of limitations for complying with FOIA was August 27, 2014, and that the legally allowed extension ran out on September 11, 2014, the agency now has allowed more than seven months to pass beyond the legal deadline — without justification, indeed without any explanation other than a mere statement that it needed more time. And the IRS now has violated even the latest deadline it set for itself, after its first illegal extension, without even bothering to give further notice that it is doing so. “They have stonewalled month after month after month,” Holcomb said.

    This is the same government confiscation-machine–cum–​star-chamber that will and does impose severe fines on ordinary Americans for missing a single tax-filing deadline and that will garnish the wages (effectively at the point of a gun) of anybody who won’t pay those fines. If the IRS’s own standards were applied to “tax law specialist” Mullins, Smith, or any other personnel involved in the suit with FFRF or the decision to “authorize procedures” for monitoring churches, it is conceivable that those individuals might now be subject to criminal prosecution.

    Comparing the current impasse to the concurrent but unrelated scandal involving the IRS’s targeting and abusive treatment of conservative groups involved in the public-policy process, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said this in a press release: For two years, the administration has been hiding information on the IRS’s targeting of Obama’s political opponents. It is certainly in the public’s interest to know what the new IRS guidelines are for investigating a basic First Amendment right.

    Completely apart from the administrative law-breaking, it is that First Amendment right that remains the nub of the underlying case. The public has been bombarded in recent weeks with stories of battles about the limits of private expressions of faith in the business world. What the IRS apparently is doing, at the atheist group’s request, attacks faith at an even more fundamental level than that: inside the churches’ own doors, at their very pulpits.

    As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1808, “I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, disciplines, or exercises.” Surely, if a government agency is monitoring religious institutions in a way that could lead to such intermeddling, the public deserves an explanation of how, why, when, and where such monitoring is taking place. But this is Obama’s IRS. It seems to think it answers to nobody. The courts must disabuse it of that virtually criminal notion, with every power at the courts’ disposal.

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  12. #352
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)

    How about we monitor atheists and Muslims too?

    How about La Raza?

    How about Hillary Clinton?

    How about Harry Reid?
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)


    Justice Department: No Criminal Charges For Lerner, Others In IRS Scandal

    October 23, 2015

    The Justice Department announced Friday afternoon that it will not bring criminal charges against Lois Lerner or any other IRS official involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups, in a decision Republicans ripped as a "free pass."

    In a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, the department said the investigation into the controversy will be closed -- and while they found "mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia," they found "no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution."

    "What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action -- but it does not warrant criminal prosecution," Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik wrote.

    Republicans, who themselves have investigated the IRS scandal for years, fumed over Friday's DOJ decision.

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the move marks a "low point of accountability" for the Obama administration.

    "Giving Lois Lerner a free pass only reinforces the idea that government officials are above the law and that there is no consequence for wrongdoing," Issa said in a statement.

    Some Republicans had called for a special counsel to be assigned to the case, complaining that the investigation was led by a Democratic donor. Among them, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., on Friday warned that "politicization continues to go unchecked by this Administration and a Justice Department charged with pursuing wrongdoing."

    Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots and leader of Citizens for Self Governance which is suing the IRS, called the DOJ letter a "whitewash and miscarriage of justice."

    But Democrats held up the findings as evidence that Republicans were on a witch hunt, with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ripping GOP colleagues for spending money on "all kinds of investigative rabbit holes."

    The IRS firestorm erupted more than two years ago with an inspector general's audit that said IRS agents had improperly singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    The disclosure set off investigations by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees, which focused in large part on former official Lerner's role.

    The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress last year after she refused to answer questions at two House Oversight hearings. She has since retired.

    The investigations into Lerner featured many unusual twists and turns, including a controversy over an apparent hard drive crash that sent investigators scrambling to recover messages and the release of emails that showed Lerner making disparaging comments about Republicans.

    The DOJ letter sent Friday said Lerner used "poor judgment" in using her IRS email account to send personal messages voicing "political views," but said they found no evidence that she exercised her official authority at the IRS in a "partisan manner generally" or that political views influenced her actions with regard to the tax-exempt applications.

    The letter further said they found "no evidence" that any IRS official acted based on political or other motives that would support criminal prosecution.

    Rather, the DOJ said they found a "disconnect" between employees at the Cincinnati office, where IRS workers vetted the applications, and those in Washington, D.C. The letter said "no one person" was responsible, pinning the blame for the "ill-advised" and "burdensome" process instead on "discrete mistakes by line-level revenue agents" and others -- whose mistakes, according to the DOJ, were "exacerbated" by leadership lapses in D.C.



    Yep, not surprised...

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)


    Obama Administration’s ‘Continuous Resistance’ In IRS Targeting Case Slammed By Federal Appeals Court

    March 23, 2016

    A federal appeals court Tuesday slammed the Internal Revenue Service for what it called three years of “continuous resistance” to turning over documents in connection with a class-action suit brought by tea party groups singled out for months of delays, excessive paperwork and scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status in 2010.

    A unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found that the IRS, in its unresponsiveness to the charges, “has only compounded the conduct that gave rise” to them.

    The case was brought by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, and other groups, in 2013, just after a Treasury inspector general that May found that the IRS had singled out tea party groups for months-long delays in considering their requests for tax-exempt status, a practice President Obama called “intolerable and inexcusable.”

    The allegations against the IRS produced a series of high-level resignations at the agency and prompted congressional hearings and an FBI investigation, which found no criminal wrongdoing.

    But the suit by the organizations is separate from all of that. They seek damages for what they allege are violations of the law by the IRS. But the case has never gotten down to the merits because, the appeals court panel said, “at every turn the IRS has resisted the plantiff’s requests for information” on the targeting practices, with the IRS contending both at the district court and in the appeals court that the records sought, specifically the “names and other identifying information” of organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, are protected by privacy laws.

    That argument was flatly rejected by U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott, who is in charge of the case in the trial court. She accused the government of “just running around in circles and not answering the questions. … My impression,” she said during a hearing in the case, “is the government probably did something wrong in this case. … I question whether or not the Department of Justice is doing justice.”

    The Justice Department lawyers representing the IRS then took the unusual step of seeking an order against Dlott — called a “writ of mandamus” — generally reserved for a “judicial usurpation of power or a clear abuse of discretion.”

    It was that order that the appeals court denied Tuesday — angrily.

    The opinion, written by Judge Raymond M. Kethledge, a George W. Bush appointee, and joined by Bush appointee Judge David W. McKeague and Jimmy Carter appointee Judge Damon J. Keith, ran through the whole history of NorCal’s struggle with the government beginning in April 2010, when the group applied for tax-exempt status routinely granted to such organizations.

    In July 2010, according to the opinion, the IRS sent NorCal a letter requesting additional information to process its application, to which NorCal “promptly replied with 120 pages of responsive material.”

    “Eighteen months passed without further word from the IRS,” the court wrote. “Then, in a letter dated January 27, 2012, the IRS demanded more information from NorCal” in the form of five single-spaced pages bearing 19 separate requests, many of which had six or more sub-requests. The court wrote:

    Among other things, the IRS requested a list of all NorCal events and activities since July 2010, with detailed information concerning the circumstances of each event and the content of any speeches or presentations made at those events; the names of NorCal’s donors and whether those donors had run for elected office in the past or intended to run for elected office in the future, along with the amounts and dates of every donation; and copies of all newsletters, emails, or advertising materials that the group had sent to its members or to the general public. The IRS’s letter also reminded NorCal that, “[ i]f we approve your application for exemption, we will be required by law to make the . . . information you submit in response to this letter available for public inspection.” The IRS directed NorCal to respond by February 17, 2012—three weeks after the date of the letter—and told NorCal that, “[I ]f we don’t hear from you by the response due date . . . we will assume you no longer want us to consider your application for exemption and will close your case. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service will treat you as a taxable entity.” NorCal eventually provided approximately 3,000 pages of responsive material.

    The panel noted that while the IRS forced NorCal “to produce 3,000 pages of what the inspector general called ‘unnecessary information'” the agency then claimed it would be “unduly burdensome” for it to provide such information as the names of IRS employees who worked on the tea party groups’ applications.

    “Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address,” the panel said, “are that an Executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen — Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian — should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration.

    “Those findings,” the court wrote, “include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called ‘unnecessary information.’ Yet in this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it.

    “… The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws — all of them, not just selective ones — in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition.”

    As of late Tuesday, the Justice Department had not commented on the appeals court decision.

    The unusually severe tongue-lashing by the appellate judges followed a similar rebuke of the government in the unrelated but even more sensitive case involving a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a conservative group, involving former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s personal email system.

    Fed up with what he considered a drawn-out runaround by the State Department in the case, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District of Columbia accused the government of engaging in “a constant drip” in complying with the FOIA request. “That’s what we’re having here,” he said “… and it needs to stop. … How on earth can the Court conclude that there’s not, at a minimum, a reasonable suspicion of bad faith regarding the State Department’s response to this FOIA request?”

    In response, Sullivan took the unusual step of allowing the questioning under oath of seven current and former top State Department officials and aides to Clinton about her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

    No date has been set for that questioning.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: IRS unfairly targeting Conservatives (Tea Party groups)


    Lerner, Paz Say They Fear Physical Harm From Enraged Public, Want IRS Testimony Sealed Permanently

    November 19, 2017

    Former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that members of her family, including “young children,” face death threats and a real risk of physical harm if her explanation of the tea party targeting scandal becomes public.

    Ms. Lerner and Holly Paz, her deputy at the IRS, filed documents in court Thursday saying tapes and transcripts of depositions they gave in a court case this year must remain sealed in perpetuity, or else they could spur an enraged public to retaliate.

    “Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” attorneys for the two women argued.

    Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz gave taped depositions in a class-action lawsuit brought by tea party groups demanding answers and compensation for having been subjected to illegal targeting for their political beliefs.

    The government settled the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and another tea party challenge in the District of Columbia in two agreements last month, admitting to the illegal behavior. The Ohio settlement also called for the government to pay $3.5 million to the tea party groups, according to one of the plaintiffs.

    Ms. Lerner came in for particular criticism, with the government admitting she not only didn’t stop the targeting — contradicting the Obama administration’s claims — but also hid it from her superiors in Washington.

    During the course of the Ohio case, the tea party groups filed thousands of pages of documents, but testimony from Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz was left out of the public record because of their earlier request for privacy.

    Now Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say that since the case has been settled, there is no reason for their testimony to ever become public.

    “The voluminous record of harassment and physical threats to Mss. Lerner and Paz and their families during the pendency of this litigation provides a compelling reason to seal the materials,” the women’s attorneys said.

    They particularly blamed Mark Meckler, a tea party leader whose organization helped fund the class-action lawsuit, saying he helped stoke the threats against them by calling IRS agents “criminal thugs.”

    “These words matter. They have created a fertile environment where threats and harassment against Mss. Lerner and Paz have flourished,” the lawyers said.

    Mr. Meckler laughed when he learned about the filing.

    “Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” he said, recounting the speech where he called IRS agents “thugs.”

    He said if the depositions didn’t show any bad action on her part, then Ms. Lerner should have nothing to fear from their release to the public.

    “The reality is because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn’t want people to know what she actually did,” he said.

    “It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” Mr. Meckler said.

    The Trump administration backs making the documents public, according to court documents, which leaves Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz fighting a rearguard action.

    So far, they have had Judge Michael R. Barrett on their side. As the case was proceeding, he kept the two IRS employees’ testimony secret at their request, allowing only the lawyers involved to see the information.

    Papers filed by the tea party groups’ attorneys repeatedly made reference to their testimony in documents, but it was always redacted.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer, a newspaper that covers the Cincinnati office of the IRS that initially handled tea party groups’ applications and that Ms. Lerner initially blamed for the targeting, has been fighting to make her version of events public.

    The paper renewed that request last month, the day the government and the tea party groups announced their settlement. The paper has argued that there is no “clear and imminent danger” to Ms. Lerner or Ms. Paz.

    Ms. Lerner has refused to talk publicly about her handling of the tea party cases, even being held in contempt of Congress when she botched her assertion of Fifth Amendment rights during testimony.

    But the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute the case, saying it concluded Ms. Lerner’s assertion of Fifth Amendment rights was correct.

    Under President Obama, the department, in its own investigation into the IRS handling of tea party cases, also credited Ms. Lerner with being one of the bright spots, saying she attempted to curtail the targeting when she learned of it.

    But the government now says that is not true. In its settlement last month, the government says Ms. Lerner not only didn’t stop the targeting, but also hid the behavior from superiors.

    Ms. Lerner has yet to comment on that settlement.

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