TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 7, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1033

IRS Logo 2Right Side News, Obama IRS Scandal Continues:

Don’t think for a minute that we’ve forgotten the “scandal for the ages,” the Obama IRS suppression of conservatives and the Tea Party.  I have an update for you on the compromised Obama Justice Department, which did so much to cover up the scandal for Barack Obama.

We are now asking a federal appellate court to overturn a lower court’s ruling allowing the Obama Justice Department to withhold records detailing the number of hours that agency attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.  We filed the appellate brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last month.

This is the lawsuit that forced the Obama Justice Department to confirm the existence of a criminal investigation into the IRS’ abuses and that Bosserman, a major donor to Obama’s political campaigns and the Democratic National Committee, was part of the team of lawyers criminally investigating the issue.  (On October 23, 2015, the Justice Department announced in a letter that it would not press any charges over the IRS abuse scandal.)

In 2014, Judicial Watch filed a 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records detailing the number of hours Bosserman expended on the IRS matter.  In 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the agency had properly withheld the Bosserman records under the “attorney work product doctrine.” Judicial Watch argues to the appellate court:

[T]he Department presented no evidence whatsoever that the records requested by Judicial Watch were created in anticipation of litigation. The District Court also did not make such a finding. Instead the Department argued and the court ruled that some of the information contained in the responsive records was protected by the attorney work product doctrine. Because the requested records were created in the ordinary course of business – to assist senior officials in their management responsibilities – the records do not fall within the scope of the attorney work product doctrine. The records are being improperly withheld in their entirety.

In early January 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly appointed Bosserman to oversee the IRS investigation despite her substantial political activities.  According to Federal Election Commission records, Bosserman contributed $6,750 to Obama’s campaigns and the DNC from 2004 to 2012, including 12 separate contributions to Obama for America between 2008 and 2012.  Then-House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA) called the Bosserman appointment “a startling conflict of interest [that has] compromised the Administration’s investigation of the IRS.”

All Judicial Watch wants is the number of hours that the Obama donor/Justice Department lawyer spent investigating the worst IRS abuse in American history. The failure to bring charges in the IRS scandal only adds to the public interest in finding out more details about the involvement of the Obama/Democratic Party donor in the criminal investigation.

The media may yawn when two Republicans candidates for the presidency, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, complain of Obama IRS audits.  But it suggests Obama’s IRS corruption never ended.  As with the Clinton email scandal, Judicial Watch has a large number of active lawsuits and investigations into the Obama IRS matter.  Washington politicians from both political parties want to move on, but we are on the case.  In fact, we have more material in the hopper to release over the next few weeks.  So watch this space for additional developments.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/03/the-irs-scandal-day-1033.html

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Comments

Why does the congress oversight committee recall Lois Lerner and offer her immunity and force her to testify under oath? Now that she is off the hook from DOJ she would not have the ability to invoke the fifth

Posted by: thebigcat43 | Mar 7, 2016 7:58:57 AM

Mr. thebigcat43: Excellent question. Why not indeed? In fact, since DOJ has decided there is not a prosecutable case, hasn't her reasonable fear of imminent criminal prosecution kind of evaporated? In other words, her immunity claim is no longer valid, assuming it ever was.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Mar 7, 2016 10:23:27 AM

Thanks again for all the efforts you make daily in keeping this on the radar..

Posted by: nbpundit | Mar 7, 2016 10:47:30 AM

But at what cost?

Posted by: JAS_20001 | Mar 7, 2016 12:16:10 PM

The civil service is neither.

Posted by: Teapartydoc | Mar 7, 2016 1:39:10 PM

Congress cannot grant Lois Lerner immunity. By separation of powers, only the Executive Branch can grant her immunity.

Posted by: Lowell Orren | Mar 7, 2016 11:17:18 PM