TaxProf Blog

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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1053

IRS Logo 2News Busters, It’s Been 513 Days Since Any Big 3 Network Has Touched the IRS Scandal:

The latest stunning development in the IRS targeting scandal, that a federal appeals court on Tuesday scolded the IRS for failing to turn over its full list of groups it targeted, has yet to be reported on any of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows.

However, as NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported, all three networks on Thursday found time to gush over Barack Obama’s “fancy footwork” and “dancing diplomacy” in Argentina.

In fact, it’s been 513 days since any network has touched the IRS scandal. The last mention arrived on the October 28, 2014 edition of CBS This Morning when John Dickerson noted voters in states that would decide control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms were skeptical of the government due to a “series of different things from the Secret Service to Ebola to the IRS scandal.”

The last time NBC noted the IRS scandal was 540 days ago on the October 5, 2014 Today show, when NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd briefly noted that public skepticism about the government’s handling of the Ebola crisis was well-earned due to “Secret Service blunders, IRS losing e-mails, the Veteran Affairs Administration botching all these wait times.” 

But that’s nothing compared to the IRS scandal news drought on ABC. The last time the IRS targeting imbroglio got any airtime on ABC was 686 days ago in a 16 second brief by Amy Robach on the May 8, 2014 edition of Good Morning America, when Robach reported that “six Democrats have joined Republicans in the House” to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. ...

Since then there have been multiple revelations gone unreported by the networks ...

Of course, Fox News did the reporting the networks refuse to do on the latest IRS scandal development.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/03/the-irs-scandal-day-1053.html

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Comments

The mainstream media are despicable. They not only openly campaigned and elected Obama they refuse to hold his administration to any reasonable legal standard. But for Fox News, Talk Radio, and sites like this Obama and his merry band of Democrats at IRS would have gotten clean away with this crime. Nixon only attempted to subvert the IRS and it was a charge on his Bill of Impeachment. Just amazing how the Big Networks refuse to investigate Obama's corrupt administration and they refuse to even report on legal developments. Low Information Voters have to be protected from the truth, I guess.

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Mar 27, 2016 8:00:13 AM

In all fairness, there is no evidence whatsoever that Obama had anything to do with the IRS misbehavior. In all likelihood his fellow travelers at the Service just reasoned that because their ends are always good the means necessary must be justified.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Mar 27, 2016 11:27:08 AM

MIke: Hundreds of meetings between Obama White House officials and executives at IRS. Hundreds! What the heck were they meeting about? They say it was Obama Care. Maybe and maybe not. If we had emails we would know, but they seem to be missing. You can give them the benefit of the doubt but I think they are guilty as sin. They were terrified of the effect of an organized Tea Party movement in' 12. At the time they had no idea Romney would be such a joke of a candidate. I think they were taking no chances by taking down the Tea Party. Maybe ABCBSNBCNNPRPBS should look into this? Where are this generation's Woodward and Bernstein?

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Mar 27, 2016 1:58:54 PM

Yep. No evidence Obama was in on this. Just joked about auditing his enemies and the had nearly 200 meetings with the head of the organization. No evidence whatsoever. None that will be made public at any rate. Executive privilege, you know. The black version of Nixon can't be reproached. Racism, you know.

Posted by: Teapartydoc | Mar 27, 2016 2:39:04 PM

"In all fairness, there is no evidence whatsoever that Obama had anything to do with the IRS misbehavior."

Except of course for everything that happened during and after.

Take the most generous cop out, that Obama didn't know about it until he read the papers. We already know this is an outright fabrication because he uses this excuse often. However, the actions of the IRS continued after Obama claimed he first knew about it. This shows he was OK and even approving of what took place and the continued use of these tactics. Allowing these acts to continue on after knowing about them, shows complicity in the ongoing illegal acts.

Then we can look at how no one was punished and the people involved getting bonuses and promotions. People don't get bonuses and promotions when their bosses are unhappy with what took place.

We can also look at the destruction of evidence and the naming of a new head to the IRS with the explicit intention of stonewalling the investigation. There are no other ways to describe Koskinen than as someone who is stonewalling and obstructing justice.

We could also look at Obama's joking about using IRS audits on dissidents and appeals that a vote for him was a vote to punish his enemies.

In fact, everything about how the Obama administration from the man himself to the Obama IRS and to the Obama DOJ shows unethical and illegal behavior. Behavior like this wouldn't be accepted by the big 3 networks under any other President, except maybe another Democrat President.

We all know why the big 3 doesn't report in this, and a myriad of other scandals about Obama's illegal behaviors, and that is because they are a part of the Democrat party that works for the party bosses just like the IRS and DOJ do.

The Obama era has been one of a massive regression on ethical behavior and governing in good faith, not to mention leaps backwards in race relations as Democrats use institutional racism to marginalize their political enemies. Which is funny because our country's actual enemies get better treatment from Democrats than their fellow citizens who disagree about how socialist our country should be,

Posted by: wodun | Mar 27, 2016 10:06:10 PM

1. The Sixth Circuit opinion fails to cite, much less discuss, the highly relevant and probably dispositive SCOTUS decision in Church of Scientology v. IRS, 484 U.S. 9 (1987). Chief Justice Rehnquist’s discussion at p. 14 is highly relevant to the question decided by Judge Kethledge. Judge Kethledge also fails to cite any of the several decisions of the D.C. and 2d Circuits and numerous district courts, other than Landmark Legal, that hold directly contrary to the NorCal opinion on the very technical “return information” statutory construction issue.

2. It is also noteworthy that the NorCal decision expressly disagreed with the district court’s analysis of the main question presented. (“We therefore hold that 26 U.S.C. § 6103(h)(4)(B) means what it says: only information that is ‘reflected on [a] return’ may be disclosed under section 6103(h)(4)(B); return information that is not reflected on a return may not be. Accord In re United States, 669 F.3d 1333, 1339-40 (Fed. Cir. 2012). The district court was mistaken when it held otherwise.”) Slip op. at 12. In other words, the district court was wrong on the issue presented, and the IRS was right.

3. Despite disagreeing with the district court’s analysis–in other words, AGREEING with the analysis put forth by DOJ on behalf of the IRS in the trial court–the Sixth Circuit unfairly and intemperately criticized the DOJ trial lawyers’ presentation in the district court.

4. Finally, although the Sixth Circuit’s decision is marked to be “reported,” it has not yet been picked up by several of the electronic services. This may be an indication that cooler heads are taking a look at the intemperate penultimate paragraph and that it may be withdrawn before publication. We shall see.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Mar 28, 2016 9:12:23 AM