TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1311:  The IRS 'Scandal' Was Part Of GOP's Strategy To Bog Down Obama Administration

IRS Logo 2Salon, Tom Cotton and Trey Gowdy Vow Vigilance Over the Trump Administration — No, Seriously, Stop Laughing:

Considering how the Republican Party has fallen in line behind Donald Trump over the last few months, does anyone seriously think that this will ever amount to anything? The Chicago Tribune recently reported on Thursday:

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. . . . agreed that House and Senate committees must keep close tabs on Donald Trump’s new government starting next year — not because they want to stick it to a man that neither originally endorsed for president, but because doing so would help rebalance power between the three branches of government.

Sure thing. And I’ve got a bridge over the Potomac to sell you. ...

[A]fter the partisanship of the last eight years, why would anyone give Gowdy or Cotton the benefit of the doubt? Gowdy can complain all he wants about the deeply unfair perception, as he put it in remarks on Tuesday to a room full of Cotton’s fundraisers, that any subpoenas sent to Hillary Clinton or contempt-of-Congress votes held on former IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner were “politicized.” But that perception existed because the investigations that Congress conducted into the Benghazi tragedy and the IRS “scandal” were in fact part of the GOP strategy to bog down the Obama administration and harm Clinton’s presidential ambitions.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/12/the-irs-scandal-day-1311the-irs-scandal-was-part-of-gops-strategy-to-bog-down-obama-administration.html

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Comments

Let's see, Constitutionally-sanctioned investigation of bureaucratic viewpoint discrimination against the minority party, false statements before Congressional investigators, destruction of subpoenaed documents after they were subpoenaed, and apparent violations of the U.S. Criminal Code = "bogging down the Obama Administration"?

I can't be the only thinking adult who sees absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of oversight. Like Secretary Clinton's email affair, if Executive Branch officials didn't want to be investigated, maybe they shouldn't have intentionally committed malfeasance to this extent...

Posted by: MM | Dec 10, 2016 11:30:34 AM

Wow, the left is really going nuts. The author's entire point seems to be..."Arrrg!, Why aren't the republicans in Congress investigating Trump yet!!!"

The fact that Trump isn't president yet and, therefore, hasn't done anything seems to have escaped him.

Posted by: sigh | Dec 10, 2016 3:02:17 PM

We have already seen Republicans take hard stances with Trump. We never saw Democrats hold Obama, Hillary, or their own party accountable for anything.

Posted by: wodun | Dec 10, 2016 8:43:48 PM

There is a critical difference between the Benghazi investigation and the IRS "scandal" investigation. The Republicons openly admitted that Benghazi was intended to take down Hillary Clinton's favorability ratings. None of the Republicons investigating the IRS was as honest as Rep. McCarthy.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 11, 2016 12:41:55 PM

Actually no, the Republicans didn't openly admit that. The Democrats (and the media) interpreted the remarks of one congressman, who wasn't even on the committee, as saying that but that's not the same thing.

And if I recall correctly, the congressman in question was asked if the Republicans were willing to fight for anything or if they were going to just roll over for the Democrats. The example he gave of fighting back was the Benghazi Select Committee, which was able to show how dishonest the administration had been. The effect of pointing out that dishonesty…was a reduction in Clinton’s poll numbers. Pointing out an effect isn’t the same as saying that was the reason it was created.

If the administration hadn’t under-protected the men in Benghazi and then wantonly lied about it there wouldn’t have been anything to investigate. If Hillary hadn’t set up an email system to systematically violate FOIA, the IG, Congressional oversight, and the Federal Records Retention Act – and in so doing to violate 18 U.S.C Sec. 793(e &f) – there wouldn’t have been anything for the FBI to investigate. If the IRS hadn’t systematically stalled hundreds of conservative non-profits and then lied about it, there wouldn’t have been anything to investigate. You see the trend…

In all these cases, Democrats acted…and then had a chance to respond before any investigation ever started. In each one there was a significant and tangible action/event…not an accusation but a tangible and indisputable event. In each one the initial story (or stories) were palpably false. The Democrats have no one to blame for these investigations but themselves.

Posted by: sigh | Dec 11, 2016 5:44:03 PM

Publius Nadler,

As I recall, in addition to confirming that the State Dept. bureaucracy lacked the competence to adequately respond to a situation like Benghazi, the other major revelation was Secretary Clinton's use of an unauthorized private email server to conduct all electronic State Dept. business, including the mishandlng of Confidential, Top Secret, and Special Access Level classified national security information.

I'll admit that the GOP had partisan reasons for investigating, but nobody knew the Secretary Clinton was conducting country's foreign policy in such an incompetant fashion.

So, per your usual line of reasoning, the public of course had absolutely no right to know about any of this, correct?

Posted by: MM | Dec 12, 2016 7:45:41 AM