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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1344:  Democrats Remind Jeff Sessions AG Enforces 'Every Law,' Yet Were Silent When DOJ Declined To Prosecute Lois Lerner

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Western Journalism Review, Democrats Remind Jeff Sessions AG Enforces 'Every Law,' They Were Silent These 7 Times Under Obama:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reminded Sessions and America that the Attorney General must enforce every law, regardless of the nation's top law enforcement official's views on those laws. ...

While it's absolutely imperative that Sessions uphold the rule of law if he's confirmed, that charge is a little hypocritical as President Obama's Attorney Generals ignored laws that went against the Obama Administration's agenda.

Here are seven times Obama's Attorney Generals side-stepped the law. ...

3. DOJ Concluded IRS Scrutiny Of Tea Party Groups Wasn't Politically Motivated, Despite Evidence To The Contrary

On October 23, 2015, the Department of Justice announced that it would not bring charges against Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official who was at the center of the conservative targeting controversy.

The IRS admitted to inappropriately targeting groups with the words “patriot” or “tea party” in their names for increased scrutiny of their tax-exempt applications.

Lerner, who oversaw the tax-exempt section of the IRS, denied that the targeting was politically motivated and DOJ announced that it concluded the IRS's actions were not politically motivated. In a letter to Congress, Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said:

We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Republicans blasted the IRS when it was discovered that 24,000 of Lerner's emails were lost and could not be recovered.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/01/the-irs-scandal-day-1344democrats-remind-jeff-sessions-ag-enforces-every-law-yet-were-silent-when-do.html

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Comments

Since the DOJ coordinated with Lerner as early as 2010 in the witchhunt that eventually became the targeting scandal, it's no surprise they'd bury the case without making any of the evidence of their investigations public. Hence the need for an independent special prosecutor...

Posted by: MM | Jan 12, 2017 7:38:10 AM

Reader warning: According to Media Bias Fact Check, Independent Journal Review is a media source that is highly biased toward conservative causes; it utilizes strong loaded words, publishes misleading reports, and omits information that may damage conservative causes. Just saying.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 12, 2017 10:25:41 AM

And now Obama's DOJ is going after Comey when they should have appointed a special prosecutor to look into Hillary's shenanigans from the beginning.

Posted by: wodun | Jan 12, 2017 2:34:58 PM

Reader warning: Publius Nadler's go-to position since the very beginning of the IRS targeting investigation almost 4 years ago has been to attack any press outlet he deems unworthy for merely reporting on the story, to deny some of the basic facts, timeline of events, etc. as well as to make false, and in some cases, dishonest statements regarding the IRS' behavior in this matter.

Additionally, he is on record arguing quite strongly and quite often against Congressional oversight of the IRS specifically, and against government transparency generally. I'll quote just one example, regarding the investigation of Lerner, from another thread:

"Please spare me the 'public has a right to know' stuff." - Publius Novus 10/5/16
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/the-irs-scandal-day-1241.html

That quote should precede every comment he makes on this story, for as long as it's covered on this very excellent blog, and should inform every open-minded person who's followed the story exactly where he's coming from. No matter what new information is made available to the public, his verdict was set in stone the day this story broke...

Posted by: MM | Jan 12, 2017 7:16:04 PM

Thank you , MM. Apparently, Publius should be bias fact-checked as well.

While I understand his eagerness to smear the source of discomforting stories, we should all realize that many (if not all) news sources have their own built-in biases.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jan 13, 2017 5:03:32 AM

Media Bias Fact Check has only been around for a year or two so it doesn't have too much of a track record. Looking over their ratings, however, left me unimpressed. And as for the " it utilizes strong loaded words, publishes misleading reports, and omits information that may damage conservative causes" that's just boilerplate that MBFC lists for all right wing sources (and left wing sources) not to IJR in particular. In fact the site doesn't list any nonfactual reporting by any of the sites they list on the left or right so you don't know how they make their conclusions.

They do appear to view left wing Politifact as the gold standard of unbiased fact checking, however, so take it for what it's worth.

Posted by: sigh | Jan 13, 2017 6:26:42 AM

Mr. MM: Your Oct. 5, 2016 quotation is accurate, but as usual, taken out of context. The statement was made in connection with your baseless suggestion that DOJ was malfeasant in not investigating LLerner thru a grand jury and mine that: 1) you didn’t know that for a fact; 2) such matters are not ever public because of Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e) and 26 U.S.C. § 6103; and 3) the foregoing rule and law apply to protect everyone, even Lerner and Trump. The fact-checker would give you 4.5 Pinocchios–true, but misleading.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 13, 2017 6:47:51 AM

BTW Mr. MM: Do you purchase your clever nicknames from the Trump transition team or make them up in your fourth grade class?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 13, 2017 6:48:08 AM

Note that Mr. Publius never pointed to any facts or specifics in the article above to take issue with. He merely attacked the source, which I don't personally vouch for, because he didn't like it's conclusion. He then qualified that attack by citing another source, whereby I found the following:

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/independent-journal-review/

"The Independent Journal Review is an American news website founded in 2012. It has over 35 million visitors a month, making it one of the top fifty websites in the United States (Wikipedia). Has significant right wing bias and is not always factual."

Like Mr. Publius, this alleged fact-checking site does not list any actual examples of "not always factual" reporting. It just puts forth an opinion that the source cannot be trusted, without any substantiation whatsoever that I can find. All of which just serves to illustrate that some folks don't let critical thinking get in the way of their ideology.

Lazy. Predictable. Sophomoric. But very progressive...

Posted by: MM | Jan 13, 2017 1:17:05 PM

"Do you purchase your clever nicknames from the Trump transition team or make them up in your fourth grade class?"

Ad hominem aside, I'll qualify the nickname:

"We need a Democratic House & Senate so we don't waste time on [Clinton] investigations that will go nowhere." - Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) 10/31/16
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/31/

You heard that right: Voters should reward the Democratic Party with a complete monopoly over the federal government, in the White House, the Congress, and presumably the Supreme Court, for the express purpose of burying any and all investigations into their flawless candidate. despite clear evidence of false statements to Congress, influence peddling via the State Department, and compromising national security by intentionally mishandling confidential, top secret, and SAP level classified information.

In short, a complete abrogation of the concept of checks & balances. Which is the best encapsulation I've seen of Mr. Publius' way of thinking by an elected official.

Posted by: MM | Jan 13, 2017 1:32:59 PM

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