Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 402

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal editorial:  The IRS Loses Lerner's Emails (And Other News That the Beltway Press Corps Won't Cover):

The IRS—remember those jaunty folks?—announced Friday that it can't find two years of emails from Lois Lerner to the Departments of Justice or Treasury. And none to the White House or Democrats on Capitol Hill. An agency spokesman blames a computer crash.

Never underestimate government incompetence, but how convenient. The former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations was at the center of the IRS targeting of conservative groups and still won't testify before Congress. Now we'll never know whose orders she was following, or what directions she was giving. If the Reagan White House had ever offered up this excuse, John Dingell would have held the entire government in contempt.

The suspicion that this is willful obstruction of Congress is all the more warranted because this week we also learned that the IRS, days before the 2010 election, shipped a 1.1 million page database about tax-exempt groups to the FBI. ...

New IRS Commissioner John Koskinen promised to cooperate with Congress. But either he is being undermined by his staff, or he's aiding the agency's stonewalling. And now that we know that Justice was canoodling with Ms. Lerner, its own dilatory investigation becomes easier to understand. Or maybe that was a computer crash too.&

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It's hard to imagine how this situation would appear any different if the administration had intended to evade the law and cover up their actions.

A more charitable explanation is that they didn't even consider the possibility that their actions against conservative groups might be illegal until after the fact. Yet this administration has felt free to act extra-legally and openly in modifying health care law and immigration law to suit its preferences. So why did the administration even bother covering up the IRS action? They can still rely on the press to quash any criticism as long as a Democrat is President.

Posted by: AMT buff | Jun 15, 2014 10:47:35 AM