Paul L. Caron

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 462

IRS Logo 2New York Observer:  Time’s Up for Lois Lerner and the IRS, by Sidney Powell:

On July 10, D.C. federal judge Emmet Sullivan gave the IRS thirty days to provide him sworn declarations in the Freedom of Information Act suit filed by Judicial Watch, seeking much of the same information the IRS has effectively kept from Congress. After an “extraordinary” hearing, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to tell him under oath exactly what happened to Lois Lerner’s hard drive. He demanded sworn declarations specifying what the agency had done to recover the thousands of emails missing. Time’s up.

The IRS filed its “declarations” yesterday. As an attorney who has read the filings and who has written extensively about this dedicated judge in my book Licensed To Lie, I could not in good conscience sign those filings. It’s not that they are false. Oh no, . . .each is very carefully worded to be literally true (hence, not perjurious). But, each says little, answers less, and reveals nothing that would actually lead to recovery of the emails or to anyone’s accountability for their disappearance in any form. In fact, the few pages say less than has already been revealed elsewhere. ...

[S]omeone in the IRS recommended that Lerner’s hard drive be given to an outside technician to retrieve the emails, but instead, it was destroyed. Who made that recommendation? Who over-rode it? Who authorized the destruction of a hard drive containing evidence of correspondence with the White House? How would that excuse work for a taxpayer’s records? Oooops, sorry. That’s a felony. ... The only thing these miserly declarations prove is that IRS has abdicated all responsibility and has no interest in finding the emails. But Judge Emmet Sullivan does.

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Well anon, I'd be insulted if you weren't shooting blanks. I guess any anti-administration conspiracy theory is good enough for you.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 15, 2014 6:10:50 AM

PN, it’s almost laughable how naive/gullible you are. I say almost, because it’s actually disappointing how fully complicit you are to buy the line of malarkey the IRS is selling. Let me guess, “there hasn’t been a smidgeon of corruption because Obama told me so,” right?

Posted by: anon | Aug 14, 2014 1:16:33 PM

Mr. Powell: 1. “Someone” in the IRS recommended that Lerner’s hard-drive be given to an outside source to attempt retrieval of emails, but instead it was destroyed. Did you really raad the sworn declarations? Who is this “someone?” All government agencies do cost-benefit analysis before engaging extraordinary costs. When internal IRS IT techs said nothing was recoverable using ordinary recovery programs and some extraordinary techniques, why spend the money to recover emails of no apparent value, beyond the ordinary?

2. In every bureaucratic organization known to man, there is always “someone” who makes a recommendation, which with 20/20 hindsight, if accepted and acted upon would have avoided mitigated the screwup the organization is currently dealing with. After all, Admiral Nagumo recommended against attacking Pearl Harbor, but . . .; “someone” on the WH national security staff recommended that F-15s be available to protect New York from attack by Al Queda. What matters is the strength and validity and reasoning of the recommendation at the time it is made. Looking back at the Lerner hard-drive failure, at a time when IRS was experiencing approximately 2,000 hard-drive failures annually and sharply declining budget authority, why spend extraordinary amounts of time, money, or energy on this particular one?

3. “Who authorized the destruction of a hard drive containing evidence of correspondence with the White House?” Kind of begs the question, doesn’t it? So far, the IRS has retrieved approximately 67,000 emails from the periods of time relevant or remotely relevant to the 501(c)(4) “targeting” allegations. Of these 67,000 emails, 24,000 are from the time period of the hard-drive failure; the declarations filed by the IRS explain that these 24,000 emails were obtained by going to the hard-drives of 82 individuals with whom Lerner communicated during the relevant time frame, and retrieving emails on which Lerner was the sender, recipient, CC, or BCC. That seems to me to be a procedure reasonably calculated to locate relevant emails. The hard-drives of the Executive Office of the White House have also been checked for communications with Lerner. Not one email of the 67,000, nor any of the hard-drives of the EOWH indicates any communication between Lerner and the White House. What is your evidence that such communications occurred?

4. “How would that excuse work for a taxpayer’s records?” This question is utterly irrelevant, as any trial lawyer would and should know.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 14, 2014 6:50:27 AM