Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 776

IRS Logo 2New York Observer:  A Shameless IRS Is STILL Withholding Lois Lerner Emails, by Sidney Powell:

In the continuing saga of the IRS, the Department of Justice, and their efforts to hide evidence and obstruct justice to protect Lois Lerner and the administration’s targeting of its political opposition, the IRS now claims that thousands of emails found on backup tapes Commissioner Koskinen told Congress did not exist are not IRS records, the IRS has no control over them, and they can’t produce them. In fact, the IRS won’t even say whether it has the thousands of additional “lost” emails. And down the rabbit hole we head—where “up means down” and “stop means go.”

Knowledge of Ms. Lerner’s abuse of power within the IRS to target conservative groups for harassment and denials of tax-exempt status surfaced more than two years ago, along with apparent links to the White House. Congress has been investigating, but the IRS has repeatedly lied and stonewalled. The Treasury Inspector General issued a report, acknowledging the abuse and improprieties and is now in the midst of a criminal investigation. The Department of Justice has done nothing.

In one of its more stunning developments, IRS asserted that Lois Lerner’s computer had crashed, preventing any ability to recover her emails. Even more shocking, soon the claimed crashed expanded to everyone in the IRS who was involved with Lerner—more than 20 computers. Of course, we all knew that there are backups and copies on servers, Blackberry, and other devices.

Nonetheless, Commissioner Koskinen told Congress that the IRS did not have backup tapes of Lois Lerner’s emails. He claimed the IRS had worked hard to try to find them, but they had been destroyed.

Watchdog non-profit Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that landed in the court of federal judge Emmett G. Sullivan. ... [T]he Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) belied Mr. Koskinen’s claims within a day—finding the first 744 “non-existent” backup tapes containing thousands of emails exactly where they should have been. Upon further review, the Inspector General identified a missing document, which quickly led to an additional 424 tapes of backup emails—all from the IT department of the IRS in West Virginia. Mr. Koskinen had not even asked them about the tapes.

The Department of Justice did nothing. Many people have been prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned for far less in the way of perjury. ...

Now, according to the most recent filing by Judicial Watch, the IRS asserts that the emails are not records of the IRS. Being a Texan, I’m not 100 percent sure how to pronounce it, but “chutzpah” is the only word to describe this latest assertion. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”

The IRS and its Department of Justice lawyers must be imagining that these emails were not repeatedly sought by Congress and Judicial Watch while in the possession of the IRS. The IRS must be imagining that its own commissioner never lied to Congress, the court and the public about their existence and purported efforts to find them. And it must be imagining that each of its seven filings in Judge Sullivan’s court did not fail to reveal the existence of the backup tapes. It must be imagining that Judge Sullivan won’t remember the lengths to which he and the magistrate went to try to find the emails and any backups. And it is imagining that it can continue stalling and lying indefinitely, while no one in the government is held accountable for far more serious legal infractions than those for which ordinary citizens have been imprisoned.

It took Judge Sullivan only two days to grant Judicial Watch’s request to require IRS to disclose whether all emails the inspector general found have been turned over to the IRS, where it stands in the review process, and how many of the 1,268 tapes have been processed for recovery or when that process will be complete.

Stunningly, in its response the IRS again said nothing. It simply punted to the Inspector General. It claims that because of that investigation, it cannot disclose more Lois Lerner or other emails. It just stalls. ...

If the IRS won’t provide information, set and meet a deadline, perhaps Judge Sullivan will turn to the Inspector General to answer his questions. If neither does, Judge Sullivan still has the option of naming a special prosecutor.

President Obama was right when he said there isn’t “a smidgeon of corruption in the IRS.” Rather, it is rife with it. Someone needs to end the madness, and teach the IRS that stop means stop.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/06/the-irs-scandal-day-774.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

Time to put Koskinen in a jail cell to contemplate his navel and learn how to improve on his "failure to communicate". And keep him there until the IRS becomes completely forthcoming.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jun 24, 2015 5:16:27 AM

Give Koskinen twenty whacks with a rattan cane on his bum, Singapore-style, with a warning that more is in the offing for him AND his underlings (assuming he survives it) if his agency doesn't straighten up.

Posted by: Blacque Jacques Shellacque | Jun 24, 2015 8:34:02 PM

I agree with ruralcounsel. Someone needs to go to jail for contempt of court here. The head of the IRS should be summonded to the court, and if he doesn't show, the lawyer who does can be jailed instead until he does.

And once he's in there, he only gets out when the documents are produced.

Posted by: scrubone | Jun 24, 2015 9:43:08 PM

Leave it to the Obama administration to finally give "smidgeon" a bad name. Reagen was president in "1984" and was not conversant in Newspeak.

Posted by: Terry Greene | Jun 24, 2015 10:50:15 PM

It is shocking and amazing that the MSM refuses to cover this huge scandal. Are they ideological sheep protecting the Obama administration? Sure looks like it. Imagine if this happened under a Republican president. It'd be "news" 24/7, 365. Simply shocking how in the tank the media have become.

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Jun 25, 2015 5:41:26 AM