No sooner did President Obama claim last week the IRS scandal was just a mirage than new evidence emerged to show it was anything but.
The conservative group Judicial Watch says documents it obtained “confirm” the agency targeted the donors of certain tax-exempt organizations. And the Government Accountability Office faulted IRS procedures, saying they failed to prevent bias in the selection of nonprofits for audits. That’s key, since the agency has been accused of targeting conservative groups. ...
Of course, the biggest scandal of all is that Team Obama has managed to stonewall and leave the public hanging. And that no one has been held accountable.
So the latest in the interminable IRS scandal now on Day  by TaxProf Count is that President Obama has said in an interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show that there is no scandal involving the targeting of conservatives. What he sees as scandalous is the underfunding of the IRS which allows people to avoid paying taxes they legitimately owe and the complexity of the Tax Code which allows multinational corporations to entirely avoid paying federal income tax.
The President’s explanation of the targeting scandal is that Congress had passed a crummy law that did not give good guidance and that people did a poor job of trying to sort out conflicting demands. After all government is a human enterprise.
Supporters of the scandal narrative can, of course, point out many particulars that are not addressed in the President’s statement – hard drives, the TIGTA report that indicated inappropriate criteria were used. On the other hand they have yet to come up with that really great smoking gun piece of evidence that links the President to all the tsoris that Lois Lerner and the Cincinnati gang that couldn’t sort straight dished out to Tea Party applicants for exempt status. Too bad that the President watched the Watergate hearings when he was a kid and knows better than to have damning tapes like the one I imagined back in January.
If the smoking gun is actually ever found, this interview might go down in history as Obama’s “I did not have sexual relation with that woman” moment.
From a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington on Wednesday. The judge is questioning Justice Department attorney Geoffrey Klimas about his explanation of why the government hadn’t filed a motion for him to reconsider his order to produce the emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner being sought by the watchdog group Judicial Watch:
The Court: Wait a minute. Why would it have been inappropriate if you said it’s clear that the Court had issued an oral order? And we’ve said that—I’ve said that four times. If it was clear that there was an order outstanding, why would it have been inappropriate for the government to file a motion to reconsider that clear oral order? I don’t get it.
Mr. Klimas: To clarify, it was our understanding that there was a directive from the Court that was going to be followed up with a written order. It appears—
The Court: An order to be followed up by an order?
Mr. Klimas: It appears that the understanding was misplaced.
The Court: So you needed two orders to have a clearly enforceable order? You don’t need two orders to have a clearly enforceable order, do you?
Mr. Klimas: No, Your Honor.
The Court: So there’s no reason for not complying. This is ridiculous. This is absurd. I thought you were going to say that you didn’t think the Court had issued an oral order, but that’s not what you’re saying. It’s clear from the transcript that the Court had clearly ordered rolling production on a weekly 11 a.m. basis. So why shouldn’t the Court hold the Commissioner of the IRS in contempt for not having complied with a clearly enforceable order?