The Pronk Pops Show 285, June 25, 2014, Story 3: IRS Credibility Problem In Free Fall — Cover-Up and Stonewalling Continues — Republicans Are Still Not Asking The Right Questions To The Right Witnesses (IRS IT Supervisors) — Provide Us The Server Hard Drive Copies of Lois Lerner’s Emails — House Select Committee Needed Months Ago! — Games People Play — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 285 June 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 284: June 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 283: June 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 282: June 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 281: June 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 280: June 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 279: June 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 278: June 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 277: June 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 276: June 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 275: June 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 274: June 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 273: June 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 272: June 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Story 3: IRS Credibility Problem In Free Fall — Cover-Up and Stonewalling Continues — Republicans Are Still Not Asking The Right Questions To The Right Witnesses (IRS IT Supervisors) — Provide Us The Server Hard Drive Copies of Lois Lerner’s Emails — House Select Committee Needed Months Ago! —  Games People Play — Videos

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501(c)4 copyobama-lois-lerner-fifth-amendment1-540x368Lois Lerner takes the 5th

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IRS SCANDAL

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EV 10 Process Diagram -Exchange Server Archiving (July 2012)

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Joe South – Games people play

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers
Till they’re covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limousine

[Chorus:]
La-da da da da da da da
La-da da da da da de
Talking ’bout you and me
And the games people play

Oh we make one another cry
Break a heart then we say goodbye
Cross our hearts and we hope to die
That the other was to blame

Neither one will give in
So we gaze at our eight by ten
Thinking ’bout the things that might have been
It’s a dirty rotten shame

[Chorus]

People walking up to you
Singing glory hallelulia
And they’re tryin to sock it to you
In the name of the Lord

They’re gonna teach you how to meditate
Read your horoscope, cheat your faith
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

[Chorus]

Look around tell me what you see
What’s happening to you and me
God grant me the serenity
To remember who I am

Cause you’ve given up your sanity
For your pride and your vanity
Turns you sad on humanity
And you don’t give a da da da da da

Timeline on IRS Targeting Scandal and Suppression of Freedom of Speech and Assembly

first_amendment

State of the Union Address – 2010 – Citizens United

Obama Blasts Supreme Court Ruling

Obama on Citizens United Ruling

Obama On IRS Scandal ‘ I Have Got No Patience ‘ For It

Obama: Not ‘even a smidgen of corruption’ in IRS scandal; Blames Fox News & Conservative groups

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 1 of 3

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 2 of 3

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 3 of 3

 

What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United

Money in Politics

3 Reasons Not To Sweat The “Citizens United” SCOTUS Ruling

Story of Citizens United v. FEC, The Critique

Obama’s SOTU Citizens United LIE explained

New Questions Raised About IRS Data Storage Contract

IRS Scandal ‘lost emails’ ➡Smoking gun-Tech company Sonasoft says it backed up IRS servers

IRS Scandal – Smoking Gun? – Sonasoft: IRS Uses Us To Backup Their Servers – Fox & Friends

SonaVault Email Archiving Overview

Sonasoft delivers a new generation of email archiving solutions. SonaVault is a stand-alone, software based, powerful and comprehensive email archiving solution for Microsoft Exchange Server 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010.

SonaVault Email Archiving & eDiscovery Demo

Exchange 2010 Archiving vs SonaVault Email Archiving from Sonasoft

Trey Gowdy OWNS IRS Commissioner John Koskinen | Trey Gowdy VS Irs Commissioner

Rep. Jim Jordan

IRS Commissioner: No One Has Been Fired Who Was Involved In Lerner Email Loss Scandal

 

Rep. Paul Gosar Compares Obama IRS Scandal to Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment

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IRS Scandal – IRS Chief Koskinen To Testify Before House Oversight CMTE – Happening Now

IRS commissioner to testify in missing email scandal

Jay Sekulow Spoke with Fox News: IRS Scandal & Missing Emails

Mica on IRS Obstruction-Lois Lerner’s Missing E-mails

FOX News — IRS Scandal

IRS Scandal – Lost IRS Email – Special Report All Star

IRS Scandal – Shapiro: The Obama Administration Works Like Like A Mafia Organization – Kelly File

IRS Scandal – Tale Of The Missing Emails – IRS Chief Faces Grilling On Capitol Hill – Journal

IT Experts: IRS Lies About Lost Emails

Senator Cruz Accuses Obama And Holder Of Conspiring To Use The I.R.S. As A Weapon

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NON Profit Groups Involved in Politics – Should IRS Challenge these NON PROFITS?

What exactly is a 501(c)(4)?

IRS’s Tea-Party AUDIT: Explaining a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)

Emails Expose Lois Lerner’s Lies About IRS’s Processing of Application For Tax Exemption

The Band Perry – You Lie

IRS Wanted Lois Lerner Emails To Disappear

 

Scandal: The IRS canceled a contract with an email storage contractor weeks after Lois Lerner reported lost personal files and before other IRS officials had their hard drives crash as Tea Party-targeting investigations began.

Timing is everything, the saying goes, and sometimes the timing of events is also very curious, as in the case of the lost emails of Lerner and at least six other officials at the very same time the IRS canceled its contract to back up and preserve those emails as required by federal law.

Lerner’s computer supposedly crashed in June 2011, an alleged event the IRS concealed from the American public and congressional investigators for two years.

This event, which cannot be verified because her hard drive has since been destroyed and recycled, occurred just 10 days after House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups.

This shouldn’t have been a problem because, as the Daily Caller reports, the IRS had a contract beginning in 2005 with Sonasoft, an email-archiving company based in San Jose, Calif.

The company advertises that it provides “Email Archiving Done Right” and “Point-Click Recovery” and in a 2009 tweet boasted: “The IRS uses Sonasoft to back up their servers, why wouldn’t you choose them to protect your servers?”

Perhaps this is what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was referring to when in March testimony before the House Oversight Committee he assured Rep. Jason Chaffetz that the reason requested emails were difficult to provide was that IRS emails “get taken off and stored in servers.”

Later we would be told that the emails were lost forever and, as we noted, Koskinen was lying in March, when he said they were somewhere, or in June, when he said they were nowhere to be found. Let us ponder another possibility: that the emails were taken off and stored in Sonasoft servers, emails that would be deleted when the IRS contract for their storage ended. They were not lost, but, in effect, deliberately destroyed.

As John Hinderaker points out on his Powerline blog, it makes sense that Sonasoft might have deleted records it was no longer obligated to keep and that indeed it may have felt it was required to do so.

It also makes sense that the IRS knew and wanted that to happen. That Sonasoft was storing emails from the IRS Tea Party-targeting periods may have been the reason that Lerner mentioned only the loss of “personal files” and not any emails.

Sonasoft’s fiscal 2011 contract with the IRS ended Aug. 31, 2011. Eight days later, and about a month after Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed, the IRS officially severed its relationship with Sonasoft.

Three months later, IRS official Nikole Flax, who visited the White House more than 30 times, had her computer crash with a similar loss of critical emails, something that afflicted at least half-a-dozen IRS officials in a chain of events that defies logic and the smell test.

Hinderaker has a suggestion that also makes sense: “It wouldn’t hurt for a House committee to lay a subpoena on Sonasoft to learn more about the IRS’ dealings with that company and make certain that it doesn’t still have any IRS records.”

As we have suggested, it would also make sense to subpoena the emails received by anyone on Lerner’s contact list. The recipients would have copies of the emails they received from Lerner, incriminating emails whose destruction would be obstruction of justice to cover up a criminal conspiracy.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/062314-705857-irs-cancelled-sonasoft-email-backup-contract.htm#ixzz35bIuEIub
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/062314-705857-irs-cancelled-sonasoft-email-backup-contract.htm

IRS CANCELLED Contract with Email-Storage Firm Weeks After Lerner’s Computer Crash

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cancelled its longtime relationship with an email-storage contractor just weeks after ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer crashed and shortly before other IRS officials’ computers allegedly crashed.

The IRS signed a contract with Sonasoft, an email-archiving company based in San Jose, California, each year from 2005 to 2010. The company, which partners with Microsoft and counts The New York Times among its clients, claims in its company slogans that it provides “Email Archiving Done Right” and “Point-Click Recovery.” Sonasoft in 2009 tweeted, “If the IRS uses Sonasoft products to backup their servers why wouldn’t you choose them to protect your servers?”

Sonasoft was providing “automatic data processing” services for the IRS throughout the January 2009 to April 2011 period in which Lerner sent her missing emails.

But Sonasoft’s six-year business relationship with the IRS came to an abrupt end at the close of fiscal year 2011, as congressional investigators began looking into the IRS conservative targeting scandal and IRS employees’ computers started crashing left and right.

Sonasoft’s fiscal year 2011 contract with the IRS ended on August 31, 2011. Eight days later, the IRS officially closed out its relationship with Sonasoft in accordance with the federal government’s contract close-out guidelines, which require agencies to fully audit their contracts and to get back any money that wasn’t used by the contractor. Curiously, the IRS de-allocated 36 cents when it closed out its contract with Sonasoft on September 8, 2011.

Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in June 2011, just ten days after House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups. Two months later, Sonasoft’s contract ended and the IRS gave its email-archiving contractor the boot.

IRS official and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax allegedly suffered her own computer crash in December 2011, three months after the IRS ended its relationship with Sonasoft.

Here’s a Sonasoft commercial re-enacting how the company quickly and thoroughly saves its clients’ emails after computer crashes:

IRS chief scorched as ‘liar’

‘We are sick and tired of your game playing’

By Garth Kant

 

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wasted no time in accusing the head of the IRS of lying to Congress, unloading a blistering barrage of accusations at a Monday night hearing.

“At a minimum, you did not tell the whole truth,” during previous testimony, Issa told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, scornfully adding, “We are wondering what your word is worth.”

In his opening statement, Issa flatly told Koskinen he had given false testimony by promising to provide all emails of former IRS tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner, while knowing two years of those emails were actually missing.

“You promised to produce documents,” he said. “You did not.”

“The committee requested all of Lois Lerner’s emails over a year ago,” said the chairman, noting the emails had been subpoenaed in August 2013 and again in February 2014. But, Issa accused, “You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.”

Issa acknowledged Koskinen did not “personally did not destroy the emails. But by your actions and your deception, you now own this scandal.”

In a stunning admission under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Koskinen divulged that the IRS made no effort to recover Lerner’s email archive from the six month backups after her initial computer problems in June of 2011.

Koskinen had informed the committee that emails were not backed-up on a server, but on a tape that recorded emails for only six months.

So, Chaffetz simply asked, “When Lois Lerner figured out on June 13th (2011) that her computer crashed, and there have been emails showing that she was going to great lengths to try to get that recovered, why didn’t they just go to that six month tape?”

“Because that six month tape is a disaster recovery tape that has all of the emails on it and is a very complicated tape to actually extract emails for, but I have not seen any emails to explain why they didn’t do it, so it would be difficult, but I don’t know why,” replied the IRS boss.

“Did anybody try?” asked Chaffetz.

“I have no idea or indication that they did,” admitted Koskinen.

An incredulous Chaffetz then recounted, “So you have multiple emails showing she was trying to recover this, it’s the testimony of the IRS that they were trying desperately, in fact you got a forensic team to try to extract this, you went to great lengths, you made a big point over the last week about all the efforts you’re going through, but they were backed up on tape, and you didn’t do it?”

“As far as I know they did not,” the head of the IRS.

Earlier, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, made a remark even more pointed than Issa’s accusation of lying, subtly suggesting during a heated exchange that Koskinen himself might come under investigation at some point.

Noting that the IRS learned about the loss of nearly two year’s worth of Lerner’s emails back in February, but had not informed Congress until ten days ago, Jordan wondered out loud, “At one point does it become obstruction of justice?”

“After days, weeks, or months?”

Jordan and other committee members were also tremendously frustrated that Koskinen continually maintained that he could not even remember who at the IRS told them about two years worth of missing emails.

The congressman was livid when the commissioner said his excuse was the IRS was in the “middle of filing season” in April.

When Jordan pointed out that the IRS informed Congress by burying the announcement of the missing emails on page 7 of a lengthy document on a Friday, Koskinen corrected him, saying it was page 5.

“Page 5!” Jordan yelled in mock-amazement, causing laughter to ripple through the hearing room. “Ridiculous,” he added.

Jordan also asked why Koskinen did not inform the FBI or the Justice Department of such an important find in a major investigation.

The IRS chief said that was because criminal charges had not been filed.

Issa later reminded him, for the record, that the Ways and Means Committee had referred four criminal counts against Lerner to the Justice Department.

Issa began the hearing by playing a video of Koskinen’s previous appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on March 26, 2014.

The video contained a montage of GOP committee members demanding that Koskinen produce all of Lerner’s emails, including “every single email in the time period in the subpoena.”

“Will you commit to provide all those emails?” asked Jordan on the video.

“Yes, we will do that,” answered Koskinen, adding, “We never said we would not provide all the emails.”

Also in the video, GOP committee members stressed how crucial those emails were. They explained that was because Lerner had refused to testify before Congress (after invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination), making her emails the only records of her activities during the period she admitted to improperly targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

After the video, Issa told the IRS chief, “We are sick and tired of your game playing.”

Issa later asked if Koskinen was aware on March 26, when he previously testified, that Lerner’s hard drive had crashed in June of 2011.

When Koskinen replied “No,” Issa asked if his IT people were aware of it, and the top tax man said, “Yes.”

Later, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., reminded Koskinen that in his testimony Friday before the Ways and Means Committee, he acknowledged the IRS learned there was some kind of problem in February, because they had not found nearly as many of Lerner’s emails as they would have expected, in that time period.

Koskinen said the IRS knew in February but claimed he did not learn until April.

But, under further questioning, he admitted he did know there was an “issue” but did not know how serious a problem it was in February.

DeSantis remarked that did not seem like completely candid testimony.

Under questioning by a Democrat, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., Koskinen issued a statement that stopped lawmakers in their tracks, claiming he believed that all of Lerner’s emails would be recovered.

Issa was so struck by the remark he interrupted to make sure he had heard correctly, asking Koskinen if he meant to say “all” of her emails or just “some?”

“All,” the IRS boss affirmed.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. took to task Koskinen for claiming there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing before all the facts had been gathered.

“You have already said, multiple times today, that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy said. “I want you to tell me, What criminal statutes you have evaluated?”

“I have not looked at any,” the IRS commissioner admitted.

“Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there is no criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” a stunned Gowdy asked.

“Because I’ve seen no evidence that anyone consciously…” the IRS chief attempted to assert.

“Well how would you know what elements of the crime existed? You don’t even know what statutes are in play,” Gowdy continued, becoming more agitated. “I’m going to ask you again: What statutes have you evaluated?”

“I think you can rely on common sense,” said Koskinen.

“Common sense? Instead of the criminal code, you want to rely on common sense? No, Mr. Koskinen, you can shake your head all you want to, commissioner. You have said today that there’s no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and I’m asking you what criminal statutes you have reviewed to reach that conclusion.”

“I reviewed no criminal statutes,” said the commissioner.

Just before taking the hot seat in front of the committee, Koskinen spoke with WND, and the commissioner revealed the IRS had a plan to try to recover Lerner’s emails.

The IRS chief said the Treasury Department is now searching archives to see if it can find Lerner’s two years of missing emails.

After Koskinen sad the IRS only backs up six months worth of emails, WND asked if the same problem could happen again?

When Koskinen replied yes, WND asked if that wasn’t a fundamental problem, given the IRS requires taxpayers to keep seven years worth of records?

After admitting that was true, he then revealed the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, was now looking into the archives to see if they could recover anything.

Koskinen said he notified TIGTA 10 days ago.

The commissioner also told WND that the company Sonasoft, which had a contract to archive IRS emails, was responsible only for the office of the Chief Counsel’s email, covering some 3,000 employees, not the entire agency.

When the subject of Sonasoft came up during the hearing, Issa asked Koskinen why the IRS did not have a reliable backup system.

The IRS chief said the estimated cost of $10-to-30 million was too much.

Expressing disbelief, Issa said, given the IRS’s $1.8 billion IT budget, should that not have been a priority?

“If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities,” testily retorted Koskinen.

However, Rep. Scott Desjarlais, R-Tenn. pointed out that $10-to-30 million was not much compared to the $89 million the IRS paid in bonuses last year, including $1 million to employees who actually owed back taxes.

The rare evening hearing was convened following a dramatic revelation 10 days ago when the IRS claimed to learn in February that Lerner’s hard drive had crashed on, or around, June 13, 2011 – exactly three years earlier.

The IRS claimed the crash caused the loss of28 months of Lerner’s emails sent to addresses outside the IRS, from roughly mid-2009 to mid-2011, a crucial period for investigators.

Lerner’s emails to people outside the IRS are particularly important because she contacted members of the Department of Justice about the possibility of criminally prosecuting conservatives for their political activities.

The IRS claimed to have discovered the loss of Lerner’s emails in February, even though the investigation had been underway for almost a year.

In April, the IRS informed the Treasury Department, which then informed the White House.

But, without explanation, the IRS did not tell Congress and the public for another six weeks, until June 13.

An irate Jordan asked Koskinen to pledge he would find out who at the IRS told the Treasury Department about the missing emails.

“I will do my best,” a clearly hesitant Koskinen replied, which caused Jordan to scoff.

As recently as a meeting last Monday with Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Koskinen failed to inform investigators that the emails of six others IRS employees were missing, in addition to Lerner’s.

Koskinen withheld that information even though Hatch had asked the IRS chief to formally attest that all communications had been provided to Congress.

The IRS boss testified that he wanted to complete the collection of all of Lerner’s emails before informing Congress of the two years of missing emails, a claim that made GOP lawmakers howl with anger.

Something else that has congressional investigations very suspicious is the remarkable coincidence that Lerner’s supposed hard drive crash happened just 10 days after the very first time Congress asked the IRS whether it was targeting of conservatives.

Lerner’s reported her hard drive failed on, or around, June 13, 2011.

The first time the IRS learned Congress was looking into the targeting of conservatives was on June 3, 2011.

That means two years of Lerner’s communications disappeared just 10 days (or fewer) after Congress had made its first inquiry into the IRS targeting of conservatives, a coincidence that many GOP lawmakers found too suspicious to be happenstance.

On June 3, 2011, Ways ad Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., had sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman questioning the agency’s investigations into donations to conservative nonprofits, upon which gift taxes were being imposed, as well as the agency’s audits of some 501(c)(4) organizations.

“Every aspect of this tax investigation, from the timing to the sudden reversal of nearly thirty years of IRS practice, strongly suggests that the IRS is targeting constitutionally protected political speech. The IRS must explain its actions or risk creating a chilling effect that threatens not only political advocacy groups, but all tax-exempt organizations that depend on contributions from individual donors,” wrote Camp.

Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, suggested that lack of urgency on the part of IRS and Koskinen to find out what happened to Lerner’s emails suggested a coverup.

The congressman repeatedly asked why the commissioner had not called upon the FBI to investigate.

“We have Lois Lerner having invoked the Fifth in front of this committee, indicating that she’s fearful of criminal prosecution, which should be enough for you, a man of integrity, to pause and think, maybe crimes were committed within my agency. And now that these emails are missing, maybe someone not of integrity committed a crime in destroying them? You should call the FBI. You should call for a special prosecutor.”

” I cannot enter into Lois Lerner’s mind. I’ve never met her. As to what she…” Koskinen replied.

Turner countered, “I asked you to pick up the phone and call the FBI, not enter Lois Lerner’s mind.”

“I am not, I am not going to call the FBI. The inspector general has started. When the inspector general…” said the commissioner.

Turner said Koskinen’s own personal integrity was at stake if he did not call the FBI.

“I reject the suggestion that my integrity depends upon my calling the FBI. The inspector general will issue a report. We will all get the benefit of that report. And then we can determine what the appropriate action is to be,” insisted the commissioner.

But Turner wasn’t having it, concluding, “I have always believed that what happened in your agency with Lois Lerner is a crime. I believe that there were others involved. I believe the emails that are missing are the ones that would probably give us an ability to establish that. And I believe that somebody undertook criminal act in its destruction. And I believe that since you can’t tell me I’m wrong, and it’s enough of a doubt in your mind, as the commissioner of the agency you should call the FBI.”

Koskinen has been a major donor to Democratic candidates and groups, contributing $100,000 over four decades.

He has made a contributed to the Democratic candidate for president in every election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/irs-chief-scorched-as-liar/

 

 

 

‘We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility’: House Republicans slam IRS commissioner as they subpoena a White House lawyer in ‘missing emails’ case

  • IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified Monday in a rare evening hearing, just days after being called a liar in another House proceeding
  • He defended the IRS against insinuations that it covered up a political targeting scheme by burying inconvenient emails
  • Republicans say he lied in March when he promised to deliver copies of ‘all’ of former official Lois Lerner’s communications even though he knew of a 2011 computer crash that destroyed 28 months’ worth
  • Koskinen couldn’t explain why a six-month ‘disaster recovery’ backup wasn’t tapped to restore her emails after the computer crash
  • He complained that it would take $10 to $30 million to upgrade IRS computers to retain all its emails and documents; the agency paid $89 million in bonuses last year and has an $1.8 billion IT budget
  • House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa subpoenaed White House attorney Jennifer O’Connor on Monday to testify Tuesday morning
  • O’Connor, former counsel to the then-acting IRS commissioner, was invited to testify but the White House Counsel’s office refused to let her appear

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

 

Republicans dropped a hammer on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a testy hearing on Monday night over the disappearance of emails tied to the agency’s tea party targeting scandal.

The emails, covering the period January 2009 to April 2011, belonged to embattled former official Lois Lerner and could shed light on whether an expansive scheme to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny was guided by members of Congress or administration officials outside the IRS.

‘The committee requested all of Lois Lerner’s emails over a year ago,’ said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa. ‘And we subpoenaed the emails in August 2013 and again in February 2014. … You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.’

‘You personally did not cause the targeting,’ he told Koskinen, referring to the tea party scandal. ‘You personally did not destroy the emails. But by your actions and your deception, you now own this scandal.’

 

Rep. Darrell Issa slammed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen: 'We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility'

Rep. Darrell Issa slammed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen: ‘We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility’

No apologies: In a separate congressional hearing on Friday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted the loss of Lerner's emails was due to an oddly timed glitch

No apologies: In a separate congressional hearing on Friday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted the loss of Lerner’s emails was due to an oddly timed glitch

Spectator sport: The IRS hearing drew a line down the hallway and brought more than 199,000 viewers to an online video livestream

 

 

 

‘We have a problem with you,’ Issa sniped at the front end of a three-hour, 36-minute ordeal, ‘and you have a problem maintaining your credibility.’

Monday’s unusual evening hearing came as the result of a subpoena, and will continue Tuesday morning with a command performance from another Obama administration official.

Issa subpoenaed White House lawyer Jennifer O’Connor on Monday afternoon. He had invited her on Thursday to testify during the Tuesday session, but on Monday afternoon White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston wrote Issa to say his underling would not appear.

Before O’Connor’s promotion to the White House Counsel’s office, she was counsel to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

Just ten days ago the IRS informed congressional investigators that a hard drive crash had destroyed 28 months of emails to and from Lerner, who led the IRS’s office in charge of vetting and policing tax-exempt nonprofit groups.

In an opening statement Monday night, Koskinen argued that ‘it is not unusual for computers anywhere to fail, especially at the IRS in light of the aged equipment IRS employees often have to use in light of the continual cuts in its budget these past four years.’

‘Since Jan. 1 of this year, for example,’ he claimed, ‘over 2,000 employees have suffered hard drive crashes.’

Koskinen referred several times on Monday to a lack of budget resources within the IRS, and raised the issue when asked why the agency didn’t do a better job keeping a backup of Lerner’s emails.

An outraged Issa insisted that Americans should be able to know ‘they’re being honestly treated by your employees, especially somebody at such a high level. Isn’t that in fact a priority that should have allowed for full retention?’

‘If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities,’ Koskinen shot back.

‘So the American people should believe that if they don’t have the resources to pay their taxes, they shouldn’t pay their taxes’ Issa jabbed, ‘because if the IRS doesn’t have the resources, it won’t keep records?’

‘That’s pretty much what you’re telling us here tonight, is that resources are a question of whether or not you retain key documents.’

When Tennessee Republican Rep Scott DesJarlais asked Koskinen how much money it would take to replace the IRS’s computer systems in order to prevent another major data loss, he answered that it would cost between $10 and $30 million.

In a tense moment, DesJarlais then reminded him that the IRS paid $89 million in bonuses last year, including $1 million to agency employees who owed back taxes.

Issa added that the agency has an $1.8 billion information technology budget.

Koskinen said also that ‘the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has already begun an investigation’ into the email losses.

‘His report will provide an independent review of the situation concerning Ms. Lerner’s computer crash three years ago.’

That’s the same inspector general unit that launched Lerner into the spotlight 13 months ago, with an audit of its ‘inappropriate’ use of keywords like ‘patriots’ and ‘tea party’ to identify tax-exemption applicants that would receive inordinate levels of screening.

Koskinen fended off accusations Monday night that he lied to Congress on March 26 when he promised the IRS would turn over all of Lerner's emails

Koskinen fended off accusations Monday night that he lied to Congress on March 26 when he promised the IRS would turn over all of Lerner’s emails

 

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked Koskinen a question he couldn't answer:  Why didn't the IRS restore Lerner's emails from a six-month 'disaster recovery' backup tape?

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked Koskinen a question he couldn’t answer: Why didn’t the IRS restore Lerner’s emails from a six-month ‘disaster recovery’ backup tape?

 

 

IRS comm: Getting Lois Lerner emails will take ‘years’

The result was a three-year period of intrusive screening of conservative groups while their liberal counterparts skated by and quickly received approval.

Issa’s committee staff prepared a video montage showing a cavalcade of Republicans during a March 26 hearing, demanding that Koskinen provide ‘all’ Lerner’s emails.

‘Yes, we will do that,’ the IRS commissioner is seen conceding

Issa tried to corner him Monday night, insisting that he ‘knew there was a problem with Lois Lerner’s emails when you came and testified in March.’

But Koskinen insisted that he had only been told that ‘there was an issue that no one knew the ramifications of.’

‘Somebody said, “There’s an odd development in the way the emails are showing up. We’re going to pull all her emails and investigate it”,’ he said. ‘The first time I knew that emails had been lost from her account was in April.’

‘All the emails that we have will be provided,’ he said moments later. ‘I did not say I would provide you emails that disappeared. If you have a magical way for me to do that, I’d be happy to know about it.’

‘My time has expired,’ Issa interjected while Koskinen continued to speak. ‘And I’ve lost my patience with you.’

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz needled Koskinen about a short-term data backup that the IRS had in place – but never used – when Lerner’s hard drive crashed in 2011.

‘It’s actually a disaster recovery system,’ the IRS commissioner testified, ‘and it backs up for six months in case the entire system goes down … That was the rule in 2011. Policy.’

Chaffetz wanted to know, ‘Why didn’t they just go to that six-month tape?’

Koskinen replied that it is ‘a disaster recovery tape that has all of the emails on it, and is a very complicated tape to actually extract emails [from], but I have not seen any emails to explain why they didn’t do it. So I – It would be difficult, but I don’t know why they didn’t do it.’

‘But you said that the IRS was going to extraordinary lengths to give it to the recovery team, correct?’ Chaffetz quizzed.

‘That’s correct,’ said Koskinen.

‘But it’s backed up – on tape?’

‘For six months, yes.’

‘So,’ Chaffetz asked, ‘why didn’t you get them off the backup?’

‘All I know about that is that the backup tapes are disaster recovery tapes that put everything in one lump,’ Koskinen replied, ‘and extracting individual emails out of that is very costly and difficult, and it was not the policy at the time.’

‘Did anybody try?’ Chaffetz asked the IRS commissioner.

‘I have no idea or indication that they did,’ came his answer.

 

Koskinen told Rep. Jim Jordan (L) that he couldn't remember who told him that Lerner's emails were lost

Koskinen told Rep. Jim Jordan (L) that he couldn’t remember who told him that Lerner’s emails were lost

 

Koskinen testified under subpoena just hours after the Oversight Committee subpoenaed yet another witness, a White House lawyer who was promoted from her previous job advising the IRS on how to respond to congressional inquiries

Koskinen testified under subpoena just hours after the Oversight Committee subpoenaed yet another witness, a White House lawyer who was promoted from her previous job advising the IRS on how to respond to congressional inquiries

In the March 26 hearing, Koskinen insisted that retrieving Lerner’s emails and submitting them to legal review – to make sure they don’t contain taxpayers’ private information – would take ‘years.’

‘They’re stored somewhere,’ he explained to Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz during that hearing. ‘They get taken off and stored in servers and you’ve got 90-thousand employees. … We can find, and we are in fact searching – we can find Lois Lerner’s emails.’

Koskinen didn’t mention the 2011 computer crash at the time.

He said on Monday that he couldn’t remember who told him about it in April.

‘Remember, I’m running an agency with 90,000 people,’ he protested. ‘We are dealing with a whole – we’re in the middle of filing season as all of this is going on.’

Koskinen’s suggestion in March that the emails were stored on a remote server – not only on Lerner’s personal computer – has brought howls from Republicans, especially since he testified on Friday in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing that the emails were gone for good, and that the IRS had ‘recycled’ the hard drive.

Audible gasps echoed throughout the hearing room as he voiced that admission.

Agency guidelines require that ‘IRS offices will not store the official recordkeeping copy of e-mail messages that are federal records ONLY on the electronic mail system.’

The rules also require IRS offices to back up email messages to ‘a separate electronic recordkeeping system.’

Issa grills IRS Commissioner over ‘lost’ Lerner emails

 

Email Sheriff: Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has subpoenaed White House lawyer Jennifer O'Connor, the former chief counsel to then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel

Email Sheriff: Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has subpoenaed White House lawyer Jennifer O’Connor, the former chief counsel to then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel

 

Paul Ryan lays into the IRS for losing top officials’ emails

Koskinen has worn Republicans’ arrows as a badge of honor, insisting that he owes no apologies for being the bearer of bad news about a computer crash.

But during Friday’s Ways and Means hearing, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan insisted, ‘Nobody believes you.’

Three days later, the sparks continued to fly.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. John Tierney apologized to Koskinen at one point, saying he couldn’t remember seeing ‘a display of this kind of disrespect in all the time I have been in Congress. It is unfortunate that anyone would be subjected to it.’

Issa cautioned Tierney ‘not to characterize the intent or the character of your fellow members here.’

‘But it’s fair game to question the integrity of the witness?’ Koskinen piped up.

‘The rules of the House,’ Issa clarified, speak only ‘to questioning the integrity of members.’

In another exchange, California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier threatened to walk out unless the temperature of questions was reduced by several degrees.

‘I just want us to get back to basics,’ she said, ‘and to run this committee as it should be run, with respect and decorum.’

‘And badgering this commissioner, as virtually every member on the Republican side has done, is shameful. And it’s gotta stop.’

‘Or else, I’m telling you,’ Speier cautioned, ‘one member here is going to walk out and not return.’  

Flashback: IRS Commissioner Koskinen promises Lois Lerner’s…

Koskinen insisted that the IRS is working as fast as possible to give Congress all of Lerner's emails and won't apologize for the loss of countless documents because of a claimed computer crash

Koskinen insisted that the IRS is working as fast as possible to give Congress all of Lerner’s emails and won’t apologize for the loss of countless documents because of a claimed computer crash

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan then tried to edge in a question, asking in the prescribed way: ‘Will the gentlelady yield?’

‘The gentlelady is not yeilding,’ she responded.

‘Will the gentlelady please yield?’ Jordan tried again.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you,’ she responded.

‘I said, “Will the gentlelady please yield?”‘ Jordan repeated.

‘That was better,’ Speier grinned, ‘but no.’

Lois Lerner the former Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS, is already charged with Contempt of Congress for refusing to answer a subpoena from Issa by testifying about a years-long scheme to use her agency to hamstring conservative organizations.

Issa said Monday on the Fox News Channel that Lerner presided over the targeting of tea party groups beginning in 2009 because President Barack Obama had made his opposition to the ‘Citizens United’ Supreme Court case well-known.

It was that federal case that cleared the way for a great amount of money to enter federal elections – some of which, congressional Democrats have charged, filters down to nonprofit groups that are forbidden to do any electioneering.

Republicans, however, see a partisan and politicized IRS picking winners and losers.

‘I believe Lois Lerner is hiding something,’ Issa said.

‘I believe the Justice Department, the IRS, and the White House are interested in her succeeding in hiding what she’s hiding, which is targeting of conservative groups based on their ideology in support of the president’s war on Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that he didn’t like.’

‘This is something he vehemently opposes,’ Issa said, ‘and Lois Lerner acted on his opposition.’

He also suggested the Obama administration is aware that his committee’s investigation into the IRS is geting perilously close to the White House itself.

‘Could it lead to political operatives of the president?’ he asked. ‘Yes.’

 

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner has invoked the Fifth Amendment twice while under subpoena to avoid testifying about her role in the tea party targeting scandal

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner has invoked the Fifth Amendment twice while under subpoena to avoid testifying about her role in the tea party targeting scandal

 

The eleventh-hour subpoena of O’Connor has brought a flurry of late-night lawyering on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, with a House Oversight committee source telling MailOnline that she is legally required to testify on Capitol Hill at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The hearing will commence with or without her, a committee staffer explained, but Republicans believe she will be there.

The White House did not immediately respond to a question about whether O’Connor will attend.

A frustrated Issa issued a statement Monday along with the O’Connor subpoena, complaining that ‘a year ago, when news broke that the IRS had targeted Americans because of their political beliefs, President Obama pledged, “we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role”.’

‘I’m disappointed that one year later, the White House has attempted to block this Committee’s first request for voluntary cooperation from a White House official.’

As counsel to the acting IRS commissioner, he said, she ‘led the response to the Congressional targeting inquiry’ from the IRS.

‘She is uniquely qualified to explain why attorneys did not focus on and flag Lerner’s “lost” e-mails at the outset.’

Tuesday night’s hearing was the topic of robust discussion on Twitter and Facebook, with more than 199,000 people watching a livestream video broadcast of the proceedings.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2666413/House-Republicans-subpoena-White-House-lawyer-missing-emails-case-IRS-commissioner-prepares-prime-time-grilling.html#ixzz35ZBnf2az
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IRS chief promises stricter rules for ‘dark money’ nonprofit groups

Expect new round of proposed regulations during early 2015

By Julie Patel

The Internal Revenue Service will propose new and specific rules defining how much money “social welfare” nonprofits may spend on political campaigns, Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday during an interview for an upcoming Center for Public Integrity investigative report.

Such rules could curb the influence of “dark money” nonprofits engaging in overt political activity that proliferated after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010.

The new rules would seek to define what constitutes political activity. The new regulations could also further regulate labor unions and trade associations — two kinds of politically active nonprofits that the IRS didn’t address in a highly contentious rulemaking attempt the agency itself short-circuited in May.

“There are three issues: What should be the definition, to whom should it apply and how much … can you do before you jeopardize your exemption?” said Koskinen, the IRS’ top official who took office in December.

The IRS asked for comments on all three issues but addressed only one in the first round of proposed regulations.

“The next resolution will differ from the first draft because it will deal with all three questions,” he said.

Sitting on Koskinen’s desk at IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C., was a 4-inch binder with 1,200 pages: a sampling of comments on all sides of the three issues.

He said he plans to personally read 85 to 100 comments and ultimately wants to see “regulations that are fair to everyone, clear and easy to administer.”

“We’d be much better off if we had clearer definitions and a clearer roadmap,” he said.

Such definitions, Koskinen said, wouldn’t just benefit the IRS but “people running 501(c)(4)s in terms of knowing what they can do and can’t do, what the rules are.” Nonprofit leaders, he added, shouldn’t get “surprised or concerned that when they undertake more of an activity that after the fact somebody is going to say, ’You’ve now jeopardized your exemption.’”

Koskinen said he expects a new draft of the regulations to be out by early 2015. At that point, people will be able to weigh in with additional comments in writing or at public hearings.

The IRS issued its first set of regulations, proposed in November, only to withdraw them this year after receiving more than 150,000 public comments. Many comments were highly critical and came not only from conservative organizations stung by the recent targeting of tea party-related and other nonprofit organizations but some liberal groups that feared the rules would affect nonpartisan activities, such as voter drives or candidate forums.

Social welfare groups, organized under Sec. 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code, must operate “exclusively to promote social welfare” and “primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community,” according to the IRS.

Some people have interpreted that to mean campaigning expenses may only constitute less than half of a “social welfare” nonprofit’s total expenses.

Koskinen explained that the IRS today determines whether a social welfare nonprofit is getting too political based on the “facts and circumstances” of each case. He acknowledged that this is “subjective” and makes it difficult for nonprofit leaders to determine “when are they getting too close to the line” with their politicking.

Koskinen didn’t say what, precisely, the IRS will propose as a political spending threshold for various nonprofits.

Without clear rules, politically active social welfare nonprofits — such as conservativeCrossroads GPS and liberal America Votes —  have largely operated without fear they’ll lose their tax exempt status or be forced to register as a political committees that must publicly reveal their funders. Labor unions and trade associations, like social welfare groups, are not required to disclose their donors.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/18/14960/irs-chief-promises-stricter-rules-dark-money-nonprofit-groups?utm_source=iwatchnews&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=rss&utm_reader=feedly

 

55+ CONSERVATIVE AND FREE MARKETS GROUPS URGE
CONGRESS TO STOP IRS 501(C)4 RULE IN OMNIBUS

January 9, 2014

Dear Members of Congress:

As the people’s duly elected representatives, it is imperative that Congress step in and stop the IRS from codifying its
suppression of conservative groups. This rogue agency can clearly not be left to police itself, and we therefore urge you
to include language in the omnibus appropriations bill to stop the IRS from pursuing rulemaking in this area and to
continue robust oversight of this agency.

The IRS confessed to targeting conservative groups in a stunning abuse of power. While initially blamed on a small
number of so-called “rogue agents” in Cincinnati, subsequent investigations revealed that high-level IRS officials in –
Washington, DC actually removed case files of conservative and tea party groups from Cincinnati to Washington, where
they stalled action for years, sent lengthy and intrusive questionnaires, and undermined the rights of association and
speech of conservatives.

Nobody has been held accountable for these outrageous abuses. Indeed, the apparent ringleader of the suppression
scheme, Lois Lerner, was granted six months of paid administrative leave and then allowed to retire with her full
pension. Suppression of political dissent has been rewarded. Even worse, the IRS now proposes not to rectify its own
misbehavior, but to blame the victims and effectively codify its own misdeeds by adopting draconian limitations on the
free speech rights of 501(c)4 social welfare groups via regulation.

The IRS proposal would restrict the free speech rights of such groups by arbitrarily deeming political a wide variety of
activities in the newly-created category of “Candidate-Related Political Activity,” which includes voter registration drives,
candidate debates, voter guides, voting records and key votes. They would restrict any criticism of an incumbent
federal, state, or local politician within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election and effectively require
groups to remove any reference to politicians from their websites during these windows. They even distort the
definition of “candidate” to include appointees, so groups weighing in on executive or judicial nominations would be
restricted.

These draconian rules will effectively muzzle 501(c)4 groups in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections while
unfairly exempting 501(c)5 labor unions that support liberal candidates and causes.

The rules proceed from the assumption that political engagement and discussion of health care, government spending,
and other public policy issues and the merits of nominees who implement them cannot logically be part and parcel of a
social welfare mission. This is not what the law requires and it is inconsistent with longstanding historical practice and
understanding.

While Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code specifically bars those organizations from engaging in political activity, no such
statutory prohibition exists in Section 501(c)(4). For half a century the IRS has defined “social welfare” in our democratic
society to include activities such as nonpartisan get-out-the-vote drives, voter registration, and voter education on
issues of public concern.

The 501(c)(4) category has always been the home of groups that advocate public policy and hold politicians accountable
for the policies they pursue at every level of government. The IRS is disregarding these facts and severely limiting rights
of association and speech, especially for smaller grassroots groups that cannot easily afford high-priced lawyers to
navigate complex new rules.

This latest IRS power grab must be stopped, and we urge you to do so in the omnibus appropriations bill.

Sincerely,
Jim Martin
Chairman
60 Plus Association

Melissa Ortiz
Founder/Principal
Able Americans

Phil Kerpen
President
American Commitment

Dan Schneider
Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Thomas Pyle
President
American Energy Alliance

Sandy Rios
Director of Governmental Affairs
American Family Association

Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising, Inc.

Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values

Brent Gardner
Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist
President
Americans for Tax Reform

John Tate
President
Campaign for Liberty

Susan Carleson
Chairman/President
Carleson Center Welfare Reform
Action Fund

Sean Noble
President
Center to Protect Patient Rights
Jeffrey Mazzella
President
Center for Individual Freedom

Matt Patterson
President
Center for Worker Freedom

Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness*

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President
Center for Security Policy*

Tom Minnery
President
CitizenLink

Chris Chocola
President
Club for Growth

Gary Aldrich
President and Chairman of the
Board
CNP Action, Inc.

Penny Nance
President and CEO
Concerned Women for America
Legislative Action Committee

Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus

Mattie Duppler
Executive Director
Cost of Government Center

Thomas A. Schatz
President
Council for Citizens Against
Government Waste

Christopher J. Conover, PhD
Research Scholar
Center for Health Policy &
Inequalities Research*
Duke University*
Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director
Digital Liberty

Brian Baker
President
Ending Spending

Ralph Reed
Chairman
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Larry Cirignano
President
Faithful Catholic Citizens

Dick Patten
President
Family Business Defense Council

Paul Caprio
Executive Director
Family Pac Federal

Kenneth R. Timmerman
President & CEO
Foundation for Democracy in Iran

James S. Gilmore III
President
Free Congress Action

Coley Jackson
President
Freedom Action

Matt Kibbe
President
FreedomWorks

George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom

Aaron Stover
Director of Development, Eastern
Region
The Heartland Institute

Michael Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action
Mario H. Lopez
President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Michael Smith, Esq.
President
Home School Legal Defense
Association

Heather R. Higgins
President
Independent Women’s Voice

Andrew Langer
President
Institute for Liberty

Seton Motley
President
Less Government

Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring

Christopher Arps
Co-Founder
Move-On-Up.org

Lew Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation
Committee

Pete Sepp
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

Dave Wallace, II
Founder
Restore America’s Mission

Ken Hoagland
Chairman
Restore America’s Voice

Lawrence A. Hunter
President
Social Security Institute

David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips
President
Tea Party Nation

Amy Kremer
Chairman
Tea Party Express

Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots

Todd Cefaratti
Founder
TheTeaParty.Net

C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Carl Bearden
Executive Director
United for Missouri

Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch

Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation

Terry T. Campo
President
YR Alumni Network, Inc.

*Affiliations for identification purposes only.

 

THE IRS SCANDAL: TIMELINE

In May 2013, it was learned that from April 2010 to April 2012, the Internal Revenue Service had placed on hold the processing of applications for tax-exempt status that it had received from hundreds of organizations with such presumably conservative indicators as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” or “9/12” in their names. During that period, the IRS approved only four applications from conservative groups while green-lighting applications from several dozen organizations whose names included the likely left-leaning terms “Progressive,” “Progress,” “Liberal,” or “Equality.”

In February 2014, it was further learned that of the
already-existing nonprofits that were flagged for IRS surveillance (including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites, and any other publicly available information), 83% were conservative. And, of the groups that the IRS selected for audit, 100% were conservative.

This section of Discover The Networks provides a timeline of this illegal, blatantly partisan practice by the IRS.

February to March 2010: An email string from February – March 2010 includes a message from a California Exempt Organizations Determinations manager discussing a Tea Party application “currently being held in the Screening group.” The manager urges, “Please let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially embarrassing political case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization. Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.”  A co-worker responds: “I think sending it up here [DC] is a good idea given the potential for media interest.” (Source)

March 31 to April 1, 2010: Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)—the 150,000-member union that represents employees of the IRS and 30 other government agencies—visits President Obama at the White House. NTEU’s Political Action Committee endorsed Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates. (Source)

The day after Colleen Kelley’s White House visit, IRS employees begin applying extra scrutiny to tax-exempt-status applications from conservative organizations whose names contain the words “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” “9-12,” “’Take Back the Country,” or “We the People.” (Source and Source)

July 6, 2010: IRS official Holly Paz writes an email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replies to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) is designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.

“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky writes.

“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky writes. [“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, based at the agency’s Washington headquarters.] 
(Source)

August 2010: The IRS issues its first “BOLO” (“Be On The Lookout”) alert for “various local organizations in the Tea Party movement” that are seeking tax-exempt status as 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups. The IRS is also flagging applications by organizations that: (a) address such issues as government spending, government debt, and taxes; (b) promote the use of education, advocacy, and lobbying to “make America a better place to live”; or (c) criticize how the country is being run by the Obama administration. (Source and Source)

October 2010: In a meeting arranged at the direction of Jack Smith, chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, the DOJ asks IRS official Lois Lerner to help the Department build criminal cases against conservative nonprofit groups that have been conducting political activity. (Source)

Winter 2010-2011: Judith Kindell, senior advisor to IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, tells IRS attorney Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of some tax-exemption applications by conservative Tea Party groups, that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office — headed by Obama appointee William Wilkins — will henceforth need to review all applications from conservative groups whose names contain the aforementioned trigger words. According to Hull, this is the first time in his 48-year career at the IRS that he has been instructed to forward any tax-exemption applications to another office. (Source and Source)

February 2011: In an email, IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner Lerner advises her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is “very dangerous,” and that this is something “Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on.” Lerner adds that Tea Party groups’ tax-exemption applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules. Thus, at this point, Lerner—contrary to false statements she will subsequently make—is well aware of the fact that groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” or “9/12 Project” in their names are being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny by the IRS. (Source and Source)

February 2011: In an email to Lois Lerner, a Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigator inquires about the status of the tax-exemption application of the American Future Fund, a conservative group. (The FEC and IRS have no authority to share this information under section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code.) Soon after this FEC inquiry, the American Future Fund receives a questionnaire from the IRS. (Source)

June 3, 2011:
 David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sends a letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman inquiring about a report that the IRS has been conducting an unusually large number of audits of conservative 501(c)(4) groups and taxpayers who have donated money to them. Lawmakers will subsequently send at least seven more letters asking the IRS to address complaints that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status are being subjected to burdensome screening. (Source and Source)

June 13, 2011: Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashes, causing all emails that Lerner sent and received between January 2009 and April 2011, to be lost. (Source)

July 1, 2011: The IRS responds to David Camp’s June 3 letter by stating that its “actions in this area were in no way influenced by political considerations.” According to the Agency, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner has ordered the criteria for flagging tax-exempt applications for extra scrutiny to be changed, so as to apply more broadly to “organizations involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy for exemption under 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4).” (Source)

August 4, 2011: Staffers in the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements office hold a meeting with the Chief Counsel’s office which is headed by William Wilkins. At this meeting, Wilkins is made aware that conservative groups are being targeted by the IRS. Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Wilkins is one of only two presidential appointees in the entire agency. In subsequent interviews, IRS lawyer Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of some tax-exemption applications by conservative Tea Party groups, tells congressional investigators that his superiors have told him that Wilkins’ office needs to be involved in additional reviews of previously screened tax-exemption applications because of “potential political activity.” (Source and Source)

September 8, 2011: The IRS abruptly cancels its longtime (2005-11) relationship with Sonasoft, a San Jose-based email-archiving company and email-storage contractor specializing in quickly and thoroughly saving its clients’ emails after computer crashes. (Source)

Note: Federal law (the Federal Records Act) requires the IRS to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of those correspondences to ensure that they get saved in the event of a computer mishap. An instructional page for employees on the IRS website states:

“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media. Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.

“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly. The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.

“Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record. Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.” (Source)

October 6, 2011: Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting information about the agency’s dealings with the tax-exempt sector.  (Source)

November 18, 2011: The IRS responds to Chairman Boustany by providing some of the information he requested, but makes no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

December 16, 2011: House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee members meet with Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner and other IRS staff. Neither Lerner nor her colleagues mention that their agency has targeted conservative groups. (Source and Source)

January 2012: The IRS begins sending follow-up letters requesting that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status provide voluminous and sensitive information, such as the names of all donors and the amounts of all their donations; a list of all issues important to the groups; an explanation of where the groups stand on those issues; and all emails sent to members of the groups. (Source)

February 24, 2012: During a briefing on the onerous follow-up letters received by some conservative organizations, Oversight and Government Reform Committee staffers ask IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner whether the criteria for evaluating tax-exempt applications have changed at any point. Lerner replies that the criteria have not changed. (Source)

February 29, 2012: The IRS issues a 60-day extension (for compliance) to all groups that have received follow-up letters, and Lerner orders that no additional developmental letters be sent. (Source)

March 1, 2012: Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, sends a follow-up letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman with additional queries about reports that “the IRS has been questioning new tax-exempt applicants, including grassroots political entities such as Tea Party groups.” (Source)

March 1, 2012 – Top IRS officials meet to discuss media reports that conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status are being harassed/targeted. (Source)

March 12, 2012: The IRS responds to Boustany’s letter with no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

March 12, 2012: Democratic Senators Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, and Al Franken write a letter calling on the IRS to scrutinize conservative groups allegedly masquerading as 501(c)(4) “social welfare organizations.” A press release from Senator Schumer’s office, asserting that “the lack of clarity in the IRS rules has allowed political groups to improperly claim 501(c)4 status and may even be allowing donors to these groups to wrongly claim tax deductions for their contributions,” summarizes the terms of the letter:

“We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities.  But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes.” (Source)

March 22, 2012: The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds its regularly scheduled 2012 hearing on the tax-return filing season and general IRS operations. Chairman Charles Boustany asks then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman about reports that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responds, “I can give you assurances…[t]here is absolutely no targeting.”  (Source,SourceSource, and Source)

March 23, 2012: The IRS sends a supplementary response (containing additional information) to the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and again makes no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

March 27, 2012: Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) send Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner a letter requesting information related to the reports that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status have been receiving extra scrutiny from the IRS. (Source)

March 2012: Oversight and Government Reform Committee representatives meet with staffers from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to discuss IRS policies for scrutinizing organizations applying for tax-exempt status. In response, then-Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven Miller directs the IRS to launch an internal review of the actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Division. (Source)

March 30, 2012: Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, writes a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asks if the IRS has been sending out additional information requests to applicant groups, and he cites an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin writes. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”

Levin asks ”if it is not provided on a routine basis, approximately what percentage of such applicants receive an IRS questionnaire seeking information about any political activities, and how the IRS determines whether and when to send that questionnaire; and approximately how many days after an application is filed that questionnaire is typically sent.”

Levin cites a 1997 IRS rejection letter to the conservative group National Policy Forum, formed by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, and asks Shulman, “Is it still the position of the IRS that a 501(c)(4) organization cannot engage in any partisan political activity, even as a secondary activity?” (Source)

April 4, 2012: During a telephone briefing, Lois Lerner tells Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff that the information which the IRS has been requesting in its additional follow-up letters to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status is not beyond the bounds of ordinary practice. (Source)

April 23, 2012: House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany and 61 other House Republicans send a letter to IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller, inquiring about discriminatory practices against conservative groups. (Source and Source)

April 23, 2012: IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009, meets with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Source)

April 24, 2012: IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman (William Wilkins’ boss) and two other IRS officials—Shulman’s chief-of-staff and political aide Jonathan Davis and IRS spokesman Frank Keith—meet for eight-and-a-half hours with a top White House official, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Jeffrey Zients, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building located at the White House complex. (Source and Source)

April 25, 2012: The IRS Chief Counsel’s office (led by William Wilkins) sends Washington-based IRS officials new guidelines on how to scrutinize Tea Party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. (Source)

April 26, 2012: The IRS sends a second supplementary response to the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee but includes no information about its practice of targeting conservative groups. (Source)

April 26, 2012: Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, responding to the March 27th letter from Chairmen Issa and Jordan, writes that the IRS letters to targeted conservative organizations were “in the ordinary course of the application process to obtain the information as the IRS deems necessary to make a determination whether the organization meets the legal requirements for tax-exempt status.” (Source)

May 3, 2012: The IRS, having completed its own internal review of the targeting scandal, concludes that there has been a substantial, inappropriate bias against conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller is informed of this finding. (SourceSource, and Source)

May 15, 2012: IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller identifies two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being mainly responsible for the “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status. Miller says the staffers have already been disciplined. (Source)

May 2012: David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting copies of all 501(c)(4) applications from 2010 and 2011. (Source)

May 2012: In 45-page letters to two lawmakers who inquired about the IRS targeting of conservative groups, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner makes no mention of any such practice. (Source)

May 2012: IRS officials determine that there were seven types of information asked of conservative applicants, including donor information, that were inappropriate. (Source)

June 4, 2012: In response to Sen. Carl Levin’s March 30, 2012 letter, then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven T. Miller sends Levin a 16-page response explaining that the flexibility of IRS rules allow for the agency to “prepare individualized questions and requests.”

“There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities,” Miller writes. “Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .” (Source and Source)

June 4, 2012: The Inspector General (IG) informs the Treasury Department’s general counsel that he has been auditing the IRS’s screening of politically active groups seeking tax exemptions. The IG then gives the same information to Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly after.” This means that Obama administration officials are now fully aware of the matter. (Source)

June 14, 2012: In an email to IRS official Lois Lerner and others, Treasury official Ruth Madrigal writes: “Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off-plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting…”

This email demonstrates that the Treasury Department and Lerner have been conspiring to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a manner that would be “off-plan” — meaning that they would not be disclosed publicly and would not be published on the public schedule. According to the Daily Caller:

“The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups…. The new rules define more previously acceptable activities by nonprofit groups as prohibited ‘candidate-related political activity.’ Communications and activities including voter registration drives and publishing voter guides, among others, are now classified as political activity. Grants and donations that 501(c)(4)’s give to other nonprofits are now subject to new record-keeping and increased scrutiny to prevent the money’s use for broadly-defined political activity.”  (Source)

June 15, 2012: IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller responds to an April 23 lettersigned by Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and 61 other House Republicans, but includes no information about the IRS’s discriminatory practices against conservative groups. Stating generally that the IRS has recently been seeing more tax-exempt applications from politically active groups and has been striving to “coordinate the handling of the case to ensure consistency,” Lerner does not concede that conservatives have been singled out. (Source and Source)

June 25, 2012: The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds ahearing on charitable organizations. When asked about IRS harassment of conservative groups, IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller makes no reference to any discriminatory practices but says: “I am aware that some two hundred 501(c)(4) applications fell into this category [the determinations letter process]. We did group those organizations together to ensure consistency, to ensure quality.” During his testimony, Miller does not disclose what he was told on May 3 regarding the targeting of Tea Party groups. (Source and Source)

July 10, 2012: Sharon Light, then-advisor to Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, emails Lerner a National Public Radio story on how outside money was making it difficult for Democrats to hold onto their Senate majority. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already complained to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that conservative groups should be treated as political committees, rather than as tax-exempt social welfare groups. “Perhaps the FEC will save the day,” Ms. Lerner replies later that morning in an email. (Source)

July 30, 2012: In a letter, Senator Carl Levin singles out 12 groups he wants investigated for “political activity.” Of the groups, only one – Priorities USA – is left-leaning. (Source)

September 11, 2012: IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller writes a letter responding to Senator Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has already written three times to the IRS about complaints related to the targeting of conservative groups. Miller again does not acknowledge the scrutiny to which conservative groups were subjected. (Source)

September 27, 2012: Senator Carl Levin asks for copies of the answers to IRS exemption application question 15 – a question about planned political expenditures – from four specific groups: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Priorities USA, Americans for Prosperity, and Patriot Majority USA. (Source)

October 17, 2012: IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller informs Senator Carl Levin, “As discussed in our previous responses dated June 4, 2012, and August 24, 2012, the IRS cannot legally disclose whether the organizations on your list have applied for tax exemptions unless and until such application is approved.” Miller, however, then informs Levin that Americans for Prosperity and Patriot Majority have been approved, but the IRS has no records for Crossroads and Priorities USA. (Source)

October 23, 2012: Senator Carl Levin writes to again express his dissatisfaction with the IRS handling of “social welfare” (501(c)(4) organizations insisting that IRS guidance “misinterprets the law” by allowing any political activity. He again demands an answer as to whether the four organizations he listed in his previous letter (of September 27, 2012) were primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare. He also seeks copies of tax exempt revocation letters sent due to c4 political activities, as well as statistics on how many c4s have been notified that they may be in violation due to political activities. (Source)

Fall 2012: Pursuant to a request by David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS makes all 501(c)(4) applications from 2010 and 2011 available to that Committee. (Source)

November 11, 2012 – Douglas Shulman steps down as IRS Director and is replaced by Steven Miller. (Source)

November 15, 2012: Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner and IRS staffers meet with House Ways and Means Committee staff but again do not mention their knowledge about the targeting of conservative groups. (Source andSource)

March 15, 2013 – New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is informed of the IRS targeting probe. (Source)

March 27, 2013: In an email to a top staffer at the IRS, Lois Lerner writes: “As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC [Federal Election Commission] world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for [501]c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff. So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.” (Source)

April 2, 2013: Lois Lerner sends an email to internal IRS investigators that tries to explain the “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) criteria used to select organizations for screening and scrutiny:

Because the BOLO only contained a brief reference to “Organizations involved with the Tea Party movement applying for exemption under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)” in June 2011, the EO Determinations manager asked the manager of the screening group, John Shafer [IRS Cincinnati field office manager], what criteria were being used to label cases as “tea party ” cases. (“Do the applications specify/state ‘ tea party’? If not, how do we know applicant is involved with the tea party movement?”) The screening group manager asked his employees how they were applying the BOLO’s short –hand reference to “tea party.” His employees responded that they were including organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: “1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ’9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run. . . “

So, we believe we have provided information that shows that no one in EO “developed” the criteria. Rather, staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to “organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,” which was what was on the BOLO list.

Lerner neglects to mention that her office was “developing” the applications for all Tea Party groups. (Source)

April 9, 2013: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chairs a hearing  in which he discusses the abuse of the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt designation. During that hearing, he makes his leftist agenda clear, insisting that “after the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in elections in its disgraceful Citizens United decision, big donors like to use these non-profit entities to launder campaign spending and hide their identities.” Whitehouse also asks witnesses from DOJ and IRS why they haven’t prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups who have made false statements about their activities, or donors who have used shell companies to mask their donations to Super PACs. He urges both entities to “put together a criminal case showing a fairly straightforward false statement or a fairly [straightforward] shell corporation disclosure violation.”(Source)

April 22, 2013: According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, this is the date when the White House Counsel first learns that the Inspector General will soon be completing its report about the IRS office in Cincinnati, which handles tax-exempt applications. (Source and Source)

May 1, 2013: After receiving an email from an assistant showing that 501(c)(4) applications have increased from 1,591 in 2010 to 3,398 in 2012, Lois Lerner writes back, “Looks to me like 2010-2012 doubled too. Oh well – thanks.” (Source)

May 2, 2013: Discussing an upcoming conference call with approximately 100 congressional staffers, Lerner cautions aides, “Need to be careful not to mention sequester/furlough unless asked although can allude to budget and resources restraints.” (Source)

May 2, 2013: In response to an email reminding her about the upcoming conference call with congressional staffers, Lerner responds, “Arrgh – I just saw it. Sharon [White] could skate, but Cindy [Thomas] is the person who could answer that stuff. We need to give them some type of language in the event that type of question comes up” [apparently in reference to earlier email referencing “sensitive issues”]. (Source)

May 8, 2013: Lois Lerner sends the following email to Nikole C. Flax, then-Chief of Staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller: “I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who ‘lied’ on their 1024s – saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…” (Source)

May 9, 2013: Flax responds to Lois Lerner: “I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?(Source)

May 9, 2013: At an American Bar Association (ABA) conference, attorney Celia Roady asks a planted question of Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner regarding the IRS targeting scandal. The Inspector General’s report on the scandal was slated to be given to the White House the next day, and Lerner chose the ABA event as a venue for issuing a preemptive apology in advance of that report. Several days later, Cecilia Roady explains how this was arranged:

“On May 9, I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks … and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks. I agreed to do so.… We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.” (Source and Source)

May 10, 2013: Blaming low-level IRS employees in Cincinnati, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner says that no high-level officials were aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups until she began “seeing information in the press that raised questions for us.” She apologizes on behalf of the IRS for the “inappropriate” targeting. This same day, White House counsel receives the Inspector General’s report, and President Barack Obama is said to have heard of the matter for the first time. (SourceSource, and Source)

May 10, 2013: In an email to an aide responding to a request for information from a Washington Post reporter, Lerner admits that she “can’t confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum” who was targeted by the IRS. She then adds that “The one with the names used were only know [sic] because they have been very loud in the press.” (Source)

May 10, 2013: An email from former Cincinnati program manager Cindy Thomas excoriates Lois Lerner for her comments blaming low-level IRS employees. Highlighting the words “low-level workers” in bold-face type each of the seven times she used it in a short email, Thomas asks, “How am I supposed to keep the low-level workers motivated when the public believes they are nothing more than low-level workers and now will have no respect for how they are working cases?” Lerner responds tersely nearly an hour later: “I will be back shortly and give you a call.” (Source)

May 13, 2013: President Obama claims to have learned about the IRS targeting just three days earlier: ”I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.” He says that if the IRS intentionally targeted conservatives, it was “outrageous.” The Democratic-controlled Senate Finance Committee joins Republican-led House committees in planning new investigations into the matter. (SourceSource, and Source)

May 13, 2013: The Daily Mail reports that the IRS, in many of its audits of conservative groups, “demanded to know the names of all its financial donors and volunteers, as part of a 55-question inquisition into its application for tax-exempt status.” For example, the questionnaire: (a) wanted to know “the names of the donors, contributors, and grantors” for every year “from inception to the present”; (b) demanded a listing of “the amounts of each of the donations, contributions, and grants and the dates you received them”; and (c) and asked the targeted groups to “provide the details” about how they had “use[d] these donations, contributions, and grants.”

May 14, 2013: White House press secretary Jay Carney says in a press conference that the White House was notified about the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups “several weeks ago.” Later in the press conference, however, Carney says that that he nor the President were notified individually. (Source)

May 14, 2013: IRS Director Steven Miller says that his agency demonstrated “a lack of sensitivity” in trying to determine whether conservative groups were eligible for tax exemption. The Justice Department says it will conduct a criminal investigation, the Inspector General’s report (titled “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”) is released to the public, and President Obama calls the findings “intolerable and inexcusable.” (Source andSource)

May 14, 2013: A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report reveals that the IRS has singled out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status. The TIGTA probe determined that “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status (e.g., lists of past and future donors).” The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months and “delayed processing of targeted groups applications” preparing for the 2012 presidential election. (Source)

May 15, 2013 – The IRS announces that IRS Director Steven Miller will be resigning in June, at which time he was already scheduled to leave anyway. (Source)

May 15, 2013: In an email to Lois Lerner, an aide specifically mentions “Tea Party Organizations,” the “Tea Party movement,” and “Tea Party Patriots” as organizations targeted by the IRS. (Source)

May 16, 2013: At a press conference, Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg Newsasks President Obama the following question (italics added for emphasis):

“Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS. Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd? And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports as you said last Friday? And also, are you opposed to there being a special counsel appointed to lead the Justice Department investigation?”

Obama replies, evasively:

“[L]et me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”(Source)


May 16, 2013:
 President Obama calls the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups “outrageous and unacceptable.” He also reiterates that he was unaware of the targeting until news reports began coming out six days earlier. (Source)

May 17, 2013: The New York Times reports that the White House actually learned of the IRS targeting on June 4, 2012—five months prior to the 2012 elections. (Source and Source)

May 17, 2013: In a congressional hearing, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller apologizes for “foolish mistakes” carried out by IRS employees “trying to be more efficient in their workload selection.” But he strongly pushes back against Republican assertions that the agency is politicized. Moreover, he maintains that he did not lie to Congress—even though he never revealed the targeting program in response to repeated requests from Republican lawmakers in recent years. “I did not mislead Congress,” he says. “I answered the questions as they were asked.” Miller also says that he takes “exception” to the term “targeting” because “It’s a loaded term.” (Source)

May 20, 2013: The Colfax, California-based NorCal Tea Party—claiming that its application for tax-exempt status has been wrongfully subjected to extra scrutiny—launches a lawsuit against the IRS. (Source)

May 21, 2013: In a congressional hearing, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who stepped down from that post when his five-year term expired in November 2012, tells the Senate Finance Committee he did not learn all the facts about the targeting of conservative groups until he read the preceding week’s Inspector General report confirming the targeting strategy. “I agree this is an issue that when someone spotted it, they should have brought it up the chain,” he says. “And they didn’t. I don’t know why.” Also during the hearing:

  • Shulman says he first heard about the targeting and about the Inspector General’s investigation in the spring of 2012, during the presidential election.
  • When Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) asks Shulman how the improper screening system could have occurred in the first place, Shulman says, “Mr. Chairman, I can’t say. I can’t say that I know that answer.”
  • When Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) asks Shulman whether he owes conservative groups an apology, the former IRS commissioner says: “I’m certainly not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it”—a reference to the list of words (e.g., “Tea Party” and “Patriot”) which IRS workers looked for when deciding which groups to scrutinize. “I very much regret that it happened and that it happened on my watch,” he adds. (Source)

May 21, 2013: True the Vote, a conservative organization that fights for electoral integrity and was targeted by the IRS, files suit against the IRS in federal court. (Source)

May 22, 2013: At a congressional hearing into the targeting scandal, Lois Lerner (Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division) gives a self-serving opening statement and then immediately pleads the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer any questions. Says Lerner:

“… My professional career has been devoted to fulfilling responsibilities of the agencies for which I have worked, and I am very proud of the work that I have done in government…. I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee. And while I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I’ve been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing…. I know that some people will assume that I’ve done something wrong. I have not. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection I’m invoking today.” (Source)

May 23, 2013: Lois Lerner is placed on administrative leave from the IRS. (Source)

May 29, 2013:  CBS News reports that after Texas businesswoman Catherine Engelbrecht founded two conservative organizations, she was harassed to an extreme degree by the IRS as well as other government agencies. That prompted her to file a federal lawsuit in May 2013. According to CBS:

The trouble began shortly after Engelbrecht founded True the Vote, which trains election volunteers and aims to root out voter fraud, and King Street Patriots, a group with ideals similar to the Tea Party. Both sought tax-exempt status from the IRS in July 2010. And both organizations drew the ire of Democrats. Democrats accused True the Vote of intimidating voters in its poll watching efforts, which the group denies. And the Texas Democratic Party successfully sued King Street Patriots, arguing that it’s an unregistered political action committee.

But Engelbrecht’s attorney, Cleta Mitchell, says it’s not just the Democratic Party that went after the conservative causes, but also the federal government. Within months of the groups filing for tax-exempt status, Engelbrecht claims she started getting hit by an onslaught of harassment: six FBI domestic terrorism inquiries, an IRS visit, two IRS business audits, two IRS personal audits, and inspections of her equipment manufacturing company by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Texas environmental quality officials….

All the while, the IRS tax-exempt applications seemed to languish. Engelbrecht says the IRS requested additional information from True the Vote five times, requiring thousands of pages of documentation. Engelbrecht estimates she’s spent more than $100,000 in attorney and accountant fees to process the IRS requests. With its tax-exempt status in limbo, she says True the Vote had to return a $35,000 grant and cannot effectively fundraise. “I just kept thinking this can’t be happening.” Engelbrecht says, “it never ends.”

Engelbrecht’s attorney, Mitchell, says the IRS process for conservative groups was relatively painless, often taking just a few months, until about 2010 when there was an abrupt shift: simple questions became intrusive, lengthy interrogations requiring professional legal help. Applicants sometimes had to spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees, they lost revenue, and in some cases, got so discouraged that they gave up on tax-exempt status altogether.

Washington, DC attorney John Pomeranz represents liberal organizations seeking tax-exemption. He told CBS News that he has found some of the IRS requests of tea party groups “new” and “very troubling,” and said he doesn’t recall getting similar demands for his liberal clients.  (Source)

May 31, 2013: It is reported that the IRS is being sued by 25 Tea Party groups in federal court over its illegal targeting practices. (Source)

June 2013: The Treasury Department’s Inspector General reveals that just 6 liberal/left groups were targeted by the IRS, compared to 292 conservative groups. The IG also says that 100% of conservative groups seeking special tax status— i.e., all 292 of them—were put under IRS review, while only 30% of the liberal/left groups were put under such review. (SourceSource, and Source)

June 5, 2013: It is reported that Sarah Hall Ingram, who headed the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division in 2010 when the scandal-ridden agency began improperly targeting the tax-exempt nonprofit status of conservative groups, has logged 165 recorded visits to the White House since 2011. (Fully 155 of those were hosted by Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy.) None of Ingram’s 165 meetings overlapped with those of former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, whose name has appeared in the White House visitor logs 157 times since September 15, 2009. In short, these two IRS officials have been responsible for more than 300 White House visits since the beginning of the Obama administration. (Source and Source)

June 11, 2013: Pepperdine University Law School professor Paul L. Caronreveals the astonishing extent to which IRS attorneys supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential campaign:

Of the IRS lawyers who made contributions in the 2012 election, 95% contributed to Obama rather than to Romney. So among IRS lawyers, the ratio of Obama contributors to Romney contributors was not merely 4-to-1 at previously reported, but more like 20-to-1. The ratio of funds to Obama was even more lopsided, with about 32 times as much money going to Obama as to Romney from IRS lawyers….

The data show, however, that the partisanship of the lawyers in the IRS is not unusual or even particularly extreme among federal agencies. In fact, the lawyers in every single federal government agency–from the Department of Education [100%] to the Department of Defense [68%] — contributed overwhelmingly to Obama compared to Romney.

July 18, 2013: Testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, top IRS attorney Carter Hull—a 48-year IRS veteran who will soon retire—says that in the winter of 2010-11:

“[I] was assigned by my supervisor to work on two applications of tea party groups. In that same month, I became aware that a group of tea party applications were being held by EO (Exempt Organizations) determinations in Cincinnati. It was my understanding that the applications assigned to me would be ‘test cases’ to provide guidance for those other applications. I was also told by my supervisor that I was to coordinate the review of the tea party applications that were assigned to Elizabeth Hofacre in Cincinnati.”

The most damning part of Hull’s testimony involves a directive from Lois Lerner’s senior advisor, who told him that the applications would require further review and “should go to the [IRS] chief counsel”—i.e., William Wilkins, an Obama appointee. (Source and Source)

July 24, 2013: During an economic address at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama charges that Republicans have turned the IRS matter into part of “an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals.” (Source)

August 13, 2013: According to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and his colleague, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner has been using a non-official, personal email account to conduct official government business. This is a violation of U.S. law, which requires those employed by federal agencies to retain all of their emails in the event that they are someday needed for lawsuits or congressional investigations. (Source)

August 2013: Congress issues its first request that it be provided with all emails sent or received by Lois Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009 to Aug. 2, 2013. (Source)

September 23, 2013: Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, retires from the agency after an internal investigation finds that she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and prepares to call for her dismissal. (Source)

October 9, 2013: It is learned that top IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram in 2012 discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials — including Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division — as evidenced by a series of 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. At that time, Ingram headed the IRS office responsible for overseeing tax-exempt nonprofit groups.

Specifically, Ingram sought to counsel the White House on how to handle a lawsuit filed by religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s mandate for contraception coverage. As the Daily Caller reports: “Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.” This was a violation of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, which forbids — on pain of up to five years in prison — a federal employee from “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”

in her October 9 testimony before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, Ingram says she cannot recall a document that contained confidential taxpayer information. (Source)

November 2013: The House Oversight Committee subpoenas all emails sent or received by Lois Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009 to Aug. 2, 2013. (Source)

February 2, 2014: In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Obama adamantly rejects the suggestion that the IRS had been used for political purposes by targeting Tea Party groups that sought tax-exempt status. “That’s not what happened,” Obama says, explaining that certain IRS officials had simply made some “some bone-headed decisions” due to their confusion about the proper procedure for implementing the law governing tax-exempt organizations. When asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, had been a factor, Obama replies: “Not even mass corruption—not even a smidgen of corruption.” Obama also acknowledges that then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman had been to the White House more than 100 times, but says he cannot recall speaking to him on any of those occasions. (Source)

February 11, 2014: House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) says that his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS targeting of conservative groups extended far beyond merely placing hurdles in the path of organizations that were seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. Says Camp:

“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s. At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.” (Source)

March 5, 2014: Former IRS official Lois Lerner once again invokes her Fifth Amendment right not to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing, just as she previously did on May 22, 2013. Though Republicans argue that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right by giving a statement during that May 22 hearing, Lerner, in response to several questions, says: “On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.” (Source)

After the hearing is adjourned, Lerner’s attorney, Bill Taylor, says that his client will make no further statements or give any testimony unless forced to. According to Taylor, the Oversight Committee “would have to start all over” in its investigation to compel Lerner back to the witness stand. (Source)

March 11, 2014: Darrell Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issues a staff report on Lois Lerner and her involvement in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. According to Brietbart.com:

The [Oversight Committee] report suggests Lerner misled Congress in four instances and attempted to downplay the inappropriate targeting after it came to light.

The report says Lerner was concerned about the political implications of allowing 501(c)(4) groups to spend money on election related activity in the wake of the Citizens United decision. The Oversight Committee report concludes that Lerner was involved in three separate efforts to curb such spending. From the report’s conclusion:
Evidence indicates Lerner and her Exempt Organizations unit took a three pronged approach to “do something about it” to “fix the problem” of nonprofit political speech:

1) Scrutiny of new applicants for tax-exempt status (which began as Tea Party targeting);
2) Plans to scrutinize organizations, like those supported by the “Koch Brothers,” that were already acting as 501(c)(4) organizations; and
3)“[O]ff plan” efforts to write new rules cracking down on political activity to replace those that had been in place since 1959.

The sense conveyed in the report is that Lerner was concerned IRS activity might appear to be “per se political” (as she warned in one email) even as she helped slow walk any movement toward approval on cases which were, overwhelmingly, conservative groups.

In the summer of 2011, Lerner learned about the criteria used to gather the Tea Party cases, which included “[s]tatements in the case file [that] criticize how the country is being run.” As a result she adjusted the criteria for selection so it would not appear to be focused on right-leaning groups. However, while her adjusting of the criteria represents an admission that the prior criteria had been problematic, she apparently made no effort to release the cases selected under that criteria. Tea Party cases remained gummed up in the multi-tier review process she had recommended.

The same briefing prepared for Lerner noted that one of the groups under scrutiny “stated it will conduct advocacy and political campaign intervention, but political campaign intervention will account for 20% or less of activities.” That’s far below the 49% threshold set by law. The briefing for Lerner added, “A proposed favorable letter has been sent to Counsel for review.” But the report notes that as of June 2013, a full two years later, the application was still pending.

And there is no doubt Lerner was aware who was being scrutinized. In July 2012, Lerner was notified by email that of the 199 501(c)(4) cases which had been set aside “approximately 3/4 appear to be conservative leaning while fewer than 10 appear to be liberal/progressive leaning groups…”

Earlier in 2012, Lerner was asked a series of questions by Committee staff. The report lays out four instances where she appears to have misled them in her answers. For instance, Lerner was asked whether criteria for examining 501(c)(4) cases had been changed at any time. She said no. But, as noted above, she had changed the criteria used to identify cases for scrutiny herself in 2011.

In response to another Committee question about letters sent to conservative groups demanding donor lists, Lerner replied this had been done “in the ordinary course of the application process.”

Later, in 2013, the Committee learned from the IRS Commissioner’s Chief of Staff, Nikole Flax, that she was unable to find another instance in the IRS’ history where such a request had been made.

Finally, the report is critical of Lerner’s attempt to downplay the import of the TIGTA findings by arranging a planted question to which Lerner could give a scripted answer claiming the targeting had been a mistake, not “a political vendetta.” Internally, Lerner wrote an email saying of the forthcoming report, “It is what it is … we will get dinged.” But a few months later, just before the report was released, she was exploring her retirement options. (Source)

April 7, 2014: A new report by by aides to Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reveals that IRS agents have testified before Congress that — contrary to recent claims by Democrats — the agency’s political targeting did not apply to liberal/left organizations. A Daily Callerstory explains:

IRS agents testified before Oversight that ACORN groups were scrutinized because the agency thought they were old organizations applying as new ones. Emerge America was scrutinized for potential “improper private benefit.” No evidence exists that the IRS requested additional information from any Occupy Wall Street group.

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report….

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

“[T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization’s political views,” the report stated.

April 9, 2014: The Washington Times reports that a government watchdog is pursuing cases against three IRS employees and offices suspected of engaging in illegal political activity in support of President Obama and fellow Democrats:

In one case the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates federal employees who conduct politics on government time, said it was “commonplace” in a Dallas IRS office for employees to have pro-Obama screensavers on their computers, and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at their office.

In another case, a worker at the tax agency’s customer help line urged taxpayers “to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name,” the Office of Special Counsel said in a statement. OSC said it is seeking “significant disciplinary action” against that employee.

Another IRS employee in Kentucky has agreed to serve a 14-day suspension for blasting Republicans in a conversation with a taxpayer.
“They’re going to take women back 40 years,” the IRS employee said in a conversation that was recorded. The employee also said that “if you vote for a Republican, the rich are going to get richer and the poor are going to get poorer.”
That employee went on to tell the taxpayer she knew she wasn’t supposed to be voicing her political opinions, and asked the taxpayer not to say anything.

In the Dallas situation, the OSC issued a letter to employees reminding them they aren’t allowed to do anything that would appear to be campaigning. “Specifically, it was alleged that employees have worn partisan political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and have displayed partisan political screensavers on their IRS computers. It was alleged that these items expressed support for President Barack Obama,” the OSC said.

The IRS issued a statement saying it couldn’t comment on specifics, but vowing it took complaints of politicking seriously.

May 6, 2014: The House of Representatives, in a 231-187 vote, decides to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the scandal in which the IRS targeted conservative groups, despite a subpoena that demanded her testimony. Six Democrats side with Republicans in the vote.

May 14, 2014: The Daily Caller reports the following:

The IRS’ Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller [DC].

Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and cit[ed] an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”

“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”

Levin asked ”if it is not provided on a routine basis, approximately what percentage of such applicants receive an IRS questionnaire seeking information about any political activities, and how the IRS determines whether and when to send that questionnaire; and approximately how many days after an application is filed that questionnaire is typically sent.”

Levin cited a 1997 IRS rejection letter to the conservative group National Policy Forum, formed by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, and asked Shulman, “Is it still the position of the IRS that a 501(c)(4) organization cannot engage in any partisan political activity, even as a secondary activity?”

Then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven T. Miller sent Levin a 16-page response explaining that the flexibility of IRS rules allow for the agency to “prepare individualized questions and requests.”

“There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities,” Miller wrote. “Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .”

As TheDC has extensively reported, IRS agents targeted groups’ donors, seized training information, demanded personal information on college interns, and even targeted individuals by name.

The emails obtained by Judicial Watch clearly demonstrate that the targeting was based in Washington, D.C.

IRS official Holly Paz wrote a July 6, 2010 email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replied to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) was designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.

“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, who was based at the agency’s Washington headquarters, according to Judicial Watch.

Lois Lerner also sent an April 2013 email to IRS internal investigators shortly before the scandal broke, explaining that “staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to ‘organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,’ which was what was on the BOLO list.” (Source)

June 13, 2014: The IRS tells Congress that due to a computer crash, it has lost many of former employee Lois Lerner’s emails from 2009-11 — specifically, those she transmitted to other federal agencies including the White House, the Justice Department, the Federal Election Commission, the Treasury Department, and Democratic Members of Congress.

Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, says: “The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries…. Frankly, these are the critical years [2009-11] of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone.”

In a letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen, House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa, who issued a subpoena seeking IRS documents, says that more than 1 million pertinent documents have yet to be produced.
“At this rate, the IRS’ response to the committee’s subpoena will drag on for years,” he wrote. (Source)

June 17, 2014: The IRS reports that due to computer crashes, it cannot produce e-mails from six more employees — in addition to Lois Lerner — who were involved in the targeting of conservative groups. Among the lost emails were those sent by Nikole Flax, chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller. (Source)

June 18, 2014: When Information Technology experts say they are confident that they would be able to retrieve the lost emails from Lois Lerner’s crashed computer hard drive, the IRS announces that the hard drive has been thrown away. (Source)

June 20, 2014: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen tells Congress that Lerner’s hard drive had been “recycled and destroyed in the normal process.” (Source)

June 20, 2014: In an angry exchange with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a Congressional hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan says:

“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you. The Internal Revenue Service comes to us a couple years ago and misleads us and tells us no targeting is occurring. Then it said it was a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Then it said it was also on progressives. All of those things have been proven untrue….

“You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hand onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited and you can’t keep six months worth of employee e-mails? And now that we are seeing this investigation, you don’t have the e-mails, hard drives crashed. You learned about this months ago. You just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday.”

Koskinen replies that this was the first time in his career that someone did not believe him.

“I don’t believe you,” Ryan said again.

When the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan), notes that the IRS has not issued any apology for not having informed anyone that the emails were lost long ago. “I don’t think an apology is owed,” Koskinen says. “Not a single email has been lost since the start of this investigation. Every email has been preserved that we have.”

Koskinen also says that the appointment of a special federal prosecutor to investigate how the IRS handled tax-exempt applications would be a “monumental waste of taxpayer funds.” (Source)

 

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1935

BUSTED: The Complete IRS Scandal Timeline in Spreadsheet Format
[Updated]


Reading this timeline, I have come to three conclusions:

  1. IRS official Steve Miller lied to Congress
2. IRS official Lois Lerner lied to Congress
3. President Barack Obama lied to the American people.
This scandal has the fingerprints of Barack Obama, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett all over it.

This is fascism on the part of the IRS and the White House. It is fascism, straight up.

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2013/05/busted-complete-irs-scandal-timeline-in.html

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