BREAKING: New Evidence Suggests the IRS Broke Federal Law

If you thought the story of how the IRS spent years persecuting conservatives was over, you were wrong. We’ve now known for years that the IRS was involved in some shady and likely illegal dealings in the years leading up to the 2012 presidential election. We even knew that the wrongdoing was likely initiated from near the top-of-the-heap, with IRS leaders who were directly connected to the White House. What we weren’t “sure” about was just how far these officials went to harass their political opponents and if they explicitly broke any federal laws.

Now it seems that we have the answer.

What we know now, thanks to additional documents unearthed in years-long litigation by the good-government group Cause of Action, is that Lerner almost certainly broke the law when she transferred the documents…

“It took an organization over 50 months of investigation and multiple lawsuits to get clarity on the IRS’s own compliance with the rules it enforces against others,” says Dan Epstein, the executive director of the Cause of Action Institute and a former attorney for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “The IRS, in the midst of its political targeting of groups engaged in policy advocacy, was engaging in the disclosure of millions of records aimed at ginning up prosecutions of these groups without going through the legally required channels.”

Federal law prohibits the IRS from sharing tax returns filed with the agency, with very limited exceptions. “The IRS has a special obligation to keep information confidential, that’s how our tax system works,” says Eileen O’Connor, who served as assistant attorney general for the tax division of the DOJ in the George W. Bush administration.

Documents suggest that Lerner’s massive document transfer to the DOJ didn’t meet any of those exceptions, including one that allows the agency to disclose returns for use in criminal investigations — if they’ve been requested in relation to “an actual investigation about a person to whom the investigation is related,” says O’Connor.

So, now the question is… what happens next? If this were a Republican operative, or a member of the “vast right wing conspiracy,” there is no doubt in my mind that jail time would be in their immediate future. However, because Lerner is an Obama lackey and a likely Clinton ally, I don’t think we can make the same assumptions about her. A more likely outcome? The media ignores this new evidence, everyone pretends to forget about it (except for conservatives), and Lois Lerner never faces justice… but eventually gets a new job with the Clinton administration (or the Clinton foundation… but I repeat myself).



IRS Finally Reveals List Of Tea Party Groups Targeted For Extra Scrutiny

More than three years after it admitted to targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny, the IRS has finally released a near-complete list of the organizations it snagged in a political dragnet.

The tax agency filed the list last month as part of a court case after a series of federal judges, fed up with what they said was the agency’s stonewalling, ordered it to get a move on. The case is a class-action lawsuit, so the list of names is critical to knowing the scope of those who would have a claim against the IRS.

But even as it answers some questions, the list raises others, including exactly when the targeting stopped, and how broadly the tax agency drew its net when it went after nonprofits for unusual scrutiny.

The government released names of 426 organizations. Another 40 were not released as part of the list because they had already opted out of being part of the class-action suit.

That total is much higher than the 298 groups the IRS‘ inspector general identified back in May 2013, when investigators first revealed the agency had been subjecting applications to long — potentially illegal — delays, and forcing them to answer intrusive questions about their activities. Tea party and conservative groups said they was the target of unusually heavy investigations and longer delays,

Edward D. Greim, the lawyer who’s pursuing the case on behalf of NorCal Tea Party Patriots and other members of the class, said the list also could have ballooned toward the end of the targeting as the IRS, once it knew it was being investigated, snagged more liberal groups in its operations to try to soften perceptions of political bias.

“As we have identified in our filings in this case, important questions still exist regarding changes to the IRS‘ case listings that occurred after the IRS learned that the [inspector general] and congressional investigations had begun,” he said. “Based on these changes, which to date remain unexplained, a very real possibility — if not probability — exists that the IRS modified its targeting in light of the investigations, packing its own internal lists of targeted groups to support its preferred narrative, including by adding ideologically diverse groups.”

He said if that did happen, it would have “tainted” the list the IRS has now released.

The IRS declined to comment, saying its filing spoke for itself.

A series of investigations found the IRS did ask intrusive questions and did delay applications for years, in violation of policy. But so far no investigation has found any order from the White House to conduct the targeting.

‘Tea’ and ‘patriot’ groups

Sixty of the groups on the list released last month have the word “tea” in their name, 33 have “patriot,” eight refer to the Constitution, and 13 have “912” in their name — which is the monicker of a movement started by conservatives. Another 26 group names refer to “liberty,” though that list does include some groups that are not discernibly conservative in orientation.

Among the groups that appear to trend liberal are three with the word “occupy” in their name.

And then there are some surprising names, including three state or local chapters of the League of Women Voters — a group with a long history of nonprofit work.

Some of the most active and prominent tea party groups snared in the targeting aren’t on the class-action list. At least some of them opted not to be part of the joint legal action to preserve their own lawsuits.

Congressional Republicans say IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who was brought in by President Obama to clean up the agency after the targeting scandal, has failed — and even misled Congress during the investigation. Some Republicans are even pursuing impeachment against Mr. Koskinen, accusing him of defying a subpoena for former senior IRS executive Lois G. Lerner’s emails by allowing computer backup tapes to be destroyed.

Even outside of impeachment, the House GOP has proposed a new round of budget cuts for the IRS, aimed at trying to deliver a message that Mr. Koskinen’s tenure has been unacceptable.

And the tax agency is still defending itself in a series of court cases. In addition to the NorCal class action case, the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is currently considering an appeal by tea party groups who argue the targeting is still going on.

“One thing remains clear: Continued litigation is the only way to force the IRS‘ hand in order to expose its targeting scheme that was coordinated with the help of the DOJ and other federal agencies so that we can obtain justice for those patriotic Americans who were unconstitutionally targeted by their own government,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing some of the plaintiffs in the appeals case.

In yet another case, the conservative group Cause of Action has been pursuing the IRS to turn over documents the group believed would show White House officials requesting secret taxpayer information on conservatives.

But in a filing Friday, the IRS said it has conducted a final search and can’t find any evidence that the White House either asked for or received protected information.



Judicial Watch: New Documents Reveal DOJ, IRS, and FBI Plan to Seek Criminal Charges of Obama Opponents

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).

The new IRS documents include a October 11, 2010 “DOJ Recap” memo sent by IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner and other top IRS officials explaining an October 8 meeting with representatives from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and “one representative from the FBI” to discuss the possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations for alleged political activity:

On October 8, 2010, Lois Lerner, Joe Urban [IRS Technical Advisor, TEGE], Judy Kindell [top aide to Lerner], Justin Lowe [Technical Advisor to the Commissioner of Tax-Exempt and Government Entities], and Siri Buller met with the section chief and other attorneys from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and one representative from the FBI, to discuss recent attention to the political activity of exempt organizations.

The section’s attorneys expressed concern that certain section 501(c) organizations are actually political committees “posing” as if they are not subject to FEC law, and therefore may be subject to criminal liability. The attorneys mentioned several possible theories to bring criminal charges under FEC law. In response, Lois and Judy eloquently explained the following points:

Under section 7805(b), we may only revoke or modify an organization’s exemption retroactively if it omitted or misstated a material fact or operated in a manner materially different from that originally represented.

If we do not have these misrepresentations, the organization may rely on our determination it is exempt. However, the likelihood of revocation is diminished by the fact that section 501(c)(4)-(c)(6) organizations are not required to apply for recognition of exemption.

We discussed the hypothetical situation of a section 501(c)(4) organization that declares itself exempt as a social welfare organization, but at the end of the taxable year has in fact functioned as a political organization. Judy explained that such an organization, in order to be in compliance, would simply file Form 1120-POL and paying tax at the highest corporate rate.
Lois stated that although we do not believe that organizations which are subject to a civil audit subsequently receive any type of immunity from a criminal investigation, she will refer them to individuals from CI who can better answer that question. She explained that we are legally required to separate the civil and criminal aspects of any examination and that while we do not have EO law experts in CI, our FIU agents are experienced in coordinating with CI.

The attorneys asked whether a change in the law is necessary, and whether a three-way partnership among DOJ, the FEC, and the IRS is possible to prevent prohibited activity by these organizations. Lois listed a number of obstacles to the attorneys’ theories:


She pointed to Revenue Ruling 2004-6, which was drafted in light of the electioneering communication rules before they were litigated.

Just prior this meeting, the IRS began the process of providing the FBI confidential taxpayer information on nonprofit groups. An IRS document confirms the IRS supplied the FBI with 21 disks containing 1.25 million pages of taxpayer records:

FROM: Hamilton David K

SENT: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 2:49 PM

TO: Whittaker Sherry [Director, GE Program Management], Blackwell Robert M

SUBJECT: RE: Question

There are 113,000 C4 returns from January 1, 2007 to now. Assuming they want all pages including redacted ones, that’s 1.25 million pages … If we get started on it right away, before the 10th when the monthly extracts start, we can probably get it done in a week or so….

The DOJ documents also include a July 16, 2013, email from an undisclosed Justice Department official to a lawyer for IRS employees asking that the Obama administration get information from congressional witnesses before Congress does:

One last issue. If any of your clients have documents they are providing to Congress that you can (or would like to) provide to us before their testimony, we would be pleased to receive them. We are 6103 authorized and I can connect you with TIGTA to confirm; we would like the unredacted documents.

“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”

On April 16, 2014, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to release documents revealing for the first time that Lerner communicated with the DOJ in May 2013 about whether it was possible to launch criminal prosecutions against targeted tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained due to court order in an October 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the IRS.

Those documents contained an email exchange between Lerner and Nikole C. Flax, then-chief of staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller discussing plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute nonprofit groups that “lied” (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities. The exchange included a May 8, 2013, email by Lerner:

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…

Democratic Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held a hearing on April 9, 2013, during which, “in questioning the witnesses from the DOJ and IRS, Whitehouse asked why they have not prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups that have seemingly made false statements about their political activities…”

The House Oversight Committee followed up on these Judicial Watch disclosures with hearings and interviews of Pilger and his boss, DOJ Public Integrity Chief Jack Smith. Besides confirming the DOJ’s 2013 communications with Lerner, Pilger admitted to the committee that DOJ officials met with Lerner in October 2010. Judicial Watch obtained new documents about these meetings in December 2014 showing the Obama DOJ initiated outreach to the IRS about prosecuting tax-exempt entities.

Following Judicial Watch’s lead, the House also found out about the IRS transmittal of the confidential taxpayer information to the FBI. Because of this public disclosure, the FBI was forced to return the 1.25 million pages to the IRS.



New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to hide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.

According to new congressional bombshell testimony today, the IRS set up a previously unknown “special project team” comprised of “hundreds of attorneys,” including the IRS Chief Counsel (one of only two politically appointed positions at the IRS).

The “special project” this team was given? Concealing information from Congress.

The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure division, Mary Howard, testified that soon after the IRS targeting scandal was revealed, the IRS “amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents [requested by Congress] and redact them.”

Members of Congress have long complained that many of the documents produced by the IRS have been “redacted to the point of absurdity.”

Now we know why.

As the Washington Times reports:

Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.

“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.
In other words, as soon as the IRS targeting scandal broke, the IRS set up a special team of hundreds of attorneys, including President Obama’s political head of the Chief Counsel’s office, to keep requests for publicly available information away from the person who would normally review those documents and turn them over to Congress and the public. That “special” team then overly redacted, delayed, and determined which documents it wanted Congress to see.

After setting up a special “group” to target and delay applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, the IRS set up a new “special project team” to delay and redact information from Congress about that targeting. Can you smell a cover-up?

When asked about these revelations and the ongoing investigation by Congress into the IRS and former top IRS official Lois Lerner’s involvement, Howard testified, “I think that Lois Lerner was the tip of the iceberg.”

This is what we at the ACLJ have been arguing all along. The targeting of conservative groups, the delays, the unconstitutionally abusive questions go far beyond former top IRS official Lois Lerner. We expect to learn more about Lerner’s role and the disappearance and later recovery of many of her emails later this month as the Inspector General for Tax Administration is due to issue its report.

Out of the spotlight for most of the investigation into the IRS targeting has been IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, who was appointed by President Obama. His office has been directly implicated in the delay of the initial “test” group of Tea Party applications and the formulation of numerous abusive and intrusive questions, including illegal requests for donor information.

As we have previously noted:

According to multiple IRS attorneys in D.C., including tax law specialist Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of the Tea Party cases, Lois Lerner, former Director at the Exempt Organizations Division, and her top advisor directed that certain Tea Party applications as part of a “test” group be sent to her office and IRS Chief Counsel for review in the winter of 2010-2011.

Chief Counsel’s office, after months more of delay, then demanded Mr. Hull make further inquiries of the Tea Party. According to the testimony, it was Chief Counsel’s office that was demanding to know more information about the conservative groups’ activities “right before the [2010] election period. In other words, immediately before.”

In addition, the testimony indicates that the Chief Counsel’s office was heavily involved in preparing a template for handling these cases, something Mr. Hull testified was impractical “because these organizations, all of them are different. A template wouldn’t work.” Yet, as he testified, a template was prepared by someone in Chief Counsel’s office in conjunction with other tax law specialists. Even more disturbing he testified that after three years, IRS Chief Counsel’s office had not made a determination about these “test” Tea Party cases, even though in 2011, Mr. Hull had all the information he needed to make a recommendation as to their request for tax-exempt status.
Of course, when asked about all of this, IRS Chief Counsel Wilkins conveniently forgot. As the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s interim report noted:

[D]uring his transcribed interview with Committee staff, Wilkins stated “I don’t recall” 80 times in full or partial response to questions. His inability or unwillingness to recollect important aspects of the misconduct – after over five months to prepare and refresh his recollection – suggests a deliberate attempt to obfuscate his role.
Congress’s investigation is far from over. At the ACLJ, our ongoing lawsuit on behalf of dozens of conservative and pro-life groups targeted by the IRS is far from over. Our appeal is pending before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately, the targeting is far from over as well, as the application of one of our clients has been pending for well over five years.

We will not give up. The more we learn the worse it gets. The IRS has become a bureaucratic behemoth that – as I describe in my new New York Times Bestselling book “Undemocratic” – is institutionally incapable of self-correction.

We will continue fighting to expose IRS corruption and pursue justice for the American people.



Contempt of Congress by Any Other Name
by Frank Salvato

Initially I was going to start with the line, “It is stunning to think,” but then I remembered I was opining about the Obama Administration, of which I have come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to nefarious doings meant to advance his agenda. To be certain, all of the actions (and inactions) taken (and not taken) by this administration – without exception – have been executed to advance his ideological agenda, chief among them the handling of the IRS’s targeting of the administration’s political adversaries. reports that Ronald Machen, the US attorney for the District of Columbia –an Obama appointee – has not acted on a Contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner even though the contempt citation has been in his hands since May of 2014. Manchen is set to step down next month.

Search the mainstream media headlines and you find this item far down the list if, in fact, you find it at all. Yet the issue is no less important than that of the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteed rights themselves; to both “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There is now no defense, nor believable denial in ignorance, for the illegal actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service under Lois Lerner. The facts present as undeniable. Under her direction, applications for organizations with political ideologies antithetical to those of the Obama Administration were treated as politically adversarial, receiving excessive scrutiny and myriad unreasonable demands for discovery; treatment not experienced by organizations whose ideologies were symbiotic with the administration’s. Succinctly, Ms. Lerner executed a political attack on a large faction of the American people for their support of a political ideology anathema to that of the President’s.

Ironically, Ms. Lerner’s claim to have learned of the illegal targeting through the news media failed to afford her the popular cover that has served President Obama well through several sensitive issues; cover that is now beginning to expose the disingenuousness of the claim, much to his chagrin. Ms. Lerner’s refusal to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee in its examination of these events – including her intentional denial of the existence of emails pertaining to her actions – rightfully garnered a Contempt of Congress charge.

But what is the worth of a Contempt of Congress charge if the authority tasked with bringing the weight of that charge to bear abdicates the responsibility of doing so? What punishment is there for transgression in a simple designation?

Citizens in the United States have been guaranteed the right to redress government; to be openly critical of the government’s policies and actions. Further, these defined rights allow them to openly oppose any and all elected officials, regardless of station, in an effort to affect change in political offices under which the people are represented.

So, too, are citizens guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble for political purposes; to create groups and organizations – especially under the banner of educating the public – that enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded under the law, including tax-exempt status, should the qualifying criteria exist.

Ms. Lerner’s action usurped these guaranteed rights, and her refusal to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee not only aggravated that usurpation, but proved – beyond reasonable doubt – that she holds the value of her politics above the rights of the People, and above the guaranteed Rights in our Constitution. Yet, when tasked with executing a Grand Jury referral mandated by a Contempt of Congress charge, Mr. Machen saw fit to prioritize the routine prosecution of dozens of district court financial fraud and local public corruption cases, as if to intentionally ignore the contempt citation. This leads to this question. If the police officer is corrupt – or intentionally abdicates his sworn duty, who do the innocent turn to for justice?

Article II, Section 1, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Richard M. Nixon (R) states:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to…cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”
If the use of the IRS to target political enemies was enough to bring about impeachment charges that would eventually see the first resignation of a sitting President, how does the exact same criminal act not warrant – at the very least – a referral to a Grand Jury for examination?

The Obama Administration claims the mantle of the most transparent in the history of the United States. In the non-execution of the Contempt of Congress charge against Lois Lerner they are transparent in their tyranny against the American people. Case closed…with prejudice.



Grassley Floor Speech on the Earned Income Tax Credit which could mean billions for illegals!



HOUSTON, TX. — February 27, 2015: True the Vote (TTV) President Catherine Engelbrecht issued the following statement in response to Thursday night’s House Oversight Committee hearing testimony, in which TIGTA Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Timothy Camus, revealed that the IRS is now being investigated for criminal misconduct including lying under oath about disposition of missing emails and finding of email backup tapes that appear to have been intentionally erased.

Stand against IRS targeting and help True the Vote get to the bottom of this scandal today!

“The IRS was apparently given instruction to do whatever necessary to silence those who spoke out against the Obama Administration. It became a West Wing weapon of choice,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “As the nation’s only pro-liberty election integrity organization, True the Vote was marked for takedown by the IRS early in 2010, along with hundreds of other organizations that spoke openly about government corruption. It took a long time, too long, for the pieces to be put together, but Americans are beginning to understand that the politics of ‘hope and change’ has an enforcement arm that operates like an organized crime syndicate.

“The time for choosing is now,” Engelbrecht continued. “Our elected officials need to stop playing politics and use the powers we’ve entrusted to them to restore the rule of law in Washington. Stop handing out bonuses and start sending law-breaking bureaucrats to jail. If Congress doesn’t have conviction enough to get the job done, then just turn out the lights, get off the payroll, go home, and get out of the way. Enough is enough. The American people will not be silenced.”

Source: True the Vote News


Revealed: 2,500 new documents in IRS / W.H. harassment cases

In a shocking revelation, the Treasury Inspector General has identified some 2,500 documents that “potentially” show taxpayer information held by the Internal Revenue Service being shared with President Obama’s White House.

The discovery was revealed to the group Cause of Action, which has sued for access to any of the documents. It charges that the IRS and White House have harassed taxpayers.

RELATED: 30,000 missing emails from IRS’ Lerner recovered

In an email from the Justice Department’s tax office, an official revealed the high number of documents, suggesting that the White House was hip deep in probes of taxpayers, likely including conservatives and Tea Party groups associated with the IRS scandal.

In requesting a delay in the delivery date of the documents, Justice told Cause of Action, “The agency [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents and anticipates being able to finish processing 2,000 of these pages by the December 1 date. It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings.”

RELATED: IRS sued for details about its snooping around church political advocacy

Cause of Action, which calls itself “Advocates for Government Accountability,” wasn’t surprised by the number of documents. It had filed suit to win access to them and a federal judge shot down Treasury’s earlier bid to hide the documents.

“This disclosure, coming only after Cause of Action sued TIGTA over its refusal to acknowledge whether such investigations took place, and after the court ordered TIGTA to reveal whether or not documents existed, signals that the White House may have made significant efforts to obtain taxpayers’ personal information,” it said in a statement to Secrets.

The disclosure follows the agency’s recovery of 30,000 “lost” emails from former IRS executive Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS-Tea Party scandal.

Cause of Action said the latest finding renews their “concerns about the decaying professionalism of, and apparent slip into partisanship by, IRS’s senior leadership.”

Below is the full email from Treasury:
My client wants to know if you would consent to a motion pushing back (in part) TIGTA’s response date by two weeks to December 15, 2014. The agency has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents and anticipates being able to finish processing 2,000 of these pages by the December 1 date. It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings. We would therefore like to ask the court to permit the agency to issue a response (including production) on December 1 as to any documents it has completed processing by that date, and do the same as to the remaining documents by December 15. I note that the court’s remand was for a “determin[ation],” which the D.C. Circuit has recently explained can precede actual production by “days or a few weeks,” but we would prefer to simply agree on a date for turning over any of the remaining 500 documents that may be responsive.

Yonatan Gelblum
Trial Attorney, Tax Division
U.S. Department of Justice



IRS Finds Missing Emails of Former Top Official Lerner in Targeting Probe

The watchdog agency for the Internal Revenue Service said it has found as many as 30,000 missing emails that could be relevant to a long-running congressional inquiry into alleged IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Investigators for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration recently recovered the emails from IRS backup tapes, according to a spokeswoman for the watchdog agency. The emails belong to a former top IRS official, Lois Lerner, who has been a focus of congressional inquiries.

Ms. Lerner had led the IRS’s tax-exempt division. Many of her emails from 2009-2011 were missing because her computer hard drive crashed in 2011.

Top IRS officials had told lawmakers that backup tapes were routinely recycled and therefore weren’t useful in the effort to find the missing email records. The agency said it had used other employees’ hard drives to recover thousands of the missing emails.

But TIGTA investigators succeeded in locating thousands of Ms. Lerner’s emails on the backup tapes.

It appears likely that at least some of the newly discovered emails will prove to be duplicates of those the IRS already has provided to Congress.

Still, the revelations are another headache for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen , who also has drawn criticism from GOP lawmakers for failing to alert them when the problem of the missing emails emerged.

The IRS said in a statement: “As Commissioner Koskinen has stated, the IRS welcomes TIGTA’s independent review and expert forensic analysis. Commissioner Koskinen has said for some time he would be pleased if additional Lois Lerner emails from this time frame could be found.”

The revelations promise to draw new attention to the targeting controversy, just before lawmakers return to Washington for the new Congress next year. TIGTA officials told lawmakers on Friday about the discovery of the missing emails, but congressional aides said it could take some weeks before the emails are sorted and in shape to examine. The emails must be decrypted and in some cases must be redacted to remove taxpayer-identifying information, aides said.

GOP lawmakers believe the IRS targeted conservative nonprofit groups for lengthy, intrusive scrutiny starting in 2010. Their suspicions seemed to be confirmed by an inspector general report in 2013, although Democrats say liberal groups eventually became a focus of the agency as well.

Efforts by GOP lawmakers to obtain all of Ms. Lerner’s emails were frustrated when IRS officials said earlier this year that they had lost them.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), said, “Once again it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.”

The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), promised to examine the material carefully. They plan to issue a bipartisan report on the matter early next year.



Federal Judge Dismisses IRS Scandal Lawsuit

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided today with the Internal Revenue Service and dismissed lawsuits by tea party organizations seeking redress for improper delays and scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.

District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that two lawsuits by True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty, along with 41 other conservative organizations, were moot because the IRS took steps to address the scandal and “publicly suspended its targeting scheme.”’

“It’s a disappointing ruling because it basically leaves targets of bad behavior by the IRS without a remedy,” Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

A federal judge sided with the IRS today and dismissed the case filed by conservative groups targeted by the tax agency.

>>> Commentary: The Wrongdoers at the IRS Get Away With It

Walton, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, decided that because the organizations eventually won tax-exempt status, they had remedied any wrongdoing. (His two rulings are below.)

“We are stunned by today’s judgment,” True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “The notion that the IRS can target Americans for years because of their political beliefs is reprehensible.”

Engelbrecht also told The Daily Signal:

The court acknowledges in its opinion that the IRS did in fact target True the Vote for our perceived political beliefs, but then it holds that neither the agency nor the individual IRS agents or officers are responsible for this unconstitutional conduct. Right now, we are considering all legal options and will announce our next steps very soon.

>>> Commentary: Politico Found Lois Lerner. So Why Can’t the U.S. Attorney in Washington?

True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty filed suit on the grounds that IRS officials improperly held up their tax-exempt status for several years.

Texas-based True the Vote, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to stop voter fraud, waited three years before the IRS awarded it tax-exempt status. It first applied in 2010 and received word in 2013.

Tennessee-based Linchpins of Liberty was created to mentor high school and college students in the continuing relevance of America’s founding principles. The IRS delayed the group’s application for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status for nearly three years, founder Kevin Kookogey recalled in an on-camera interview early this year.

“The court appears to believe that tossing a life-preserver to a swimmer who has already drowned can magically revive the dead.”–Linchpins of Liberty founder Kevin Kookogey

“Obviously, this ruling is stunning, and we intend to appeal,” Kookogey told The Daily Signal today, adding:

The court appears to believe that tossing a life-preserver to a swimmer who has already drowned can magically revive the dead, or that the government’s promise not to hurt anyone in the future releases it from liability for past harms.

Although True the Vote, Linchpins of Liberty and more than three dozen other groups argued there is no guarantee the IRS would not target conservative groups again, Walton ruled that the “prospect of future harm is speculative.”

Von Spakovsky, the Heritage legal fellow, disagreed.

“Given the unapologetic behavior of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials, and their total lack of remorse, I don’t think it’s ‘speculative’ that this could happen again in the future,” he said.

>>> No Apologies: Lois Lerner Breaks 16-Month Silence on IRS Scandal

Kookogey said he was baffled by the judge’s logic.

“My constitutional rights were violated at the moment the IRS first began to unlawfully obstruct and delay my application for tax-exempt status back in 2011,” Kookogey said. “Granting my status three years later — after we filed the complaint and moments before the government was required to file an answer — does not undo that harm or render our claims moot.”

Walton also refused to grant a request from True the Vote to require Lerner and other IRS officials to pay a fine for delaying the group’s tax-exempt status and subjecting it to additional scrutiny.

Lerner was the head of the IRS division that oversaw tax-exempt organizations. She resigned last year and twice has refused to testify before Congress.

Although the groups filed suit before they were granted tax-exempt status, Walton cited a remedy in place from Congress that called for organizations seeking such status to go to court for it. That provision, he said, should have been used.

In addressing True the Vote’s request, Walton said because the IRS eventually granted it tax-exempt status, the group no longer had grounds for the case.

>>> Commentary: More Evidence of Lois Lerner’s Liberal Bias

Kookogey, a Nashville lawyer, told The Daily Signal that Linchpins of Liberty lost a $30,000 grant, a significant part of his own business and opportunities to mentor students because of the IRS’ actions. The agency’s delay in granting tax-exempt status also prevented Kookogey from fundraising and building the organization, he said:

If this ruling is permitted to stand, it will embolden a government which has already exceeded its limits to believe that it can violate the natural rights of its citizens until caught, at which point it must only apologize, ‘fix’ the problem, and move on to the next victim.

During Lerner’s tenure, conservative and tea party groups such as True the Vote waited years for the IRS to rule on their applications. The IRS targeting scandal prompted more than a dozen hearings by congressional investigators.

Congress learned this summer that emails Lerner sent during the time of the targeting had vanished because a computer drive crashed.



U.S. Senator Pat Roberts:” I’m Convinced IRS scandal Links to Valerie Jarrett”


White House Can’t Hide Look Into Koch Tax Data Misuse

Scandal: A court tells the White House to ac knowledge the existence of a probe into whether one of its advisers used private tax records for political gain. Transparency is being forced on an administration that’s anything but.
In 2010, an attorney for industrialists and libertarian political donors Charles and David Koch told the Weekly Standard of a senior Obama aide telling reporters on background that the Kochs “do not pay corporate income tax” through their company, Koch Industries.
How, the attorney justifiably wondered, did the White House get his clients’ private information from the IRS?
The anonymous official has since been identified as former White House senior economics adviser Austin Goolsbee, and his remarks were aimed to besmirch the Koch brothers and their group Americans for Prosperity, the bête noir of Democrats and the White House for helping expose Obama administration failures and the dangers of its policies.
In a conference call with reporters, the Washington Post reported, Goolsbee used Koch Industries as an example to back up an administration claim that half of all business income went to companies that manage to avoid paying corporate income taxes.
Goolsbee could not have made his claim without access to the Kochs’ private tax data, something a White House official is not supposed to have. The administration’s early excuses were that he obtained the data from an unidentified government board and later that he must have read about it somewhere.
A group of six Republican senators, led by Charles Grassley of Iowa, shot off a letter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, complaining that Goolsbee’s statement “implies direct knowledge of Koch’s legal and tax status, which would appear to be a violation of” federal tax laws.
The inspector general responded that it was launching an investigation into the matter but, as the Washington Free Beacon reports, the IG never released any report or investigation results to the American people or to the senators who made the inquiry. The matter suddenly disappeared from view.
As the Free Beacon notes, the inspector general has refused Freedom of Information Act requests from the Free Beacon, Koch Industries and the government watchdog group Cause of Action. The IG office used the false argument that it could not release information pertaining to an investigation of the illegal use of private tax information because that itself would involve the release of private tax information.
The government used a similar excuse in a National Organization for Marriage case that resulted in a $52,000 government settlement. NOM’s private tax data were leaked to the Human Rights Campaign, at the time headed by Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor. Solmonese later became a 2012 Obama campaign co-chairman.
U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Amy Berman Jackson did not buy the IG’s excuse and granted Cause of Action’s motion for a summary judgment, ordering the inspector general to provide Cause of Action the documents requested pertaining to the investigation into Goolsbee’s actions.
Jackson ruled, “The fact that (the inspector general) has publicly announced that it has investigated unlawful disclosures of, or access to, that body of information protected by statute as ‘return information’ strongly suggests that the fact of an investigation is not, itself, ‘return information.'”
“The court has ruled that the government cannot hide behind confidentiality laws from preventing Americans from knowing if our president has gained unauthorized access to their tax information,” Cause of Action Executive Director Dan Epstein said in a statement.
The most transparent administration in history is once again trying to hide its use of the IRS, the agency that most Americans fear most, as a weapon to punish and intimidate its political opponents.



A Special Counsel to Investigate the IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups

On July 30, 1974, President Nixon released the White House tape recordings to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court order. A day earlier, the House Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment. Article 2 dealt with “abuse of power.” The first impeachment count, 40 years ago, complained that the President attempted to use the Internal Revenue Service to harass his enemies.

(1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinated and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner. [Emphasis added.]

Note that the charge was not that the President had caused the IRS to engage in discriminatory enforcement of the tax laws. No, the claim was that the President had tried, unsuccessfully, to do so. I remember the incident better than most because I was assistant majority counsel to the Senate Watergate Select Committee.

On that same date, July 30, 40 years later, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing: The IRS Targeting Scandal: the Need for a Special Counsel. I was one of the witnesses. The question was whether Attorney General Eric Holder should appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal, discover how far it went, and determine who was involved in the cover-up.

We all will agree on the seriousness of any claim that any federal official has ever tried to use the IRS to harass those perceived to be political opponents, because such actions undercut our faith in a nonpartisan IRS. Our tax system is largely voluntary: we report our income and list our deductions. When the people lose faith in the IRS, we are all the worse. Thus, we should all be happy if the President is correct when he assured us that there is “not even a smidgen of corruption” regarding Lois G. Lerner and the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

The problem is that there is more than a smidgen of corruption. First, it is hard to argue that the IRS did not target conservative groups because the IRS has now “apologized” for doing so and the nonpartisan Inspector General for the IRS concluded that the IRS “systematically” used ‘‘Inappropriate Criteria” to identify these groups.

That, of course, does not mean that the President was involved. However, we would like to know whether the scandal stopped with Lois Lerner or went beyond her to include her superiors or officials at the Department of Justice. Did any such officials help to cover up the scandal?

We would also like to know the basis for the President’s assurance that there is not a smidgen of corruption. Did someone at the Department of Justice mislead him, intentionally or through incompetence? What did the Department of Justice tell him that caused him to assure us that there is not a smidgen of corruption? We would not expect the President to plead Executive Privilege to that information because the point of him receiving it was to pass it on to the people, to all of us.

The House has passed a special, bipartisan House Resolution, calling for the Attorney General to appoint a Special Counsel. The House found—

The Department of Justice (DOJ) interviewed Lois Lerner about the IRS targeting (after she pled the Fifth Amendment), but DOJ has, oddly enough, not disclosed the content of her interview—although doing so could support the President’s claim that there is not a “smidgen of corruption” if she really did nothing wrong.
Since February of 2010 (about nine months before the elections of 2010), The IRS began targeting conservative nonprofit groups for enhanced scrutiny when they filed their routine application for tax-exempt status.
The IRS focused on groups with “Tea Party” in their name, and on February 1, 2011, Lois G. Lerner wrote that the ‘‘Tea Party matter [was] very dangerous.’’
Months after the President assured us that there is not a “smidgen of corruption,” the Inspector General for Tax Administration (IG)) issued an audit report that concluded that the IRS “systematically” used ‘‘Inappropriate Criteria” to “Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review.’’
On May 15, 2013, the President called the IRS’s targeting ‘‘inexcusable,” but on February 2, 2014, he represented that there was ‘‘not even a smidgen of corruption.’’ He has not explained what information caused him to change his mind.
We recently learned, from an email, that Ms. Learner was also interested in using IRS powers against Senator Charles E. Grassley (Republican, Iowa). Any IRS investigation can be very onerous, although the targeted taxpayer has done nothing wrong. The IRS can demand records going back many years.
Many emails and other forms of electronic communication related to the Lois Lerner matter have disappeared, or perhaps not disappeared—the IRS has not been completely and promptly forthcoming on this issue. The emails that the IRS belatedly said are “lost” just happen to fall within the time frame from January 1, 2009, and April 2011, the relevant period.

We also know that in August 2014, Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan launched an independent inquiry into the issue of the missing emails associated with former IRS official Lois Lerner.

In June, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 for the illegal disclosure of tax return information—“leaking” the 2008 tax return and list of major donors of the National Organization for Marriage [NOM] to an activist who turned over that tax data to NOM’s adversary, the Human Rights Campaign. The President of that organization happened to be the national co-chair of President Obama’s Reelection Campaign. This relationship certainly suggests a conflict of interest, when lawyers supporting the President are ultimately in charge of the investigation that involves the national co-chair of President Obama’s Reelection Campaign.

When NOM deposed the activist who received the confidential IRS tax information, he (like Ms. Lerner) pled the Fifth Amendment. The DOJ indicated that it would not be filing any charges against this person. Hence, NOM asked the DOJ to give him immunity, to force him to testify. Doing so would not compromise any criminal investigation against him because the DOJ said it would not be filing charges. Inexplicably, the DOJ refused to grant him immunity.

There is no longer a special statute that provides for a Special Prosecutor or Independent Counsel. However, the Attorney General does not need a statute to appoint a Special Counsel. There was a Special Counsel in the Teapot Dome scandal despite a lack of statutory authorization. Similarly, there was no statutory authorization for the Special Counsel in the Watergate scandal.

What we have now, as in the case of Watergate, is a regulation, in Title 28 of Code of Federal Regulations, Section 600.1. It provides that the Attorney General “will appoint a Special Counsel” when he determines that “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted,” and the Department of Justice has a “conflict of interest” and “it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter. “

The Attorney General has already been investigating. We also know that the President (the chief law enforcement officer of the United States) announced last February that there has not been a “smidgen of corruption” even though neither he nor the Department of Justice could have examined all the evidence, in particular the emails and other electronic information. The Attorney General and all top officials of the Department of Justice serve at the pleasure of the President. They are in an apparent conflict because an impartial investigation may undercut the assurance of the President that there is not a smidgen of any IRS corruption in the Lois Lerner affair. The Department of Justice is also in a conflict because an impartial investigator will have to determine whether DOJ lawyers were aiding Mr. Lerner in a cover-up of the IRS targeting scandal. The DOJ is now defending the IRS in that scandal, so we would not expect the DOJ to impartially investigate itself.

Moreover, a majority of the federal government’s Inspectors General (IGs) (47 out of 73 IGs) have signed an extraordinary joint letter on August 5, 2014, complaining that the Obama administration is obstructing their investigations into government mismanagement and corruption. President Obama appointed many of these IGs, including one of the signers, who is the Inspector General of the Department of Justice. The DOJ, for example, is refusing to provide the IG records that in the past it has given without objection. The Peace Corps also refuses to provide its IG with full access to sexual assault records.

The present circumstances are extraordinary. Emails disappear. IRS backup disks are destroyed, while the IRS is involved in litigation to turn over those backup disks. The IRS does not appear to keep the records that the law requires it to keep. The President assures us that there this is no hint, “not a smidgen of corruption,” before the DOJ completed its purported investigation. That prejudgment undermines the investigation. There is also the appearance of a conflict when Department of Justice lawyers who are political appointees of the President are in charge of the investigation that involves the national co-chair of President Obama’s Reelection Campaign. The Washington, D.C., Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers, Rule 1.7(b)(4), provides there is a conflict if a lawyer’s professional judgment “may be adversely affected” by his own “personal interests.”

Let me put the matter in another way: if the DOJ and the Attorney General wanted to hide the evidence that one or more Administration officials used the IRS to harass opponents, they would act exactly the way they are acting now.

The Attorney General can restore America’s faith in the nonpartisanship of the Internal Revenue Service by fulfilling his duties under § 600.1 to appoint a Special Counsel. During the Watergate controversy, the Attorney General appointed a prominent Democrat, first Archibald Cox and then Leon Jaworski. If a Democrat had given Nixon a clean bill of health, the people would have believed it. Similarly, if now, the Attorney General appoints a prominent Republican to investigate the misuse of the IRS, and if that person finds not a smidgen of corruption, the people will believe that. If, on the other hand, the Special Counsel finds corruption and a cover-up, well, let the chips fall where they may.

Granted, this Special Counsel regulation is not a statute, but it is still the law. As the Supreme Court explained in United States v. Nixon, when referring to the regulations that governed the Attorney General’s appointment of a Special Counsel: “So long as this regulation is extant it has the force of law.” The Court went on to summarize the precedent as holding that “so long as the Attorney General’s regulations remained operative, he denied himself the authority to exercise the discretion delegated to the Board even though the original authority was his and he could reassert it by amending the regulations.”

Government officials require us to turn square corners with dealing with them. They should turn square corners when they deal with us. The Attorney General should follow his own regulations, which appear to deny himself the authority to exercise discretion to refuse to appoint a Special Counsel.

September 29, 2014
Source: Legal analysis and and commentary from

IRS Admits Lois Lerner Emails Are Backed Up

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton Discusses the IRS “Lost” Emails Investigation

Tale of the Tapes: IRS head confirms investigators have found backup tapes in Lerner probe

The head of the IRS confirmed Wednesday that investigators looking into missing emails from ex-agency official Lois Lerner have found and are reviewing “backup tapes” — despite earlier IRS claims that the tapes had been recycled.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” But he said the inspector general’s office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any “recoverable” material.

The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes “no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

It is unclear whether the tapes in IG custody contain any Lerner emails, but Koskinen said investigators are now checking.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee first raised questions about the backup tapes on Monday, releasing a partial transcript from an interview with IRS official Thomas Kane. In it, Kane said “there is an issue” as to whether all the backup tapes were destroyed. Asked if they might still exist, he said he didn’t know but “it’s an issue that’s being looked at.”

Investigators in Congress and with the inspector general’s office want to see those backup tapes because of the possibility they might contain emails that otherwise were lost in Lerner’s apparent hard drive crash in 2011. Lerner is the former IRS official at the center of the controversy over agency targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status — the agency’s acknowledgement last month that years’ worth of emails were lost has infuriated GOP investigators.

The so-called backup tapes are considered a last resort option for recovering any missing emails. Though certain federal employees are supposed to store certain communications, the backup tape system was used at the IRS to store such data for a six-month period.

“There are still many unanswered questions,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Wednesday.

Several other questions have been raised in recent days over how Lerner’s emails disappeared and when the agency learned about it.

The House Ways and Means Committee claimed Tuesday that Lerner’s hard drive was only “scratched,” but not necessarily damaged beyond repair. Asked about that claim on Wednesday, Koskinen claimed not to know much about that allegation.

“It concerns me,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are calling for a special prosecutor to investigate why the IRS delayed telling Congress and the Justice Department that the emails from Lerner disappeared.

According to a transcript from a July 17 interview, Kane told oversight committee investigators that senior leadership in the IRS learned about the apparent hard drive crash in early February. Koskinen, though, did not mention issues with Lerner’s emails at a March 26 hearing, or at a subsequent committee staff meeting, according to Republicans.

“You guys sat on the information for several months,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said Wednesday.

Koskinen, though, said he was advised in February only that there was a discrepancy in the number of emails turning up from Lerner before 2011 and that there was a “problem” with Lerner’s computer. He said the problem was not described to him in any greater detail at the time.

He said they found out about the hard-drive crash in April.

Republicans claim that the new details emerging raise concerns about how forthcoming the agency has been.

“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said in a statement Tuesday.

Democrats, meanwhile, slammed Republicans for continuing to bring Koskinen before the congressional committees.

“This is unseemly, it’s embarrassing, this is not a proper way to run an investigation,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said.



Six questions about the IRS’s missing emails, from IT experts

Did the IRS intentionally lose e-mails to cover up potentially incriminating communications relating to the agency’s targeting controversy, or did the records go missing because of bad technology management?

As for the latter question, few organizations are in a better position to make an assessment of the situation than the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, which deals with these types of issues on a regular basis.

The group, which runs the only worldwide certification program for IT asset managers, released six questions on Monday that it thinks lawmakers and federal investigators should ask about the missing e-mails of former IRS official Lois Lerner, a central figure in the targeting affair.

To review, the IRS said it lost years worth of Lerner’s e-mails when her hard drive crashed in 2011. The agency also said it destroyed the device after trying to recover the data with help from its IT specialists and forensics experts.

Although this issue has become politicized, there’s little doubt that authorities should look into the matter. After all, National Archivist David Ferriero told a congressional committee at a hearing last month that the IRS “did not follow the law” when it failed to inform the National Archives and Records Administration of Lerner’s lost e-mails.

IAITAM president and founder Barbara Rembiesa posed the following questions for the IRS in a news release on Monday:

1.) What happened to the IRS’s IT asset managers who appear to have disappeared at a key juncture?
Ordering the destruction of a hard drive and documenting that process would be handled by trained, certified IT asset managers, according to IAITAM. But the group’s records show that at least three IRS IT asset managers were shuffled out of their positions around the time of the May 2013 inspector general’s report that detailed the agency’s targeting practices.

IAITAM said investigators need to “determine if these in-house IT asset managers were removed from the picture as the IRS email investigation heated up.”

2.) Where is the documentation to prove that the IRS wiped or destroyed Lois Lerner’s hard drive?

So far, we only have the word of IRS officials. IAITAM said its standards call for clear proof and records of destruction when drives are wiped or eliminated. “Until that documentation is provided, the hard drives should be considered lost, not destroyed,” Rembiesa said.

3.) Were the drives destroyed by an outside vendor or firm? If so, by who, and can they verify the destruction?

Hiring a specialized firm to destroy IT assets is not unusual for federal agencies, according to IAITAM. If the IRS used this method to destroy Lerner’s hard drive, there would be an additional layer of documentation to show that the action took place, the group said.

4.) What are the IRS’s specific policies and procedures on document retention when hard drives are damaged or destroyed?

The IRS almost certainly has specific policies and procedures for reclaiming and destroying hard drives, according to IAITAM. “In large organizations, hard drives don’t just get bulk erased,” Rembiesa said. If the IRS followed its standards properly, there would be documentation of failed attempts to recover data from the hard drives and for destroying them. So far, we only have e-mails that the IRS released showing that Lerner was working with IT specialists to recover her files and that those efforts failed.

5.) What is the IRS’s disaster-recovery policy?

Loss of data at large organizations is fairly common, but failing to find a way to recover the data is not common, according to IAITAM. The group said investigators need to understand exactly what the IRS would typically do when data is lost, as well as whether the agency followed those guidelines in Lerner’s case, and, if not, then why.

6.) Where are Lois Lerner’s Blackberry e-mails?

IAITAM said investigators need to determine whether the IRS’s Blackberry communications are secure and what is on the “enterprise server.”

“It is difficult to imagine that none of the emails in question were done on a mobile basis,” Rembiesa said. “If so, there may be a freestanding stream of email records that would not be impacted by the Lerner hard drive loss.”


Federal judge orders IRS to explain lost emails
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to explain under oath how it lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency a month to submit the explanation in writing. Sullivan said he is also appointing a federal magistrate to see whether the lost emails can be obtained from other sources.

Sullivan issued the order as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group. He said the IRS declaration must be signed, under oath, by the appropriate IRS official.

“I’m going to hold tight to that Aug. 10 declaration,” Sullivan said.

The IRS says it lost the emails in 2011 when Lois Lerner’s computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She has since retired.

Lerner, who refused to answer questions at two House committee hearings, has become a central figure in several congressional investigations over the handling of tea party applications. At both hearings, Lerner cited her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has testified on the lost emails before Congress at least three times. Each time he was under oath.

Koskinen said he first learned there was a problem with Lerner’s computer in February but didn’t learn that emails were lost until April. The IRS notified Congress June 13.

Judicial Watch lawyer Ramona Cotca complained that the IRS never informed her group or the court about the lost emails, even though Sullivan had ordered the IRS to produce documents related to the information request on a monthly basis.

Geoffrey Klimas, a Justice Department lawyer representing the IRS, said the agency had no legal obligation to tell Judicial Watch about emails that may have been destroyed two years before the group filed its request for information.

Judicial Watch filed a series of requests with the IRS shortly after the tea party controversy erupted in May 2013. Among its requests, the watchdog group wanted communications Lerner had with others concerning the handling of applications for tax-exempt status since Jan. 1, 2010.

Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the IRS in October, saying the agency didn’t produce any documents. Since then, the IRS started to produce some documents in February, Cotca said.

On Thursday, Cotca asked Sullivan to conduct a limited discovery to determine what happened to the emails, perhaps compelling testimony from IRS officials. But Sullivan said that would be premature.

Klimas noted that the tax agency’s inspector general is conducting an investigation into the lost emails. Klimas said the inspector general has asked the IRS not to question witnesses that may have information about the lost emails to avoid interfering with its investigation.

Sullivan said the sworn IRS statement should include information about the inspector general’s concerns.

Sullivan said he would assign federal magistrate John Facciola to look into ways of obtaining the IRS records from other sources, though it is unclear how much information could be recovered.

In 2011, the IRS had a policy of backing up emails on computer tapes, but the tapes were recycled every six months, Koskinen told Congress. He said Lerner’s hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed, after technicians in the agency’s criminal investigations unit tried unsuccessfully to restore it.

The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because she had copied in other IRS employees, Koskinen said. As part of the congressional investigations, the IRS said it is producing a total of 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013.

IRS lawyers are due back in federal court Friday before a different judge for a hearing on the lost emails in a separate lawsuit filed by a group called True the Vote. The group, which says it advocates for the integrity of elections, sued the IRS over delays in its application for tax-exempt status.


Congress takes 1st step toward jailing former IRS division chief

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, has just submitted a resolution, HR 664, which finds Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before a congressional committee.

Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, has admitted the IRS improperly targeted conservative groups seeking 501(c)(3) status.

However, Lerner twice invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify before the House Oversight Committee.

The resolution only has to pass the House, not the Senate, to go into effect.

And the House is controlled by Republicans, so its passage would seem assured.

If the House passes the resolution and finds Lerner in contempt, she could go to jail, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by WND.

The resolution states that she should be held in contempt because the threat of prosecution has clearly been insufficient to encourage her “to be honest and candid with Congress regarding the heinous actions of the Internal Revenue Service.”

It further states, “That the Speaker issue his warrant directed to the Sergeant-at-Arms, or his deputy, commanding him to arrest and take into custody forthwith, wherever to be found, the body of Lois G. Lerner and bring her to the bar of the House without delay to answer to the charge of contempt of its authority, breach of its privileges, and gross and wanton insult to the integrity of its proceedings, and in the meantime keep the body of Lerner in his custody in the common jail of the District of Columbia, subject to the further order of the House.

The resolution continues, “While in custody Lerner shall enjoy no special privileges beyond those extended to her fellow inmates, shall not access any computer or telephone, and shall not be visited by anyone other than her counsel, clergy, physician or family.”

Stockman said, “Asking the Justice Department to prosecute Lois Lerner for admittedly illegal activity is a joke. The Obama administration will not prosecute the Obama administration.”

He added, “How much longer will the House allow itself to be mocked? It is up to this House to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who illegally targeted American citizens for simply having different ideas than the president.”

There is no word yet on when the House might vote on the resolution.


Lois Lerner Was Hoping They Wouldn’t Find This Email, But Investigators Just Did
Despite the fact that the agency claims two years’ worth of former official Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a 2011 hard drive crash, a number of troubling correspondences have nevertheless found their way to congressional investigators. The latest seems to indicate that Lerner realized there was a distinct possibility her online communications could be used against her and sought to find a way to curtail that risk.

Oddly enough, her concern over expressing too much in an email did not prevent her from expressing herself through that very medium.

In the conversation, she expressed concern over “several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails,” prompting her to suggest “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.”

Lerner email

Recent reports also reveal that Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor II, sought to clarify his earlier statement that his client did not print official IRS records. He confirmed that she did, in compliance with the Federal Records Act, print a number of emails from the period during which such communications were supposedly lost.

Along with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Taylor previously maintained that Lerner did not know this was a requirement and failed to create such hard copies of her emails.

“During her tenure as Director of Exempt Organizations,” Taylor said in a statement Wednesday, “she did print out some emails, although not every one of the thousands she sent and received.”

According to a Wall Street Journal report, email correspondences also indicate that IRS officials routinely engaged in instant messaging, the contents of which were not maintained in any retrievable format.


Another federal judge tells IRS to explain itself on lost emails

IRS attorneys will be even busier than normal next week, because another federal judge has told them to show up in court July 11 to defend the federal tax agency.

They will have to explain to U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton why the IRS shouldn’t be required to let an outside expert evaluate whether emails on the computer hard drives of former IRS official Lois Lerner and six colleagues really are lost forever, as the agency recently told Congress.

Responding to a motion filed Monday by True the Vote, a Houston-based conservative nonprofit at the center of IRS targeting during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns, Walton issued an order Tuesday to hear arguments next week.

The IRS recently told Congress that a mysterious crash of the hard drives last year irretrievably destroyed nearly two years of emails to and from Lerner and the others to and from people in other federal agencies, including the White House.

But True the Vote wants a digital forensics expert from outside the IRS to assess the evidence.

“Even if the ill-timed hard drive ‘crash’ was truly an accident, and even if the IRS genuinely believes that the emails are ‘unrecoverable,’ the circumstances of the spoliation at issue cry out for a second opinion,” True the Vote’s attorneys told Walton in the motion filed late Monday.

“It may well prove to be the case that a computer forensics expert could recover evidence that the IRS has been unable to retrieve.

“At the very least, such an expert could preserve whatever evidence has not already been wiped clean from the IRS’s computers along with whatever is stored on the Individual Defendants’ home computers, cell phones, and other PDAs.”

IRS attorneys will be in the federal District Court on July 10 to explain why the government failed to tell Judicial Watch about the lost emails for months despite their being evidence in the nonprofit’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Judicial Watch, a government watchdog nonprofit, filed its lawsuit last October after IRS officials failed to respond adequately to a May 2013 FOIA request for the Lerner emails.

The government asked Walton on Monday night to dismiss the motion for an outside digital forensics expert. But True the Vote argued that merely asking for the dismissal “does not give them carte blanche to destroy or permit the destruction of documents and discoverable information that are relevant to the IRS Targeting Scheme in general and the application of True the Vote for exempt status.

“If the IRS’s public statements about ‘recycling’ Ms. Lerner’s hard drive are true, that alone establishes spoliation of evidence that violates federal statutes and regulations, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and professional ethics and responsibility.

“These statements, coupled with the refusal of Defendants’ counsel, to provide any assurances about what has been and will be done to preserve evidence underscore the need for the relief that True the Vote seeks.”

An IRS spokesman has been asked for comment on True the Vote’s motion and the July 11 court date.

Click here to read entire article and associated documents…

Meet The Seven IRS Employees Whose Computers ‘Crashed’

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently claiming that seven different IRS officials experienced computer crashes that erased their emails and made it impossible for the IRS to cooperate with congressional investigations into the IRS targeting matter.

The wave of computer crashes apparently struck both Washington, D.C. — where Lois Lerner oversaw the agency’s Exempt Organizations division — and also Cincinnati, Ohio — where agents processed tax-exempt applications.

The Federal Records Act requires IRS employees to save all of their emails pertaining to agency business and to also print those emails out in case they have a computer crash.

IRS commissioner John Koskinen claimed in testimony in March that the IRS employees’ emails were saved on servers, but then testified this month that he doesn’t know of any “magical way” to get the missing emails back.

The IRS canceled its six-year business relationship with the email-archiving firm Sonasoft in September 2011, weeks after Lerner’s computer crash, and also prematurely retired data storage devices at its IT offices in Maryland.
Here are the seven IRS employees who could use a tutorial on hard drive-fixing:

Lois Lerner: Lerner was the Washington-based head of the IRS Exempt Organizations division until her recent resignation. Lerner originally apologized in May 2013 for targeting conservative groups, but later attested to her innocence and repeatedly pleaded the Fifth at House Oversight hearings. The House of Representatives voted in May to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. New IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified that nobody at the IRS tried to extract any emails from a six-month backup disk after Lerner’s computer hard drive allegedly crashed in June 2011. Lerner’s hard drive was “recycled.” Lerner and her attorney husband Michael Miles live on a $2.4 million property in Bethesda, Maryland.

Nikole Flax, former chief of staff to IRS commissioner Steven Miller: Flax was a busy bureaucrat during her tenure at the IRS, where she worked for Lerner in the exempt organizations division among other roles. Flax made 31 visits to the White House between July 12, 2010 and May 8, 2013, according to White House visitor logs. Flax’s visits started in the early days of the IRS targeting program and ended just two days before the IRS scandal broke on May 10, 2013. Flax met twice in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Jeanne Lambrew, a top adviser to President Obama who exchanged confidential information on conservative groups with Lerner.
Flax previously worked at the Joint Committee on Taxation as a legislative counsel, but left about six years ago, sources told TheDC. Flax attended Louisiana State University. She is married to Ryan H. Flax, a litigation consultant at the Washington firm A2L Consulting and a former intellectual property lawyer at the major D.C. law firm Dickstein Shapiro. The couple live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Reached by phone, Ryan Flax declined to comment for this report, telling TheDC that he is “not really a part of this [controversy].”

Michelle Eldridge, IRS national media relations chief: This 23-year IRS veteran was tasked with defending the IRS when it came under scrutiny in 2012 for whistleblower reprisal from its inspector general and from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who Lerner tried to target, and when it was revealed in 2013 that the agency leaked confidential information on conservative groups to the liberal nonprofit ProPublica. Eldridge visited the White House on March 22, 2010, to meet with Vice President Joe Biden’s scheduling director Alex Hornbrook.
“Eldridge leads the IRS’ national media relations office to provide public information on key announcements and tax law changes, including new health care tax law implications and recovery act provisions,” according to a speaker bio. “As chief, national media relations, she manages the day-to-day issuance of news releases and guidance drops, handles national media inquiries, and implements communication and media strategies for key IRS initiatives, such as offshore tax compliance and the Return Preparer Initiative.”

Kimberly Kitchens, agent: Kitchens, who donated to President Obama’s 2012 campaign, worked in the IRS Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements office in Cincinnati in 2012, according to IRS documents. The IRS’ plague of computer crashes, therefore, was not merely confined to Washington, D.C., but also ensnared the Cincinnati office that Lerner oversaw and initially tried to blame the entire scandal on.

Nancy Heagney, agent: Another Cincinnati-based Exempt Organizations official that worked under Lerner.

Julie Chen, agent: Chen is another Exempt Organizations official, according to IRS documents.

Tyler Chumny, supervisory agent: After some confusion as to the identity of Tyler Chumney, a source informed us that he served as a Cincinnati-based contact person on at least one tax-exempt decision letter signed by Lerner.


Tom Fitton: The president of Judicial Watch discusses IRS Email loss

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Trey Gowdy OWNS Irs Commissioner John Koskinen. Trey Gowdy vs Irs Commissioner

The IRS Had a Contract With an Email Backup Company
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it can’t provide emails sent between 2009 and 2011 that were requested by congressional investigators because of hard drive crashes.

The agency said that emails stored on dead drives were lost forever because its email backup tapes were recycled every six months, and employees were responsible for keeping their own long-term archives.

The IRS had a contract with email backup service vendor Sonasoft starting in 2005, according to, which lists the contract as being for “automatic data processing services.” Sonasoft’s motto is “email archiving done right,” and the company lists the IRS as a customer.

In 2009, Sonasoft even sent out a Tweet advertising its work for the IRS.

Click here to read entire article…

Lerner’s Computer Mysteriously Crashed 10 DAYS After House Leaders Asked About Targeting
The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:

Hundreds of conservative groups were targeted
At least 5 pro-Israel groups
Constitutional groups
Groups that criticized Obama administration
At least two pro-life groups
An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
A 180 year-old Baptist paper
A Texas voting-rights group
A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
Conservative activists and businesses
At least one conservative Hispanic group
IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
10% of Tea Party donors were audited by the IRS
And… 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative
Now we know…
** Lois Lerner’s computer mysteriously crashed, was thrown out and recycled 10 DAYS after House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp asked if the IRS was engaged in targeting on June 3, 2011.

** And six other top IRS employees involved in the targeting scandal also lost their emails around the same time.

We have emails suggesting that IRS staff aided Sen. Levin in putting together his letters of complaint to the IRS. We have staff for House Democrat Elijah Cummings asking the IRS for information to use in Mr. Cummings’s campaign against a specific conservative organization, True the Vote. Ms. Lerner got involved in that one—querying her staff as to whether they’d helped Mr. Cummings.

As to Ms. Lerner’s behavior, consider that House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp first sent a letter asking if the IRS was engaged in targeting in June, 2011. Ms. Lerner denied it. She engineered a plant in an audience at a tax conference in May 2013 to drop the bombshell news about targeting (maybe hoping nobody would notice?). She has subsequently asserted a Fifth Amendment right to silence in front of the only people actually investigating the affair, Congress. Now we learn that her hard drive supposedly defied modernity and suffered total annihilation about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived.

Is there something in those lost emails? The fact that they are “lost” at all probably answers that question.


Paul Ryan blasts IRS commissioner: ‘I don’t believe you’

Lois Lerner lost email narrative debunked by IT experts on The Mark Levin Show

Busted: IRS Commissioner testified on video Lois Lerner emails were archived

Krauthammer: Nixon is a piker compared to Obama when it comes to concealing evidence

IRS Sent Sensitive Info of Tax-Exempt Groups to FBI Before 2010 Elections

The IRS sent a 1.1-million page database containing legally protected taxpayer information of tax-exempt organizations to the FBI several weeks before the 2010 midterm elections, according to new information from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The IRS’s transmittal of this information to the FBI shows that the IRS took affirmative steps to provide sensitive evidentiary material to law-enforcement officials about the political speech of nonprofits,” said Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in a letter to the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen demanding more information.

“At the very least, this information suggests that the IRS considered the political speech activities of nonprofits to be worthy of investigation by federal law-enforcement officials,” they said. “The IRS apparently considered political speech by nonprofit groups to be so troublesome that it illegally assisted federal law-enforcement officials in assembling a massive database of the lawful political speech of thousands of American citizens, weeks before the 2010 midterm elections, using confidential taxpayer information.”

This information was found after the Justice Department turned over the database to the Oversight Committee in response to a subpoena.

The Justice Department says “it was informed by IRS officials that it contains legally protected taxpayer information that should not have ever been sent to the FBI and it now plans to return the full database to the IRS.”

An email from former IRS tax-exemption official Lois Lerner to Richard Pilger, an official with the Justice Department’s Election Crimes Branch, shows that Lerner had asked Pilger his preference for “the disks we spoke about.”

According to the Oversight Committee, “Pilger forwarded Lerner’s email to an FBI agent, writing, ‘This is incoming data re 501c4 issues. Does FBI have a format preference?’” He then responded to Lerner, “Thanks Lois – FBI says Raw format is best because they can put it into their systems like Excel.”

“Despite an intensive investigation of targeting, the IRS had not disclosed to Congressional investigators that Lerner had sent a massive database of tax exempt organizations to the FBI for scrutiny,” reported the Oversight Committee. “Investigators only learned about the existence of the database last month in an interview with Pilger, who had discussed the possibility of prosecuting tax-exempt organizations that engaged in political activity.”

The letter from Issa and Jordan requests that the IRS immediately provide an explanation as to why the disks and all information related were withheld from Congress, and requests all communication between the IRS and any other agency regarding the disks.


Complaint Says Sen. Chuck Schumer Behind IRS Effort to Attack Tea Party Groups

Kurt Nimmo -June 8, 2014

The Center for Competitive Politics has filed a complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics claiming New York Senator Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats used the IRS to deny the free speech of political opponents.
Schumer had signed letters directing the IRS to look into allegations of improper campaigning by “social welfare organizations.” The IRS in turned investigated mostly conservative groups.
The complaint also mentions a Schumer speech titled “The Rise of the Tea Party and How Progressives Can Fight Back.” The Center for Competitive Politics says the speech demonstrated how the IRS could be used to attack tea party groups.
“The complaint documents how the senators improperly interfered with IRS adjudications to further their party’s electoral prospects,” Joe Trotter wrote for the Wall Street Journal. “They pressured the IRS to undertake income-tax investigations of specific organizations, to find that specific organizations were in violation of the law, to reach predetermined results pertaining to pending applications by individual organizations for nonprofit status, and to adopt specific regulatory interpretations and policies to further their campaign goals.”
If correct, the complaint reveals the attack on tea party and other conservatives groups did not originate in the White House, as previously claimed, but in the Senate.
“As outrageous as this is, we shouldn’t be shocked,” notes Poor Richard’s News. “It was just a matter of time. History has taught us that if a government is large enough to be capable of doing something like this, it will eventually do it. That’s why the federal government should be so small that it literally couldn’t target or oppress people even if it wanted to. Yet I hear few politicians seriously talking about abolishing the IRS.”

It is now up to the establishment media to look into the allegations. However, considering it long ago jettisoned its role as a watchdog over government and disposed of any pretense of investigative journalism, this prospect is unlikely.
Instead it will not be up to the alternative media to investigate Schumer’s role and that of his fellow Democrats who are running scared from the populist tea party and constitutionalist movements.


Jay Sekulow on Fox News: IRS Scandal Goes to DC

IRS Scandal – The IRS Has Delayed Releasing Documents Six Times Already – The Kelly File

SHOCK CLAIM: Obama Used the IRS to Steal the 2012 Election

IRS Staff Illegally Campaigns for Obama!

Catherine Engelbrecht gives a heart wrenching testimony to Congress about being being preyed upon by the IRS and other government agencies. Please share wide and far to show support for Catherine and political freedom in this country.

SC Rep Trey Gowdy on Fire! Blast Obama on Prejudging IRS Tea Party Investigation
Published on Feb 6, 2014

IRS proposes new rules governing non-profit activities. (just in time for the 2014 Mid Term elections!)

Tea Party leaders slam new IRS regulations for non-profits

The IRS opened the comment period quietly about a month ago. Tea Parties are just finding out about the new rules. All Tea Parties, Conservative organizations, and Conservative activists need to make their comments now!
Click here for the IRS site for submitting comments

Click here for the detail of the rule changes!

Study finds IRS suppression of Tea Party swung 2012 election

A new study by the American Enterprise Institute — “Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence From The Tea Party Movement” — finds that the movement boosted Republican turnout by three to six million votes in the 2010 election. This effect was blunted in the 2012 election, though, because growth in the movement stalled.
That slowdown happened, co-author and AEI economist Stan Veuger notes, at the same time that the IRS began coming down hard on these groups. He argues in a article that this most likely had a major impact in the 2012 election.
Click here to read article…

IRS’ Lois Lerner gave confidential Tea Party tax info to FEC, violating law
The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails.
The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.
Click here to read article

Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal
It’s past time for the media to begin asking President Obama tough questions about the IRS conservative targeting scandal. After all he was involved, publicly, from the beginning.
Last Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I serve as Chief Counsel) filed its Second Amended Complaint against the United States, the IRS, and a legion of IRS officials. This Complaint, in which we represent 41 organizations in 22 states, presents perhaps the most complete story yet of the IRS conservative targeting scandal. And it is an ugly story indeed.
Click here to read article…