The latest twist in the IRS scandal is the IRS claim that Lois Lerner’s hard drive failed and thus her e-mails for the time span during which the IRS was targeting conservative groups can’t be supplied to Congress. The crash allegedly conveniently occurred ten days after the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman made his initial inquiry about allegations that the IRS was targeting conservatives. Then the IRS revealed that the hard drives of six other IRS officials also failed and thus their e-mails also can’t be turned over to Congress. When Congress subpoenaed the hard drives, since the recovery of data on crashed hard drives is a mundane tech task done countless times each day in this country, the IRS revealed that the hard drives had been destroyed as part of the recycling program of the IRS. I have been an attorney now for 32 years, and little shocks me as a result, but the bald faced and brazen lying of the IRS, combined with probable destruction of evidence, does. This of course from the agency that requires that all the rest of us maintain meticulous records of our financial lives for years on end, and woe unto us if we do not do so. Thus I heartily endorse this proposed piece of legislation:
WASHINGTON — Taxpayers who do not produce documents for the Internal Revenue Service will be able to offer a variety of dubious excuses under legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX 36) a week after the IRS offered an incredibly dubious excuse for its failure to turn documents over to House investigators.
“The United States was founded on the belief government is subservient and accountable to the people. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves,” said Stockman. “Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama administration uses.”
Under Stockman’s bill, “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act,” taxpayers who do not provide documents requested by the IRS can claim one of the following reasons:
1. The dog ate my tax receipts
2. Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction
3. Traded documents for five terrorists
4. Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon
5. Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room
6. Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car
7. Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords
8. Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar
9. Was short on toilet paper while camping
10. At this point, what difference does it make? Continue Reading
Incredible. Even after the exposure of the IRS targeting pro-life groups, go here to read about it, the IRS is continuing to target pro-life groups:
August 1, 2013 – Chicago) Today, the Thomas More Society has submitted an updated second memorandum to Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) of the House Committee on Ways and Means, detailing additional evidence of continued IRS targeting of pro-life organizations. Despite claims by the Obama Administration that the harassment has ceased, the Society produced over 230 pages of documentation showing that the federal government is still interrogating pro-life groups beyond the scope of its legal authority, infringing upon these organizations’ First Amendment rights of assembly, free speech, and religious liberty.
“Despite claims to the contrary, the IRS continues to target and harass pro-life and conservative charities, illegally questioning their religious activities and withholding their tax exemptions,” said Peter Breen vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society. “We have now produced irrefutable evidence of six clients whose First Amendment rights were trampled upon by the IRS because of their position upholding the sanctity of life. Even after public disclosure of this wrongdoing, the Obama Administration’s IRS has refused to cease its illegal activity. We will continue to aid Congress in its investigation until those responsible are brought to justice and the IRS is made to respect every American’s constitutional rights.”
Since the Thomas More Society disclosed evidence in May showing IRS harassment of three pro-life groups, the Society has been contacted by numerous additional organizations seeking legal counsel related to IRS issues. Three of these entities, Cherish Life Ministries, LIFE Group, and Emerald Coast Coalition for Life are highlighted in today’s memorandum as having experienced illegal targeting by the IRS.
The memo details the recent experience of several pro-life organizations applying for 501(c)(3) charitable recognition and reveals blatant bias on the part of the IRS agents assigned to process those applications. Repeatedly these pro-life groups were harassed with questions about time spent in prayer at abortion facilities and told that they must educate and advocate on abortion from both sides of the issue. Two groups were also falsely denied their tax exemption status by IRS agent Mrs. R. Medley who claimed they didn’t qualify under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. All three groups’ tax exemptions were delayed 13-16 months with IRS supervisors, including Lois Lerner, singling out their applications for further review by an “exemption organization specialist.” While Thomas More Society attorneys have intervened and secured relief for two of these three organizations, one organization – Emerald Coast Coalition for Life – still remains in limbo. Continue Reading
The IRS scandal is deepening as a new tape has been released today showing a disturbing phone call the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-life legal group, made the audio available today of IRS officials telling a group that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations to keep its faith to itself. In the recorded phone conversation, an IRS agent lectures the president of the organization about forcing its religion and beliefs on others and inaccurately explains that the group must remain neutral on issues such as abortion.
ADF is providing legal representation for the group — which did not receive its tax-exempt status until last week after waiting nearly two and a half years after applying for it.
“The IRS is a tax collector; it shouldn’t be allowed to be the speech and belief police,” said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The current scandal isn’t new but has merely exposed the abuse of power that characterizes this agency and threatens our fundamental freedoms.”
ADF tells LifeNews that, in January 2011, Pro-Life Revolution, which operates from Texas under all three purposes for whcih religious groups can obtain nonprofit status, filed an application for tax-exempt status with the IRS. Four months later, the IRS sent a letter requesting “more information” and an explanation of how the organization’s activities are educational or charitable even though IRS rules specify that an organization need only operate for “one or more” of the three exempt purposes. President of Pro-Life Revolution Ania Joseph nonetheless replied and answered the IRS’s questions.
ADF indicates Joseph received a call from IRS Exempt Organization Specialist Sherry Wan in March 2012.
Wan told her that, in order to obtain a tax exemption, “You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else…. You have to know your boundaries. You have to know your limits. You have to respect other people’s beliefs.”
In February of this year, the IRS requested additional information in another letter and attempted to apply a standard for tax exemption to Pro-Life Revolution that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held to be unconstitutional in 1980. Alliance Defending Freedom pointed this out in a letter responding to the IRS, which finally granted tax-exempt status to the organization in a letter received Thursday. Continue Reading
From those same wonderful people at the IRS who gave us the Star Trek video, go here to view it. The IRS is the living embodiment of govenmental waste, fraud and abuse. We are bankrupting ourselves to fund a government that manifestly has become the type of government that the men who founded this country revolted against.
Lois Lerner, director of the IRS Exempts Division while the IRS was treating conservative groups with the same even-handedness displayed by a group of foxes debating the rights of chickens, took the Fifth Amendment, the privilege against self incrimination, before Congress last week. She did it in an odd way, first making a self serving statement and then taking the Fifth. I found that passing strange as what is drummed into most defense attorneys about the Fifth Amendment is that you have your client assert the privilege and say absolutely nothing else. The reason for this is that there is ample case law in criminal cases where defendants have inadvertently waived the privilege because they couldn’t resist the temptation to shoot their mouths off instead of simply asserting the privilege. As far as I know there is no case law about whether you can waive your Fifth Amendment privilege before Congress by doing so, but a cautious defense attorney would have warned her strenuously against making the “I didn’t do nothin'” opening statement. I assume that she either got bad legal advice or she got good advice and chose to ignore it.
Of course the atmospherics of Lerner taking the Fifth is disastrous for Lerner and her political string pullers at the White House. Most people come into contact with the Fifth Amendment when they see video of some gangster asserting the privilege. Although a court of law or a jury may construe nothing from the assertion of the Fifth Amendment, people who are not judges or serving on juries are perfectly free to make the reasonable assumption that someone would assert the privilege against self-incrimination only when they had good reason to believe they had violated the law.
As she goes under the bus, Lerner perhaps is pondering how she got there. The explanation for that is simple: she was a useful tool for the Obama White House in its desperate drive beginning in 2010 to slow the momentum of the Tea Party, a momentum that in 2010 gave the Republicans historic victories in the midterm election and was a mortal threat to the re-election of Obama in 2012. The IRS was thus a key component in the reelection strategy of Obama by stopping the formation of tax exempt tea party groups and harassing those trying to organize such groups.
In Lerner, the men and women who pulled her strings at the White House found a willing accomplice. During the Clinton administration, when she was head of the enforcement division of the Federal Election Commission, Lerner developed a well-earned reputation for targeting Republican and conservative groups: Continue Reading
Among non-Catholic Christian leaders, there is none that I respect more than Billy Graham. My sainted mother, and if there was ever a woman more Catholic than the pope it was she, used to watch his crusades on television back in the Sixties. To me, he has always been a voice crying out in a dark world for Christ. Lacking the True Faith, he has still been a force for good in this world. Now retired from day to day management of his organization, he still commands near universal respect in this country. It therefore takes a special type of stupid to want to pick a fight with him. That is the cue for the minions of the IRS under the current administration.
In a Tuesday (May 14) letter to President Obama, Graham said the two organizations he leads were notified last September that the IRS would review their records for the 2010 tax year.
The IRS inquiry, he noted, occurred months after the BGEA ran ads in April 2012 supporting a North Carolina amendment that banned same-sex marriage, which passed in May. The BGEA also ran ads last fall urging voters to consider candidates who make decisions based on “biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”
Graham noted that the ads were bought with designated funds given by ministry donors for that purpose.
Go here to Religion News Service to read the rest. Here is the text of the letter of Franklin Graham:
Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Richard Milhous Nixon
With the IRS scandal and the revelation that the current administration has been secretly obtaining phone records of the press, the Obama administration is taking on a distinctly Nixonian flavor, as I experience a feeling of deja vu from four decades ago. I am not the only one seeing it. So does a liberal Democrat Congressman from Massachusetts:
US Representative Michael E. Capuano on Monday said he was troubled by reports that the Internal Revenue Service had aggressively pursued conservative organizations, and called them reminiscient of the Nixon administration.
On the growing focus in Congress on the attacks on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya last year, Capuano said the death of four Americans there raised “legitimate questions.” But he said, based on the information available, he expected the issue to end up becoming “the typical right-left type of nonsense you see on one station, but eventually falls off the others.”
He said the recent reports that IRS targeted small-government groups for extra scrutiny were in a different category. Asked to discuss the reports, Capuano said that if the accounts were true, “There’s no way in the world, I’m going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.” Continue Reading
It is hard to keep up on the IRS scandal as disclosure followed disclosure today, all damning to the IRS and the administration. Here is the latest:
1. Low Level Employees in Cincinnati– Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea party-affiliated groups.
Go here to the Washington Post to read the rest.
2. Confidentiality, What’s That?-The IRS released confidential applications of Tea Party groups to Pro Publica, a left wing thinktank. How do we know this? Pro Publica told us so today:
The same IRS office that deliberately targeted  conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year .
The IRS did not respond to requests Monday following up about that release, and whether it had determined how the applications were sent to ProPublica.
In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six  of those  public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
Go here to Pro Publica to read the rest.
3. Who Else Knew?-The current acting commissioner of the IRS knew in May of 2012 that Tea Party groups were being targeted. How do we know this? The IRS disclosed this today. Gee, do you wonder why they didn’t disclose this last year? Continue Reading