Tag: Accuses

Judge Orders IRS To Turn Over Secret List Of Conservative Groups It Targeted – Accuses Government Of Acting In Bad Faith

Court Rebukes IRS For Tea Party Targeting, Orders Release Of Secret List – Washington Times

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A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.

The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Department lawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith – compounding the initial targeting – by fighting the disclosure.

“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws – all of them, not just selective ones – in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in a unanimous opinion for a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “We expect that the IRS will do better going forward.”

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.

The case stems from the IRS‘ decision in 2010 to begin subjecting tea party and conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

An inspector general found several hundred groups were asked inappropriate questions about their members’ activities, their fundraising and their political leanings.

The IRS has since apologized for its behavior, but insisted the targeting was a mistake born of overzealous employees confused by the law rather than a politically motivated attempt to stifle conservatives.

Tea party groups have been trying for years to get a full list of nonprofit groups that were targeted by the IRS, but the IRS had refused, saying that even the names of those who applied or were approved are considered secret taxpayer information. The IRS said section 6103 of the tax code prevented it from releasing that information.

Judge Kethledge, however, said that turned the law on its head.

“Section 6103 was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers,” he wrote.

Edward Greim, a lawyer at Graves Garrett who is representing NorCal Patriots, said they should be able to get a better idea of the IRS‘ decision-making once they see the list of groups that was targeted.

“What we’ll be able to see is how, starting in the spring of 2010, with the first one or two groups the IRS targeted, we’ll be able to see that number grow, and we’ll even be able to see at the tail end their possible covering up that conduct,” he said.

He said they suspect the IRS, aware that the inspector general was looking into the tax agency’s behavior, began adding in other groups to try to muddle the perception that only conservatives were being targeted.

Tuesday’s ruling is the second victory this year for NorCal Patriots.

In January U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott certified their case as a class-action lawsuit, signaling that she agreed with NorCal Patriots that the IRS did systematically target hundreds of groups for special scrutiny.

Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. But until the IRS complies with the appeals court’s ruling this week, the list of those groups is secret.

Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.

The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations.

The Justice Department has concluded its own criminal investigation into the IRS and said the targeting was the result of bad management. But investigators said they found no criminal behavior, and specifically cleared former IRS head Lois G. Lerner, saying her fellow employees said she tried to correct the problems when she learned of them.

Republicans dismissed that investigation as a whitewash by the Obama administration.

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Carson Accuses Cruz Of Spreading Fake Story About Him Dropping Out Of Race Before Iowa Vote

‘This Is Horsesh*t’… Carson Camp Accuses Cruz Of Foul Play In Iowa – Daily Caller

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Following Ted Cruz ‘s Monday victory in Iowa, Ben Carson’s campaign claimed the Texas senator leaked information that the former neurosurgeon was suspending his campaign just before the votes were cast.

According to Time, several members of Carson’s staff have brought forward evidence “alleging misconduct by the Cruz campaign.”

Carson’s Iowa director Ryan Rhodes reportedly received text messages from Mike Huckabee supporters claiming “the Cruz speakers at our caucus announced Carson was suspending his campaign for a while after caucus. They did this before the vote. Same thing happened at another caucus. Sounds like slimy Cruzing to me.”

Additionally, a precinct chair in Muscatine sent Carson’s team an email claiming that a Cruz supporter told the precinct “Ben Carson was taking a break after Iowa, and then stated, ‘so you might want to rethink wasting your vote on him.’”

“That is really quite a dirty trick,” Carson told reporters late Monday night. “That’s the very kind of thing that irritated me enough to get into this quagmire.”

Furthermore, campaign manager Ed Brookover called Cruz’s alleged actions “the lowest of low in American politics,” while Carson’s Iowa co-chair state representative Rob Taylor noted that, “this is horseshit.”

The Cruz campaign has denied any wrongdoing.

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Cruz Camp: ‘It’s Just False’ We Hurt Carson In Iowa – The Hill

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is rejecting Ben Carson’s assertion that it torpedoed his chances in Iowa’s Republican caucuses Monday night.

“On the Ben Carson allegation, it’s just false,” said Rick Tyler, the Cruz campaign’s communications director, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We simply as a campaign repeated what Ben Carson had said in his own words,” he continued. “That’s not a dirty trick.”

“He said after Iowa he was going to go back to Florida for a couple of days and then he was going to go to D.C. for the prayer breakfast,” Tyler added. “And what that told us was he was not going to New Hampshire.

“That was really surprising by a campaign who was once leading in Iowa saying he’s not going to come to New Hampshire. That’s a news item.”

Carson criticized his Republican presidential rivals, without naming names, for “dirty tricks” in Iowa.

The retired neurosurgeon lashed out following tweets from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who also serves as co-chairman of Cruz’s national campaign. King said departing Iowa is “the equivalent” of suspending an Oval Office bid after Carson returned home to Florida that evening.

Tyler also argued that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump made several decisions that blunted his own Iowa momentum.

“It hurt him,” he said of Trump’s decision to skip the last Republican presidential debate before the Iowa contest. “I don’t think it hurt him badly, but it definitely hurt him.”

Tyler then charged that Sarah Palin’s endorsement of the outspoken billionaire last month did not boost his standing with voters.

“[It gave him] no real bump,” he said of the backing from the former Republican vice presidential nominee.

Cruz celebrated his win in Iowa as a “victory for the grass roots” late Monday after conquering the first-in-the-nation caucuses there.

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Dumbass College Dean Stopped For Blocking Traffic Accuses Cops Of Racism… Then Video Is Released

College Dean Accuses Cops Of Racism, Then The Dash Cam Video Is Released – Western Journalism
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Dorothy Bland, dean of the journalism school at the University of North Texas, was recently out walking one Saturday morning when she was pulled over by two cops, cops she now accuses of racism.

Bland penned a piece in the Dallas Morning News in which she stated that she was caught “walking while black.”

Bland wrote: “I stopped and asked the two officers if there was a problem; I don’t remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.”

She went on:
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I remember saying something like, ‘Around the corner. This is my neighborhood, and I’m a taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes.’ As for the I.D. question, how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk? Do you realize I bought the hoodie I was wearing after completing the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2014?

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She stated in her column that “I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood.”

Bland used her iPhone to capture the two officers and then their license plate in her picture.

Bland wrote she thought of “dozens” of blacks “who have died while in police custody,” and then posted the article to Facebook “for safety’s sake.” She then stated that she “posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.”

Little did Bland know that there was a camera installed in the police vehicle which captured the entirety of the incident.

Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall replied to Bland’s comments about the incident in a column posted beneath Bland’s in The Dallas Morning News.

Walthall said that the stop was about safety, not race, and that the video from the camera installed in the police vehicle proves it.

In the video, the police officers clearly state the reason she was being pulled over – impeding traffic while walking and listening to her earbuds.

Walthall wrote: “My officers, a field training officer and his recruit, observed Ms. Bland walking in the roadway wearing earbuds and unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.”

She also wrote: “Impeding traffic is a Class C misdemeanor, and it is our policy to ask for identification from people we encounter for this type violation.”

Walthall said that after people watch the video, they will be sure that the officers were concerned about keeping her safe.

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President Asshat Accuses Israelis Of Terrorism For Defending Themselves Against Islamo-Nazis

Obama Administration Accuses Israel Of Terrorism, ‘Excessive Force’ – Washington Times

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The Obama administration says Israel might be using “excessive force” and possibly committing acts of “terrorism” to deal with a string of violent stabbing attacks, drawing harsh criticism from senior Israeli cabinet ministers.

Rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions have led to a wave of violence in Israel, including multiple stabbing incidents in Jerusalem. The attacks have prompted the Israeli government to deploy troops to assist police forces countering the violence. Israeli police have also encouraged citizens to arm themselves to prevent further attacks.

The Obama administration on Wednesday sought to equate both sides in the conflict, telling reporters that Israel is guilty of terrorism.

“Individuals on both sides of this divide are – have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters following questions about the spike in violence.

Mr. Kirby added that the administration has heard “credible reports” of Israelis using excessive force to deal with the Palestinian attacks.

“We’re always concerned about credible reports of excessive use of force against civilians, and we routinely raise our concerns about that,” Mr. Kirby said.

The comments drew sharp criticism from Israeli officials.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accused Washington of “misreading” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and he said shooting knife-wielding Palestinians was self-defense. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the U.S. remarks “foolish,” Reuters reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to travel to the Middle East soon to try to calm the violence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered cabinet members not to give any further public comment on the Obama administration’s remarks.

Seven Israelis and 32 Palestinians have been killed in the last two weeks of violence, including 10 assailants, as well as children and protesters shot in violent anti-Israeli demonstrations.

The violence has been partly triggered by Palestinians’ anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is also revered by Jews as the site of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

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Ukraine Accuses Russia Of ‘Armed Invasion’ After Crimea Airports Blockaded

Ukraine Accuses Russia Of ‘Armed Invasion’ After Crimea Airports Blockaded – The Telegraph

Ukraine accused Russia of staging an “armed invasion” of Crimea on Friday as the ex-Soviet state’s ousted leader prepared to emerge defiant from five days of hiding after winning protection from Moscow.

Unidentified armed men were patrolling outside of Crimea’s main airport early Friday while gunmen were also reported to have seized another airfield on the southwest of the peninsula where ethnic Russians are a majority and where pro-Moscow sentiment runs high.

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Western governments have been watching with increasing worry as Kiev’s new pro-EU rulers grapple with dual threats of economic collapse and cession from Russified southern and eastern regions of the divided nation, which had backed fugitive ex-president Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week stoked concerns that Moscow might use its military might to sway the outcome of Ukraine’s three-month standoff by ordering snap combat drills near its border involving 150,000 troops and nearly 900 tanks.

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Ukraine’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov responded on Thursday by declaring that any movement of Russian troops out of their Black Sea bases in Crimea “will be considered as military aggression“.

US Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to relieve diplomatic pressure that has increasingly assumed Cold War overtones by announcing that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had assured him that Moscow “will respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Putin also appeared to take a more conciliatory approach late on Thursday by vowing to work on improving trade ties with Ukraine and promising to support international efforts to provide Kiev with funds that could keep it from declaring a debt default as early as next week.

Yet tensions continued to soar by the hour in the Russian-speaking Crimea – a scenic Black Sea peninsula that has housed Kremlin navies for nearly 250 years and was handed to Ukraine as a symbolic gift by a Soviet leader in 1954.

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Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused the Russian armed forces of being directly involved in armed dawn raids on an airport in Crimea’s main city of Simferopol as well as an airfield on the southwestern coast.

AFP reporters saw dozens of men armed with Kalashnikovs encircle the Simferopol airport on Friday morning after reports suggested that they had briefly seized control of its runway.

An administrator told AFP the “airport was operating normally” on Friday morning despite the presence of the armed men in battle fatigues.

Several supporters of the apparently pro-Russian gunmen said the armed men arrived after reports that members of the country’s new pro-EU government were planning to fly to Simferopol.

Unconfirmed reports by Ukrainian media said armed men had also seized the Belbek airfield near the city of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Avakov accused the Russian armed forces of being behind both incidents.

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He said gunmen at the Simferopol airport “are not even hiding the fact that they belong to the armed forces of the Russian Federation.”

The interior minister added that the Belbek airfield was “blockaded by military units of the Russian navy.”

“I consider what is happening to be an armed invasion and an occupation,” Avakov said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.

But Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Belbek air field was under the control of local pro-Russian self-defence units who had no links to the Black Sea fleet.

The peninsula of nearly two million people has been in crisis since dozens of pro-Kremlin gunmen seized and raised the Russian flag over Crimea’s parliament and government buildings on Wednesday.

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Crimean lawmakers appointed Russian Unity party member Sergiy Aksyonov as regional premier in place of Kiev-allied Anatoliy Mohilyov in a vote held late on Thursday under the watchful eye of the pro-Kremlin militia.

Aksyonov said on Friday that he still recognised Yanukovych as Ukraine’s legitimate head of state.

The fugitive leader had not been seen since making a brief taped television appearance last Saturday that was aired only hours before parliament stripped him of power for a week of carnage in Kiev that claimed nearly 100 lives.

Ukraine’s bloodiest crisis since its 1991 independence erupted in November when Yanukovych made the shock decision to ditch an EU trade pact in favour of closer ties with old master Russia.

The 63-year-old fugitive issued a statement to Russian news agencies from an undisclosed location on Thursday announcing that he was “compelled to ask the Russian Federation to ensure (his) personal security.”

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A source later told the same agencies that Yanukovych’s request for protection “was satisfied on Russian territory.”

The ousted leader is now expected to appear before the media at 1300 GMT in Rostov-on-Don – a Russian city less than two hours’ drive from the Ukrainian border.

Yet his personal problems do not appear to be over even if Yanukovych pronounces himself to be the head of a Ukrainian government in exile.

Switzerland said on Thursday said it was prepared to freeze any funds the Yanukovych family might have in the Alpine country’s banks.

It is unclear whether Yanukovych himself has funds in Switzerland. But his 40-year-old son Olexandr opened a branch of his Management Assets Company (MAKO) in Geneva in late 2011.

The Swiss weekly L’Hebdo estimates that Olexandr had amassed a personal fortune of around half a billion dollars (365 million euros) in the past three years alone.

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Ukraine’s new leaders meanwhile are suffering from Moscow’s decision to freeze a $15-billion bailout package Putin promised to Yanukovych.

The leadership in Kiev won some reprieve when Kerry promised quick delivery of $1 billion in loan guarantees “with some other pieces” to follow.

Kerry said the EU was looking at loan guarantees worth some $1.5 billion for the nation of 46 million people.

Any aid would probably be funnelled through a mechanism overseen by the International Monetary Fund which had frozen its assistance programme because of Yanukovych’s refusal to make painful structural changes.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde promised Thursday to send a fact-finding mission to Kiev in the coming days to launch a “preliminary dialogue with the authorities”.

But Fitch Ratings warned on Friday that Ukraine’s new leaders “may struggle to regain confidence and meet policy conditions attached to IMF lending.”

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Pro-Russian Forces Seize Crimean Parliament Building – Hot Air

Tensions have rapidly increased in Crimea, where ethnic Russians look east toward Moscow rather that north toward Kyiv for their heritage, and perhaps destiny. After several days of unrest in which the Crimean regional parliament declined to seek separation from the new government of Ukraine, several armed men seized the building and hoisted the Russian flag onto the roof. The new government in Kyiv warned Russia to keep its military forces in its Crimean base within the confines of the facility:

Armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea on Thursday and raised the Russian flag, alarming Kiev’s new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around.

“I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet,” said Olexander Turchinov, acting president since the removal of Viktor Yanukovich last week. “Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression.”

In response, Russian military jets began patrols near the Ukraine border, in addition to keeping its ground forces on alert status:

– Russian fighter jets were patrolling the airspace on their side of the border with Ukraine, and Russia’s military remained on alert. “Constant air patrols are being carried out by fighter jets in the border regions,” Interfax reported, quoting a Russian ministry statement. “From the moment they received the signal to be on high alert, the air force in the western military region left for the… air bases.” (Reuters)

– Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, “warned that any move by Russian troops off of their base in Crimea ‘will be considered a military aggression.’ ” (AP)

Also according to the AP, the now-deposed Viktor Yanukovich has surfaced in Moscow after disappearing from Kyiv. Yanukovich reportedly tried to get across the border almost immediately after fleeing the capital, but was prevented from flying out of Kharkiv by border guards. An arrest warrant for mass murder was issued shortly afterward, but Yanukovich had gone underground by that time. The AP update briefly notes that a Russian official announced that Yanukovich had asked for protection from Moscow and gotten it.

Yanukovich also declared himself the rightful head of state for Ukraine:

Viktor Yanukovich said on Thursday he was still president of Ukraine and warned its “illegitimate” rulers that people in the southeastern and southern regions would never accept mob rule.

In a statement sent to Russian news agencies from an unknown location, Yanukovich railed against the “extremists” who had stolen power in Ukraine, threatened violence against himself and his closest aides and passed “illegal” laws…

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said he had no information and could not comment on Yanukovich’s statement.

Put this together and it looks like a pretext for action on Putin’s part. For the moment, he’s still playing his cards close to the vest; he’s agreed to sit down for IMF discussions on a Ukraine bailout to take the place of the one Putin suspended, for instance. Yanukovich is simply a clown show, though, as his credibility in Ukraine is shot, and Putin knows it. The Crimean peninsula will be the flashpoint for any action, and it’s not long odds on Ukraine losing it, either diplomatically or otherwise. The new government in Kyiv can’t sustain a war against Russia, and the EU won’t attack Putin on their behalf. They could well isolate Putin economically, though, and he knows it, especially if they begin buying natural gas from the US or developing their own through expanded fracking.

Update: The Ukrainian parliament has officially chosen its new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who received 371 out of 450 votes. Yatsenyuk declared that Ukraine’s future is in the EU, but we’ll see what Russia has to say about that.

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Former Intelligence Agent Accuses NSA, Obama Of Lying, Alleges Broader Spying Programs

Bombshell: Fmr. Intelligence Agent Accuses NSA, Obama Of Lying, Alleges Broader Spying Programs – Mediaite

On Friday, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin interviewed former U.S. Air Force intelligence Agent Russell Tice about the revelations surrounding the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ digital and electronic communications. Tice accused a variety of administration officials, including President Barack Obama, of disseminating outright falsehoods in their efforts to explain those programs. He added that those programs are far broader than any government official has said up to this point.

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Tice slammed the president’s meeting with privacy advocates today, conceding the point that this was largely a “PR move.”

“There is a lot of disinformation going on,” Tice observed. “I’ve always said the station is much worse.”

Tice accused the NSA’s past and current directors of misleading the public regarding the scope of the agency’s communications monitoring programs.

“NSA, today, is collecting everything – including content – of every digital communication in this country, both computer and phone, and that information is being stored indefinitely,” Tice said. “And that’s something that they’re lying about.”

Melvin noted that The Guardian reported Thursday that domestic communications can be kept if they were obtained “inadvertently, and they can be used by courts under certain circumstances. He noted that this news also contradicts statements by the president.

“You’ve got to understand, the FISA court is being used as a screen to be able to use information that ultimately they can use to throw at somebody in a court of law with a grand jury,” Tice said, noting that this happened to him and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, Jim Risen.

He says that the FISA court appeal justifies the government collecting information on Americans that can later be used in criminal cases against them.

Watch the clip below:

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