Tag: IRS

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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Obama Regime Crime Spree Update: IRS Erases Hard Drive Against Judge’s Orders

Chaffetz, Jordan Erupt After IRS Erases Another Hard Drive – Daily Caller

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Leading members of Congress are ripping IRS officials for erasing a computer hard drive after a federal judge ordered it to be preserved.

“The destruction of evidence subject to preservation orders and subpoenas has been an ongoing problem under your leadership at the IRS,” Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Jim Jordan , wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen late Thursday.

“It is stunning to see that the IRS does not take reasonable care to preserve documents that it is legally required to protect,” Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said in the letter to Koskinen.

The IRS recently admitted in court to erasing the hard drive even though a federal judge had issued a preservation related to a Microsoft Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the federal tax agency last year, according to court documents. Microsoft accuses the IRS of inappropriately hiring an outside law firm to audit it and of failing to hand over related documents requested under the FOIA.

Chaffetz and other members of the oversight panel began calling for Koskinen’s impeachment in October. Chaffetz and Jordan in their letter point out that the IRS in March 2014 also destroyed 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails sent or received by Lois Lerner, former director of IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division.

Lerner was the central figure in the scandal sparked by the tax agency’s illegal targeting and harassment of conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.

Samuel Maruca, owner of the hard drive in question and a former senior IRS executive, participated in the IRS hiring of the outside law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP allegedly to investigate Microsoft. Maruca left the IRS in August 2014, according to court documents.

Chaffetz and Jordan told Koskinen to hand over all documents on IRS preservation policies and all documents related to the destruction of Lerner and Maruca’s hard drives.

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House Oversight And Government Reform Chairman Introduces Resolution To Impeach IRS Commissioner

Chaffetz Introduces Resolution To Impeach IRS Commissioner – CNS

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House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and 18 other members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday to introduce impeachment proceedings against Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

According to Chaffetz, “Koskinen violated the public trust” and “failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena.” Also, “documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled.”

“Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress,” Chaffetz said in introducing the resolution. “This action will demonstrate to the American people that the IRS is under repair, and signal that Executive Branch officials who violate the public trust will be held accountable.”

Koskinen “failed to act with competence and forthrightness in overseeing the investigation into Internal Revenue Service targeting of Americans because of their political affiliations,” the resolution claimed.

The resolution states that Koskinen “engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties,” specifically, by failing “to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence.” He “failed to locate and preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena and an internal preservation order,” it stated.

The resolution also accuses Koskinen of failing to “testify truthfully” and of providing “false and misleading information” as well as failing “to notify Congress that key evidence was missing.”

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Most Corrupt DOJ In History Refuses To Prosecute Obviously Guilty Lois Lerner Over IRS Targeting Of Conservatives

Lois Lerner Will Not Face Charges In Department Of Justice Investigation – Washington Times

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The IRS did mishandle tea party and conservative groups’ nonprofit applications, but their behavior didn’t break any laws, the Justice Department said in a letter to Congress Friday that cleared the tax agency and former senior executive Lois G. Lerner of any crimes.

“Ineffective management is not a crime,” Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik said in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee. “The Department of Justice’s exhaustive probe revealed no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution. What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action – but it does not warrant criminal prosecution.”

The decision comes more than two years after the IRS’s internal watchdog reported that auditors singled out tea party groups’ applications for special scrutiny and delayed those applications beyond reasonable timelines, preventing the groups from being able to say they were officially recognized nonprofits.

The agency initially admitted its bad behavior, and President Obama vowed an investigation – but he later said, in the middle of the probe, that there was no evidence of corruption.

Some Republicans have questioned the validity of the probe from the beginning, after learning that one of the Justice Department lawyers assigned to the investigation was a contributor to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns.

In its letter Friday the Justice Department specifically cleared Ms. Lerner, a senior executive in charge of approving the groups’ applications, who had authored a number of emails that suggested a bias against the tea party movement.

Investigators said none of the witnesses they interviewed believed Ms. Lerner acted out of political motives, and said that Ms. Lerner seemed to try to correct the inappropriate scrutiny once she “recognized that it was wrong.”

“In fact, Ms. Lerner was the first IRS official to recognize the magnitude of the problem and to take concerted steps to fix it,” Mr. Kadzik wrote.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose White House Requests For Taxpayer Information

Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose WH Requests For Taxpayer Info – Washington Free Beacon

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A federal judge on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to reveal White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, advancing a probe into whether administration officials targeted political opponents by revealing such information.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the IRS’s argument that a law designed to protect the confidentiality of such information protected the public disclosure of such communications with the White House.

The law, 26 U.S. Code § 6103, was passed after the Watergate scandal to protect citizens from retribution by federal officials. Jackson scoffed at the administration’s claims that the statute could be used to shield investigations into whether private tax information had been used in such a manner.

“The Court is unwilling to stretch the statute so far, and it cannot conclude that section 6103 may be used to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” Jackson wrote in her order.

The decision was a victory for Cause of Action, the legal watchdog group that sued the IRS in 2013 seeking records of its communications with the White House and potential disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

The group called the decision “a significant victory for transparency advocates” in a Friday statement

“As we have said all along, this administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing,” said Dan Epstein, the group’s executive director. “No administration is above the law, and we are pleased that the court has sided with us on this important point.”

The lawsuit came after Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, the IRS’s official watchdog agency, revealed that it was investigating whether Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s former chief economist, illegally accessed or revealed confidential tax information related to Koch Industries.

The corporation’s owners, Charles and David Koch, are prominent funders of conservative and libertarian groups that often oppose the White House’s policy priorities.

Goolsbee “used Koch Industries as an example when discussing an issue noted in the [President’s Economic Recovery Board] report that half of business income goes to companies that do not pay corporate income tax because they are pass-through entities and that many of them are quite large,” the White House said in 2010.

His apparent knowledge of Koch’s tax history, detailed during a conference call with reporters, “implies direct knowledge of Koch’s legal and tax status, which would appear to be a violation” of federal law, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the time.

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The FBI Considers The IRS And DOJ, Domestic Terrorists (Thad Beversdorf)

The FBI Considers The IRS And DOJ, Domestic Terrorists – Thad Beversdorf

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Eventually it was bound to happen. The ever increasing ambiguous laws that allow the government to prosecute, or worse, simply negate all Constitutional protections of its citizens would come back to hang them. In an unusual circumstance, what is essentially one party in D.C. when it comes to matters of covering up governmental criminality, has split into a two party system. Specifically, a sect of the Republican party known as Tea Partiers pushed unrelentingly to expose the criminality acted upon members of its own tribe by various government agencies.

The Tea Party was formed by a group of individuals around the country who wanted to get back to the ideals of the Constitution i.e freedom. But the Constitution is kryptonite to the system. And so those who organize to promote the Constitution were targeted by the highest levels of government. What better weapon to attack those whose intention is to defend the Constitution than an unconstitutional agency that has essentially unquestioned authority. After all it is always unclear who watches the watchman. Well in this particular case, the FBI and DOJ would seem to have jurisdiction over actions consistent with those of the IRS.

Under the FBI’s own definition of a ‘Domestic Terrorist’ one MUST consider the IRS to be a terrorist organization as evidenced by the very recent discoveries surrounding the IRS’s own actions.

“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

* Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

* Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and

* Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S….”

While the first characteristic seems to imply violence is necessary it should be noted that under the FBI’s definition of ‘International Terrorism’ they explicitly include ‘Violent acts’ within the definition.

“International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

* Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

* Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

* Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*

The distinction of violence within the international but not domestic definition is surely not an oversight. But by doing so it leaves open the opportunity to define a non violent act to be construed as indirectly dangerous to human life (e.g. Snowden’s actions). But certainly wrongfully putting someone inside a federal prison for tax evasion would be considered dangerous to human life. According to the following revelations through emails obtained via court orders by Judicial Watch (a nonpartisan government watchdog), that is exactly what the IRS, DOJ and FBI were conspiring to do.

“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…”

But it begs the question then again, if the DOJ and FBI are also implicated in the domestic terrorism (according to the FBI’s own definition) who is left to prosecute?

Well it is we the people. It shouldn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican. We have a clear and identifiable gross abuse of government at the highest levels. The abuse falls under the FBI’s own definition of domestic terrorism, a definition they would not hesitate to use against you or your family if it suited their objectives. And so call it the Golden Rule or Kantian Categorical Imperatives or simple justice, but it is imperative to the people’s rule over its representative governing body to prosecute all involved to the highest levels and to the maximum penalty of the law.

The abuse by those who have been granted incredible powers under the trust of the nation need to be dealt the most severe consequences. Our very response to this matter will underpin the relationship between the people and its government for generations. If we allow such astonishing government abuses, which have now been overtly evidenced and confessed by at least some of the guilty parties, to be lightly dealt with then we blatantly fail to defend every subsequent generation of Americans from ever worse abuses. We fail as Americans. The result of this investigation over the coming months will likely show that we the people have lost all sense of what it means to be an American. That said, I remain doubtingly hopeful that I am proven wrong.

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