The use of the IRS as a weapon

Since its creation, the Internal Revenue Service has been one of the most widely distrusted and disliked facets of the federal government.  The government wastes money every day, and it is the job of the IRS to make you pay for it all, under threat of imprisonment.

On this page:

The IRS

The Barrett Report

The IRS is used as a weapon against small businesses

The IRS is Obamacare's enforcer

The IRS operates in cahoots with other federal agencies

If you criticize Obamacare, you will be audited

Lois Lerner allegedly loses her most important emails at the most convenient moment

The IRS is used as a weapon against individuals and conservative groups


Related topics:

Taxes in general

Odometer taxes

Cigarette taxes

Value Added Tax

Lies about taxes

The use of the EPA as a weapon

The use of the Fish and Wildlife Service as a weapon




The IRS

Led by Republican Study Committee, 50 House GOPers tell Trump to fire IRS chief.  A faction of conservatives is circumventing leadership brass and calling directly on President Trump to tell IRS Chief John Koskinen, "You're fired."  Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., will make the ask.  The chairman of the Republican Study Committee has quietly but urgently been circulating a letter inside the GOP conference to build support.  He's now got 50 congressmen signed onto the letter.  While Trump has fleshed out his cabinet, so far, he's stayed hush about the fate of the IRS chief.  And conservatives really want Koskinen's head.  "You have the authority to remove Commissioner Koskinen," Walker writes to Trump, adding that "we encourage you to dismiss him in the most expedient manner practicable."

Trump Should Kill The IRS Gag Rule On Pastors.  [President Trump] has taken an oath to defend the Constitution.  He can prove he means it by barring IRS enforcement of an unconstitutional gag rule on pastors — more commonly referred to as the Johnson Amendment.  This rule, enacted in 1954 by then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and his cohorts, prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from supporting (or opposing) political candidates, no matter how pro-life (or pro-abortion) they may be.  More to the point, it prohibits members of the clergy from doing so — at least those not named Jackson, Wright, or Farrakhan.

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 'Unauthorized' Aliens at One Atlanta Address.  The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to "unauthorized" alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011.  In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta.  The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

IRS prioritized Obamacare over taxpayer customer service, inspector general.  The IRS made the 2015 tax season more painful for taxpayers than it should have been, the agency's inspector general said in a report Thursday that accused the agency of cutting money for customer service and ignoring phone calls while moving the money over to keep Obamacare and other administration priorities on track.  IRS employees ignored more than 30 million phone calls from desperate taxpayers seeking help in the run-up to the 2015 filing deadline — and those who did get through often waited a half-hour before getting help.  The IRS apologized publicly for the poor service and blamed Congress, saying lawmakers needed to pony up more money if they wanted better results.

'Luxury' living:  Senate report finds IRS workers racked up huge travel tab.  The IRS spent more than $1.4 million on long-term travel for just 27 employees in fiscal 2015, including on high-end car services and luxury apartment and hotel stays, a Senate report has found — with one lawmaker blasting "woefully insufficient efforts" to reduce expenses at the agency.  The Senate Finance Committee report, obtained by FoxNews.com, found that while federal guidelines say employees must exercise the same care in incurring expenses as a "prudent person" traveling on personal business, IRS employees who traveled 125 business days or more racked up an average cost of over $52,000 a year.

GOP Establishment Blocks Effort To Impeach Koskinen.  Despite the best efforts of outgoing Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), House Speaker Paul Ryan and the rest of the GOP establishment successfully blocked the effort to impeach the corrupt IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen. [...] The pathetic excuse given by Ryan and other gutless invertebrates was that a vote of impeachment just before their Christmas vacation would disrupt the legislative calendar for 2017.  So, what was their excuse back in September when Rep. Jordan originally suggested impeaching Koskinen?  Oh yeah.  It was election season.

House Votes To Refer Koskinen Impeachment Back To Committee.  In a 342-72 vote, the House referred a motion to impeach embattled IRS commissioner John Koskinen to the House Committee on the Judiciary.  One hundred and sixty-six Republicans joined 167 Democrats to squash House Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan's attempt to oust the government official.

House gently kills IRS impeachment resolution.  House Republicans on Tuesday mercy-killed a resolution calling for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but did it their way, not the way most Democrats wanted to kill it off.  The resolution was put forward by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, who argued Koskinen had not been forthcoming to Congress about an investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.  Jordan announced the impeachment for "high crimes and misdemeanors," and outlined four articles of impeachment against Koskinen, all revolving around the investigation into the IRS targeting.

House Republicans derail impeachment effort against IRS commissioner.  Republican leaders managed to derail impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Tuesday, forcing the debate back to a committee for more study, where it will die when Congress adjourns at the end of this year.  It was a quiet end to a saga that had bedeviled GOP leaders for more than a year, dating back to revelations that Mr. Koskinen misled a congressional investigation looking into the tea party-targeting scandal and former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner's lost emails.  Conservatives had been agitating for impeachment, saying Mr. Koskinen should be punished for defying a subpoena and providing inaccurate information.

GOP leaders actively working to stop IRS impeachment.  House Republican leaders remain opposed to a vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, and were actively working Tuesday to scuttle the vote before Congress leaves town for the year this week.  Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the outgoing Freedom Caucus chairman, announced Tuesday that an impeachment resolution would be introduced today [12/6/2016], setting up a vote later this week.  But GOP leaders don't like the move to force a vote, and have been working for months to prevent it from coming to the floor, including by trying to appease proponents of the move by holding hearings on the embattled IRS leader.

A Banana Republic, If We Choose to Keep It.  ## In court documents made public in 2002, an IRS official admitted that legal opponents of former President Bill Clinton were singled out for tax audits, including 10 more than 20 conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and American Spectator magazine, as well as a number of individual Clinton accusers, like Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers.  If Hillary wins, she brings Bill with her to the White House.

Did Weaponized IRS Leak Trump's Tax Returns?  This idea will be immediately dismissed in some quarters as just another conspiracy theory concocted by the vast right wing but it is not as far-fetched as it sounds.  Several items lend credence to the idea that the IRS has once become an arm of the political left targeting conservatives.  Could it really be just coincidence that Hillary Clinton focused on Trump's failure to release his tax returns, surmising that the reason might be he hasn't been paying any taxes, just days before the New York Times printed pages from his 1995 return showing a loss that "may have" allowed him to not pay taxes for the next 18 years?  Was this Hillary's "October surprise" for Trump?

IRS set to use private debt collectors.  The IRS announced Monday that it plans to start a new private debt-collection program in the spring.  The program was authorized by a transportation funding law enacted last December.  Contractors will work on the government's behalf to collect debts from taxpayers who owe money but whose accounts are no longer being worked on directly by the IRS.

Trey Gowdy Got The IRS To Admit That They Have NO IDEA What They're Doing.  A while back, the IRS, on order from the Obama Administration, was unfairly targeting and auditing conservative groups that didn't mesh with Obama's liberal narrative.  When pressed on the issue, the IRS commissioner, in a Congressional hearing, said that he denied any wrongdoing, because of course he did.  I'm willing to bet that he expected to walk out of that hearing with his head held high and everyone else with their tail between their legs.  And then he spoke to Trey Gowdy and got burned so badly that he's gonna need medicated ointment for the next month.  Gowdy get the IRS commissioner to admit, in front of the American people, that he had no idea what "wrongdoing" even meant, since he had no working knowledge of the law.  He also admitted that the claims made by the Obama Administration were untrue, and likely made up to save face politically.

IRS doesn't tell 1 million taxpayers that illegals stole their Social Security numbers.  The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency's inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday [8/30/2016].  Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it's still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled — and fell woefully short anyway.

Her job was to help victims of identity theft.  Instead, she used them to steal from the IRS.  For Nakeisha Hall, the IRS might as well have been the family business.  The daughter of a longtime employee of the federal tax collection agency, Hall started working for the IRS in 2000.  A large chunk of her career was spent in Taxpayer Advocate Service offices in four states, where she assisted people who had been victims of identity theft.  But as Hall was helping taxpayers, she was also using them to steal from the government, federal authorities said.  Now, she is going to federal prison:  The 40-year-old former federal worker was sentenced Wednesday [8/10/2016] to more than nine years after pleading guilty in an identity theft and tax fraud scheme that affected hundreds of taxpayers and netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Alabama, in Birmingham.  In all, Hall attempted to steal more than $1 million, the government said.  She successfully claimed more than $400,000.

IRS hacked again — say goodbye to that PIN system!.  In the wake of automated attacks speeding up, the US tax overlords — the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — has likewise sped up plans to deep-six its repeatedly hacked PIN system.  The IRS on Thursday [6/23/2016] announced that it's removed its electronic filing PIN tool (e-File PIN), formerly available on IRS.gov or by toll-free phone call, following "additional questionable activity."

$3.1 billion — at least — lost in bogus tax refunds to ID thieves in 2014.  The IRS has a Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP) that sounds like it should provide security.  It does, but not enough to prevent IRS from paying $30 million to identity theft fraudsters in 2014, based on the 1.6 million screened by the program.  That's just one of the ways Uncle Sam fights identity theft fraud.  About 7,200 of them were bogus.  In total, IRS processed more than 150 million individual tax returns in 2015.  Overall, the GAO report indicates the IRS does a decent job of detecting and stopping ID fraud, which is a big business.  Crooks attempted to get $25.6 billion from bogus refunds in 2014.  The IRS beat them most of the time, stopping or recovering the theft of $22.5 billion, 88 percent of the attempted pillage.  But in the remaining cases, crooks got the $3.1 billion.

House Conservatives Explain Latest IRS Chief Impeachment Push: 'Leadership Has Been Too Timid to Go After Corruption'.  The House Freedom Caucus has launched a pressure play against Republican leadership in an effort to force a vote on impeaching John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.  Before Congress skipped town Thursday for a seven-week recess, Reps.  Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and John Fleming, R-La., filed a parliamentary measure known as a privileged resolution on behalf of the Freedom Caucus.  The effort hinges on maximizing public pressure on lawmakers during their summer recess, Huelskamp told The Daily Signal.  Conservatives hope that populist opposition to the IRS in congressional districts will translate into support for impeachment on Capitol Hill.

Conservatives move to impeach IRS chief.  Conservative House Republicans on Wednesday [7/13/2016] introduced a resolution to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, something they hope can get a vote this week before Congress leaves for an extended summer break.  The resolution was introduced by Reps.  John Fleming, R-La., and Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., a move that was welcomed by Freedom Caucus Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.  "I thank my colleagues John Fleming and Tim Huelskamp for their resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen," he said.  "Mr. Koskinen has failed the American people through gross negligence, dereliction of duty, and violating the public trust."

Conservatives move to impeach IRS chief.  Conservative House Republicans on Wednesday [7/13/2016] introduced a resolution to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, something they hope can get a vote this week before Congress leaves for an extended summer break.  The resolution was introduced by Reps.  John Fleming, R-La., and Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., a move that was welcomed by Freedom Caucus Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.  "I thank my colleagues John Fleming and Tim Huelskamp for their resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen," he said.  "Mr. Koskinen has failed the American people through gross negligence, dereliction of duty, and violating the public trust."

House Freedom Caucus Members Introduce Resolution To Impeach IRS Commissioner.  House Freedom Caucus (HFC) members Reps.  John Fleming of Louisiana and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas introduced a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Wednesday [7/13/2016].  Republicans have been pushing for Koskinen's impeachment, alleging he misled Congress and violated a subpoena related to the IRS targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.  "He deliberately kept Congress and the American people in the dark, making materially false statements under oath," Fleming said in a statement.  "Koskinen needs to be held accountable and in this case that means impeachment.  We can no longer wait."

Defying Ryan, conservatives move to force vote on IRS impeachment.  In defiance of Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) wishes, Reps.  John Fleming (R-La.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) filed a privileged resolution after unveiling plans the day before to introduce a measure to impeach IRS head John Koskinen.  House rules state that "privileged" measures must be acted on within two legislative days — meaning action is likely after Labor Day.  The House is expected to adjourn for a seven-week recess later Thursday afternoon [7/14/2016].  Any pro forma sessions, during which no legislative business is conducted, that are held over the recess will constitute legislative days that count toward the resolution's expiration.  Consequently, the motion could expire as soon as next week while the House is out of session.

IRS "Security" Program Unable to Stop $3.1 Billion Fraud.  While it's absorbed persecuting law-abiding conservative groups the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can't seem to stop crooks from scamming it to the tune of several billion dollars in one year alone via bogus tax refunds.  It's the latest of many transgressions at the agency that's doubled as an Obama administration tool to crack down on political adversaries.  A special IRS security feature called Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP) couldn't prevent criminals from scamming the agency out of an eye-popping $3.1 billion in one year, according to a federal audit.  TPP was implemented to curb an epidemic of identity theft that allows criminals to fraudulently get tax refunds.  Supposedly, identity theft fraud is reduced through a verification process but the federal probe, conducted by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found serious loopholes.

Impeachment and the IRS Scandal:  Should John Koskinen Face the Music?  [Scroll down]  As I understand it, the instant matter involving Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, pertains to an investigation into not a mere "endeavor" (largely unsuccessful in the Nixon case) to abuse IRS powers but actual, concrete abuse, of those powers, including "income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."  I further understand that the instant matter involves the provision of false statements and withholding of evidence from Congress.

Why Does the IRS Need Guns?  Special agents at the IRS equipped with AR-15 military-style rifles?  Health and Human Services "Special Office of Inspector General Agents" being trained by the Army's Special Forces contractors?  The Department of Veterans Affairs arming 3,700 employees?  The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000).  In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history.

Report: IRS Spent $11 Million On Guns, Ammo In The Past 10 Years.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to be building an army.  The IRS spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and "military-style equipment" between 2006 and 2014, according to a new report.  IRS investment in heavy firearms and tactical gear is a new trend for the agency, but it follows a pattern of militarization repeated throughout the executive branch of the government.

Something tells me he won't miss a minute of sleep over this.
House committee votes to censure IRS commissioner.  A House committee passed a resolution Wednesday [6/15/2016] to condemn and censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  On a partisan 23-15 vote, the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee moved to deny Koskinen his government pension and get him out of office.  Spearheaded by chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Republicans say Koskinen lied to Congress about ex-employee Lois Lerner and allowed key email evidence to be destroyed in an investigation of how the IRS targeted conservative groups.  "Mr. Koskinen's misconduct deserves condemnation and censure from the Congress," Chaffetz said.

Impeach John Koskinen.  Jason Chaffetz wants to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  Orrin Hatch doesn't want him to.  Chaffetz is in the right this time.  Koskinen is not the central figure in the IRS scandal, which found the federal tax agency being used to harass and bully conservative organizations in the run-up to the 2012 election.  But he is a culpable figure.  Specifically, it was under his watch that hundreds of backup tapes containing tens of thousands of e-mails — e-mails that were under congressional subpoena — were illegally destroyed, inhibiting investigation into the agency's wrongdoing.  The intentional destruction of evidence under subpoena is a crime, and a serious one.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has voted 23-15 for a bill that would officially censure Koskinen, who was IRS commissioner when that evidence was illegally destroyed, and demand his resignation or removal, as well as the forfeiture of his pension.  Representative Chaffetz has made it clear that if removing Koskinen requires impeaching him, then that is what Republicans will pursue.  Indeed, the House Judiciary Committee already is considering impeachment.

The Editor says...
Orrin Hatch is the worst kind of RINO if he is protecting John Koskinen from impeachment.

New Report Shows IRS Failed to Notify 100,000 Taxpayers on Data Breach.  The report revealed more than 350,000 people had information breached.  Originally, the IRS counted about 220,000.  On Thursday [6/9/2016], Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler commented on the hack.  "Here's the thing — these guys [the IRS], I don't know what century they're operating in, but they're not using what's called multi-factor authentication security," Meckler told the FOX Business Network's Charles Payne.  "Every financial institution uses this.  The IRS wasn't using it.  That's why the hack happened."  Meckler blasted IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, saying the Republicans should move to impeach the agency's leader.

IRS computer hack was worse than agency admitted.  The IRS's computer hack was worse than previously admitted, and the tax agency failed to alert thousands of people that their information was stolen, and didn't give credit monitoring assistance to nearly 80,000 others who were targeted, an inspector general said Wednesday [6/8/2016].  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says nearly 1 million accounts were potentially targeted, and nearly 360,000 people actually had their accounts broken into.  That's far more than the 220,000 hacks the tax agency initially acknowledged.

The case for impeaching the IRS Commissioner.  Last week the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on whether to impeach Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen for obstructing justice, providing false testimony to Congress, disregarding Congressional subpoenas, and stonewalling a congressional investigation.  Civil servants like Mr. Koskinen have historically been held to a higher standard than private citizens because they have fiduciary obligations to the public.  Under Mr. Koskinen's leadership, the IRS has breached these basic fiduciary responsibilities.  Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 65 that the power to impeach a civil servant would protect the public against "the abuse or violation of some public trust."  At nearly every turn, Koskinen both abused his power and violated the public's trust in the IRS.

The Editor says...
It's not that difficult to violate the public's trust in the IRS.  Who among us trusts the IRS at all?

You Don't Have to Be a Criminal for the IRS to Seize Your Bank Account.  Like many other police agencies, the IRS has extensive and easily abused civil-forfeiture powers.  The idea behind civil forfeiture is that criminals should not be allowed to profit from their crimes, and that their ill-gotten loot — cash, cars, real estate — should find its way to the public fisc.  In practice, that does happen, but forfeiture also provides a sweet stream of lightly overseen revenue for police agencies, hence the temptation to abuse.  As those who followed the horrifying case of former House speaker Dennis Hastert know, there exists a class of financial crime called "structuring," a variation on money-laundering.  Federal law requires banks to report transactions of $10,000 or more.  As a result, criminals involved in cold-cash enterprises such as prescription-opiate trafficking or political corruption often limit their bank withdrawals to amounts just under the reporting threshold in order to avoid detection.

IRS took $43M from Americans under 'structuring' law without evidence.  The IRS has seized $43 million from more than 600 individuals by accusing them of violating "structuring" laws even when there has been no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, according to testimony heard at the House Ways and Means Committee today [5/26/2016].  In 2012, two armed IRS agents went to the farm of Randy Sowers, a dairy farmer for over three decades, to notify him that the IRS had seized the business' bank account, which held more than $60,000.  The agents told Sowers the IRS had done so because of structuring laws.

IRS Took $43 Million From Innocent Americans Under 'Structuring' Law.  The IRS has seized $43 million from more than 600 individuals by accusing them of violating "structuring" laws even when there has been no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, according to testimony heard at the House Ways and Means Committee today [5/26/2016].  In 2012, two armed IRS agents went to the farm of Randy Sowers, a dairy farmer for over three decades, to notify him that the IRS had seized the business' bank account, which held more than $60,000.  The agents told Sowers the IRS had done so because of structuring laws.  When an individual conducts a cash transaction in excess of $10,000, according to federal law, the bank must file a currency transaction report with the Treasury Department.  It is unlawful for an individual to break up or "structure" cash deposits into amounts below $10,000 to avoid federal currency reporting.

Has the IRS Been Illegally Deleting Records?  The Cause of Action Institute (CoA) filed a legal complaint against the Internal Revenue Service for illegally destroying records Tuesday [5/24/2016], at the same time that IRS commissioner John Koskinen approaches an impeachment trial before Congress.  In the complaint, CoA alleges that the IRS and Koskinen refused to "capture and preserve" employees' electronic communication dealing with official business, as the law requires.

First, the IRS Took $68K From Connecticut Bakers.  Now, It's Investigating Them.  [Scroll down]  David Vocatura had made cash deposits of under $10,000 into the bakery's account, but only after a bank employee called the bakery in 2007 to tell them that deposits of more than that amount required them to submit additional paperwork.  "The terminology that they used was never really explained to us in detail," David Vocatura told The Daily Signal.  "We just thought it was an inconvenience or a nuisance for [the bank]."  Regardless of the bank employee's instructions, the IRS agents told David Vocatura that he had broken the law, which gave the tax agency the authority to empty the bakery's bank account, containing $68,382.22.  And the IRS did.

IRS improperly paid $15.6 billion through Earned Income Tax Credit program.  The IRS erroneously paid out an estimated $15.6 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments in fiscal year 2015, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.  A low-income worker can receive refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit program when they meet certain requirements for income and age.  The $15.6 billion in improper payments identified by the inspector general represented 23.8 percent of total earned income credits paid out in that fiscal year.  According to the Office of Management and Budget, an improper payment is a transfer that should not have been made, was made in the incorrect amount, or was made to an ineligible recipient.

Suit: IRS Colluded With Union To Delete Records, Broke Federal Law.  A government accountability group is suing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Commissioner John Koskinen for allegedly violating federal law by regularly deleting official records as part of an agreement with its government employee union.  The IRS has an agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union that prohibits the agency from saving any instant message records of its employees, documents obtained by Cause of Action Institute — the group suing the IRS — show.

'Koskinen has misled us': House weighs impeaching IRS chief.  Members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday weighed evidence against Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, who faces an impeachment resolution in the House.  "On his watch, volumes of information crucial to the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal were destroyed," said Rep.  Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  "Before the tapes were destroyed, congressional demands, including subpoenas, for information about the IRS targeting scandal went unanswered."

The IRS boss is just begging to be impeached.  Four years after the IRS hobbled conservative groups by targeting them for extra scrutiny, the agency's still playing politics.  No wonder Congress is looking to impeach its boss, John Koskinen.  At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Republican lawmakers gave specific reasons for their move: his lies under oath, his flouting of a congressional subpoena — and his repeated defiance.  Koskinen's response?  Ha!  He didn't even bother to show up.

IRS to Face Lawmakers After Thousands Seized From Small Business Owners.  For more than four years, Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers has been fighting the federal government, asking it to right what many say was a wrong.  In Feb. 2012, two federal agents told Sowers, who owns South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md. that the Internal Revenue Service was seizing more than $60,000 from his farm's bank account under a subset of civil forfeiture laws governing cash transactions.  According to the IRS, Sowers had committed structuring violations.  Structuring is the act of making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of under $10,000 to avoid government reporting requirements.  But the dairy farmer didn't know he was doing anything wrong, and because Sowers and his wife sold milk at local farmer's markets — where customers paid primarily in cash — they frequently made cash deposits into the business's bank account.

IRS Chief Skips Own Impeachment Hearing.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will not appear at a Tuesday [5/24/2016] impeachment hearing examining allegations of his misconduct despite an invitation to testify from the House Judiciary Committee.  As reported by Politico, the IRS says the Commissioner Koskinen does not have time to "fully prepare" because he just returned from China.  The agency claims that he was not given enough notice of the hearing, which was scheduled more than a week ago.  The hearing is the first step in examining findings from the House Oversight Committee, which last year called for Koskinen's impeachment.

Congress Takes New Steps to Impeach IRS Chief John Koskinen.  House Republicans will soon take the next steps necessary in their bid to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  On Tuesday [5/24/2016], the House Judiciary Committee plans to hear testimony and examine charges that Koskinen obstructed a congressional investigation into the agency's treatment of conservative groups.  While Koskinen is willing to appear at a second hearing in June, the Internal Revenue Service told Politico that the 76-year old commissioner was not able to prepare adequately for the Tuesday hearing.  So the nation's top taxman won't show.

Koskinen will not appear at IRS impeachment hearing.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will not appear Tuesday [5/24/2016] at a "misconduct" hearing at which Republicans will lay out a case to impeach him for allegedly failing to comply with a congressional subpoena, the IRS told POLITICO.  Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee summoned the tax chief to answer accusations from the House Oversight panel that he failed to preserve documents Congress requested for its probe of the IRS tea party scandal.  They also say Koskinen didn't tell the full truth about erased backup tapes containing copies of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner.

IRS chief:  I've never spoken to Lois Lerner.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has declined to testify in his own defense at a congressional hearing Tuesday, but insisted in a statement that his bungling of a subpoena doesn't rise to the level of "treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors" needed for him to be impeached.  The Judiciary Committee hearing is being viewed by some House Republicans as the precursor to impeachment, with the House's top investigator saying Mr. Koskinen defied a congressional subpoena that demanded all of former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner's emails be preserved as part of the investigation into tea party targeting.

Chairman Wants IRS Commissioner Censured for False Statements, Impeding Investigation.  The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced a resolution today [5/18/2016] to censure IRS Commission John Koskinen for a lack of cooperation with the panel's investigation of the agency's targeting of conservative groups.  It demands that Koskinen be fired and have his pension stripped away.

Closing in?  Obama crony faces impeachment.  A powerful House committee has moved to impeach the head of the Internal Revenue Service, saying he violated the public trust and illegally targeted conservative groups.  After two years of investigation into the IRS, Republicans have finally had enough.  On Friday [5/13/2016], the Judiciary Committee announced two hearings on impeachment of IRS commissioner John Koskinen, an appointee of President Barack Obama.

House to hold IRS 'impeachment' hearing for Koskinen over Lerner emails.  House Republicans on Friday [5/13/2016] announced hearings to investigate whether IRS Commissioner John Koskinen misled Congress and violated a subpoena, taking the first steps that could ultimately lead to his impeachment over the tax agency's tea party targeting.  Impeachment is still very unlikely, particularly given the short amount of work days left in this Congress and in the Obama administration's tenure overall.  But conservatives are intent on exploring Mr. Koskinen's actions after the IRS was ordered to preserve and turn over documents related to targeting of tea party groups — and particularly emails from former senior executive Lois G. Lerner.

Claiming a Scalp from the IRS.  Nearly two years have passed since IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's famous testimony before the House Oversight Committee.  His testimony in relation to the scandalous claim that its tax exemption division tied up the applications of conservative groups and, thus, limited their ability to participate in political activities in 2012 was judged by many to be unsatisfactory, at best.  For those less inclined to be so charitable, Koskinen's testimony was deemed insulting, flippant, and actively misleading.  On Friday, House Republicans invited the IRS commissioner back to Capitol Hill, but the offer was hardly cordial.  Koskinen will be testifying in hearings that will determine whether or not the House of Representatives will vote to impeach him over the allegation that he misled Congress and violated the terms of a subpoena.

House sets hearings on impeaching IRS chief.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen faces misconduct hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, due to what lawmakers say is stonewalling of the congressional probe into the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.  "The fact that officials at the IRS wielded their power to target certain Americans for their political views is both outrageous and contrary to our nation's values," committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said Friday afternoon.  "Despite repeated congressional efforts to get to the bottom of this matter, Obama administration officials, including the IRS commissioner, have consistently undermined the investigation."

Lawmakers demand IRS explain how it found the money for hundreds of new agents.  The supposedly cash-strapped IRS is facing tough questions from Congress after claiming it just found the money to hire hundreds more enforcement employees.  Commissioner John Koskinen — who previously has cited budget woes to explain the agency's shaky customer service and other issues — recently announced they found the "resources" to hire between 600 and 700 new tax enforcement employees.  The agency says those extra "resources" resulted from high attrition rates and worker efficiency, but skeptical lawmakers are demanding answers.  "It was only weeks ago that they were saying they did not have the money [to hire more employees] and today they do have the money?" House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said.

Top Republican to IRS: You say you're broke.  How can you afford 700 new employees?  The chairman of a powerful House committee is demanding to know how IRS chief John Koskinen has found the money to hire up to 700 enforcement staff when he told Congress a short time ago his agency was more or less broke.  Rep.  Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, reminded the IRS commissioner in a letter that he told lawmakers in February that he "urgently needed" a billion-dollar budget increase next year to boost the agency's enforcement staff.

IRS Can Track Your Cell Phone, but Leaves Billions in Taxes Uncollected.  While the Internal Revenue Service continues to leave uncollected tax money on the table, the agency beefed up its surveillance capabilities in a move that alarms both conservative and liberal privacy advocates.  Now some complain the IRS is acting too much like Big Brother and not enough like a traditional taxman.  Since 2006, the IRS has overseen an annual tax gap — the shortfall between taxes owed and collected — of about $385 billion, government analysts say.  And according to an April report, the agency has not implemented 70 of 112 actions identified by the Government Accountability Office to close that loop.  In 2009, though, the IRS purchased a "cell-site simulator," more commonly known as Stingray technology.  And since November, the agency has been trying to buy another of the devices.

Watchdog: IRS workers steal taxpayer data to plunder the Treasury.  The Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration said this week that three current and former IRS employees have been caught trying to steal money as taxpayers try to pay off their tax debts.  In one case, former Missouri IRS employee Demetria Brown was sentenced in February after pleading guilty to wire fraud and identity theft.  Her scheme was to obtain people's personal information, like Social Security Numbers and dates of birth, to file fraudulent federal and state tax returns.

House would ban IRS from rehiring people fired for misconduct.  The Internal Revenue Service would have a harder time rehiring former employees with past misconduct under legislation passed by the House on Thursday [4/21/2016].  The legislation, introduced by Rep.  Kristi Noem, R-S.D., would prevent the IRS from rehiring employees who have already been fired for certain forms of misconduct, such as accessing taxpayer information without permission, filing false documents or not doing their own taxes.  The measure easily passed by a 345-78 vote.  It advanced following a February 2015 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that chided the IRS for rehiring hundreds of former employees with conduct issues.  The review found nearly 20% of the rehired staff had performance issues when they returned to the IRS.

Rep. Kristi Noem:  IRS Is Rehiring Employees Fired for Misconduct.  House Republicans are aiming at the Internal Revenue Service this week, taking up four bills to ensure integrity in hiring and better customer service.  "We have recently learned...that IRS employees that have been fired for misconduct have been rehired" in the last several years, Rep.  Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) told a news conference on Tuesday [4/19/2016].  "Now some of this may involve falsifying documents — they failed to pay their own taxes.  They may have been fired for accessing sensitive taxpayer information without permission.  In fact, one employee had missed up to eight weeks of work without permission, had actually stamped on their personnel file, 'Do not rehire' — and the IRS chose to rehire them."

Jason Chaffetz Wants to Use 'Atrophied' Muscle of Impeachment Against IRS Commissioner.  The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants Congress to impeach wayward government agents more often, and he'd like GOP leadership to start with Commissioner of Internal Revenue John Koskinen.  In an interview with The Daily Signal, Rep.  Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, likened impeachment "to a muscle that has atrophied over time," and said he wants to "Get that muscle working again — this should be a common occurrence, this shouldn't be once in a century."

White House rejects demand to boost IRS integrity.  Just as some 5 million Americans are rushing to meet Monday's [4/18/2016] tax return deadline, the White House took the unusual step of dumping on three House bills that demand that the IRS improve its integrity.  The Office of Management and Budget, in its "statement of administration policy," said the bills would hurt the IRS, though they are just in the first stage of consideration.  One bill would block the IRS from hiring any employees until Treasury certifies that no IRS employee has a seriously delinquent debt.  A second would ban bonuses to employees the IRS develops and implements a comprehensive customer service strategy.

Fiery GOP rhetoric about impeaching IRS chief rings hollow after decades of inaction on tax code reform.  Anger at the IRS has rarely been higher.  Politicians gripe about a calcified tax code that Congress hasn't overhauled since 1986. Yet 30 years later, lawmakers get on the stump and campaign about the necessity of renovating the nation's tax system. [...] Yet little changes.  Antagonists are crucial in politics.  Politicians need to cast themselves as caped superheroes, warring against the evils of the state.  Lawmakers appear to have perfect adversaries in the IRS and an outdated tax code.  Eliminate the IRS and pass tax reform and suddenly lawmakers are deprived of foes.  As a political issue, it might not be better to change anything.

IRS Giving Tax Credits to Illegals Who've Engaged in Identity Theft.  In a typical year, April 15 is Tax Day when hard-working Americans cede over an enormous amount of their income to the federal government so they can redistribute it to all sorts of special interests and protected classes, including illegal aliens.  You heard that right.  The IRS has admitted to knowingly granting refundable tax credits, which work as back door welfare payments, to illegal aliens who break the law and steal Social Security numbers to obtain employment and file their taxes.  During a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted to Sen.  Dan Coats (R-IN) that illegal aliens were stealing Social Security numbers and using them to receive refundable tax credits through their annual returns.  Worse, he felt it was a good thing they were filing and didn't seem committed to stopping it.

Federal judge calls IRS untrustworthy in tea party case.  A federal judge said the IRS isn't to be trusted as he and his colleagues tried Thursday [4/14/2016] to figure out whether the tax agency is still targeting tea party groups for intrusive and illegal scrutiny.  Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said there is strong evidence that the IRS violated the constitutional rights of the groups when it delayed their nonprofit status applications and asked inappropriate questions about their political beliefs.  The agency's insistence that it has retrained employees and instructed managers to behave better did not mollify the judges, who said past IRS behavior doesn't lend itself to the benefit of the doubt.

Conservatives Renew Campaign to Impeach IRS Commissioner.  In time for tax season, members of the Freedom Caucus are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to deliver the head of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on a political platter.  As most of Congress heads out of town for the weekend, a handful of members filed onto the House floor Thursday evening [4/14/2016] and renewed an effort to impeach the nation's top taxman.  They argued that the IRS infringed on free speech when they unfairly targeted conservative groups and they blamed Koskinen for obstructing a congressional investigation into the agency's conduct.

The IRS Is Still Trying to Be Your Friend.  It's hard to imagine now, but until about the middle of the 20th century, relatively few people filled out Form 1040. The IRS — then known as the Bureau of Internal Revenue — did little outreach, and when it did, the rare taxpayers who sought assistance actually spoke with deputy collectors of internal revenue, relatively high-ranking government officials who probably knew the tax code inside and out.  Things began to change during World War II, when Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1942, which forced many more Americans to pay taxes.  That's when the trouble began.

Ted Cruz:  The IRS 'Is Facilitating Illegal Immigration'.  Cruz said he admits it's not an easy endeavor to abolish the IRS, but that a "mandate from the people" in 2016 would propel the effort. [...] Cruz went on to emphasize his plan to abolish the federal Department of Education, sending the money back to the states and allowing more local control of schools.  He also expressed, in relation to constitutional conservatism and the Tenth Amendment, that he would not interfere with states' rights to determine for themselves on issues like marijuana legalization.

The IRS again fails to protect taxpayer information.  On 12 April 2016, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its 28 March 2016 Letter Report describing the IRS's failure to effectively sanitize personal information such as Social Security numbers from OICs availed for public inspection.  This includes inadequate ballpoint pen cross-outs of the information where the Social Security number is still discernible. [...] The IRS has been on notice since at least as far back as 1979 that identity theft is a problem warranting its serious attention.  This author and others have expounded at length in these pages, quite profusely, on the IRS's continuing failure to adequately protect the identities of taxpayers who necessarily entrust personal information to it.

IRS says it's OK for illegal aliens to use fraudulent Social Security numbers.  There is no longer the rule of law in America, and government is the worst offender.  The Obama administration has become a lawless administration.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Obama administration targeted conservatives and Christians for special scrutiny and even plotted to imprison conservatives.  Even when it was discovered, IRS officials like Lois Lerner were not held accountable, which means the IRS can violate the rights of conservatives and Christians with impunity.  The latest case in point:  Earlier today, the Gollum-like IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told a Congressional hearing that the IRS doesn't have a problem with illegal immigrants using fraudulent Social Security numbers to file their taxes, because they're doing that for "a legitimate reason".  By "legitimate reason," Koskinen means tax revenue.

IRS Chief's Resume:  Lying to Congress, encouraging illegal aliens to steal SSNs to use to file taxes.  Remember how the bumbling, idiotic, corrupt, feckless, toad-like losers in Republican leadership followed through with their threats to impeach IRS chief John Koskinen for lying to Congress?  Me neither. [...] Yes, the disgusting, pathetic, nefarious, amoral miscreants who pretend to be our "leaders" in Congress have done absolutely nothing to deal with Koskinen's high crimes and misdemeanors, even though legal experts have stated that it would be "utterly irresponsible" not to impeach him.

IRS chief: Agency encourages illegal immigrant theft of SSNs to file tax returns.  The IRS is struggling to ensure that illegal immigrants are able to illegally use Social Security numbers for legitimate purposes, the agency's head told senators on Tuesday [4/12/2016], without allowing the numbers to be used for "bad" reasons.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen made the statement in response to a question from Sen.  Dan Coats, R-Ind., during a session of the Senate Finance Committee about why the IRS appears to be collaborating with taxpayers who file tax returns using fraudulent information.  Coats said that his staff had discovered the practice after looking into agency procedures.

IRS Commissioner: 'More Than 1 Million Malicious Attempts' to Access IRS Computers Daily.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday [4/12/2016] that the Internal Revenue Service's computers "withstand more than 1 million malicious attempts to access them each day.

IRS Denied Tax-Exempt Status to 57 Religious Groups in 2015.  The IRS denied tax-exempt status to 57 religious or charitable groups in 2015, according to recent data from agency.  The IRS rejected a total of 67 applications for tax-exempt status in 2015, and religious groups comprised the majority of denials.  There were 92,653 total applications by religious and charitable groups in 2015.  Of those applications, 86,915 were approved, 57 were denied, and 5,681 were left in limbo.  Attorney Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, represents a number of conservative and pro-life non-profit organizations that have faced long battles to have their tax-exempt status approved by the IRS.  Among his clients, two are still awaiting determination by the IRS — one group has been waiting for more than six years, and another for nearly six years.

Lawmakers Urge IRS, Justice Department to Return $29K Seized from Dairy Farmers.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee is urging the Justice Department, Treasury Department, and Internal Revenue Service to return money "inappropriately" seized by the IRS under civil asset forfeiture.  Led by Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Ranking Member John Lewis, D-Ga., the group of 14 lawmakers also called on the agencies to give property owners the opportunity to petition the government for funds seized for structuring violations, which involve making consistent cash transactions of just under $10,000 to avoid bank reporting requirements.

California AG Kamala Harris wants your private information from the IRS.  Charity donor information on Schedule B is protected under federal law as confidential.  Charities and their donors worry that imperious, uber-liberal Ms. Harris will leak this confidential information to their ideological opponents and her allies.  Among its various acts of lawlessness and lawbreaking, Lois Lerner's IRS was caught leaking this type of confidential donor information of the National Organization for Marriage to its opponents.

IRS Has Answered Only 15.6 Percent of Calls This Tax Filing Season.  The IRS has answered only 15.6 percent of customer service calls during the 2016 tax-filing season so far, according to testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  As of Feb. 27, 2016, there were 40.5 million attempted calls on toll-free assistance lines to contact the IRS.  Agents answered only 6.3 million calls, or 15.6 percent of the total.  After the call was routed to the call center, customers waited on the phone for 9.6 minutes before they were able to speak with an agent.

IG: More Than 1,000 IRS Employees Misused Government Charge Cards; Wrote 325 Bad Checks.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed in a recently released audit report that in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 more than 1,000 Internal Revenue Service employees misused government charge cards issued by Citibank.  The report said that during the two years in question agency employees sent Citibank a total of 325 bad checks written on personal accounts that had insufficient funds to cover them, that agency officials with top-secret security clearances had their charge accounts suspended for failure to pay the balances, and that the IRS had a tendency of being "overly lenient" in disciplining those who misued the cards.

Treasury Secretary: Don't Blame IRS for Its 'Bad Performance Record'.  "I find it unacceptable to preside over an agency that has no choice but to have such a bad performance record, because it doesn't have people answering the phones," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress on Tuesday [3/8/2016].  "You go to the call centers, and there are empty seats.  That's why the phones don't get answered."  He called it "terrible."

IRS: Er, those 100,000 tax records illegally accessed? Make that over 700,000.  The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has admitted that its problem with "Get transcript" scammers is much worse than first thought — over seven times as bad to be precise.  In May of 2015, the IRS reported that around 100,000 people had had their tax returns and income forms sent out to criminals who gamed its "Get transcript" feature by providing stolen personal information between February and mid-May that year.  In August, that number rose by 220,000 following a further review.  On Friday, America's most-disliked public agency said that number had risen to over 700,000, with another 295,000 attempts to steal taxpayer transcripts.

Rewarding a Corrupt IRS with a Bigger Budget: Another "Own Goal" by the GOP.  The good thing about being nonpartisan is that I can freely criticize (or even praise) policy makers without giving any thought to whether they have an R or D after their name.  That doesn't mean Republicans and Democrats are the same, at least with regards to rhetoric.  The two big political parties in the United States ostensibly have some core beliefs.  And because of that, it is sometimes very revealing to identify deviations.

IRS: Cyber hackers got info on roughly 700K taxpayers, double earlier estimate.  The IRS acknowledged Friday [2/26/2016] that cyber hackers have stolen Social Security numbers and other information from more than 700,000 taxpayers — roughly double the number the agency previous estimated.  The cyber thieves hacked into the agency's "Get Transcripts" system in which taxpayers get returns and other previous-year filings.  The breach, believed to have been carried out in Russia by a criminal operation, was discovered in May 2015, and the increase was reported first by The Wall Street Journal.  The IRS originally said information was taken from about 113,000 taxpayers.

Top 5 Reasons to Impeach IRS Chief John "One Step Shy of Perjury" Koskinen.  Taxpayers deserve a transparent, accountable government, starting with Commissioner John Koskinen's complacency in uncovering the truth in the Lois Lerner conservative targeting scandal.  The agency has continually displayed extraordinary lack of responsibility.  Koskinen has also proven to be incapable of correctly handling taxpayer dollars, protecting them from identity theft, fraud, and even lied to the American people and Congress.  Clearly, the agency is in desperate need of reform and new leadership.

IRS chief: We don't hire tax cheaters anymore.  The Internal Revenue Service has adopted policies that prohibit staffers who cheat on their taxes from working there, the agency's head told senators on Wednesday [2/10/2016].  "I have no indication that anyone working for the IRS has not followed the updated procedures," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee.  He added that those who hired tax cheats in the past "were operating under a different set of rules and regulations."  A 2015 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that 1,580 employees at the agency had willfully failed to pay their taxes, while 18,300 did so unintentionally.  Of those who willfully failed, the IG found 61 percent retained their positions.

ObamaCare Has Made The IRS A Shambles.  The IRS admitted to Congress what many suspect:  That its abysmal customer service and failure to protect taxpayer data are because it's diverted its resources to ObamaCare.  Now it wants another billion.  House Republicans were flabbergasted when Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen asked the House Appropriations Committee for another $1 billion for the IRS budget for fiscal 2017, following the $290 million increase he got in fiscal 2016.  An extra billion is a 12% beef-up for the agency's budget.  Seems the customer service is a shambles, with 8 million, or half, of calls from taxpayers seeking to comply with the law going unanswered.  And for those who do get through, it takes an average of 23 minutes on hold.

The IRS Says Identity Thieves Hacked Its Systems Again.  Identity thieves attempted to breach computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service to file fraudulent tax refunds.  The criminals were especially after E-file PINs, which are used by some individuals to electronically file a return, the agency said in a statement released Tuesday [2/9/2016].  Around 464,000 unique social security numbers were involved, and of that total, 101,000 SSNs were used to successfully access an E-file PIN.  The thieves used personal taxpayer data that was stolen elsewhere to help generate the PINs, the agency said.  No personal data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems, and affected taxpayers will be notified by mail of the attack.

IRS Kept $4.75 Billion in Overpayments That Taxpayers Can No Longer Claim Back.  When a taxpayer sends a payment to the IRS, and the IRS is unable to determine which taxpayer's account the payment is for, the money is applied to the unidentified remittance file.  This usually happens when a taxpayer submits a payment to the IRS but does not file a tax return.  A rule within the IRS, known as the refund statute, puts a deadline on how long taxpayers can claim a refund on their overpayment of taxes.  If the taxpayer doesn't turn in a tax return to the IRS within that deadline, the payment is moved to the excess collection file.  Currently, the excess collection file holds $5.81 billion, a figure that has increased by 23 percent since January 2010.  Eighty-two percent of that money, or $4.75 billion, consists of overpayments that can no longer be claimed by the taxpayer, because of deadline restrictions.  The rest could be returned to taxpayers.

IRS's new ethics chief once ordered that records be illegally destroyed.  The new head of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ethics office once oversaw the illegal shredding of documents sought by the federal tax agency's inspector general (IG) and allegedly retaliated by snitching on that colleague[.]  Stephen Whitlock was named director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) in August 2015.  The OPR supports "effective tax administration by ensuring all tax practitioners, tax-preparers, and other third parties in the tax system adhere to professional standards and follow the law," according to the agency's web site.  Whitlock's chief of operations was, until recently, a former tax enforcement agent who attempted to avoid government payments by declaring bankruptcy and who even lost his official sidearm in a bar fight.

IRS Wipes Another Hard Drive: Sackless GOP Leaders Issue Sternly Worded Memo in Response.  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 [1/21/2016].  "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.

Federal Bureaucracies: Incompetent, Corrupt, or Both?  The saga of Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service is almost unbelievable.  After "joking" years ago that he would audit his enemies, it turned out that Obama's minions were in fact delaying or blocking routine applications for 501(c) status by conservative organizations, in order to help the Democratic Party.  When Congress tried to investigate, the Obama administration stonewalled at every turn.  Evidence mysteriously disappeared and the key player in the scheme, Lois Lerner, pled the Fifth rather than answer Congress's questions.  Obama's stonewall strategy has generally worked well.  Scandals fade from the front pages when there are no new developments, and if information finally emerges, Democratic Party reporters treat it as old news.  So the IRS scandal has pretty much disappeared from public awareness.  Nevertheless, via InstaPundit, we learn that yet another IRS computer hard drive has been destroyed.

IRS under fire for erasing records sought in court order.  Lawmakers blasted the Internal Revenue Service this week for deleting records that a federal judge had ordered the agency to produce.  First, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden demanded to know why a hard drive had been "sanitized" after a court ordered the IRS to hand over records from that computer.  In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Wednesday [1/20/2016], the pair of Republicans questioned the tax agency's record-keeping policies, which have come under fire for years thanks to a series of lengthy congressional investigations that were stymied by the IRS' failure to turn over key documents.

IRS Erases Hard Drive Despite Court Order.  The IRS erased a hard drive belonging to a former top employee involved in the agency's controversial, taxpayer-funded hiring of elite trial law firm Quinn Emanuel.  Although there was a court preservation order on all documents related to the IRS hiring of the outside firm, the hard drive was erased anyway.  The order was borne of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Microsoft.  Even though the white shoe law firm has zero experience handling sensitive tax data, taxpayers have been footing bills of over $1,000 per hour for its services.

Beware: IRS Now Has Six Years To Audit Your Taxes, Up From Three.  No one wants to be audited, so knowing how long your tax return can be attacked is important.  The statute of limitations on taxes is a fundamental rule allowing taxpayers to eventually cut off their exposure.  It can be pretty satisfying to say to the IRS, "sorry, you're too late."  But this year, that will be a little harder due to an expansion of the IRS's power to audit for extra years.  Traditionally, the primary IRS statute of limitations was three years.  But there are many exceptions that give the IRS six years or longer.

The IRS backs down: How your voice made a difference.  A new regulation proposed by the IRS would have some nonprofit charities report the Social Security numbers of donors giving at least $250 in one year.  The regulation would permit, but not require, charitable organizations to file a new, separate information return (in addition to the Form 990) to substantiate covered contributions.  The new informational return would require the charity to collect an individual donor's name, address, and Social Security number, and provide a copy to the donor. [...] The IRS backed down and decided not to implement this measure.  The IRS explained that tens of thousands of Americans speaking out against the proposal made the difference.

IRS nixes controversial plan to collect Social Security numbers of charity donors.  A wave of complaints forced the IRS on Thursday to withdraw its controversial plan to have nonprofit charities report the Social Security numbers of donors who give just $250 in any given year.  Under the proposed rule, the IRS would have created a voluntary system for nonprofits to collect and send the IRS personal donor information in their yearly report.  The idea was to simplify the process for nonprofits — ranging from traditional charities to churches — and donors alike.

The IRS has a bold, brand new power.  It can take away your passport.  Here's a fact from the last month of the year that I bet you didn't even know.  Our government has made a major change to the way it aims to collect taxes.  Buried, no submerged deep in the transportation bill passed by Congress in December was a bold, brand new power given to the IRS.  If you have a federal tax debt amounting to $50,000 or more, starting this month, the IRS can get your passport cancelled by sending a message to the State Department to do so.  And guess what?  That $50,000 includes penalties and interest.

IRS nixes controversial plan to collect Social Security numbers of charity donors.  A wave of complaints forced the IRS on Thursday to withdraw its controversial plan to have nonprofit charities report the Social Security numbers of donors who give just $250 in any given year.  Under the proposed rule, the IRS would have created a voluntary system for nonprofits to collect and send the IRS personal donor information in their yearly report.  The idea was to simplify the process for nonprofits — ranging from traditional charities to churches — and donors alike.

How Lawmakers Stopped Part of Obama's Assault on First Amendment.  At the end of 2013, the IRS proposed a new, restrictive regulation to change its definition of "campaign-related political activity" by nonprofit 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations like the NRA (National Rifle Association) and various Tea Party groups.  The overbroad rule would have seriously undermined the First Amendment rights of these organizations and their members and interfered with the regulation of candidate activity by the Federal Election Commission — the agency tasked by Congress with that responsibility.  The proposed rule was, in essence, an effort to legalize what Lois Lerner had done — targeting conservative advocacy organizations for their beliefs, opinions, and views by systematically harassing them and their donors with voluminous information requests and delays in granting their tax-exempt status.  This proposed regulation got more public comments than any IRS proposal in recent memory — the vast majority of which were opposed to the new regulation.

After Tearing Up First Amendment, IRS Can Tear Up Passports.  Some thought the IRS would be punished after interfering in a presidential election by harassing conservative organizations.  Instead, the tax man gets the new power of revoking your passport.  The massive transportation bill that a Republican Congress passed this month gives the Internal Revenue Service new powers to authorize the State Department to revoke U.S. passports.  It's hard not to draw a connection between this and Americans living abroad who are renouncing their precious U.S. citizenship in record numbers in recent years for one reason:  to prevent the IRS from shaking them down.

Despite New Limits, The IRS is Not Yet Under Control.  [A]n ongoing dispute between the tax collection agency and Microsoft demonstrates that the IRS continues to operate outside the bounds of the law.  The IRS is in the midst of an almost nine-year audit of Microsoft.  That's unusual given the three-year statutory limit for audits.  Sometimes they can be extended when necessary, but the IRS has asked and been granted permission by Microsoft to do so eight times already.  Most notable, however, is the fact that Microsoft just wants to pay its bill and move on, but the IRS has refused to submit one.  That might be due to the fact that the never-ending audit is proving quite profitable for a powerful, politically-connected law firm.

IRS Still Working on the Hack of the Year.  Ten months after a major hack into taxpayer information at the IRS, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says the IRS is still working on bolstering its Internet sign-in procedures.  Initially the IRS had said last May that more than 100,000 taxpayer records had been stolen.  But then in August it tripled that estimate to 334,000.  The IRS says hackers had made an estimated 615,000 attempts to break in, for a success rate of more than 50%.

IRS sent out $46 million in tax refunds flagged as potentially fraudulent, watchdog says.  The Internal Revenue Service erroneously released more than $46 million in tax refunds in 2013 that had been flagged as potentially fraudulent, the result of poor monitoring and a computer programming error, the agency's watchdog found.  The returns had been identified as questionable by two internal teams and should have been set aside for further review.  But the IRS software system did the opposite, accidentally setting things in motion so that refunds were released to taxpayers, an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosed this week.

IRS loses $27 million to computer glitch.  A pattern of "ineffective monitoring," identified by the IRS' watchdog, caused the IRS to hand out an additional $19 million before the agency verified that the recipients had provided accurate income information.  "We forecast that over five years the IRS could issue $135 million in potentially erroneous refunds due to this programming error," wrote the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which oversees the IRS, in a report made public Monday [12/21/2015].

IRS Issued $46 Million in Erroneous Tax Refunds.  The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $46 million in erroneous tax refunds due to a computer glitch and ineffective monitoring, issues that left uncorrected could cost taxpayers up to $230 million over the next five years.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit Monday [12/21/2015] faulting the IRS for approving thousands of potentially fraudulent tax refunds in 2013.  "TIGTA identified that because of a programming error, over $27 million of refunds were erroneously issued for 13,043 Tax Year 2013 tax returns," the audit said.  "The programming error is overriding the IRS's two-week processing delay on some refund tax returns that are identified by the IRS as potentially fraudulent."

Auto dealer who scammed customers works for IRS.  The owner of a used-car dealership who admitted defrauding dozens of desperate customers is a longtime employee of the Internal Revenue Service.  At the same time Gina Colombo told authorities that she took advantage of poor and non-English-speaking customers at Uncle Joe's Auto Sales, she also worked at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Phoenix.

IRS proposes churches, other nonprofits get Social Security numbers from donors.  An Obama administration proposal to have some nonprofit charities report the Social Security numbers of donors giving at least $250 in one year is raising concerns about security, government overreach and another episode of IRS targeting.  "There's a big caution here.  There's a big yellow light that should be flashing for a couple of reasons," Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam tells Fox News.  "Number one, the IRS has not demonstrated its capacity to hold this type of information from confidentiality and a security point of view."

Charities chafe at IRS proposal to collect donors' Social Security numbers.  The IRS once again has stirred the ire of nonprofit groups, this time with a proposal organizations say could someday require them to collect and hand over the Social Security numbers of their donors.  Under the proposed rule, the IRS would create an optional filing for 501(c)(3) nonprofits.  Those participating would, as part of their yearly report, turn over the Social Security numbers of any donors who give $250 or more to a charity in a given year.

IRS: You Can't Sue Us Unless We Say You Can.  Department of Justice lawyers claimed Wednesday the IRS cannot be sued for damages by the estimated 330,000 taxpayers victimized by hackers who earlier this year breached the federal tax agency's computer files.  Plaintiffs Becky Welborn and Wendy Windrich's claim of damage under the Privacy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act cannot be pursued because the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, which holds the federal government immune to damage claims unless it agrees to such litigation.

IRS Policy Labels Illegal-Alien ID Thieves as "Borrowers".  Bob Segall, investigative reporter for WTHR Indianapolis, has released a new two-part report on illegal immigration and the Internal Revenue Service. [...] Segall won the Center's Katz Award in 2013 for his 11-part series exposing fraud and mismanagement within the IRS that allowed illegal aliens to receive billions of dollars in improper tax credits and refunds.  In his new series, Segall focuses on the IRS policy labeling illegal aliens who use the Social Security numbers of Americans and legal residents merely as "borrowers" against whom no action may be taken by IRS employees.  The report interviews the victims, IRS whistleblowers, and even the illegal-alien fraudsters.  [Video clip]

Secret IRS policy hides identity theft from victims.  Findings of the [WTHR] 13 Investigates report include:
  •   The IRS accepts millions of tax returns — and issues tax refunds — even when taxpayer documents show clear warning signs of identity theft
  •   Confidential IRS policies instruct IRS employees not to tell taxpayers when someone else uses their social security number to earn income
  •   The IRS allows illegal immigrants to "borrow" social security numbers that do not legally belong to them
  •   The IRS is discontinuing a program to notify taxpayers when their social security number is used by someone else to gain employment

Senators demand answers about IRS use of secret cellphone tracking systems.  Two top senators are probing use by the Internal Revenue Service of secret cellphone tracking systems that are more often utilized by federal or local law enforcement agencies.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted this week that the agency does use the technology, known as cell-site simulators, or StingRays.  The admission came after a report by The Guardian that indicated the IRS has spent more than $71,000 to upgrade a version of the device and to receive training from a company that manufactures the devices.

IRS possessed Stingray cellphone surveillance gear, documents reveal.  The Internal Revenue Service is the latest in a growing list of US federal agencies known to have possessed the sophisticated cellphone dragnet equipment known as Stingray, according to documents obtained by the Guardian.  Invoices obtained following a request under the Freedom of Information Act show purchases made in 2009 and 2012 by the federal tax agency with Harris Corporation, one of a number of companies that manufacture the devices.  Privacy advocates said the revelation "shows the wide proliferation of this very invasive surveillance technology".

IRS purchased fake cell towers to spy on Americans' mobile devices.  What business could the Internal Revenue Service possibly have spying on Americans with fake cell phone towers?  It seems like a ridiculous scenario, but a Freedom of Information Act document dump revealed that the IRS now possesses the technology to conduct dragnet spying operations on mobile devices.

IRS: We're Too Corrupt And Incompetent To Handle $100 Million Checks.  The problem, one most people would love to have, is how to deal with checks for $100 million or more.  It seems the IRS can't handle them any longer out of fear of people stealing some of the money.  Starting in 2016, the IRS will no longer accept checks for $100 million or more because the equipment at the Federal Reserve Bank that processes checks can't handle checks for more than 8 digits.  Checks larger than that have to be processed manually by hand, which, according to internal memos obtained by the Associated Press, could increase "the risk of theft, fraud and errors."

IRS sued over treatment of Americans who bank abroad.  The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires, in essence, that U.S. citizens who reside outside the U.S. disclose to the IRS all of their foreign banking assets including retirement plans, savings accounts, etc.  It also requires foreign banks to assist the IRS in applying the disclosure rules or else face enormous penalties.  As its not-so-subtle acronym suggests, the Act purports to be an anti-fat-cat measure through which to crack down on super-rich Americans who want to hide funds in offshore tax havens.  In practice, it inflicts adverse consequences — possibly unintended, but highly foreseeable — on millions of non-wealthy Americans living overseas and on American companies who business there.

IRS must say if White House sought taxpayers' information: Judge.  A federal judge Friday [8/28/2015] ordered the IRS to turn over the records of any requests from the White House seeking taxpayers' private information from the tax agency, delivering a victory to a group that for two years has been trying to pry the data loose.  It's not clear that there were any such requests — but Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the IRS cannot just refuse to say so by citing taxpayer confidentiality laws, known as section 6103 of the tax code.

Dairy farm fined $30,000 by IRS for depositing legally earned money in less than $10,000 increments.  A farmer in Maryland has been targeted by the IRS for depositing amounts under $10,000, in order to avoid excessive paperwork.  Randy Sowers wasn't doing it to launder money, but merely to avoid the hassles of paperwork meant to catch illegal activity.  Yet the IRS is now treating him like a common criminal, seizing his money.

Dairy farmer fighting feds after IRS milks him for $30,000.  Randy Sowers built his dairy farm over three decades into a thriving business.  After kick-starting with a $100,000 loan, today the South Mountain Creamery has 1,000 cows and 70 employees delivering milk, ice cream and other products to homes in the Washington, D.C., area.  But the Maryland farmer's operation suffered a big setback when the IRS swooped in to seize tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars from his account, claiming he violated an obscure banking law.

IRS officials abused their powers like Third World bureaucrats.  A June 2013 letter from the IRS inspector general to congressional Democrats found that six out of 20 "progressive" organizations had their applications scrutinized as potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012.  "In comparison," the letter said, "our audit found that 100 percent of the [292] tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the time frame of our audit."

IRS report finds 'gross mismanagement,' 'personal politics'.  The Senate tax-writing panel accused the Internal Revenue Service of "gross mismanagement of the highest levels" in a long-awaited report concerning the agency's targeting of conservative-leaning organizations.  The Senate Finance Committee issued the report Wednesday [8/5/2015] and it included bipartisan criticism and a conclusion by panel Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that "personal politics ... influenced how the IRS conducted its business.

Here is the Ironclad Case for Impeaching IRS Head John Koskinen.  Key members of the House Freedom Caucus are demanding that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen be removed from office.  In an op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal, Reps. Jim Jordan and Ron DeSantis told President Obama that if the Commissioner is not removed, they will begin the proceedings to impeach him.  Modern Americans view impeachment with a sort of awe and reverence.  To most, it seems like an inconceivably drastic thing to do.  But it was not always this way, nor was it the intention of the founders.  Impeachment has always been a practical tool for getting rid of bad actors in government and, given the amount of government corruption we see today, a tool that should be used with much greater frequency.

House Oversight Committee Details Case for Removal of IRS Commissioner.  House Oversight Republicans, led by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today called for President Obama to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  Under Koskinen's leadership, the agency has continually stonewalled the investigation into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal.  Years after the scandal first broke, the agency has done its utmost to bury the truth.  Taxpayers deserve a transparent and responsive government, but under Commissioner Koskinen the IRS has displayed unprecedented unaccountability.  Chairman Chaffetz vowed to explore all options to remove Commissioner Koskinen including impeachment and holding him in contempt of Congress.  As Chaffetz notes, the agency under Koskinen's leadership has failed time and time again to comply with Congressional investigators.

Marriage decision distorts the balance of powers.  The Constitution was not amended last week.  But Congress, state legislatures, and the voters who elect them lost a great deal of power anyway.  Thursday's [6/25/2015] Obamacare decision allowed the IRS, an unelected agency of government, to rewrite a federal law to mean the exact opposite of what it says.  As we noted Friday, that ruling effectively canceled the input of Massachusetts voters who had derailed the law's drafting process in a 2010 special election.

IRS breaking federal law in paying contracts to tax cheats: audit.  The IRS has been paying millions to tax-cheat contractors who owe millions of dollars in debt to the federal government, the agency's inspector general said in a report Wednesday [6/24/2015] that said the payments even break federal law.  Officials awarded $18.8 million in contracts to 17 companies with tax debts in 2012 and 2013 — despite a 2012 law that said contractors had to be caught up on their payments in order to do business with the agency.  The embattled agency doesn't even bother to check whether contractors are up to date in their taxes, the audit found.

IRS Protects and Rewards Illegal Aliens.  Whether intentional or otherwise, the Internal Revenue Service all too often sides with illegal aliens who routinely commit multiple employment-related felonies that do terrible harm to American citizens.

How the IRS Rewards Illegal Aliens for Their Crimes.  Whether intentional or otherwise, the Internal Revenue Service all too often sides with illegal aliens who routinely commit multiple employment-related felonies that do terrible harm to American citizens. [...] Congressional efforts to force the IRS to put Americans ahead of illegal aliens have consistently failed, but that does not prevent the IRS from voluntarily changing its ways and standing up for Americans if it really wants to.

Sen. Isakson on Stolen IRS Data: 'More Personally Identifying' and 'More Dangerous' Than What NSA Does.  Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said the confidential taxpayer information that 104,000 Americans had stolen at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was "a lot more private, a lot more personally identifying, and a lot more dangerous" than "whatever the NSA ever does," the National Security Agency.

More IRS outrage: Agency used 'hundreds of lawyers' to hide information from Congress.  It's been a very bad week for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — which translates into a very bad week for the American people.  First, it was revealed the IRS failed to implement critical upgrades to its computer systems which made it much easier for Russian hackers to steal information from more than 100,000 taxpayers.  Then, if Russian hackers weren't enough, an IRS employee in Missouri pleaded guilty to stealing more than $325,000 by filing fraudulent tax returns — stealing the identities of American taxpayers.  Now, we learn that as Congress began its investigation into the unlawful scheme targeting conservative and Tea Party groups the IRS used "hundreds of attorneys" to hide critical information from Congress.

IRS gives its blessing to newly-formed 'First Church of Cannabis' in Indianapolis.  The Internal Revenue Service has given its blessing to Indiana's newly-formed First Church of Cannabis.  The church formed in response to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Now the IRS has awarded Levin a nonprofit tax-exempt status.

IRS sends Congress unsigned form letter to brush off demands for Clinton Foundation investigation.  The IRS responded to a Republican request for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status with a one-page form letter that starts with "Dear Sir or Madam."  In May, more than 50 House Republicans asked the IRS to review the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status, after it became clear that the foundation had failed to report millions of dollars in grants from foreign governments.  That letter, led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, said a review was "appropriate" given that this money was accepted and not reported while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

IRS Admits Refunding Billions On Fake Tax Returns.  Just hours after being force to admit that they were hacked (by Russians apparently), an inspector general's report shows that The IRS has rather remarkably continued to pay refunds on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tax returns in recent years, and sent dozens of checks to the same addresses, including in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.  While some progress has been made, $2.3 billion of real US taxpayer's money was wrongfully refunded to fake US taxpayers... but with this new cyber-attack, we suspect that number will soar.

Senator: IRS paying private lawyers $1,000 an hour, despite 'underfunding' complaints.  Despite repeated cries of agency poverty from IRS leaders, a top Republican senator says the nation's chief revenue collector is paying private attorneys more than $1,000 an hour to help conduct a high-profile audit.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, fired off a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen airing his concerns earlier this month.  Hatch questioned not only the cost of the contract, but the decision to use an outside contractor for an investigation involving potentially sensitive tax information.

IRS Hires $1,000-An-Hour Lawyers And It Might Have Violated Federal Law.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying a Washington law firm $1,000 an hour in taxpayer money to perform a corporate audit, despite its claim of being severely underfunded.  The IRS' $2.2 million contract with big-money firm Quinn Emanuel has sparked a Senate Finance Committee investigation, with the committee's chairman saying that the IRS "appears to violate federal law."  Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch wrote a letter this month to IRS commissioner John Koskinen stating his concerns relating to the contact, which pays Quinn Emanuel $1,000 an hour to perform an audit of Microsoft.

IRS hit by cyberattack, thousands of taxpayers' information stolen.  Thieves managed to steal information on more than 100,000 taxpayers from the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday — though he insisted the breach didn't affect most average taxpayers and the information they file in their annual returns.  Thousands of fraudulent returns were filed under the attack, and final details about the amount the criminals stole is not available, though Mr. Koskinen predicted it will be less than $50 million.

Watchdog: IRS issued $5.6B in potentially bogus education credits.  The IRS issued $5.6 billion in potentially bogus education tax credits in a single year — more than a quarter of all education credits claimed by taxpayers, a government watchdog said Tuesday [5/12/2015].

Public Pressure Forces IRS To Give Back Money To Civil Forfeiture Victim.  After publicly humiliating the Internal Revenue Service, a North Carolina man received more than $100,000 from the agency.  Lyndon McLellan had the bank account for his convenience store seized by the IRS, and at first he wasn't even sure why.  The agency used civil asset forfeiture laws to take McLellan's money without convicting or charging him of a crime.  The IRS said it suspected McLellan was violating federal structuring laws, which prohibit making multiple cash deposits of less than but near $10,000.

Feds to return $107G they seized from NC business owner, attorneys say.  Lyndon McLellan fought the law — and apparently, he won.  The North Carolina business owner for months has been battling the federal government after IRS agents last fall seized $107,000 from him, under a controversial practice known as civil forfeiture.  But his attorneys at the Institute for Justice announced Thursday [5/14/2015] that the IRS and Department of Justice have moved to dismiss the case and give him back his money.  "What's wrong is wrong, and what the government did here was wrong," McLellan said in a statement Thursday.  "I just hope that by standing up for what's right, it means it won't happen to other people."



"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Constitution of the United States          
Amendment #14, Section 1.
           


Where the tax cheats are.  Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Internal Revenue Service officials have not been held to account for their role in targeting conservative non-profit applicants.  Perhaps the multiple deceptions involved in that scandal — including the concealment of retrievable emails — just offers another example of what Americans have come to expect from the federal bureaucracy.  That IRS malingering deliberately made this year's tax filing season harder for taxpayers should surely add to this same impression.  So should the fact that many IRS employees are behind in paying their own taxes — there were 18,300 cases of this in the last ten years, in an agency with roughly 85,000 employees.

IRS arguments draw derision from Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The IRS was almost laughed out of court yesterday [5/6/2015] when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Z Street v. Koskinen.  Z Street, founded by AT contributor Lori Lowenthal Marcus, is a pro-Israel educational group that applied for tax-exempt status, only to encounter delay.  When it inquired as to the progress of its application, an agent told it that auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention, and that its application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review.  Z Street sued for viewpoint discrimination, a constitutional no-no, and the IRS went to U.S. District Court in D.C., seeking dismissal of the case.

IRS gave promotions to tax cheaters: Audit.  The IRS refused to fire most of its own employees found to be cheating on their taxes — and in some cases even quickly turned around and promoted them within the year, according to an audit released Wednesday [5/6/2015].  In about 60 percent of cases of "willful violations," IRS managers found mitigating circumstances and refused to fire the employees, even though the law calls for that penalty.  In some of those cases, the managers didn't even document why they had overridden the penalty, said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

IRS Doled Out $5.6 Billion in Erroneous Stimulus Education Credits.  A report released Tuesday from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reveals that the IRS doled out more than $5.6 billion in education credits in 2012 for more than 3.8 million students.  The tax credits in question, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), were instituted with the 2009 Stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  They are intended to help offset the cost of higher education.

IRS wasted $5.6B on bogus Obama stimulus tax credits: Audit.  The IRS doled out more than $5 billion in potentially bogus college aid payments under an Obama stimulus tax credit in 2012, according to a new report Tuesday [5/5/2015] from the agency's inspector general that said the administration still doesn't have a good handle on how to root out erroneous claims.  More than 3.8 million students received more than $5.6 billion in questionable tax credits, the audit found — more than half of those never filed their tuition statement, while others were paid tax credits even though the schools they attended weren't acceptable institutions.  Still other students claimed the credit for more than four years.

IRS Seizes Over $100,000 From Innocent Small Business Owner, Despite Promise To End Raids.  Wielding a banking law intended to thwart drug trafficking and money laundering, the IRS has a new target in its sights: a rural convenience store that sells catfish sandwiches.  Lyndon McLellan lost over $107,000 in an IRS raid after the agency seized the bank account belonging to his small business, L&M Convenience Mart in Fairmont, North Carolina. "It took me 13 years to save that much money and it took fewer than 13 seconds for the government to take it away," he said.  Like thousands of other victims of civil forfeiture, the government never charged Lyndon with a crime.  Now, with help from the Institute for Justice, he's fighting back to regain his hard-earned cash.

United States v. $107,702.66: North Carolina Civil Forfeiture.  Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart, a gas station, restaurant, and convenience store in rural Fairmont, North Carolina.  Then, one year ago, without any warning, agents from the IRS seized his entire bank account, totalling more than $107,000.  With that, Lyndon entered the upside down world of civil forfeiture, where the government can seize and keep ordinary Americans' property without ever charging them with a crime.  The IRS and Department of Justice are pursuing forfeiture of Lyndon's money despite a recent policy change designed to prevent precisely these kinds of cases.

Ted Cruz gets specific on 'abolishing the IRS'.  Sen. Ted Cruz has been gunning to abolish the Internal Revenue Service since coming to Washington two years ago.  To critics of the Texas Republican in Democratic and GOP circles, it sounds like bluster.  The fiery rhetoric garners hearty applause from conservative audiences, particularly since revelations in 2013 that the IRS targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny.  But some federal agency is going to have to collect taxes, so Cruz's vow to shutter the IRS smacks of a politically motivated campaign promise rather than serious policy — at least to some.

House report: Cash-strapped IRS prioritized bonuses, union activity over helping taxpayers.  While facing budget cuts, the IRS nevertheless prioritized worker bonuses, union activity and the implementation of President Obama's health care law over assisting taxpayers during tax season, according to a new report released Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.  The findings, in a Republican-led report, were released ahead of a subcommittee hearing Wednesday morning [4/22/2015] with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  At the hearing, Koskinen stressed that the agency is significantly under-funded, and those cuts have consequences.

Report: IRS Deliberately Cut Its Own Customer Service Budget.  If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn't get a response.  The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season.  Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance — nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).

Tax Day is not the reason the tax code stinks.  The tax system is a distortionary mess, but before you complain about filing your return, know that audits are down, refunds are up, and the income tax isn't the biggest tax burden most taxpayers face.

Governing by fear:
DOJ Singles Out Tax Cheats in a Pay-or-Else Warning to Taxpayers.  The U.S. Justice Department issued a stern reminder on Monday [4/13/2015] that when it comes to income taxes, "no one is above the law or below the radar."  "With the annual tax filing deadline approaching on Wednesday, April 15, the Justice Department's Tax Division reminds U.S. taxpayers across the country and around the world of their obligation to file timely and accurate income tax returns," the news release said.  And to reinforce that message, the DOJ news release listed 23 cases where the government successfully prosecuted tax cheats.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Case Has a Happy Ending.  In 2013, IRS agents showed up at Carole's door and told her they had seized all the money in the bank account for her business, Mrs. Lady's Mexican Food.  But they didn't charge her with a crime.  The only reason her money was seized was the fact that Carole made frequent cash deposits under $10,000.  Even that is not illegal — it just looks suspiciously like a "structuring" method used by real criminals to hide illegally gotten gains.  The problem is, the IRS didn't stop to investigate why Carole made deposits the way she did.  She became "guilty until proven innocent."

Everyone Hates the IRS — But We Hate It In Different Ways.  According to the latest data out of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Americans as a people pay one of the lowest tax burdens in the developed world.  Out of 34 countries with democratic governments and market economies, the U.S. ranked third lowest for overall tax burden as a percentage of GDP in 2012, and probably fourth lowest in 2013 (for which data is not yet complete).

Ex-IRS ethics office lawyer disbarred for ... ethics violations.  A lawyer who worked in the IRS ethics office was disbarred Thursday by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which concluded she misappropriated a client's funds from a case she handled in private practice, broke a number of ethics rules and showed "reckless disregard for the truth" in misleading a disbarment panel looking into the matter.  The lawyer, Takisha Brown, reportedly had bragged that she would never be punished because her boss would protect her, but an IRS spokesman said Wednesday [4/1/2015] that she was no longer an employee at the agency.

Koskinen Says IRS Has Eliminated Backlog of Tax-Exempt Applications.  The IRS has eliminated the backlog of applications from groups seeking nonprofit status, Commissioner John Koskinen told a gathering in Washington on Tuesday [3/31/2015].  But a conservative civil liberties group says "the facts show otherwise."  The American Center for Law and Justice said two of its clients are still awaiting a determination on their applications for tax-exempt status — and one of those groups (the Albuquerque Tea Party) has been waiting for more than five years.

IRS ignoring 60 percent of taxpayers' calls.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday [3/31/2015] that service at his agency has gotten so bad that they are ignoring more than 60 percent of taxpayers' phone calls during this tax season.  Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr. Koskinen pleaded with more money, saying a budget boost would help them staff their overwhelmed customer service lines.  He also said it would help reverse staffing cuts in their compliance division, where he said the government will lose $2 billion this year in money it would otherwise have been able to collect if it had better staffing.

Koskinen: 'I Have Certainly Never Discussed IRS Business on My Own Personal (Email) Account'.  When asked Tuesday whether he had ever used a personal email account to conduct government business, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said he had "never discussed IRS business on my own personal account" and has a government-issued computer set up at home to avoid mingling business and personal emails.  However, when asked whether other IRS employees only used government email accounts for agency business, Koskinen said that is the standing IRS policy, but added he "can't guarantee" it is always followed.

Good news: IRS has less identity theft security than your average Etsy shop.  They rehire people fired for snooping, they allow pretty much anyone into facilities and restricted areas where all our sensitive information is kept, and there's no telling how many unauthorized current and former employees are able to steal identities as a result.  And, you thought they just ruined people's lives with audits.  That's novice stuff.  This is the IRS.  I have personal experience with this.  I had a fraudulent tax return filed under my Social Security number in 2012.  As a result, both my refunds from 2012 and 2013 were put under administrative hold or some such nonsense with no notification to me or indication of how to remove them from hold.

Report Says Former IRS Employees — Think Lois Lerner — Can Still Peruse Your Tax Returns.  Could Lois Lerner still take a look at your tax returns on IRS computers?  It sounds preposterous, but a new watchdog report says former IRS employees still have access to IRS computer systems long after they have no official business with the information.  The report is by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress.  The GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.  In the case of IRS security, the report says not well.

Ted Cruz Calls for Abolishing the IRS.  Sen. Ted. Cruz said in a speech at Liberty University today that he believes it is time to reclaim the U.S. Constitution and asked his listeners to "imagine abolishing the IRS."  "It is a time for truth.  It is a time for liberty.  It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States," Cruz said.  "We stand together for liberty.  This is our fight.  The answer will not come from Washington.  It will come only from the men and women across this country — from men and women, from people of faith, from lovers of liberty, from people who respect the Constitution," said Cruz.

Shades of HealthCare.gov? IRS shifting customer service online to IRS.gov.  They may not be getting help on the phones, but taxpayers this year are increasingly making use of IRS.gov, the tax agency's website, to answer their questions.  Visits are up by 11 percent over last year, including 15 million in the past week alone, the agency said Friday.  Most of the inquiries are going to the IRS's "Where's my refund?" tool, which tracks where in the process a taxpayer's refund is.  The IRS also said taxpayers can now get return information online, rather than having to order it by phone and wait up to 10 days for it to arrive.  The push to send customers online is not an accident.

IRS botches computer security, risks taxpayer info: audit.  The IRS sometimes uses old software without key security patches that leave its computer systems vulnerable and could endanger taxpayers' private information, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday [3/19/2015].  GAO investigators raised the issue last year, identifying 69 weaknesses.  The IRS said it had corrected two dozen of them, but the new audit found just 14 of them were actually fixed, leaving dozens of weaknesses still to be resolved.  Part of the problem is that the IRS hasn't even always followed its own guidelines for assessing risks and creating information security plans, the GAO said.

IRS may broaden rule to police political nonprofits.  The IRS may broaden a looming controversial rule to police political nonprofits to include political parties and political action committees, the agency's chief said Wednesday [3/18/2015].  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the agency may expand a yet-to-be-released rule governing 501(c)(4), "social welfare" groups, to include political groups known as 527s, which focus on elections.  It could require them both — as well as other types of tax-exempt groups — to operate under the same definition of "political activity."

Rein in the IRS.  In 2013, [Rep. Peter] Roskam, in a televised committee hearing, told the story of Al Salvi, who in 1996 was the Republican Senate candidate against the then-congressman, now senator, Dick Durbin.  Democrats filed charges with the Federal Election Commission against Salvi's campaign, charges that threatened to dominate the campaign's final weeks.  Salvi telephoned the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he says told him: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case."  That official was Lois Lerner.  After Salvi lost, FBI agents visited his elderly mother, demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son's campaign, where she got "that kind of money."  When a federal court held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the FEC's losing lawyer was Lois Lerner.

The Solution to Tax ID Theft Is an Unpopular One: Slower Refunds.  The Government Accountability Office estimates that $5.8 billion was lost to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2013 and that there may have been as much as $24.2 billion in thwarted attempts.  Tax refund fraud losses are estimated to reach $21 billion by 2016, according to the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration.  While the massive loss chronicled in the GAO report was big news (for a nanosecond anyway) the GAO's recommendations for stemming the rising tide of tax-related fraud did not get a lot of attention.

IRS defends paying refunds to illegals who never filed taxes.  The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years' refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, telling Congress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds.  President Obama's new deportation amnesty could grant Social Security numbers to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, making many of them eligible for tax refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit even for years when they cheated on their taxes, working off the books and refusing to file tax returns.

New Revelations Show IRS Is Judge, Jury, Executioner — And Grave Robber.  The most important piece of information about the IRS's targeting of conservative and pro-Israel groups is this:  it is still going on.  Politico reported yesterday [2/26/2015] that there are two categories of groups still being delayed and silenced by the IRS's tax-exempt apparatchiks.  The first category is Karl Rove (and his Crossroads organization).  The second category is financially strapped mom-and-pop shops who have been driven into debt by the IRS's corrupt practices in which critics of the Obama administration are deprived of some of their constitutional rights.

IRS Employee Indicted for Filing False Tax Returns.  A former IRS tax examiner was indicted Friday along with three conspirators for filing false tax returns and making false claims for lost income related to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The IRS worker, Jimmie McCorvey of Pensacola, FL, helped the other three obtain $95,200 from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) based on false claims of lost income from the spill.  McCorvey was also charged with identity theft for filing 25 false tax returns that netted him more than $60,000 in tax refunds.

IRS Offers Retroactive Welfare To Illegal Aliens Granted Amnesty By Obama.  With all the discussion about amnesty simply being about delaying deportations (we already don't deport people), Obama's amnesty has been about naturalization.  That was obvious when we learned amnestied illegals would be given social security numbers.  They already have ITIN numbers in order to file taxes, so why is the SSN important?  Because you need that to get the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is automatic welfare through a "refund" check from the IRS.  In other words, a massive redistribution of our wealth, a reward, to millions of foreigners on our soil.  And it will be retroactive for 3 years.

IRS Seizes First, Asks Questions Later.  When Carole Hinders answered a knock at the front door of her home in August 2013, she was confronted by two IRS agents.  They told her they had just cleaned out the entire bank account of the restaurant, Mrs. Lady's Mexican Food, that Hinders had owned and operated in tiny Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the past 30 years.  The IRS seized more than $32,000.  While Hinders stood in shock, the IRS agents told her that her cash deposits looked suspicious.  Based on that suspicion alone, the IRS had authority to seize her entire bank account using a federal legal procedure known as civil forfeiture.  Hinders protested that she'd get a lawyer and fight the seizure.  She still remembers the disdainful response of one of the agents:  "Well, you can try."

Report: IRS Seized Thousands of Bank Accounts Without Filing Criminal Charges.  The Internal Revenue Service seized hundreds of millions of dollars from thousands of bank accounts over the past decade, often without proof of any criminal wrongdoing, according to a report released by the Institute for Justice this week.  The Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm, said the IRS practiced a "seize first, ask questions later" strategy when it seized $242 million in more than 2,500 cases from 2005 to 2012.

IRS rehires reprimanded ex-staffers.  The IRS rehired hundreds of former staffers with conduct issues, even bringing ex-employees with tax issues back into the fold, a new federal audit has found.  Treasury's inspector general for tax administration said that the IRS generally followed the federal guidelines, which take into account whether a potential employee has a criminal record or failed a drug test, when bringing back former staffers.  But other staffers rehired had documented conduct issues from previous tenures at the IRS, including purposefully not filing their taxes, wrongly authorizing taxpayer information and lying on official forms.  Of those rehired, roughly one in five then went on to have further performance problems.

IRS knowingly rehired tax cheats, other employees with 'performance' issues: Audit.  The IRS rehired hundreds of employees who had prior records of bad performance at the agency, including 141 former workers who had botched their own tax returns and others who had used their positions to peek at private tax information, the agency's inspector general said in a report released Thursday [2/5/2015].

94-year-old vet can't file tax return because IRS says he's dead.  There is a 94-year-old World War II vet in Ohio who just wants to pay his taxes but can't because the IRS says he's dead.  Siegfried Meinstein has been unable to convince the IRS he is alive, living in an assisted living facility near Columbus, Ohio.  The IRS has told the nonagenarian it can't process his tax return because their records indicate he is deceased.

The Editor says...
How much taxable income does a person in an "assisted-living facility" have?  If the IRS says you're tax exempt, why quibble over details?  This issue probably has less to do with taxes than with Social Security payments to the place where he lives; that is, they can't get their payments if the government says he's dead.

Problems at IRS: Will you get your tax refund on time?  The IRS chief is warning of a poor tax season, with delayed refunds and long waits for customer service help likely after budget cuts.  But could the income tax system and the IRS be overhauled to work for everyone?

IRS Ignores Phone Calls, Does Not Let Elderly People Leave Messages.  Elderly and disabled people cannot leave messages for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the IRS fails to pick up the phone to serve them.  The National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent oversight organ within the IRS, detailed the agency's phone practices in its 2014 Annual Report to Congress Wednesday.  "The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message," according to the report.

IRS Warns Of Delayed Refunds, Long Waits For Taxpayers & Possible Shutdown.  With a week to go before tax season opens, taxpayers were already bracing for a potentially "miserable" filing season.  It turns out that it could live up to the hype.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Koskinen has advised employees that the budget cuts will result in reduced services to taxpayers.

The Editor says...
It's a classic shakedown:  Something bad will happen to you unless you give us more money.  That's what the IRS is saying.  Senator Cruz has the right idea:  Abolish the IRS.

Cruz: Abolish The IRS.  Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday that Republicans should take advantage of their control of Congress to abolish the Internal Revenue Service.  "We need to pass fundamental tax reform making our tax code simpler, flatter, fairer," he said Monday at Heritage Action's 2015 conservative policy summit.  "And I'll tell you, the single most important tax reform, we should abolish the IRS."

5 Federal Agencies in the GOP's Crosshairs.  [#1] Internal Revenue Service: The GOP spent a good chunk of 2014 grilling IRS officials about targeting conservative groups.  Though the scandal has not proven to reach all the way to the White House, the GOP is not done scrutinizing the IRS.

Report: IRS 'totally politicized' by Obamacare, targeting of Tea Party applicants.  Targeting conservative and Tea Party nonprofit applicants for harassment during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns was the most obvious, but far from the only illustration of how deeply President Obama politicized the daily operations of the IRS, according to a new report from a congressional oversight panel.  "Most American taxpayers find themselves at the mercy of the IRS — they must turn over sensitive information and even successful efforts to fight off erroneous agency actions can create life-altering turmoil," said the report that will be made public Tuesday [12/23/2014] by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Report: IRS Targeted 'Icky' Conservative Groups.  Top IRS officials specifically targeted tea party groups and misled the public about its secret political targeting program led by ex-official Lois Lerner, according to a bombshell new congressional report.  The Daily Caller has obtained an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report set to be released Tuesday morning that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed "icky."

The IRS: Just One of Dozens of Uncooperative Agencies.  [Scroll down]  Which brings us back to the IRS scandal, in which agents of that fearsome organization committed the cardinal sin of democratic governance:  They used the power of the state to persecute citizens because of their political beliefs.  Using government power as a means to greater political power is ipso facto corruption.  From the shenanigans involving "lost" e-mails to former commissioner Doug Schulman's simply lying to Congress, the IRS has done everything in its power to obstruct investigation into its crimes — not errors, not mistakes:  crimes.  Issa's last report identifies by name eight IRS officials who were involved in the political targeting or who had knowledge of the practice and failed to disclose it.

IRS warns of possible shutdown.  The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday [12/18/2014].  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs — forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure — is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there.

The bipartisan plan to end IRS stealing.  The IRS has the power to seize small cash deposits under $10,000.  These deposits seem suspicious because cash deposits over $10,000 trigger a bank report to authorities.  Terrorists, drug dealers, and money launderers all make cash deposits under $10,000 to avoid triggering the bank report.  The illicit practice is called "structuring."  The problem is that many small businesses accept cash payments and make large deposits that happen to fall under $10,000.  Sadly, this attempt to crack down on terrorist funding is used by the IRS to abuse small businesses.

Fox News Poll: 70 percent want Congress to keep probing IRS.  Most American voters want Congress to keep investigating the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, according to the latest Fox News poll.  Seventy percent say the IRS investigation should last until "someone is held accountable."  That's down from a high of 78 percent in June 2013.  About one in five thinks it is time to move on (22 percent).

Watchdog Report: IRS Paid Out More Than $20 Billion in Erroneous Low-Income Tax Credits.  The Internal Revenue Service paid out $14.5 billion in erroneous Earned Income Tax Credit payments and between $5.9 billion and $7.1 billion in improper Additional Child Tax Credit payments in Fiscal Year 2013, according to a new government watchdog report.  The EITC and ACTC are refundable tax credits intended for lower-income Americans.  In Tax Year 2012, the IRS paid out $63 billion in EITCs and $26.6 billion in ACTC payments.

Obama Says His Job Is Assuring Equal Protection Under the Law — Really?  When it comes to the great constitutional principle of equal protection under the law in the age of Obama, it is not that there is a black America and a white America.  It is that there are political supporters of the president who get one quality of justice, and political opponents and convenient political scapegoats for whom "justice" is a weapon their government has turned against them.

Feds balk at releasing docs showing IRS sharing tax returns with White House.  Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using "sophisticated" lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents.  And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into "potential liability" that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House.  Epstein said that either Treasury was "stonewalling" his group, or that Lew "is incompetent" for just now looking at potential lawbreaking by his team on the case that is two years old.

Department Of Justice To Release 30,000 Emails From IRS Exchange With White House.  The investigation began in 2013 when The Daily Caller reported that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and White House adviser Jeanne Lambrew allegedly exchanged confidential information about a group attempting to overturn an Obamacare contraception mandate with a lawsuit.  Thousands of emails between the two were turned over to Congress, providing more information and context about the relationship between the White House and IRS.  The allegations came amid a larger story of claims that the IRS was targeting conservative groups applying for tax exemptions.

IRS accused of sharing 2,500 private taxpayer documents with White House.  The Internal Revenue Service may have given thousands of confidential filings from private taxpayers to the White House to review, a lawsuit against the Treasury Department just revealed.  The suit, filed against Treasury's inspector general by Cause of Action, a legal advocacy outfit, reveals a steady stream of communication went on between the White House and the IRS — a potentially "improper" stream, the group alleged, The Daily Caller reported.

IRS staffers with tax debts eligible for bonuses.  In a statement, the agency said it would keep employees who willfully skipped out on their taxes from getting performance awards, but would be more forgiving of those who made honest mistakes.  John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, announced a new round of bonuses this week for 2014, to be paid out early next year.

Top Republican: IRS planning bonuses for employees who owe taxes.  A top Senate Republican is fuming over an announcement by Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen that he plans to hand out bonuses to union and non-union members who work for the agency, potentially including those who owe back taxes.  "It's no wonder the American people find it hard to believe the IRS needs more money when the agency fails to collect back taxes from their own employees and instead rewards them with bonuses," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is likely to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in January.  "American families have been doing more with less for far too long now, and it is time the IRS do the same."

The IRS Scandal Rears Its Head.  The Obama Administration's IRS scandal is multi-faceted. In addition to the persecution of conservative non-profits by Lois Lerner et al., the question has been percolating for some years whether Obama's IRS has transferred confidential taxpayer information to Obama's White House in violation of federal criminal laws.  The issue first arose when Austin Goolsbee of the president's Council of Economic Advisers told reporters that he had information about Koch Industries that could only have come, illegally, from confidential IRS files.  When questions were asked, the administration immediately clammed up.

Records on Taxpayer Leaks to White House to Be Released.  The Obama administration will soon turn over thousands of documents related to improper disclosures of confidential taxpayer information by the IRS to the White House, a watchdog group announced Tuesday [11/25/2014].  On Monday the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed the watchdog group Cause of Action that it will turn over nearly 2,500 documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the group.  In a statement, Cause of Action said the number of documents "signals that the White House may have made significant efforts to obtain taxpayers' personal information."

IRS is monitoring comment threads on conservative blogs.  The Internal Revenue Service, which claims to be so understaffed that it can't bother to collect unpaid taxes, or search backup tapes for Lois Lerner's "missing" emails, apparently has plenty of time to read the comment threads on conservative blogs that have been critical of the agency (Hi there, IRS agents!).

National effort to scare churches into silence ahead of elections; ominous IRS warning.  Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, an organization that seeks to do exactly what its name says, has sent letters to thousands of pastors ahead of the midterm elections reminding them that they can be punished by the IRS if they speak out, according to Fox News.

Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required.  For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant.  For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her funds, almost $33,000.  The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime.

It's Time to Talk About Serious IRS Reform.  We have covered here exhaustively the massive abuse-of-power scandal surrounding the IRS's targeting of conservatives ahead of the 2012 presidential election, and doing so at the encouragement of prominent Democrats.  That surely should be enough to prompt a full investigation — especially since it was revealed that Eric Holder's Justice Department is apparently coordinating with congressional Democrats to undermine the investigation and protect the IRS.  But there's another IRS scandal brewing, and it suggests the agency is long overdue for a reckoning.

IRS Is 'Political Weapon in the Hands of the Democratic Party,' Conservative Attorney Says.  Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who has represented conservative groups in lawsuits against the IRS, says we should "repeal the 16th amendment and get rid of the IRS," which has become "a political weapon in the hands of the Democratic party."  "What I think we should do is repeal the 16th amendment and get rid of the IRS.  I do not believe this agency can be saved; I think it is corrupt to the core," Mitchell told a recent gathering at the Heritage Foundation.

Outrageous IRS Commissioner False Claim: 'Whenever we can, we follow the law'.  Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen made a disturbing statement before Congress that the IRS follows the law "whenever we can."  As Thomas Lifson wrote, "The law, to Koskinen, evidently is a suggestion, not an ironclad requirement."  Actually, the situation is even worse than that. [...] This past year, and without due process, the IRS seized tax refunds of the adult children of taxpayers who had been overpaid federal benefits decades ago.  The IRS was recently caught opening emails without warrants.

Try telling the IRS, "I report my income whenever I can."
IRS Commissioner: We Follow the Law 'Wherever We Can'.  In responding to a question from the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday [9/10/2014], IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said he and his department follow the law "wherever we can."  House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) asked Koskinen "Will you be following the law," in collecting money for a certain type of healthcare subsidy.  After Koskinen ducked the question, Brady asked again.  Koskinen then admitted:  "Yes, wherever we can, we follow the law."  A discouraged Brady chuckled while admonishing the commissioner saying, "I encourage you to follow the law in all instances."

IRS chief: 'Whenever we can, we follow the law'.  During another grueling hearing on the ObamaCare rollout, the head of the IRS tried to offer lawmakers an assurance about the soon-to-open enrollment period.  "Whenever we can, we follow the law," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health on Wednesday [9/10/2014].  Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who leads the subcommittee, immediately expressed his concern with the remarks.  "I encourage you to follow the law in all instances," Brady said.

Gut-Busting Hilarity: IRS Thug Koskinen Says 'Whenever we can, we follow the law'.  Uh, John, this isn't one of those things where you follow the law when it's convenient.  Might be difficult to fathom considering you work for a lawless punk.

Emails: IRS worker got $138,000 to do 'nothing' — and union saved her job.  Underperforming IRS workers are being protected from firing by the National Treasury Employees Union in the tax agency that let workers devote 500,000 hours — worth over $20 million in salary — on labor activities last year, according to internal emails revealed Wednesday [9/10/2014].  The House Ways and Means Committee said that emails from former IRS executive Lois Lerner, being probed for her involvement in the agency's targeting of conservatives, show she vented at being blocked from firing one worker who did "nothing," yet still received up to $138,136 a year.

Dems Rally Around Fave Corrupt Agency: IRS.  Democrats are beyond frustrated that they can't just wish this away.  A lot of that has to do with all of this happening in the social media era (see, it does have some value), which means they don't have the the Soviet-like control over the narrative anymore.  The rest of it has to do with the fact that, despite the Democrats' protestations to the contrary, there is, and was, definitely something fishy going on.

IRS Delaying Release of Data on People Leaving High-Tax States.  IRS data on internal migration showing how many people have moved to and from which states generally shows people leaving high-taxed states and states with high unemployment to states doing better in those categories.  Now Obama's IRS is seeking to delay release of these statistics for another 12 months.  For decades economists and lawmakers both have used this IRS data as a marker for which states are succeeding in America, but the Obama administration has show its disdain for this important metric.

IRS ethics lawyer facing possible disbarment, accused of lying.  A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she'd done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client.  The disciplinary arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals has recommended that Takisha McGee, a section manager in the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, lose her law license over the charge, which stems from a personal injury case she worked about a year before she joined the tax agency.

Top IRS ethics lawyer facing possible disbarment, accused of lying.  The disciplinary arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals has recommended that Takisha McGee, a section manager in the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, lose her law license over the charge, which stems from a personal injury case she worked about a year before she joined the tax agency.

IRS Leaves Millions Vulnerable to Identity Theft.  The IRS has put millions of taxpayers at risk of identity theft by failing to perform background checks on contractors, according to a new inspector general report.  An IG audit performed by the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, found that several contractors who are responsible for handling sensitive taxpayer information do not perform any criminal or credit background checks on their employees.  The agency provided millions of Social Security numbers to one contractor without any screening process in place, according to the report.

No, the IRS cannot be fixed — it must be abolished and replaced with the Fair Tax.  A Washington Examiner article asks "Can the IRS be fixed, or should it just be abolished?"  The answer is clear to anybody who has followed the IRS scandal or filed a federal tax return.  Washington's individual income tax and its enforcement agency, the IRS, cannot be fixed, repaired, reformed or rehabilitated.  They are a cancer eating away at this nation, her taxpayers and our economic engine.  Congress created the income tax in 1913, and for 100 years the IRS has operated exactly as intended, as an agent of control with total impunity, even down to the political targeting of individuals and groups.

The IRS's God Complex.  Is the Internal Revenue Service a threat to religious liberty?  As the IRS continues to come under well-aimed fire for harassing conservative groups, on Friday [8/1/2014] it secured a final court order formalizing what amounts to a secret agreement to monitor the pulpits of ill-favored churches.  The serious danger, as former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams told Fox News, is that the IRS will start treating "theology as politics," and regulate it accordingly.  Lovers of liberty should be very concerned.

Obama's Rogue IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches — But Not Mosques.  Government's assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.  A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches' violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit.  The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS's agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches.  Government's assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

Furious Over Scandals, House Guts IRS Budget, Blocks Performance Bonuses.  The House voted to block performance bonuses for senior Internal Revenue Service executives Wednesday [7/16/2014], The Hill reported.  "Giving out bonuses is ludicrous and amounts to a slap in the face to the American public," said Rep. Paul Gosar, who introduced the amendment.  "They should not be given performance awards in the wake of one of the largest scandals in recent history."  The amendment passed by a vote of 282-138-1, with only Democrats voting against it.

House GOP slashes IRS tax enforcement budget.  The GOP-controlled House has slashed the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.

The Editor says...
That's one way to look at it.  But this move will get the attention of the partisan hacks at the IRS who use the agency as a political weapon on behalf of tyrants.

Rep. Campbell: Government, IRS, EPA Are 'The Police State'.  Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) called the government, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "the police state" at a Financial Services Committee hearing at the Capitol on Thursday [7/10/2014].  At the July 10 hearing, Legislation to Reform the Federal Reserve on Its 100-year Anniversary, the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act (HR 5018) was discussed, legislation which would require "the Federal Reserve to provide the Congress with a clear rule to describe the course of monetary policy."  The act would also require the Fed to conduct cost-benefit analysis, require transparency on bank stress tests and international financial regulatory negotiations, and would order the Fed to disclose the salaries of highly paid employees.

IRS worker suspended for pro-Obama activities.  The employee, whose name wasn't mentioned in the announcement from the Office of Special Counsel, admitted to using his job for political purposes and agreed to the settlement that involved a 100-day suspension.  "OSC's complaint alleged that, when fielding taxpayers' questions on an IRS customer service help line, the employee repeatedly urged taxpayers to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee's last name," the investigative office said.  The OSC also announced a U.S. Postal Service employee was fired after he ran for seats in Congress and solicited donations to his campaign, violating the Hatch Act that limits government employees' ability to get involved in politics.

Emails: IRS official sought audit of GOP senator.  Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012.

There is no shortage of excuses.
Technology problems at IRS goes far beyond loss of Lois Lerner's email.  Lois G. Lerner's hard drive isn't the only technological problem at the Internal Revenue Service.  The tax agency's inspector general has been warning for years of lost computer equipment, lax security that could place private taxpayers' information at risk, and mishandled information technology contracts that wasted tens of millions of dollars.  The reports are being disclosed as the IRS says its technology budget is strapped for cash, one reason the agency didn't have a backup system to store all of Ms. Lerner's emails that are the subject of a congressional investigation.

Declarations Of War.  The politicization of the Internal Revenue Service, which has extraordinary powers over American citizens, is a far graver matter than corruption of specific individuals.  It sets the most feared and fearsome agency of the federal government at war with the citizenry.  Indeed, given its routine guilty-until-proven-innocent practices, under which it may seize a citizen's assets on arbitrary charges, thus denying him the resources required to defend himself against them, even members of Congress must feel a tremor or two at the thought of openly going up against the IRS.  That's why the charge in the bill of particulars against Richard Nixon that data from the IRS was provided to the White House to be used against Nixon's enemies was so serious.  Despite the implications for the further use of the IRS as a weapon against anyone it chooses to target, the Administration is just fine with it.

Supreme Court Gives Taxpayers More Power To Fight The IRS.  The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday [6/19/2014] ruled unanimously that taxpayers have a right to challenge an Internal Revenue Service summons enforcement action in court when they can show the tax agency might have issued the summons in bad faith.

House budget punishes IRS with 15% cut, halts Obamacare enforcement.  The Internal Revenue Service is about to get slapped with a harsh payback for messing around with conservative groups, blowing wads of tax dollars on employee conferences and helping implement Obamacare.  The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama's request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency's budget to 2008 levels.

77,000 foreign banks to share tax info with IRS.  The Treasury Department says 77,000 foreign banks have agreed to share information about U.S. account holders as part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

IRS backs off proposal critics warned would 'silence' conservative groups.  The IRS has agreed to overhaul a controversial proposal that Republican lawmakers warned would revive the agency's "harassment and intimidation" of conservative groups, after receiving a record number of comments on the proposed regulation.  The new rules have been in the works ever since the IRS came under fire for its targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups.  In the wake of that scandal, the agency said it wanted to clarify for everybody how tax-exempt groups can engage in political activity — by reining in the political work those groups do.

IRS workers spent 521,725 hours on union activities; cost taxpayers $23.5m.  The Treasury Department has revealed to the House Ways and Means Committee that Internal Revenue Service employees spent over 500,000 hours on union activities last year.  They estimated the cost to taxpayers at $23.5 million in salary and benefits.  Officials told [the Washington Examiner] that the exact hours IRS members of the National Treasury Employees Union dedicated to labor activities was 521,725 in fiscal 2013, which ran from October 2012 to September 2013.  That was slightly less than the 573,319 hours in fiscal 2012, according to the IRS, but the spending was significantly above that year's total of $16 million.

Obama's IRS spends nearly $100 million on office furniture.  The IRS has spent $96.5 million on office furniture under the Obama administration and is now claiming it has insufficient funding to adequately serve taxpayers.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified before the House two weeks ago about the IRS' need for additional funding for the upcoming fiscal year.  The IRS is currently seeking an increase of $1.2 billion — a 7 percent raise over its FY 2014 $11.29 billion budget.  It would bring the agency's FY 2015 budget to $12.48 billion.

The IRS Will Raid Your Tax Data Through Obamacare.  The Internal Revenue Service this week will publish a final rule requiring Obamacare health insurance exchanges to hand over key personal data to the IRS, which will use the information to implement the tax aspects of the controversial health care law.  The IRS rule covers health exchanges that sell insurance to individuals, and it takes effect this year.  That means people enrolled in an Obamacare exchange this year will have their information given to the IRS as soon as it's needed for tax purposes.

The heavy hand of the IRS seizes innocent Americans' assets.  Terry [Dehko], who came to Michigan from Iraq in 1970, soon did what immigrants often do:  He went into business, buying Schott's Supermarket in Fraser, Mich., where he still works six days a week.  The Internal Revenue Service, a tentacle of a government that spent $3.5 trillion in 2013, tried to steal more than $35,000 from Terry and Sandy that year.  Sandy, a mother of four, has a master's degree in urban planning but has worked in the store off and on since she was 12.  She remembers, "They just walked into the store" and announced that they had emptied the store's bank account.  The IRS agents believed, or pretended to believe, that Terry and Sandy were or conceivably could be — which is sufficient for the IRS — conducting a criminal enterprise when not selling groceries.

The heavy hand of the IRS seizes innocent Americans' assets.  The civil forfeiture law — if something so devoid of due process can be dignified as law — is an incentive for perverse behavior:  Predatory government agencies get to pocket the proceeds from property they seize from Americans without even charging them with, let alone convicting them of, crimes.  Criminals are treated better than this because they lose the fruits of their criminality only after being convicted.

Disciplined IRS workers got bonuses, time off.  More than 2,800 Internal Revenue Service workers who had been disciplined recently received millions of dollars in bonuses and time off as part of an employee recognition program, a new government audit shows.  The IRS has a program that rewards its employees for a job well done, but a report released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that, between October 1, 2010, and December 31, 2012, more than 2,800 recently disciplined IRS workers got more than $2.8 million in monetary awards and more than 27,000 hours in time-off awards.

Bonuses given to IRS employes who owed back taxes.  While some taxpayers are worried about getting steep fines for fudging on their tax returns, a new government watchdog's report found that the Internal Revenue Service paid $1 million in bonuses to employees who owed back taxes.  In addition, the IRS's inspector general found that the tax agency had been granting cash and time-off rewards to employees who had faced disciplinary action in the past.

IRS employees with tax and conduct issues still got awards, watchdog report finds.  IRS employees who had been disciplined for tax and conduct issues were nonetheless rewarded with monetary awards or time off, according to a watchdog report released Tuesday [4/22/2014].  The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that while for the most part the reward program for IRS workers complied with federal regulations, employees who had themselves failed to pay their federal taxes and had discipline problems were also rewarded.

IRS fining business on taxes that were never due.  Innovative Title Services, Inc., a real estate title services company established in 2003, faces a tax penalty that could virtually shut down the small business.  According to the company's President, Michael Day, the nearly $20,000 late fee is being assessed on taxes that were never due in the first place.

IRS, other federal agencies reportedly used license plate-tracking technology.  The Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies reportedly awarded contracts to a license plate-tracking company to provide access to license-plate recognition databases or technology used to collect plate information.  Bloomberg News reported that the IRS and other government agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to Livermore, Calif.-based Vigilant Solutions before the Department of Homeland Security dropped a plan for similar work after privacy concerns were raised.

On Tax Day, RNC Sues The IRS.  On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency's politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.  The RNC filed the request on May 21, 2013, in an attempt to expose the documents and emails surrounding agency's process in handling applications of non-profit organizations such as conservative and Tea Party groups.

IRS Workers Still on Track to Get Bonuses.  In February IRS officials announced employees will be receiving bonuses in order to boost morale after the scandal broke about the agency inappropriately targeting conservative tea party groups. [...] Despite declarations from the IRS and its Democratic defenders, IRS targeting has not ended and dozens of conservative groups are still waiting for their tax exempt status after years of answering prying and detailed questions from the agency.

IRS employees accused of donning pro-Obama gear, urging callers to vote for him.  IRS workers in several offices have been openly supporting President Obama, including by donning pro-Obama paraphernalia and urging callers to reelect the president in 2012, according to allegations contained in a new government watchdog report.  A report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, released Wednesday, cited accusations that workers at a Dallas IRS office may have violated federal law by wearing pro-Obama items like shirts, stickers and buttons.  The Hatch Act forbids Executive Branch workers from engaging in partisan political activity.  The report comes as two House committees move to take action against former IRS official Lois Lerner regarding the agency's targeting of conservative groups.

IRS under fire: Vote for Obama stickers, campaign cheerleading commonplace.  Even as the IRS faces growing heat over Lois G. Lerner and the tea party targeting scandal, a government watchdog said Wednesday it's pursuing cases against three other tax agency employees and offices suspected of illegal political activity in support of President Obama and fellow Democrats.  In one case the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates federal employees who conduct politics on government time, said it was "commonplace" in a Dallas IRS office for employees to have pro-Obama screensavers on their computers, and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at their office.

Ethics watchdog: IRS customer representative urged vote for Obama.  A government ethics watchdog agency has filed a complaint seeking disciplinary action against an IRS customer service worker in Kentucky accused of engaging in political activity at work by urging callers to vote for President Barack Obama.  The Office of Special Counsel filed the complaint on Tuesday with the Merit Systems Protection Board, according to the OSC, after a probe found the tax advisory specialist violated a law — the Hatch Act — against such political activity by federal workers.

IRS employee took home personal info on 20,000 workers, agency says.  An Internal Revenue Service employee took home personal information on about 20,000 IRS workers, former workers and contractors, putting the data at risk for public release, the agency said Tuesday [3/18/2014].  The employee took home a computer thumb drive containing names, Social Security numbers and addresses of the workers, and plugged the drive into an unsecure home network, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an email to employees.

IRS Currently Employing Convicted Terrorist Associate.  While IRS officials were targeting Tea Party groups for special scrutiny of their 501(c)3 tax exempt applications, the IRS also hired a policeman who had been prosecuted by the Justice Department — and convicted in federal court — of using his access to the FBI's NCIC system to tip off a terror suspect about the bureau's surveillance. The leak wrecked a major terror investigation.  He is still at the IRS.

IRS: 89K Fewer Audits in 2013 Because of 'Sequestration and Furloughs'.  Because of "sequestration and furloughs" the number of individuals audited by the Internal Revenue Service fell by 80,000 in fiscal 2013 and the number of businesses audited fell by 9,000, according to the IRS's Budget in Brief released this week.  "As a result of the impacts of sequestration and furloughs, the IRS delivered key enforcement programs below 2012 levels," said the budget document.

Appeals court quashes IRS tax-return preparer crackdown.  An Obama administration campaign against tax-return fraud suffered a blow on Tuesday [2/11/2014] when an appeals court invalidated the first federal rules for unregulated tax-return preparers.  A three-judge appellate panel upheld a lower court's January 2013 ruling that said the U.S. Internal Revenue Service does not have the power to impose test-taking and continuing education requirements on hundreds of thousands of tax-return preparers.

Court Rules IRS May Not Regulate Tax Preparers.  In a unanimous opinion, a 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has handed the IRS another defeat in that agency's apparently never-ending quest to regulate, control, and dominate as many aspects of American political and financial life as possible.  The court ruled that the IRS's rules regarding the regulation of independent tax preparers were, for at least six reasons, outside of the IRS's authority — which is to say illegal.

Bill Henck: Inside the IRS.  I have been an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for over 26 years.  Over a number of years, I have attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to alert the public to abuse within the IRS. [...] I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring.

You're wrong, Mr. Obama, the IRS is corrupt.  In the aftermath of an IRS targeting scandal that may have influenced the 2012 election, in the midst of criminal and congressional investigations, while civil litigation is pending in federal court, before a single deposition is taken and while the IRS clings to tens of thousands of documents, the president of the United States has spoken.  His meaning is clear.  Move along, nothing to see here.

IRS employees to receive bonuses.  I generally don't think much of bonuses for government workers anyway.  Why give someone extra for just doing his job?  If we're going to hand out bonuses, then we should also cut the salaries of people who screw up.  Like IRS employees.

IRS customer service leaves millions of calls unanswered.  Have a question on your tax returns?  Don't ask the IRS.  As tax day looms, an annual watchdog report to Congress finds that the agency is falling short when it comes to answering Americans' questions about the convoluted tax code.  The National Taxpayer Advocate found only 61 percent of people seeking to speak with a customer service representative last year got through to anybody — leaving nearly 20 million calls unanswered.

IRS seizes 60M medical records for massive tax fraud investigation.  The healthcare entity that slapped the Internal Revenue Service with a class action lawsuit back in March over allegedly seizing the private medical records of 10 million Americans has now been identified.  The company's founder, the subject of extensive investigation by the IRS, was indicted last summer on 13 counts of tax evasion, conspiracy and filing fraudulent tax returns.

IRS Union Boss Warns IRS Underfunding Jeopardizes IRS' Mission.  The head of the union representing the workers at one of America's most loathed government agencies is predicting dire consequences if Congress doesn't cough up more money to fund the Internal Revenue Service.  Colleen M. Kelley, President of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), must believe that the majority of American taxpayers care about funding the Internal Revenue Service — much less want it funded.  Nevertheless, Ms. Kelley is on a mission to scare people into thinking that more taxpayer dollars should be spent on funding the agency that targets Americans based on their political beliefs.

Report: IRS vendor owed $525 million in back taxes.  The Internal Revenue Service has been doing business with nearly 1,200 vendors that owe back taxes, including one unnamed contractor that owed a whopping $525 million, a new inspector general's report says.

The Latest IRS Power Grab.  Six months after the Internal Revenue Service's inspector general revealed that the tax-collection agency had been targeting conservative organizations for added scrutiny and delaying their applications for tax-exempt status, the IRS has proposed new rules for handling political activity by nonprofits.  The proposed rules would plunge the agency deeper into political regulation.

IRS lost $4 billion to identity thieves in 2012 as it targeted the tea party.  The Internal Revenue Service sent $4 billion to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2012, at the same time it was devoting resources to invasive politically targeted audits of not-for-profit groups, according to a recent report released by Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George.  The IRS, which is now overseeing Obamacare's complicated implementation and collecting its tax penalties, sent 343 tax refunds to a single address in Shanghai, and another 655 tax refunds to one in Lithuania, according to CBS News.

IRS Sent Hundreds of Checks to One Address in China.  The IRS, which is adept at targeting conservatives and which is the enforcement arm for Obamacare, sent 655 tax refunds to one address in Lithuania!  They sent 343 tax refunds to one address in China!  It apparently never occurred to them that this could be identity fraud.  There is no one minding the store.

Arrival of Obamacare puts focus on IRS tax-credit scandal.  The program is the Earned Income Tax Credit, through which the federal government gives out between $60 billion and $70 billion to low-income working Americans each year.  It's known as a "refundable" tax credit, but it is basically a transfer payment, in which the IRS sends a check — perhaps even $5,000 every year — to workers who have little or no tax liability.  The problem is, the IRS does little to determine whether recipients actually qualify for the money.

IRS staffers owe $5.4M in back taxes.  Nearly 700 employees of Internal Revenue Service contractors owe $5.4 million in back taxes, said a report Wednesday [10/23/2013] by the agency's inspector general.

Another IRS Triumph.  The earned-income tax credit, or EITC, is a major welfare program intended to supplement the incomes of the working poor.  It is "refundable," which means you get the credit even if you pay no income tax.  In 2011, more than 27 million families received EITC payments of nearly $62 billion.  But here's the catch:  The IG report says that in 2011 at least 21% of those payments and as much as 26% were "improper."  The percentages in 2012 were 21% and 25%.  In other words, at least one of every five dollars, and maybe one in four, of EITC payouts were in some way undeserved.

IRS pays illegal immigrants $4.2 billion while stalling Tea Parties.  While harrying and stalling Tea Party groups seeking nonprofit status, the Internal Revenue Service mailed $4.2 billion in child-credit checks to undocumented immigrants.  Critics say midlevel IRS bureaucrats continue to abuse the Additional Child Tax Credit program by dispensing $1,000 checks to families in this country illegally.

Report: IRS sent $4.2 billion in checks to illegal immigrants in one year.  The scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent $4.2 billion in child tax-credit checks to illegal immigrants the year the agency began targeting conservative groups, according to a new report from Watchdog.Org.  The IRS sent illegal immigrant families $1,000 checks totaling $4.2 billion through the federal government's Additional Child Tax Credit program in the year 2010, when the agency's improper targeting of conservative and tea party groups began.

Investigator: IRS paid more than $110 billion in improper tax credits over past decade.  The Internal Revenue Service paid out more than $110 billion in tax credits over the past decade to people who didn't qualify for them, according to a Treasury report released Tuesday [10/22/2013].  The Earned Income Tax Credits were intended for poor working families.  In his report, IRS inspector general J. Russell George said more than one-fifth of all credits paid under the program went to people who didn't qualify.

IRS wins fight to cancel bonuses — for now.  The Internal Revenue Service won a ruling from a third-party mediator that decided the agency isn't obligated to pay $70 million in scheduled bonus payouts that outraged many in Congress.  But the fight isn't over.  The mediator's ruling is being appealed to a federal panel by the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers.

Is there a con man in the Oval Office?  Fraud was committed to re-elect Barack Obama.  Our country was hijacked due to the efforts of government employees trying to protect their own cushy lifetime jobs, bloated salaries, obscene pensions, and their biggest defender and protector Barack Obama.  Think I'm wrong?  Evidently the IRS officials don't.  Several of them have been busy hiring the most famous and expensive law firms in Washington, D.C. to defend themselves.  The kind of lawyers hired by multi-millionaire businessmen and high-profile politicians and lobbyists accused of serious crimes.  Where are they getting the money?

Anger at IRS Powers Tea-Party Comeback.  The uproar has revived media attention and renewed the intensity of many tea-party supporters.  Just last week, Mrs. [Jenny Beth] Martin says, the Patriots received a new letter from the IRS asking for additional information about the group's activities, including copies of all direct-mail solicitations and telemarketing scripts before the 2012 election and any advertising materials in 2013.  "This is beyond anger and frustration," she says.

Defunding: Framers' Remedy For Presidential Lawlessness.  Two weeks ago, the House Appropriations Committee stripped the scandal ridden Internal Revenue Service of nearly one quarter of its 2014 budget as punishment for its targeting of political groups and its costly boondoggles.  Shockingly, Senate Democrats voted to increase the IRS' budget.

The Editor says...
That's not shocking at all.  The IRS is the gas tank from which the liberals draw the fuel for their tax-and-spend utopia.  The IRS is the best friend the liberals ever had.  Nobody but a left-wing liberal politician has any affection for the IRS.

IRS: $9 Million Travel Costs Not Excessive.  IRS executives spent $4.7 million on travel in the 2012 fiscal year and $4.8 million in the 2011 fiscal year, according to a report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Tuesday. [...] The report revealed a select few of IRS executives, about 15 people, were responsible for the high travel expenses.

Questions raised about IRS executive travel.  A new report by the inspector general of the IRS found that a small group of top executives at the IRS ran up "extremely high travel expenses" in recent years, with some basically commuting each week to work in Washington, D.C. by plane from around the nation. [...] An IRS source told me the most frequent travelers were four different officials inside the tax agency who "work" in Washington, at IRS headquarters, but actually live in Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

IRS Overpaid Earned Income Credit By Nearly $111 Billion, Treasury Report Says.  The Internal Revenue Service has overpaid the Earned Income Tax Credit by at least $110.8 billion since 2000, according to a recent Treasury Department inspector general report.  That is more than double the $53 billion of sequester cuts expected in 2013, totaling less than 2 percent of outlays, and puts the lie to those who suggest there is nothing to cut in the federal budget.

Another IRS Scandal Waiting to Happen.  The Obama administration claims it wants to ensure that the rank political abuse perpetrated by the Internal Revenue Service is never repeated.  Ask Donald McGahn how that's going.  Mr. McGahn is a Republican appointee to the Federal Election Commission, an agency with every bit as much potential for partisan meddling as the IRS.

Feds Unwilling or Unable To Stop Illegal Checks.  A Long Island, N.Y., woman has spent nearly two years trying to convince the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service that persons with Hispanic-sounding surnames using her address to obtain tax refunds from the IRS are part of a fraud scheme.  She has not found a government agency that will stop the phony tax refunds from arriving in her mailbox.  Instead, federal and state authorities pass the buck.  The checks, including some offering payment for Hurricane Sandy "relief" to people who may not exist, keep coming.

The IRS Mistakenly Exposed Thousands of Social Security Numbers.  Another day, another slipup by the Internal Revenue Service.  The incident involves the unwitting exposure of "tens of thousands" of Social Security numbers, according to a recent audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group Public.Resource.org.  The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours after being discovered, but the damage was done.  And unfortunately, the data-breach concerns some of the most sensitive types of transactions:  Those made by nonprofit political groups known as 527s.

Group: IRS mistakenly posted thousands of Social Security numbers on website.  The IRS mistakenly posted the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Americans on a government website, the agency confirmed Monday night.  One estimate put the figure as high as 100,000 names.  The numbers were posted to an IRS database for tax-exempt political groups known as 527s [...]

Coburn, Gingrey demand answers on 201 full-time IRS union reps.  Republican congressional leaders are demanding to know why the Internal Revenue Service pays hundreds of full-time employees to do union work.  As reported last month by The Daily Caller, 201 IRS employees receive full-time pay while doing no actual work, instead devoting their entire work days to union business.  The revelation came as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request from Americans for Limited Government.

FOIA: 201 IRS employees work full-time on union business.  In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Americans for Limited Government, the Internal Revenue Service revealed this month that 201 of its employees work full-time on union activities.  "A lot of people are not aware that under federal law, a federal agency is allowed to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a union that has provisions where employees of the agency, in this case the IRS, are allowed to do union work on the taxpayer's time and get paid for it," ALG president and Nathan Mehrens explained in an interview with The Daily Caller.

Coburn: Hundreds of IRS employees work full-time on labor union business.  The Internal Revenue Service spends millions of dollars a year for 200 employees who actually work full-time on labor-union business even as it furloughs employees and cuts taxpayer advice services under the budget sequester, Congress' chief waste watcher said in a new letter to the tax agency.  Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, joined Rep. Phil Gingrey, Georgia Republican, in a letter asking the IRS to stop paying those employees for work that doesn't benefit the taxpayer.

Cruz Has It Right: Abolish The IRS.  Speaking at the Free Enterprise Institute, Senator Cruz introduced Tea Party groups from the Houston area, Dallas, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas.  Representatives of each group shared their experience of being targeted for extra scrutiny by the IRS when they applied for tax-exempt status.  In response Cruz said, "And that's why I believe the most important outcome that can come from this is substantive and policy-based and going forward, and it is quite simply:  We should abolish the IRS."

The 'Very Serious' Tradition of the Internal Revenue Service.  [Scroll down]  Still, some might have wondered about the effectiveness of the earlier very serious declaration of a very serious "zero tolerance policy," instituted after "a probe in 1993 and 1994 turned up more than 1,300 employees suspected of using government computers to browse tax files."  Certainly, the IRS took the 1997 case at least as seriously as the mid-1990s revelation that "a snooper in the IRS's Boston office turned out to have been a member of white supremacist groups, and a witness testified that the worker said he planned to use the tax data to build dossiers on people."

IRS tracks your digital footprint.  The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year — it's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers' digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it's never gone before.

Top Ten Most Ridiculous Items Purchased with IRS Credit Cards.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a review of the IRS employee credit card program this week.  Many of the items that were purchased and approved may astound you.  Taken directly from the report, Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a list of the ten most ridiculous items purchased with IRS credit cards.

IRS Agents 'Accidentally' Discharged Guns 11 Times, Possible Injuries.  Special agents at the IRS accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases "may have resulted in property damage or personal injury." [...] According to the audit, "there were a total of eight firearm discharges classified as intentional use of force incidents and 11 discharges classified as accidental during FYs 2009 through 2011."

The Editor says...
It sounds as if there are about four incidents per year in which IRS agents open fire.  Do you recall hearing about any of them?

Rep. Tammy Duckworth takes apart IRS contractor for 'gaming' veterans benefits program.  Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who lost both legs and damaged her arm while serving in Iraq with the National Guard, offered a blistering denunciation of a contractor who used his friendship with an IRS official to win contracts reserved for the businesses of service-disabled veterans.  Strong Castle's Braulio Castillo received the service-disabled designation because he injured his ankle while attending a military prep school before going to college.  "I'm so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again 'to protect this great country,'" Duckworth told Castillo today [6/26/2013] during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.  "Shame on you, Mr. Castillo.  Shame on you.

Gowdy Grills IRS Official About Employee's Homophobic Slurs.  The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing today to look into the $500 million government contracts that were awarded to a computer company by the IRS.  Gregory Roseman, a Deputy IRS Director plead the fifth, today, rather than answer questions about the government contracts he awarded to Strong Castle Inc., and whether his friendship with Strong Castle's CEO, Braulio Castillo, was a factor in the company's ability to win such large contracts with the IRS.

Porn, wine and kazoos on IRS worker charge cards.  Like a lot of big companies, the Internal Revenue Service allows some of its 90,000 employees to use company charge cards to buy work-related items, such as office supplies.  However, employees made a host of "improper" purchases — ranging from a dinner averaging $140 per person to Thomas the Tank Engine rubber wristbands — according to the Treasury Inspector General for tax administration.  The report was released as part of a regular audit of IRS budget expenses.

Exit the IRS Stage Left.  [Scroll down]  I say it is time to limit the IRS's reach.  It has too much power over the lives of ordinary citizens.  As can be seen by the smog of controversy surrounding the current scandal, it is virtually unaccountable.  Let us scrap the present tax code for a flat tax.  Briefly stated, rid us of the nine-million-word tax code with all its impossible complexity, loopholes, unfairness, and opportunities for IRS snooping.  Replace it with a single-rate income tax and corporate tax of 17 percent.  A citizen's income would be taxed only once, encouraging citizens to save and invest, thus encouraging economic growth.

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/06/20/exit-the-irs-stage-left

Incompetence:
IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 'Unauthorized' Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address.  The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to "unauthorized" alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically occupied by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011.  In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta.

IRS Could Revoke Non-Profit Status for Religious Institutions Refusing to Perform Same-Sex Marriages.  The DOMA decision makes clear that marriage is a state-to-state issue, meaning that religious institutions that receive non-profit status on the federal level but do not perform or accept same-sex marriages in states where it is legal could have non-profit status revoked.  Furthermore, should the IRS move to revoke federal non-profit status for churches, synagogues and mosques that do not perform same-sex marriage more generally, the Court could easily justify that decision on the basis of "eradicating discrimination" in religious education.

IRS Scandals Jeopardize Funding for Obamacare Implementation.  The IRS's spending scandals, in which officials spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences from 2010-2012 and forgot to properly record the expenses, may jeopardize funding for the implementation of Obamacare.

IRS credit cards used for wine, pornography, IG report says.  Another government watchdog report has flagged inappropriate behavior at the IRS, this time claiming government credit cards were used to make questionable purchases on items ranging from wine to online pornography.  The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that between fiscal 2010 and 2011, the more than 5,000 IRS card accounts racked up $103 million in purchases.

Senator: IRS to Pay $70M in Employee Bonuses.  The Internal Revenue Service is about to pay $70 million in employee bonuses despite an Obama administration directive to cancel discretionary bonuses because of automatic spending cuts enacted this year, according to a GOP senator.

The IRS Immigration Fraud Scandal.  For those who came in late, a year before the IRS scandals burst onto the scene in early May of 2013, an alert investigative reporter for WTHR-Indianapolis (Channel 13), Bob Segall by name, produced a stunning piece of journalism. [...] The tale begins when an Indiana tax preparer, who requests anonymity, comes to Segall to alert the investigative reporter to a major league tax fraud.

The IRS And DOJ Raid Small Businesses With Paramilitary, Gestapo Style Tactics.  A short documentary by Jan Morgan of JanMorganMedia, called "Rampant Injustice" exposes the federal abuse of power that has taken place since Obama was elected.  This underexposed video documents the egregious trampling of the Constitutional rights of Americans during white collar crime investigations by the Department of Justice and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

IRS Hiring 'Diversity and Inclusion Specialist,' Starting at $123,758/Year.  The IRS is looking to hire a "diversity and inclusion" specialist, with a minimum salary of $123,758 a year.  The opening for a full-time "Supervisory Diversity and Inclusion Specialist" at the agency's national headquarters in Washington, D.C. was announced on June 11 and is open until June 24.  The Diversity Specialist will "serve as a change agent to provide strategies, solutions, training, tools, resources and thought leadership on diversity and foster inclusion" across the workplace and "build internal awareness" for diversity and inclusion throughout the agency.

IG: More Than 1,000 IRS Employees Misused Government Charge Cards; Wrote 325 Bad Checks.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed in a recently released audit report that in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 more than 1,000 Internal Revenue Service employees misused government charge cards issued by Citibank.  The report said that during the two years in question agency employees sent Citibank a total of 325 bad checks written on personal accounts that had insufficient funds to cover them, that agency officials with top-secret security clearances had their charge accounts suspended for failure to pay the balances, and that the IRS had a tendency of being "overly lenient" in disciplining those who misued the cards.

Jeff Duncan questions IRS rifle usage.  Rep. Jeff Duncan wants to know why IRS law enforcement agents are training with AR-15 rifles.  As chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, Duncan (R-S.C.) toured a federal law enforcement facility in late May and noticed agents training with the semi-automatic weapons at a firing range.  They identified themselves as IRS, he said.  "When I left there, it's been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability," Duncan told POLITICO.  "Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?"

Jeff Duncan questions IRS gun usage.  Rep. Jeff Duncan wants to know why IRS law enforcement agents are training with AR-15 rifles.  As chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, Duncan (R-S.C.) toured a federal law enforcement facility in late May and noticed agents training with the semi-automatic weapons at a firing range.  They identified themselves as IRS, he said.

When Your W-2 Meets an AR-15.  When the IRS is accused of "targeting," don't assume they're speaking metaphorically.

House committee looks into IRS seizure of 60 million medical records.  Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service seized 60 million medical records from a California health care provider.  "(T)he Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in the course of executing a search warrant at a California health care provider's corporate headquarters in March 2011, improperly seized the personal medical records of millions of American citizens in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution," members of the committee wrote in a letter Tuesday [6/11/2013] to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.

House panel to probe alleged seizure of medical records by IRS.  A top House committee launched another probe of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tuesday [6/11/2013] after a lawsuit alleged that the agency improperly seized millions of personal medical records in California.  In a letter, Republican leaders on the Energy and Commerce panel asked the IRS to explain how it handles confidential medical information.  "While [federal] privacy rules restrict the ability of a covered entity to release protected health information, those rules appear to impose no restrictions on the IRS's ability to use such information after it is obtained," the lawmakers wrote.

IRS Buying Spying Equipment.  The IRS, currently in the midst of scandals involving the targeting of conservative groups and lavish taxpayer-funded conferences, is ordering surveillance equipment that includes hidden cameras in coffee trays, plants and clock radios.  The IRS wants to secure the surveillance equipment quickly — it posted a solicitation on June 6 and is looking to close the deal by Monday, June 10.  The agency already has a company lined up for the order but is not commenting on the details.

Update:
IRS Cancels Order for Spying Equipment.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has cancelled its purchase order for surveillance equipment, which had included coffee trays with hidden cameras and cameras that could be hidden in plants.  The IRS issued the cancellation on Wednesday at 11:49 a.m.  CNSNews.com published an initial story about the IRS's purchase order on Monday afternoon — and that story was linked on The Drudge Report.

Tea Party Patriots to Organize Mass 'Audit the IRS Rally' in D.C..  The Tea Party Patriots will organize a mass "Audit the IRS Rally" on June 19th in Washington, D.C. with local and national Tea Party groups to protest the IRS's targeting of conservative organizations.

IRS Employees Held Four Conferences at Vegas Casinos; Cost: $671,990.  A new Inspector General report on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conferences and costs shows that among 225 conferences held around the country between 2010 and 2012, at least four events took place at luxury hotel-casinos in Las Vegas at a cost to taxpayers of $671,990.  Two of the IRS events took place at the luxurious Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino, one at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, and one at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

IRS Did Mad Men Video Too.  What do Star Trek and Mad Men have in common?  They've both been ripped off by the IRS.

Rubio to PJM: 'We Don't Need an IRS as Big as It Is'.  Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio told PJ Media that the Senate should exercise more oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, adding that Congress should reduce the size of the IRS by simplifying the tax code.  PJ Media asked Rubio on Capitol Hill what he thinks should be the next step for Congress in addressing the IRS targeting tea party and other conservative organizations.  "Full investigation — like they're doing oversight hearings in the House," Rubio said.  "I wish there were more going on in the Senate."

Tightly Closed Administration Appears to be Coming Apart.  President Obama is being hit by new scandals almost weekly in a growing web of investigations and revelations that have further damaged his troubled administration.  The U.S. Treasury's Inspector General (IG) released a new report Tuesday [6/4/2013] that revealed the Internal Revenue Service spent $50 million on 220 conferences for IRS employees over a three-year period beginning in 2010.  Despite annual federal budget deficits of more than $1 trillion throughout Obama's first term, the IG found many of the IRS' expenditures to be downright wasteful.

The IRS wasn't required to do something taxpayers are.
Bash: IRS Can't Locate Its Receipts.  The IRS spent over 4 million taxpayer dollars on a conference in 2010, CNN reported Tuesday evening [6/4/2013].  The actual amount wasted is unknown because the IRS was not required to keep its receipts, something that they require taxpayers to do.  CNN correspondent Dana Bash discussed the excesses of the agency in a report on 360, including gifts, video spoofs and upscale hotel rooms for agency higher-ups, but the cost of those and the conference itself was unclear because the IRS had engaged in poor record-keeping.

IRS mess is bigger than Bam.  Abolish the Internal Revenue Service?  So says Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):  "We ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on postcard," the GOP's favorite iconoclast told Fox News the other day.  How would it work?  "Put down how much you earn, a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe — take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government."

Some Democrats will say anything to keep the IRS from being scrutinized.
How Many Things Can Jim McDermott Get Wrong in Five Minutes?  Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) attacked victims of IRS targeting at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today [6/5/2013], saying that it was their fault they were targeted because they applied for tax-exempt status.

Two IRS officials put on administrative leave for accepting gifts at Calif. conference.  The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday [6/5/2013] that two managers who attended a conference the agency held in Southern California in 2010 have been placed on administrative leave for accepting free food and other gifts in violation of government ethics standards.  Top IRS officials were notified of the misconduct three months ago by the Treasury Department inspector general, whose office discovered the gifts in the course of an audit of the conference held in Anaheim, Calif., government sources said.

Audit finds IRS spent more than $4 million on a single employee conference.  The Internal Revenue Service spent $4.1 million on a single employee conference held in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010, one of 225 such events held over a two-year period at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $50 million.  According to a 63-page report authored by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and obtained by The Washington Examiner, the conference costs were approved by the both of the IRS' deputy commissioners and were paid for by taking money from an IRS account intended for hiring "enforcement employees."

Ted Cruz: Abolish the IRS.  Sen. Ted Cruz says it is time to abolish the Internal Revenue Service.  The freshman Texas Republican and tea party favorite launched an online petition in which he says the only way to make sure that the agency does not target conservative groups again or silence the president's critics is to eliminate it altogether.

How the IRS spent $4.1 million on 2010 training conference.  The Internal Revenue Service spent an eye-watering $4.1 million of government money on a 2010 training conference in California, handing out cocktails, engraved pens and room upgrades to the managers who attended.  A report released on Tuesday [6/4/2013] by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration reveals the staggering list of gifts lavished on the 2,609 employees at the conference in Anaheim.

Average Guest Speaker At IRS Conference Made More Than $9,000.  The IRS spent $135,350 on 15 guest speakers at a single conference in Anaheim, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General's report, released by the House Government Oversight Committee Tuesday.  The report states that the IRS spent $50 million on such conferences between 2010 and 2012.  The average speaker at the Anaheim conference made $9,000, according to a list of the 15 speakers.

Extensive IRS conference spending revealed by IG report.  A new report on Internal Revenue Service expenditures finds that the agency spent more than $48 million on 225 conferences over a three-year span, with one conference in Anaheim coming under particular scrutiny.

IRS Spent $50 Million in Two Years on 'Conferences'.  A report to be released on Tuesday investigating expenditures by the Internal Revenue Service will reveal that $50 million was lavished on some 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012.  In one case alone, the report finds that the IRS spent $4  million on a conference for 2,600 IRS employees held in Anaheim, California in August of 2010.

IRS Commissioner Aided Tax Cheat Congressman.  [Scroll down]  After months of a barrage of stories about Rangel's problems with taxes and a mere four-plus months after the liberal New York Times was calling for Rangel to step aside, the IRS Commissioner was in Harlem at that food bank to personally lend the quite public support of the IRS to the embattled, left-leaning, tax-challenged Rangel.  Well aside from the issue of political judgment for the head of the supposedly nonpartisan IRS to be publicly campaigning for a man so publicly and repeatedly charged with tax cheating — the Rangel episode raised the obvious issue of whether, under the circumstances, Shulman was as obtuse as he appeared.  Was Douglas Shulman really that politically dumb?

Wife of Former IRS Chief Campaigned for Obama, Questioned Romney's Taxes.  Former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman is under fire from Congress for his agency's targeting of Tea Party and other conservative organizations.  Shulman himself is under suspicion for his numerous visits to the White House compared to other administration officials.  Additionally, Shulman's wife Susan L. Anderson reportedly works for the Washington D.C. based liberal organization Public Campaign.

The Hollow Core of Obamaism.  Personally, I think some of Obama's rhetoric is partly to blame for the climate that led to the IRS scandal.  When you talk incessantly about how the good, smart, and patriotic people support an ever-larger role for government, people who want a smaller role for government are going to be treated with suspicion.  But that's not the point I want to make here.  Rather, I want to shine a light on what is a relatively minor scandal:  the ludicrous conferences the IRS has organized for itself.

Tax Reform Is the IRS Fix.  Apart from criminal prosecution, the best way to strip the power of politics and corruption from the IRS is to initiate broad-based, pro-growth tax reform and simplification.  It's the complexity of the tax code that nurtures the corruptness of the IRS.

New IRS Comish: My Mission Is to Restore the Trust of American People.  In a hearing on Capitol Hill, acting IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel addressed "missteps" and "failures" of IRS management upon revelations that conservative groups were targeted by the agency.

We're doing a lousy job, so give us more money.
House Dem: If IRS budget gets cut, they will target you more.  Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., called for an increase in IRS funding, on the theory that budget cuts will "promote more scandals" at the agency that recently admitted to targeting small-government conservatives for inappropriate reviews.  "There is no clearer way to promote more scandals than by cutting funding that could be used for oversight, training, and reform," Serrano said during a House subcommittee hearing on the IRS today.  "At the level this subcommittee is funding right now, we are just asking for more trouble at the IRS."

House panel: Report finds $50M for IRS conferences.  Already under siege, the Internal Revenue Service was cited by a government watchdog for a $4.1 million training conference featuring luxury rooms and free drinks, even as conservative figures told Congress Tuesday [6/4/2013] they had been abused for years while seeking tax-exempt status.

More trouble for the IRS.  The new acting IRS chief acknowledged Friday [5/31/2013] that an upcoming audit would find improper spending at an agency conference, opening up a new trouble spot for an agency already embattled over its treatment of Tea Party groups.  Danny Werfel, the acting commissioner, said that the conference occurred in 2010, labeling it an "unfortunate vestige" from a time before the agency tightened its belt.

Former IRS commissioner's wife tweeted from Occupy Wall Street rally.  The wife of the former IRS commissioner who ran the tax agency when it was singling out conservative groups was apparently involved — at least briefly — in the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Susan L. Anderson sent a tweet in December 2011 asking people in the Washington area to attend an Occupy Wall Street rally.

Another frivolous IRS-produced video emerges.  The IG will release a report next week titled "Collected and Wasted:  The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses" and it will be the subject of a hearing before the House oversight committee on Thursday [5/6/2013].

IRS training videos spoof 'Star Trek,' 'Gilligan's Island' and 'Cupid Shuffle'.  The Internal Revenue Service is acknowledging that the agency spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years on conferences for thousands of its employees. [...] During the conference, employees watched two training videos starring division employees that cost at least $60,000 to produce, according to the audit's estimates.

IRS Spent $1.1 Million on BlackBerries and Aircards It Didn't Use.  According to an audit report released in January 2013 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internal Revenue Service spent $1 million in taxpayer dollars to purchase BlackBerry™ smartphones and wireless internet "aircards" — that subsequently went unused.  According to the report, "The IRS paid approximately $1.1 million during Fiscal Year 2011 for 13,878 aircards and 754 BlackBerry™ smartphones that were not used for periods of three months to one year.  [Moreover,] TIGTA identified 45 aircards and 68 BlackBerry™ smartphones that were not used at all for the entire 12 months of the fiscal year."

Americans Deserve the IRS.  In order to squeeze out of us half of what we produce, a government tax collection agency must be ruthless and able to put the fear of God into its citizens.  The IRS has mastered that task.  Congress has given it powers that would be deemed criminal if used by others.  For example, the Constitution's Fifth Amendment protects Americans against self-incrimination and being forced to bear witness against oneself.  That's precisely what one does when he is compelled to sign his income tax form.  However, a Fifth Amendment argument can't be used as a defense in a court of law.  The IRS will counter that you voluntarily provided the information on your tax return.

IRS knowingly sends Billions in Fraudulent Refunds to Illegal Immigrants.  A WTHR-TV Indianapolis investigative report exposes a fraudulent scheme wherein the IRS is sending $4.2 billion per year to illegal immigrants as an "additional child tax credit" for children who don't even live in the U.S.  Further, the IRS and Congress have been ignoring the scheme for years.

Chief IRS Counsel Got Jeremiah Wright's Church out of IRS Probe Before Joining Agency.  News reports from the time indicate the now-chief counsel of the IRS, William Wilkins, helped a church connected to President Barack Obama's friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright get out of an IRS probe in 2008 while working as a private attorney.

IRS Worker Used Federal Plastic For Amazon Buys.  Entrusted with a government credit card, an Internal Revenue Service worker allegedly used the plastic for a years-long Amazon.com shopping spree that netted her hundreds of items, including a chocolate fondue fountain; Bollywood movies; Pampers; Harlequin romance novels; Omaha Steaks; Apple Bottoms skinny jeans; mango body wash; and a Ginsu knife set.  Yetunde Oseni, 37, was named this month in a U.S. District Court felony complaint charging her with embezzling government funds.  Oseni has worked since 2000 as a secretary in an IRS office in Lanham, Maryland.  According to a court filing, Oseni was given a Citibank MasterCard for the "purchase of office supplies for her business unit."

Illegal Immigrant Additional Child Tax Credit Fraud.  Illegal Immigrants otherwise known as Undocumented Workers are using an IRS Tax Loophole to take advantage of the Additional Child Tax Credit to obtain tax refunds.  This tax fraud is currently costing U.S. Taxpayers about 4 Billion dollars a year.

Wastebook 2011.  [T]he IRS approved roughly $1 billion in tax credits intended for energy efficiency home improvements to individuals who did not even own a house.  These recipients included prisoners and children, some probably not even old enough to own a doll house.  While Congress bickered over whether or not the salaries of federal employees should be frozen, the federal government paid $120 million to federal employees who were deceased.

IRS Morality: Defend Planned Parenthood, Deluge Adoptive Families with Audits.  [Scroll down]  This audit wave got almost no media coverage, but what was the experience like for individual families?  In a word, grueling.  Huge document requests with short turnaround times were followed by lengthy IRS delays in processing, all with no understanding for the unique documentation challenges of international adoption.

A $4.2 Bil Subsidy For Illegals?  If the federal government had actually wanted to encourage illegal immigration, wouldn't a big tax credit be the way to bring them in?  Lucky us, that's what the IRS is doing — and with our money.

Illegal Workers Used Tax Credit to Pocket $4.2 Billion, Audit Shows.  Undocumented workers collected $4.2 billion in a certain tax credit last year, up from less than $1 billion five years ago, according to a new audit.  The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration looked only at a tax benefit known as the Additional Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit meant for working families.  The audit found that as a result of vague U.S. law — as well as an expansion of the tax credit in stimulus legislation and other measures — the number of illegal workers collecting the money has skyrocketed.

For the good of the country, let's abolish the IRS.  Testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee by the outgoing acting IRS commissioner, Steve Miller, as well as numerous statements by individuals claiming they have been harassed and intimidated by IRS agents, reveal a government agency out of control, or more precisely, under the control of political hacks.  It's doubtful this was a freelance operation.  J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified he knew as early as June 2012 that the IRS was targeting conservatives, but did nothing to stop it during the presidential campaign.  Who else knew?

Just to be sure nobody talked to the press...
IRS Scandal: Armed Police 'Escort' Reporters Through Cincinnati Office.  Monday afternoon [5/20/2013], ABC News released a chilling report that details what journalists have faced while trying to get some answers from the Cincinnati IRS office, which is where a majority of the Tea Party targeting took place.  According to ABC, an "armed uniform police officer with the Federal Protective Service" "escorted" reporters through the public building.  ABC says if the intent wasn't to "scare off" employees who might talk, "it was the effect."

Has the IRS Already Seized Your Medical Records?  As gratifying as it was to see the "news" media actually do its job last week when the IRS scandal broke, it was also odd that the coverage focused exclusively on abuses of power relating to various Tea Party and anti-abortion groups.  A much scarier IRS story has been virtually ignored by the establishment press.  On Wednesday, it was reported that a class-action lawsuit had been filed against a group of IRS agents who, according to the complaint filed by "John Doe Company" in the Southern District of California, "stole more than 60,000,000 medical records of more than 10,000,000 Americans, including at least 1,000,000 Californians."

Fraudulent tax returns surge 181%.  The IRS identified 335,341 tax returns claiming $1.9 billion in fraudulent refunds as of March 4, 2011, according to the findings of an audit conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. ... The Earned Income Tax Credit, aimed at helping lower-income taxpayers, has been a large source of fraud, with people falsely lowering their income to qualify or claiming children they don't have.  The IRS estimates that 23% to 28% of EITC credits are wrongfully paid to Americans every year, totaling $11 to $13 billion.

The Not-So-Little Engine That Wouldn't Go Away.  While the infamous $436 hammers and $600 toilet seats are distant memories, the current crop of federal spending excesses are... well, downright excessive.  Some of the best examples from 2010 include:  $112 million doled out by the IRS to prisoners filing fraudulent tax returns [...]

Tax Audits Are No Laughing Matter.  Our income-tax system is based on voluntary compliance and honest reporting by citizens.  It couldn't possibly function if most people decided to cheat.  Sure, the system is backed up by the dreaded IRS audit.  But the threat is, while not exactly hollow, limited:  The IRS can't audit more than a tiny fraction of taxpayers.  If Americans started acting like Italians, who famously see tax evasion as a national pastime, the system would collapse.  One reason why Americans don't act like Italians is that they see the income-tax system as basically fair in execution.

Report: IRS Covered Up Scandal Until After Election.  [Scroll down]  The third thing, though, is by far the most troubling and was spelled out perfectly by NBC's Lisa Meyers Friday morning [5/17/2013] on "Morning Joe."  From everything she knew before the hearings and what we are learning from them today, it looks as though, at the very least, the IRS knew of this scandal prior to the 2012 election and deliberately covered it up until afterward.

Did The IRS Try To Swing Election To Obama?  The inspector general's report on the IRS targeting of conservatives makes it seem like a case of bureaucratic bumbling.  But the more we learn, the more it looks like a concerted effort to hobble Obama's political foes.

The Liberal Union Behind the IRS.  Obama, IG Report refuse to touch powerful Treasury Employees Union headed by ex-IRS agent.

IRS Overpaid Earned Income Credit By Nearly $111 Billion, Treasury Report Says.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has overpaid the Earned Income Tax Credit by at least $110.8 billion since 2000, according to a recent Treasury Department inspector general report.  That is more than double the $53 billion of sequester cuts expected in 2013 totaling less than 2 percent of outlays, and puts the lie to those who suggest there is nothing to cut in the federal budget.

IRS Data Web Snares Mostly Low-and Middle-Income Taxpayers.  The Internal Revenue Service relies on technology more than ever to sniff out tax cheats using robo-audits and data mining — but so far it has caught lot of minnows, and big fish are still eluding detection.  Even as millions of people's accounts are screened online and matched against their digital files elsewhere, the IRS's data-detection tools come nowhere close to collecting the $400 billion in tax dodges estimated to take place each year.  The area in which its robo-audits have had the most impact is on tax returns for low-income taxpayers who try to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Report: IRS Issued $1B in Fraudulent Refunds in 2007.  The government sent out more than $1 billion in fraudulent refunds last year and offered this explanation Thursday [10/30/2008] for the bad checks in the mail:  The Internal Revenue Service has too few resources to pursue every tax fraud case.

This is why we have lawyers and juries:
Social Security comes after man for $895 overpayment they made to his mom.  Imagine if your parent received an over-payment from the government but decades later, the government took the money out of your tax return.

Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud [is] Widespread.  A stolen-identity tax refund scheme uncovered by a Durham retiree in March apparently is so widespread that one federal official has described it as the "No. 1 tax scam for 2013."  It's called SIRF, stolen identity refund fraud, and it affects an untold number of innocent taxpayers, costing the federal government billions.  It relies on two weaknesses in the operations of the Internal Revenue Service:  its desire to get returns to taxpayers quickly, and a timing gap in how it deals with employees and employers.

Another IRS Scandal; Employees Lie to Get Welfare, Food Stamps.  On the heels of "Tax Day," 24 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees have been charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in government benefits, including food stamps, welfare and housing vouchers.  The story comes out of Tennessee, where federal prosecutors announced this month that the scheme fleeced U.S. taxpayers out of at least a quarter of a million dollars in government benefits.  The corrupt IRS employees did it by making false statements to fraudulently obtain the benefits, which also included unemployment insurance.

Treasury Office Faults IRS Computer Security.  Two new IRS computer systems that will eventually cost taxpayers almost $2 billion are being put into service despite known security and privacy vulnerabilities, a Treasury watchdog said in a report coming out Thursday [10/16/2008].  The office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said Internal Revenue Service officials failed to ensure that identified weaknesses had been addressed before putting the new systems into use.

Investigate Employer Who Filed 37,375 Bad W-2s in One Year.  Investigate the employer who — according to the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA) — filed 37,375 inaccurate W-2s in tax year 2005.  In fact, investigate all employers who have similarly filed massive numbers of bad W-2s.  Forget the employers who filed 100, 200 or even 500 bad W-2s per year.  Give them a pass — for now.  Focus only on those that filed thousands.

The IRS is reading your email, and doesn't care a court said they can't.  For those of you who are old enough to remember Freedom, prior to 1913 the government managed quite nicely without an income tax.  They built roads, conducted diplomacy, fought wars, delivered the mail, and balanced their budget.  What they did not do was transfer wealth from the productive to the unproductive.  The IRS changed all that.  They've got what it takes to take what you've got.

The IRS is reading your email, and doesn't care a court said they can't.  If you aren't encrypting your email, the IRS is probably reading it right now.

IRS to taxpayers: We don't need a warrant for email snooping, GPS tracking.  IRS attorneys have asserted in internal documents that the Fourth Amendment does not protect email and that a warrant is not needed to plant a GPS location tracker on a car in its owner's driveway.  In documents obtained from the IRS by the ACLU under the federal Freedom of Information Act and posted on the website Wednesday, the agency's attorneys adopt an extremely aggressive posture toward the requirements the Fourth Amendment might place on its criminal investigators who want to read email or text messages, or use GPS location tracking.

IRS Sits By As Inmates Collect Fraudulent Tax Refunds.  Nearly a year after Congress passed a law to stop incarcerated criminals from fraudulently receiving millions of dollars in tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hasn't bothered creating a system to catch the offenders.

Understanding the Progressive Mind.  [Scroll down]  Libertarians loathe no federal agency as much as they do the Internal Revenue Service.  They view it as an unwarranted expansion of the State into their lives, and they see an agency full of people who have way too much power over the daily lives of others.  Progressives, on the other hand, believe that the IRS has too little power.  The mission of the IRS — to seize tax revenue — is utterly important for it is the IRS that ultimately allows us to pay for the "Social Contract" that Progressives believe is central to life itself.

An Embarrassing Metric Disappears.  As the din of America's falling headfirst over the fiscal cliff reverberates across the nation, the Obama administration is quietly killing a key economic metric that tells how, and how many, people are voting with their feet.  Since 1991 the Internal Revenue Service has been compiling statistics on filers' addresses, which the agency's Statistics of Income division uses to show who is moving into and out of every county and state in the nation.  As you'd expect, the IRS also knows the aggregate income levels of those who move.

The Illegal Eagle and a Baldly Grasping IRS.  [Scroll down]  The presence of the stuffed eagle meant it couldn't be sold without violating the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Since the artwork couldn't be sold, logic dictated that it be listed as having zero value, which is what the Sonnabend family's three appraisers, one of them Christie's auction house, did.  But don't look for "logic" in any government dictionary.  In the summer of 2011, the IRS sent the family an unsigned report appraising "Canyon" at $15 million.  When they rejected the valuation, the government upped the ante:  The appraisal was increased to $65 million, which yielded a $29.2 million tax bill.

The IRS Has Gone Rogue.  A president who says "I haven't raised taxes" has authorized his Internal Revenue Service issue a "final rule" that will illegally tax some 12 million individuals, plus large employers, in as many as 40 states beginning in 2014.  Oklahoma's attorney general has asked a federal court to block this rule.  Members of Congress have introduced legislation in both the House and the Senate to quash it.

The IRS: The Power to Ruin Lives.  [Most people] don't like the IRS, in part because it has so much arbitrary power to ruin lives.  But it's not just that is has the power to ruin lives.  That can be said about the FBI, the DEA, the BATF, and all sorts of other enforcement agencies.  What irks people about the IRS is that it has so much power combined with the fact that the internal revenue code is a nightmare of complexity that can overwhelm even the most well-intentioned taxpayer.

IRS discourages employees from detecting fraud.  Child tax credit payments to illegal immigrants have quadrupled in the past five years as a result of President Obama's stimulus package and the Internal Revenue Service's refusal to pursue instances of fraud, a new study shows.  The IRS is also failing to inform citizens that illegal immigrants have stolen their Social Security Numbers.  The IRS paid out $7.4 billion in tax refunds to illegal immigrants in 2012, quadruple the $1.7 billion paid out in 2007, according to a new report by Senate Republicans.

IRS told employees to ignore potential fraud in program used by immigrants.  IRS supervisors ignored employees who tried to warn agency higher-ups of fraud in a program designed to collect taxes from immigrants, resulting in the agency paying out potentially bogus refunds.  The Treasury inspector general for tax administration said the IRS even eliminated some methods employees had used to figure out questionable refund requests, and that the agency doesn't have the ability to verify applicants' identity or foreign status.  Investigators "found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications," said J. Russell George, the inspector general.

President Obama, the Strong Favorite of IRS Employees.  According to a search of FEC contributor data, employees of the Internal Revenue Service have a strong preference in this year's election.  Donors who list their employer as "Internal Revenue Service" or "IRS" have donated $26,538 to President Obama's campaign, and just $2,340 to Mitt Romney's campaign.

IRS Employee Arrested for Identity Theft Scam.  Domeen Flowers, a former IRS employee, was arrested last week for stealing from taxpayers.

IRS hit with audit for mismanagement and fraud.  The large, unmarked building in south Austin is where the IRS decides whether to issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to the millions of illegal immigrants who apply for them.  An ITIN allows undocumented workers to file tax returns and pay taxes, a legal requirement for those who earn income in the United States — even those who come to the country illegally.  But [WTHR-TV] discovered the ITIN system is plagued by abuse and fraud.

IRS may be given the authority to restrict travel.  Imagine someday in the not too distant future having to apply for a government permit to sell your home and move somewhere else.  Imagine that you apply for and are denied a permit to visit your grandchildren in another state. ... Americans best sit up and take note of this new encroachment on our rights.

Like the former Soviet Union, U.S. is setting up internal passport system.  In fact, the IRS routinely leans on the little guy and small business owners.  For instance, in 2010 the owner of a car wash in Sacramento, California, was harassed by the IRS after the government said he owed four cents in back taxes (which became $200 after three years of penalties and fees).  The IRS is also used by the establishment as a political weapon, as various Tea Party organizations around the country recently learned.

5 New Ways the IRS Is [Harshly and Unfairly Treating] America.  [#2]  The United States Senate on March 14th passed a transportation funding bill that contained a slipped-in section authorizing the "denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport" for anyone with "a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000."  The "revocation" bit is especially heinous:  Even the outrageous and barely-known State Department provision denying passports to those who owe $2,500 in back child support only deals with issuances and renewals.  Now the feds are apparently willing to actively hunt you down and take away your getaway card.

Among the Tax-takers.  I worked for the IRS and survived.  I learned about taxpayers, but the really interesting part of it was learning about tax-takers.  We all have this vague notion of people who don't pay taxes but receive money from Uncle Sam in what euphemistically is called a tax refund.  That's what I had, a vague notion, until I was forced to close my business in 2010.  I took a seasonal job with the Internal Revenue Service to get some household cash flow going.  We "Timmy Geithner warriors" were appalled by what we learned.

The Soft Dictatorship.  The IRS has the power to force citizens to incriminate themselves, violating the Fifth Amendment, and prosecutes trials under the premise that taxpayers are guilty until proven innocent, violating the Sixth Amendment.  Finally the IRS can seize property and businesses and sell the property and business without a court order, again violating the Fifth Amendment.  In fact, the most terrifying organization in America is the IRS.  They are universally feared, and for good reason.  However, the IRS is arbitrary in their enforcement; several people in the Obama administration have committed outright tax evasion with no consequences.  What would you call an agency with that kind of power and completely arbitrary enforcement?

Identity Theft Involving IRS Mushrooms.  Since 2008, the IRS has identified about 470,000 incidents of identity theft affecting more than 390,000 taxpayers, Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday [5/25/2011].  The problem appears to be expanding rapidly.  In 2008, there were about 52,000 incidents involving the IRS, according to the Government Accountability Office.  In 2010, there were 245,000.

IRS staff committed tax credit fraud.  More than 100 employees of the Internal Revenue Service cheated the government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages, according to federal investigators.

About Obama's rich people...  The tax system doesn't just take our money — it subjects us to endless torment.  According to a 2010 report by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an IRS ombudsman, taxpayers and businesses spend about 6.1 million hours a year on their taxes at a cost of $163 billion.  That doesn't include the economic cost of tax-avoidance behavior, in which taxpayers shift assets into less productive endeavors or take into account the dread, frustration and anger of the beleaguered citizen.

IRS pays $513 Million In Bogus Credits Under Stimulus.  Weeks after a government audit revealed that the Internal Revenue Service doled out $33 million in fraudulent electric-car tax credits, a separate probe says the agency paid out over half a billion dollars to "homebuyers" who didn't qualify.  It's simply the latest of many blunders for the perpetually troubled government agency that's awarded prison inmates tens of millions of dollars in bogus tax refunds in the past decade.  Last year alone, more than a quarter of a million prisoners filed tax returns with the IRS and nearly 50,000 claimed more than $130 million in refunds without bothering to report wage information, according to the Treasury Inspector General.

It's time to shut down the IRS.  The FairTax Act seeks to reform the tax structure of the United States by replacing the inefficient income tax with a pro-growth consumption tax and would eliminate the need for the IRS because the FairTax would be administered in much the same manner as states administer state sales taxes.  Americans would no longer have to file a return because taxes would be collected at the point of sale for a good or service.  This turns the idea of taxation in the United States on its head.

Tax compliance employs more workers than Wal-Mart, UPS, McDonald's, IBM and Citigroup combined.
The 30-Cent Tax Premium.  There is a lot more to taxes than simply paying the bill.  Taxpayers must spend significantly more than $1 in order to provide $1 of income-tax revenue to the federal government.

Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats:  [#2]  Internal Revenue Service:  Republicans want to cut nearly $600 million from Obama's budget for the IRS in order to prevent it from hiring the new agents needed to enforce ObamaCare rules.  Obama wants a 9% budget hike for the tax collecting agency and 1,269 new positions to implement ObamaCare, with their likely focus being monitoring compliance with the individual mandate and collecting taxes from people who don't have health insurance.

The IRS Thinks I'm a Bar Code.  For two years the IRS has owed me more than $1,200, which it improperly assessed me for tax year 2008.  It fessed up to the error in May 2009 and assured me that I would get paid in a reasonable time.  From there on my life has been launched into a myriad maze of phone calls, chats with IRS people all over the country, and receipt of two checks from the United States Treasury — both of which cannot be cashed.

5,100 More IRS Agents.  President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget doesn't cut much of anything, and certainly not the Internal Revenue Service.  The White House is requesting that the most beloved of all government agencies get an additional 5,100 agents next year, no doubt to wring further tax revenue from Americans.

IRS Guilty of Fraud.  If you ever had any doubts concerning the morally depraved and illegal activities of some IRS employees, the U.S. Court of Appeals case Dixon v. U.S. [91 AFTR 2d 2003-569 (9th Cir. 2003)] filed January 17, 2003, should strike fear in your heart. ... The Dixon case offers important insight into the day-to-day operations at the IRS.  Every office has a secret cadre of employees and managers that know "what is best for the IRS" and they develop their own vigilante style of enforcement.  That is, they have no qualms about bending, breaking or distorting the law — to accomplish in their view "the real mission of the IRS."

Grain of salt:  Please note that the IRS did not exist 140 years ago.
IRS Rewarding Those Who Snitch On Tax Cheats.  If you want to blow the whistle on a small-time crook then you would be participating in the original IRS informant program that has been around for more than 140 years.  If you report someone to this program, you could receive up to 15 percent of the amount that has been underpaid up to a maximum award of $10 million.

IRS Informant Reward Program.  In the former Soviet Union, people had to be very careful about discussing their business and personal affairs because almost everyone was a spy for the secret police agency known as the KGB.  It appears that the Internal Revenue Service has studied the "Soviet Model" and has set up a new division known as The Informant Reward Program.

IRS audits jump by 11 percent; wealthiest targeted.  The tax agency increased the number of returns it audited by nearly 11 percent this year, statistics released Wednesday [12/15/2010] show.

Debate brews over expansion of Internal Revenue Service's work force.  Health reform may have finally become law, but the partisan wars over the bill continue to rage — and the latest flash point is a debate about whether the $940 billion overhaul means thousands of new government workers are about to bloat the federal payroll.  Republicans lawmakers are warning the law would put as many as 16,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents and workers on the streets.

Do as the IRS says, not as it does.  Important government documents are often shielded from Freedom of Information Act requests because of an exemption in the law that allows federal departments and agencies to withhold materials created before the issuance of an official policy.  It's known as the "internal deliberative process" exemption and it enables officials to withhold virtually all memoranda, e-mails, studies, or other documents created by agency employees or contractors as part of the policymaking process. ... But don't expect the government to extend the same privilege it demands for itself to private companies.

Obamacare's Hit Man.  Last week the Congressional Budget Office reported that it expects that the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services will spend up to an additional $200 billion over the next decade on administering Obamacare.  That's in addition to the estimated $1 trillion that will be spent in 2014-2019 under the new healthcare law.  Much of the money will go to hiring hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to administer Obamacare over the next decade.

16,500 More Reasons to Vote Republican in November.  Thanks to the Democrats, the most hated agency in America, the IRS, just got 16,500 agents bigger.  By sprinkling in an additional 16,500 IRS agents into their health care mix, the Democrats may have just placed upon their own backs a backbreaking straw.

IRS Agent Didn't Report $41,842 in EBay Sales.  An Internal Revenue Service officer was found liable for back taxes and penalties for not reporting income on nearly 2,000 transactions on EBay Inc., the online auction site, according to the U.S. Tax Court.  Andrea Fabiana Orellana failed to report $41,842 in income in 2004 and 2005 from sales of designer clothing, shoes and other items, according to a Tax Court summary opinion.

IRS fraudulent refunds total an estimated $318M.  Internal Revenue Service gave away $318 million in improper refunds this year because a computer program that screens tax returns for fraud wasn't working, according to a report released Friday [9/1/2006].

David vs. Goliath of Governmental Agencies.  One of the most hideous ways the Internal Revenue Service usurps power and control over Americans is through its oppression over nonprofits, especially religious groups.  Threatening to withdraw tax-exempt status and to levy penalties are just a couple of ways it exercises its tyranny.  For example, April 3, Catholic Answers, one of the nation's largest lay-run apologetic (or defense) ministries for the Catholic movement, filed suit in federal court against the IRS for violating its right to free speech.

Welcome To The Ministry of Propaganda.  Photo ops and access to the inner halls of government have become more and more a matter of providing favorable publicity to that government.  Asking hard questions and informing the public, is now in the back seat.  The press has found itself vulnerable to government coercion.  They can be excluded, their credentials revoked.  Then the IRS attacked World Net Daily some years ago, at the apparent instigation of the Clinton White House.  So much for honesty, transparency, and good government.

Lawyer gets 5-cent IRS bill, 4-cent refund.  James Howarth is a little confused by two letters he has received from the Internal Revenue Service.  The Detroit defense lawyer received one letter in November that said he owed the IRS money — five cents.  He was warned that he should pay "to avoid additional penalty and/or interest," the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.  Howarth said he then received a second letter telling him the government owes him money — four cents.

The Editor asks...
Is there no "sanity check" in the IRS software?

IRS Workers Stealing Your Cash!  Think your income tax check is safe when you send it off to the IRS?  Think again. An ABC News investigation has uncovered case after case of checks being stolen, manipulated and cashed by contract employees responsible for processing them, resulting in delayed payments and heavily disrupted lives.

IRS, Justice Target Undisclosed Assets In Swiss Accounts.  A lawyer who specializes in tax cases, [Edward M.] Robbins thinks the government is gearing up to prosecute large numbers of Americans for failing to disclose foreign accounts on their tax returns and evading taxes on income generated by the accounts.  "If I were one of these guys with 10 to 50 million in my account, I'd be having an aneurysm," Robbins said.  "It's an extremely dangerous situation for these guys.

Scrap the tax code.  The tax code now exceeds a staggering 60,000 pages, prompting Americans to waste 6.2 billion hours just completing their returns every year.  Deciphering it costs the country $203.4 billion a year, according to the Tax Foundation.  Its complexities generate additional job-killing distortions throughout our economy.  Indeed, the tax code is so complicated and expansive that it now touches nearly every aspect of our lives.

I.R.S. Enlists Help in Collecting Delinquent Taxes.  If you owe back taxes to the federal government, the next call asking you to pay may come not from an Internal Revenue Service officer, but from a private debt collector.  Within two weeks, the I.R.S. will turn over data on 12,500 taxpayers — each of whom owes $25,000 or less in back taxes — to three collection agencies.  Larger debtors will continue to be pursued by I.R.S. officers.

Sick-Leave Abuse Prompts Calls to Compensate for Unused Time.  At the Internal Revenue Service, one employee over a two-year period took sick leave on 13 of the 14 Tuesdays after a Monday holiday.  That's an extreme case of sick-leave abuse, but the IRS employee had plenty of co-workers who also liked to take Tuesdays off, a report by the Inspector General for Tax Administration found.

The Editor says...
Most private companies would fire an employee like that, but when you work for Uncle Sam, your job is safe no matter what kind of goldbrick you are.

1040 Checkmate?  On May 12, 2006 in Peoria, Illinois, the attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) begged the court to dismiss all charges against IRS victim Robert Lawrence in federal District Court.  The motion for dismissal came on the heels of a surprise tactic by Lawrence's defense attorney Oscar Stilley.  The tactic threatened exposure of IRS's on-going efforts to defraud the public.  The move put DOJ attorneys in a state of panic that left them with only one alternative:  beg for dismissal, with prejudice.

This was written in 1995:
Why You Can't Trust the IRS:
    The IRS telephone taxpayer assistance program provides about 8.5 million Americans the wrong answers to even the most basic inquiries about the tax laws.
    This year roughly 10 million Americans will receive correction notices from the IRS assessing about $4 billion.  About half of those notices will be erroneous.
    About 40 percent of the revenues the IRS collects through penalty assessments are abated when citizens challenge the penalties.  In 1993 taxpayers were over-charged $5 billion.
    A General Accounting Office audit of the IRS in 1993 found widespread evidence of financial malfeasance and gross negligence.  The IRS could not account for 64 percent of its congressional appropriation.

Taming the IRS Pit Bulls:  As IRS agents scan the country looking for the truck driver or restaurant worker who might have cheated the government out of a few bucks, a loophole in the tax code allows major corporations to hide millions of dollars from their tax liability by opening sham offices in Bermuda.

IRS Policies Result in Unnecessary Taxpayer Harassment.  The National Taxpayer Advocate's report confirms that being honest is simply not good enough when it comes to dealing with the IRS.  The reason is that in all but a few instances, the burden is on taxpayers to prove they do not owe taxes.  The IRS rarely has to prove a person does owe taxes.  The question, moreover, seldom has anything to do with whether the person is a cheater or not.

Top Half of U.S. Income Earners See Tax Burdens Grow.  As the annual tax filing deadline approaches, many public officials traditionally use the occasion to launch into a debate about the fairness of the nation tax laws. … IRS figures released late last year for Tax Year 2003 (for which returns were filed in 2004) show the richest Americans shoulder a disproportionate burden of the federal income tax, and the burden is getting heavier.

AMT Sending Tens of Thousands to Financial Ruin.  Tens of thousands of Americans face financial ruin because they voluntarily reported incentive stock options to the Internal Revenue Service.

When they audited the IRS.  A funny thing happened when the Treasury Department audited the Internal Revenue Service.  It discovered that the IRS was not treating all employers equally.

IRS Laptop Lost With Data on 291 People.  An Internal Revenue Service employee lost an agency laptop early last month that contained sensitive personal information on 291 workers and job applicants, a spokesman said yesterday [6/10/2006].  The IRS's Terry L. Lemons said the employee checked the laptop as luggage aboard a commercial flight while traveling to a job fair and never saw it again.  The computer contained unencrypted names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and fingerprints of the employees and applicants, Lemons said.

You might be surprised to learn how often Uncle Sam loses stuff.

Are your tax records safe?  The Treasury Department last month admitted investigating thousands of cases of IRS employees improperly snooping through taxpayer records.  And although this led to 1,600 "adverse personnel actions" and 126 criminal prosecutions, Treasury officials concede "there has not been a noticeable decrease" over the last eight years in the number of IRS bureaucrats who gain unauthorized access to confidential data.

IRS workers' online time not all work-related.  A sampling of Internal Revenue Service employees found that they used about half their online time at work to visit sex sites, gamble, trade stocks, participate in chat rooms and do other non-work-related activity, the Treasury Department's inspector general said.

Privacy in a Free Country:  In Search of Reasonable Principles.  When more than 500 Internal Revenue Service agents were caught illegally snooping through tax records of thousands of Americans in 1995, only five were fired.  After the IRS developed new privacy protection measures, hundreds more agents were caught doing the same thing again in 1997.

IRS Error Rate Still High.  The January 2004 report of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration confirms the IRS's error rate for advice it gives at its hundreds of walk-in Taxpayer Assistance Centers remains unacceptably high.  The report reveals the IRS provided "flatly incorrect answers 20 percent of the time."  In another 15 percent of the cases, the IRS provided a "correct" answer without first obtaining the background information necessary to provide a correct answer — a serious oversight when providing tax advice.

The Press And Scientology:  For years, Scientology fought a battle with the IRS because the government would not recognize its claim to be a religion.  The IRS finally granted Scientology its desired status under President Bill Clinton, the recipient of massive donations from the Hollywood glitterati.

IRS Gives Tax Deduction For Sex Change Operations.  The Massachusetts-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders has recently won a complaint against the IRS over tax deductions for so-called "sex change" operations.  The IRS apparently bought GLAD's bogus argument that sex changes are medically necessary for individuals suffering from Gender Dysphoria.

The Rainforest Action Network:  Major corporations are in the crosshairs of the Rainforest Action Network.  This radical environmentalist group regularly resorts to illegal "direct action" tactics and even exploits school kids in order to intimidate and shake down its business adversaries.  So why does the IRS still grant RAN tax-exempt status?

Corruption at the IRS:  IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti sued over criminal conflict of interest and cover-up.  "As IRS Commissioner, Rossotti has made decisions concerning a company he founded (and which he still owned stock) that is a major contractor with the IRS."

The Structure of the IRS:  Collection Division.  The IRS will not leave you alone until you pay up.  They know where you live.  They will bother, harass, nag and pester you until you pay.  They will write, call and visit you until they get their money.  They may even pursue your family after you die!

What to Do When the IRS Comes Knocking.

Reference material:  Internal Revenue Manual.

Protect Your Church From The IRS.  Proposed legislation reverses a 1954 amendment by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson that permanently extended the reach of the IRS into our nation's churches.  This bill says that the message a church preaches is answerable only to God and not to Caesar — the IRS.

Congress Will Hold Hearing:  Is Income Tax Legitimate?:  In less than two months, Washington may officially acknowledge that you could have been paying your income taxes all these years under a measure that is not valid.

Note:  These hearings were about to take place in the middle of September, 2001, but then the 9/11 attacks occurred, and the whole question of the 16th Amendment's legitimacy was swept under the rug.  That was just a coincidence, of course, but somehow the Congress has never been interested in examining this question since then.

"Walkaround" protest planned for IRS.  A group that says the 16th Amendment — which ushered in the federal income tax — was never properly ratified is planning a "walkaround" protest at the Internal Revenue Service building.  The tax-reform group says action aimed at educating Americans.

Stealth IRS changes mean millions of new tax forms.  The massive expansion of requirements for businesses to file 1099 tax forms that was hidden in the 2,409-page health reform bill took many by surprise when it came to light last month.  But it's just one piece of a years-long legislative stealth campaign to create ways for the federal government to track down unreported income.




The Barrett Report

As I recall, the most vocal advocate for the publication of the Barrett Report was the late Tony Snow.  Apparently the report proved that the IRS was just as mean and evil as everyone presumed.  So, naturally, it went down the memory hole.  Why would Washington politicians want to suppress a report like that?  Because the IRS is useful to high-level people with their own enemies, and the IRS is essential to the big-spending overgrown government.

The Barrett Report.  The long-awaited final report by Independent Counsel David Barrett, to be released today [1/19/2006], was severely censored by court order but not enough to sufficiently obscure its importance.  As long forecast, it alleges serious corruption in the Clinton administration's Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The question is what was contained in 120 pages removed by the judges.

Inquiry on Clinton Official Ends With Accusations of Cover-Up.  [Scroll down]  After being indicted on 18 felony counts, [Housing Secretary Henry] Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor charge of lying to investigators.  He was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.  Mr. Barrett kept his office open more than six years after the law that created the independent counsel system was allowed to die.  Lawmakers in both parties had wearied of the many inquiries that had failed to achieve the goal of removing political influence from criminal investigations of administration officials.

Free the Barrett Report.  The misuse of the IRS and Justice Department has a long record going back to Richard Nixon and Watergate and before that to Franklin Roosevelt and his harassment of former Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon and publisher Moses Annenberg.  Wealthy individuals such as Mellon and Annenberg can protect themselves — though Annenberg was cruelly sent to jail.  Ordinary citizens cannot, and the way the IRS is set up today not much provocation is necessary to instigate a costly investigation... costly to ordinary taxpayers.

What's In the Barrett Report? Why Should You Care?  You are not likely to be allowed to read something, at least in its entirety, called the Barrett Report.  You may have read people insisting that you should be able to read it — most notably columnists and commentators Tony Snow and Robert Novak — but far more powerful people are intent on suppressing it.  They would be the Clintons, former President Bill and current U.S. Senator Hillary, and their minions.  David Barrett is the Independent Counsel, the last of his kind, engaged to investigate the shenanigans of Clinton administration HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

The Barrett Report.  We just paid $21 million dollars for an investigation, the most damaging revelations of which are blocked from public view upon the motions of those named as obstructing that very prosecution.

Commentary on the Barrett Report.  [Scroll down]  When the Barrett Report was complete in 2004, Clinton lawyers set out to suppress the radioactive document in its entirety or to excise those parts dealing with criminal activity on the part of the White House.  Team Clinton filed some 140 motions designed to delay the Barrett Report or kill it outright.  For over a year, Clinton's legal team stalled its publication.

The public needs to see the Barrett report.  [Sen. Byron Dorgan], along with several crafty Democrats, has been attempting to deny the public the contents of an Independent Counsel's report that is believed to contain evidence of serious corruption and misuse of the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department back in the Clinton Administration.  In this cover-up the Democrats have had assistance from a few dubious Republicans.  It is time to let the public see this report.

Publish the Barrett report now.  At issue was the publication of a report by David Barrett, an independent counsel who has spent the better part of a decade looking into some of the most hair-raising allegations of presidential malfeasance in American history.

Protecting the IRS:  The political significance is that the Barrett report's shocking allegations of high-level corruption in the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department are likely to be concealed from the public and from Congress.  A recently passed appropriations bill, intended to permit release of this report, was altered behind closed doors to ensure that its politically combustible elements never saw the light of day.




The IRS is used as a weapon against small businesses

Why is the government so tough on businesses?  It doesn't help that Barack Obama hates capitalism and he is paying back the labor unions for their support.  And it doesn't help that Mr. Obama has never run a business in his life and has never tried to make a profit.  Perhaps that's because he was literally raised by communists.  But the IRS was the enemy of small businesses long before President Obama had any power.

Breitbart News says IRS targeted company for audit.  The company that runs the conservative Breitbart.com news site says the IRS has selected the network for an audit, in a move company executives suggest is politically motivated.  Breitbart News Network, a California-based company which runs several conservative websites, says the IRS recently audited its 2012 financial information.  "The Obama administration's timing on this is exquisite, but try as they might through various methods to silence us, we will only get more emboldened," Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, said in a written statement.

Critics question IRS initiative targeting small businesses.  Small business owners across the country are receiving letters from the IRS questioning if they are reporting all of their cash income, in a new push by the agency some are saying could unnecessarily create fear in the small business community. [...] The agency says the letters are not the same as an audit, and it is simply seeking more tax information from the businesses.  However, some lawmakers and business owners who received the letters say the initiative is alarming.

Federal agents raid Colorado drilling office with wells in Oklahoma and Texas.  Federal agents with the FBI, IRS and Bureau of Land Management have served a search warrant at the offices of Crystal River Oil and Gas in Basalt [Colorado].

War on Small Business?  [Scroll down]  In 2006, the IRS announced it would shift its focus to audit more small businesses.  IRS data on tax audits seems to bear this out.  Between the first and second half of the last decade, the audit coverage rate on businesses with assets between $10 and $50 million increased by 42 percent.

Rumsfeld: IRS also retaliates against outspoken business leaders.  Tea Party and conservative constitutional groups may be the new targets of the Internal Revenue Service, but former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld reveals in his new book out this week that outspoken businesses critical of the federal government are also singled out by the IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission.

IRS rule threatens to shut down the small businesses that prepare tax returns.  Small business owners who prepare tax returns for a living every year must either seek additional training or close their doors due to a new Internal Revenue Service regulation set to take effect at the end of this year.

Obama Enlists IRS for New Union Shakedown of US Business.  The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has submitted Freedom of Information requests to the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service following an announcement that the administration is investigating homebuilders in an attempt to bolster union membership at the expense of housing sector jobs.

Small-Business Owners Fret Over Large IRS Fines.  Five years ago, car-wash owner Orman Wilson set up a pension plan for himself and six employees. ... Mr. Wilson, the owner of 19 coin-operated car washes in Houston, says he relied on four advisers, including a certified public accountant, to set up a plan that received approval from the Internal Revenue Service.  Then, in late 2007, the IRS found fault with the plan and assessed it $250,000 — plus special penalties of $1.2 million.

SBSC Outraged by Calls to Increase Audits of Small Businesses:  The Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) declared its outrage today [2/14/2003] at the suggestion made by the Sierra Club earlier this week that the IRS should "aggressively audit" businesses that purchase sport utility vehicles, or SUVs.

IRS Wages War on Small Businesses.  It's always scary hearing about the IRS on the warpath (or even politely knocking at your door).

IRS: The Small Business Bully.  Under the Obama Administration, the Internal Revenue Service has placed small and medium-size businesses — the engines of job creation — in its auditing crosshairs.  According to IRS statistics, from 2009 to 2011, the coverage rate (number of audits as a percentage of total returns filed) for corporations with assets between $10 million and $50 million has increased 32 percent.

IRS expected to target small businesses this year.  Americans who get paid in cash and own a small business are at high risk of being audited — especially if they live in wealthy suburbs: the IRS is going after those from which the agency thinks they can get more taxes.


IRS vs small business




The IRS is Obamacare's enforcer

BUMMER: Did President Trump Just Nuke Obamacare with a Single Executive Order?  Earlier this month, the IRS made a seemingly insignificant change to its policy, undermining the Obamacare mandate in a very significant way.  For the last several years, individual filers were required by law to fill out line 61 of form 1040, which indicates whether you have maintained coverage or paid the penalty.  This is otherwise known as a "shared responsibility statement."  Taxpayers could also claim exemption by filing a 8965 form.  Tax returns that don't indicate coverage status (silent returns) were to be automatically rejected.  However, due to an executive order issued by President Trump, that line is now optional, making it incredibly difficult to enforce the Obamacare mandate.

Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate:  IRS Won't Reject Tax Returns That Don't Answer Health Insurance Question.  How much difference does a single line on a tax form make?  For Obamacare's individual mandate, the answer might be quite a lot.  Following President Donald Trump's executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement.  The health law's individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a "shared responsibility payment."

Americans Paid $1.7 Billion in ObamaCare Penalties in 2014.  Remember when ObamaCare passed without a single Republican voting for it and then House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) famously said:  We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it?  Well, it's been six long years since the bill was signed into law and once again, we are finding more and more surprises contained within the law's more than 20,000 pages.  For instance, it turns out nearly 8.1 million Americans paid $1.7 billion in penalties in 2014, or an average of $210 per tax return in 2014 for not having health insurance and $200 million more than the IRS initially predicted.

ObamaCare Individual Mandate Fine Hit 8 Million People This Year.  Roughly 8 million people faced ObamaCare individual mandate penalties this year totaling more than $3 billion, an analysis of the latest IRS data reveals.  Despite the controversy and high-stakes legal battle that has surrounded the individual mandate, the scope of the penalties paid this year has gone unreported by major news outlets as attention has focused on ObamaCare's latest and most glaring problems:  weak enrollment, surging premiums, and insurer losses that have provoked the exit of UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana from most state exchanges.

IRS To Target Citizens Who Aren't Buying ObamaCare Insurance.  As many as 20 million Americans soon will be getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service "suggesting" they sign up for ObamaCare insurance.  Getting a letter from the IRS can be a threatening and nerve-racking experience; it seldom is seen as a suggestion and more of a threat.  But at President Obama's direction, the IRS is "reaching out" to people who paid the tax penalty for not buying mandatory health insurance or who claimed an exemption in hopes of "attracting" more people to sign up for ObamaCare insurance.  The government is particularly interested in compliance from healthy young people.

Team Obama to use IRS data to pressure some Americans into Obamacare.  The Obama administration said Tuesday [6/21/2016] it will herd uninsured Americans into Obamacare plans this fall by targeting young adults and working with the IRS to root out people who paid a penalty for lacking coverage last year.  Officials said people who were fined under the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate can expect to receive a paper notice that explains their coverage options on the law's web-based exchanges.  The state of Massachusetts is already working with its revenue agency to locate the uninsured, and the Obama administration said those efforts appeared to be working.

ObamaCare Has Made The IRS A Shambles.  The IRS admitted to Congress what many suspect:  That its abysmal customer service and failure to protect taxpayer data are because it's diverted its resources to ObamaCare.  Now it wants another billion.  House Republicans were flabbergasted when Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen asked the House Appropriations Committee for another $1 billion for the IRS budget for fiscal 2017, following the $290 million increase he got in fiscal 2016.  An extra billion is a 12% beef-up for the agency's budget.  Seems the customer service is a shambles, with 8 million, or half, of calls from taxpayers seeking to comply with the law going unanswered.  And for those who do get through, it takes an average of 23 minutes on hold.

Government Sends Obamacare Payments Without Verification.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not have adequate procedures in place to ensure tax credit payments were properly sent to enrollees as required by federal law, according to a new report by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG).  The report marks the eighth time in less than a year that a government watchdog has raised concerns over the federal government's ability to properly administer and monitor Obamacare.  As HHS OIG noted, CMS has "sole responsibility" for ensuring that tax credits were properly distributed to paying enrollees.  Following this confirmation, the IRS is then responsible for reconciling tax credits with an enrollees' tax returns.

The ObamaCare Mandate Nightmare Comes To Small Businesses.  The headline in the AP story says it all:  "Crunch time at small businesses as health care demands loom."  "Loom" is the right word.  As the story explains, starting next year, the dreaded ObamaCare employer mandate kicks in for businesses with between 50 and 99 employees.  That means they will all have to offer their full-time workers — which means anyone clocking in more than 30 hours a week — government-approved health benefits, or face a steep fine.  President Obama delayed this mandate twice, citing the cost and disruptions it would cause.  The delays have come to an end, and as of Jan. 1, these companies will not only have to provide "affordable" insurance for these workers, they must also file complex new tax forms with the IRS detailing the cost of the insurance, the names and Social Security numbers of employees and their dependents, and how long they were covered by insurance.

IRS threat
If You Opted NOT To Get Insurance Under ACA, Fines Are Coming Now.  This is the letter you'll get from the IRS.


IRS drops an Obamacare bomb on small employers.  Yet another Obamacare bomb.  The way this is going the only employer that will be left is the government.  If you assist an employee with their health care cost you're subject to a $100 per day excise tax.  $36,500 per year possible total.

Taxpayer service hits new low at IRS as 'Obamacare' kicks in.  Customer service at the IRS hit new lows this year, just as taxpayers were grappling with a wave of identity theft and new requirements under President Barack Obama's health law.

Senate panel probes ObamaCare aid confusion, as customers learn they owe IRS.  The Senate's top investigative committee has launched an inquiry into the system that's supposed to ensure ObamaCare tax credits go to the right customers for the right amounts — amid concerns that many Americans are getting inflated or improper subsidies.  Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is leading the investigation, says because of the confusion with the system, millions of Americans are learning after the fact they inadvertently got too much money and now owe the IRS hundreds.

IRS unable to make sure people comply with Obamacare penalty: Treasury IG.  The IRS cannot be sure that Americans who lacked health insurance last year have complied with Obamacare's "individual mandate" penalty this tax season, according to an inspector general report Friday [5/8/2015] that pointed to a decision to delay proof-of-coverage forms from insurers and employers until 2016.  Agency managers told the Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration that a "business decision was made to not develop processes and procedures" to ensure compliance after it decided in 2013 to delay the pair of forms.  The documents are sent to both filers and the IRS, allowing the federal government to cross-check what filers say on their returns.

The IRS's Growing Role as A "Rules Interpreter".  A recent article by the National Review brought to light how the IRS has taken on the role of "rules interpretation" in recent years, which is beyond its scope as the nation's tax collecting agency.  The most notorious example of this new role is highlighted in the King vs Burwell case before the Supreme Court — where the IRS interpreted the language of Obamacare other than what was expressly written down as law.  However, as the National Review discusses, the IRS has grown accustomed to interpreting law as it sees fit, without the oversight of Congress.  Therein lies the problem.

How the IRS repeatedly rewrites Obamacare tax credit provisions.  The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell argue that an IRS regulation unlawfully extends tax credit eligibility beyond what is expressly authorized under Section 1401 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  It appears that this sort of administrative rewrite of the PPACA may be more the rule than the exception, as there are at least two other instances of the IRS rewriting the PPACA's tax credit eligibility requirements.

Obamacare will make Tax Day more stressful.  Obamacare is making the least popular day — April 15 — even worse.  For about one in four tax filers, it's turning out to be a nightmare, with extra paperwork and penalties.  And for high earners or anyone selling a piece of property or business, Obamacare means higher taxes.  If you enrolled in Obamacare in 2014 and got a subsidy to pay for it, you're at risk of losing your refund.  Surprise:  You may even owe Uncle Sam money.  Only 4 percent of people who signed up for Obamacare got the correct subsidy, so a whopping 96 percent will see their tax bill adjusted, some up and others down.  Who would design a system that's right only 4 percent of the time?

Obamacare's Tax Nightmare.  Obamacare is making the least popular day — April 15 — even worse.  For about one in four tax filers, it's turning out to be a nightmare, with extra paperwork and penalties.  And for high earners or anyone selling a piece of property or business, Obamacare means higher taxes.

Filing deadline extended for ObamaCare customers given wrong tax forms.  The Treasury Department said Friday [4/3/2015] that hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare customers who received incorrect tax forms earlier this year will not face penalties for filing after April 15.  A statement from the department said that anyone who was not sent the correct replacement tax forms and was "unable to file an accurate tax return" would now have until Oct. 15 to file their taxes, as long as they request an extension by the traditional filing deadline.

IRS blames Obamacare for shoddy customer service.  The IRS is unable to answer most taxpayers' calls this year because it's had to put money into getting up and running for Obamacare, agency Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday [3/18/2015].  Mr. Koskinen said his agency has had to shift tens of millions of dollars from customer service over to build the computer systems and get ready to handle questions this year about Obamacare and the law's tax penalty, which kicks in for the first time this year.

Obamacare's 1095-A Nightmare.  Tax season is stressful enough.  But if you are like countless miserable Americans trapped in the Obamacare 1095-A abyss, it's hell on stilts on a Segway teetering over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The screw-ups, incompetence and bureaucratic blame avoidance over the health insurance exchange tax forms make the healthcare.gov website fiasco look like a flawless product launch.  How do I know?  My family inexplicably got ensnared in the 1095-A paperwork pit.  It's a government roach motel:  Taxpayers check in, but they can never check out.

Taxpayers duck Obamacare tax, snubbing IRS.  Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk.  Still other taxpayers are recoiling when they find out they owe far more than the $95 minimum penalty for not having insurance in 2014, said Christopher Wittich, an accountant in Minnesota.  "And that's a big problem for them," he said.  "They don't have 200 bucks."

Will Only Suckers Pay The ObamaCare Tax Penalty?  This year, as many as 6 million taxpayers will learn that they now owe a "Shared Responsibility Payment" because they didn't have health insurance last year.  The SRP is a clumsy euphemism for the ObamaCare individual mandate tax penalty, which is $95 or 1% of household income, whichever is greater, for those who didn't have insurance in 2014.  That increases to the greater of $325 or 2% of income for those who don't have insurance this year, and then to $695 or 2.5% of income the year after that.

King v. Burwell Is Much Bigger Than Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  Specifically, it is about the separation of powers doctrine.  The Constitution grants the power to tax and spend to Congress alone.  Yet the executive branch, under the Obama administration, has brazenly arrogated the power to spend with its IRS rule authorizing the distribution of subsidies through federal exchanges.  The original cert petition filed with the Court on behalf of the plaintiffs phrases it as follows:  "If the ACA means what it says... the IRS is illegally spending billions of taxpayer dollars every month without congressional authority."

Surprise: Poorest Obamacare Enrollees Face $530 IRS Tax Bill.  The majority (52 percent) of Obamacare enrollees receiving an advance premium tax credit to purchase Obamacare insurance is facing the prospect of paying back $530 of that tax credit to the IRS, according to a new study from H&R Block.  This clawback is reducing the refunds for these taxpayers by 17 percent this filing season.  Under Obamacare, taxpayers earning between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive a tax credit to help purchase insurance on Obamacare exchanges.  This tax credit is calculated using old tax data of the recipients.  The credit is advanced ahead of time to the taxpayer's insurance company.  The taxpayer must reconcile at tax time the advance credit received with the actual credit [he or] she is eligible for.

ObamaCare's Frankenstein Tax Monster Awakens.  Health and Human Services admits it sent nearly a million incorrect tax forms to ObamaCare enrollees.  A government that can't even get something simple like this right has no business running health care.  The form in question is a new one — Form 1095-A — that goes to anyone who signed up for ObamaCare insurance through an exchange.

Democrats are bracing for another Obamacare backlash.  The Obamacare window technically just closed this weekend, but a new round of political headaches could just be beginning for the administration.  That's because it's tax season, and many Americans could soon be getting an unwelcome surprise that they owe the government a penalty for skipping health insurance coverage.  Up to 6 million Americans are expected to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014, according to recent Obama administration projections.

More Obamacare victims noticing that they're on the hook to the IRS.  [W]hen these people realize that they have to give back money (around 53%, according to the above link and the Jackson Hewitt company), they are not going to react positively to the Democratic message of You should have known better.  Yes, perhaps they should have known better than to vote for Democratic politicians that pushed the policies that are now forcing taxpayers to pay out to the IRS... what, that's not what the Democrats meant?

White House Unaware of Obamacare.  Obamacare is a tax.  This really isn't something that should be in dispute.  When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act and called it a tax, President Obama and his followers triumphantly said, "It's the law."  When you Google "Obamacare is a... " the first response isn't "success," but rather "tax."  Now, with tax filing season upon us and a projected 4-6 million households set to be hit with the Obamacare penalty tax, the White House is completely unaware of this tax and the millions affected by it.

Obama rewrites Obamacare law again.  What do you do when you realize that millions of low-information voters are going to get hosed by your signature piece of legislation?  Well, if you're Barack Obama, you unilaterally decide not to enforce the inconvenient provisions of that law.  So it should come as no surprise that the IRS has "clarified" how they'll recapture excess Obamacare subsidies come April 15th.  They won't.

With taxes looming, time to repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate.  The individual mandate in ObamaCare has been able to lay low as the actual financial impact of this draconian, socialistic aspect of President Obama's signature policy, forced on the nation with the support of only Democrats, comes to fruition.  For the uninsured and underinsured, the new tax penalty will come as a surprise, or even a shock.

Will Obamacare ruin your tax refund?  This tax filing season will be the first year that taxpayers deal with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  The controversial law strives to make health care more affordable to lower-income households, but it may also unexpectedly lower tax refunds.  Most people must carry health insurance or pay a fine.  Americans making less than four times the Federal Poverty Guideline based on household size may receive subsidies that reduce their monthly insurance premiums.  Non-exempt Americans not covered by an insurance plan face a penalty from $95 per person to 1% of household income, whichever is greater.  Whether receiving a subsidy or paying a fine, both aspects will be addressed on tax forms and have the potential to surprise filers.

H&R Block: 'No One Can Understand' New Obamacare Tax Code.  H&R Block, the nation's largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014.  "Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it," H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site.  A former IRS Commissioner agrees, and cautions that the new tax requirements will be a "shock to the system," especially afflicting low-income earners who have never itemized on their tax return.

Obamacare penalty may come as shock at tax time.  Those Americans who didn't get health insurance last year could be in for a rude awakening when the IRS asks them to fork over their Obamacare penalty — and it could be a lot more than the $95 many of them may be expecting.  The Affordable Care Act requires those who didn't have insurance last year and didn't qualify for one of the exemptions to pay a tax penalty, which was widely cited as $95 the first year.  But the $95 is actually a minimum, and middle- and upper-income families will actually end up paying 1 percent of their household income as their penalty.

The Editor says...
Your liberal friends (if any) may say, See?  It's only one percent!  How could anyone object to that?  And the easy answer is this:  When has there ever been a tax rate that did not gradually increase?

IRS to Obamacare Victims: You're On Your Own, Chumps.  The Obama administration's relentless efforts to punish the American people for defying its wishes continue, as the Internal Revenue Service throws a massive temper tantrum about "budget cuts" and tells terrified Obamacare victims they're on their own this tax season.

Tax Returns Complicated by Health Care Law and I.R.S. Staff Cuts.  On the plus side, unlike last year when filing season was delayed by a government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service says it is on track this year, and will begin accepting electronic tax returns and processing paper forms on Jan. 20.  But a combination of reduced help from the I.R.S., and potential confusion from new tax requirements under the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law, may mean it could take longer to get your questions answered and file your return.

Wondering how Obamacare affects your tax return?  Most Americans' 2014 tax returns are due in 14 weeks, and the Internal Revenue Service is trying to cope with reams of new Obamacare regulations with a lengthy instruction manual that's likely to send countless taxpayers sprinting toward accountants and other tax preparers.  The manual, called 'Publication 5187 — Health Care Law: What's New for Individuals & Families,' is 21 pages long and written with all the compassion of a mediaeval dentist.  Its central instruction, though, is simple:  Either prove you have medical insurance that satisfies the Affordable Care Act, or prove you have an exemption.  Otherwise, calculate how much extra you owe in taxes.

21 pages of Obamacare tax instructions, IRS demands 'shared responsibility payment'.  The complicated process of signing up for Obamacare is now being matched by IRS instructions to help Americans figure out how much in healthcare taxes they owe Uncle Sam.  The agency has issued 21 pages of instructions, complete with links to at least three long forms and nine tip sheets.  It is geared to those who have Obamacare or who owe a fine, dubbed "shared responsibility payment," for refusing to get health insurance.  The IRS warned that everybody must have health insurance or pay the tax.

Obamacare is beyond repair.  [T]he law's effects go far beyond the doctor's office, weighing down our economy and discouraging hiring.  The law requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to give them health insurance. But because the law defines "full time" as 30 hours or more, employers are keeping employees below that threshold to avoid the mandate entirely.  The worst of the law is yet to come.  This year, the individual mandate kicks in for real.  Anyone who doesn't have health insurance in 2015 will have to pay a tax of $325 or 2% of taxable income.  And this year's tax season will be even more stressful than usual:  H&R Block estimates that up to half of the 6.8 million people who got subsidies last year might have to pay some of those subsidies back.

An ObamaCare Tax Monster Speeds Toward Millions of Filers.  ObamaCare was supposed to keep the nation healthier by expanding access to insurance.  Instead, it will keep the professional tax preparation industry healthy by making the tax code even more hopelessly complex.  As health care analyst Bob Laszewski points out on his widely read blog, the IRS came out with a 21-page booklet explaining what ObamaCare will mean to tax filers this year.  In addition, there's a 12-page publication with instructions on how to claim an exemption from the individual mandate (there are 19 options listed), along with instructions on how to calculate the "shared responsibility payment" for those irresponsible people who didn't buy government-approved insurance and aren't eligible for an exemption.

Millions of Obamacare subsidy recipients may need to pay back-taxes.  [Scroll down]  No, the problem for Democrats here is that this is going to happen every year. The system is more or less designed to assume that people would twiddle with their coverage on a regular basis: as plans changed, improved, or degraded the consumer would be obligated to follow suit, in order to keep the subsidy.  This sounds perfectly reasonable... if you're not the one doing it.  But out in the real world? [...]

Think Filing Taxes Was Tough Before Obamacare? Just Wait.  The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is part health law, part tax law.  Some feel benefited by the law, some burdened by it.  And one's perceptions about that can change over time.  Either way, you may be annoyed by the extra forms and extra tax compliance, even if your tax bill doesn't go up.  The IRS has a far more important role in the law than you might think.

Obamacare tax surprise looming.  Obamacare enrollees who received subsidies to help pay for coverage will soon have to reconcile how much they actually earned in 2014 with how much they estimated when they applied many, many months ago.  This will likely lead to some very unhappy Americans.  Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.

ObamaCare fines rising in 2015, IRS prepares to collect.  The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 — and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service.  The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year.  But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year.  The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest — $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more.

H&R Block, Your Taxes, and ObamaCare.  Inasmuch as [H&R] Block bases "customer bills on the complexity of their returns, such as how many and which tax forms are involved," does this mean that ObamaCare is going to make federal income taxes even more of a headache?  For some taxpayers, the answer is yes[.]

7th Circuit dumps doctors' challenge to IRS enforcement of Obamacare.  A conservative physicians group and a Wisconsin member that had challenged an IRS plan to collect the penalty from individuals who don't get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act lost again Friday in a federal court.  The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a Wisconsin federal judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed last October by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney, who treat patients on a cash basis, and want to prevent everyone from being covered by health insurance.

Inside the IRS, part 6.  It is interesting to note that [Fred] Schindler was heavily involved in the implementation of Obamacare, and in fact was director of implementation for the IRS.  That would include coordinating with the office of chief counsel on a basic issue such as researching statutory language.  Based on the stories that appeared last summer, he was suspended for taking improper gifts and was slated for termination.  Maybe that was all smoke and mirrors, maybe he was later exonerated, maybe a lot of things, but the bottom line is they took care of him.

IRS Has No Strategy for Fraudulent Obamacare Tax Credits.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has no system in place to prevent fraud when individuals apply for tax credits under Obamacare, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  The IG said in an audit released Tuesday that the IRS has no plan to manage, monitor, or mitigate fraud risk when processing premium tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

New Obamacare marketing — 'Sign up and shut up or the IRS will be calling'.  As the truth about Obamacare reveals itself, President Obama has admitted that he will have to "remarket and rebrand" his plan.  How does the White House think they will "remarket" Obamacare to voters?  Telling the truth could not possibly achieve good results.  The truth reveals that under Obamacare, you can't keep your current insurance plan unless Obama's Washington likes it, you can't keep your doctor or local hospital unless you are lucky, and that you will pay higher premiums and higher deductibles to get fewer choices.  Of course, there will be no chance for appeal.

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Case Challenging Obamacare Subsidies.  The judge will not issue an injunction to stop the IRS from issuing subsidies, meaning Obamacare can move forward as planned.  However, the lawsuit will also move forward and depending on the outcome, could limit IRS power to issue Obamacare subsidies.

How You and Your Family Can Escape Obamacare.  The Affordable Care Act runs more than 2,600 pages and now hundreds of thousands of regulations.  No one knows every single provision that is in the law, which Congress did not even bother to read before passing it.  Among its most controversial provisions is the mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance or face fines from the IRS.  Those fines can even take the form of wage garnishment.  Americans who fail to comply and pay the fine can end up in jail.  There is, though, a provision buried in Obamacare that provides a way out of having to comply with the individual mandate.

Don't Sign, Don't Pay the Fine.  [Scroll down]  Now I know what some of you are thinking.  If I don't sign and I don't pay the fine, the IRS could come after me.  Maybe, but by the time that happens, ObamaCare will be a corpse.  Moreover, I'm betting a ton of Americans would be willing to pay that fine, plus interest if necessary, to guarantee ObamaCare's demise.  And that's assuming the IRS can come after you.  In order for that to happen, they'd have to prove you refused to sign up for the program.

ObamaCare Enforcer Likely Shared Tax Data With White House.  The IRS official in charge of tax-exempt organizations when the unit targeted Tea Party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for enforcing ObamaCare and may have illegally shared confidential tax data.

Republicans say Obamacare official leaked IRS data.  House Republican investigators Wednesday [10/9/2013] accused the woman in charge of the IRS' Obamacare compliance office of having leaked private taxpayer information to the White House, saying that calls into question the agency's trustworthiness in administering the new health care reform law.

House votes 232-185 to block the IRS from enforcing ObamaCare.  The House voted Friday to prevent the IRS from enforcing any aspect of ObamaCare, a bill meant to exact revenge against an agency that Republicans say is incapable of neutral enforcement of the law.  Members approved the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act in a 232-185 vote.  Four Democrats supported the bill along with every Republican.  The vote capped off several days of work in the House on bills aimed at reining in government regulation and government overreach.

Businesses must FAX their Obamacare exchange applications in.  Yes, faxes are still a thing, apparently.  You can even do them from your computer.  And if you're a small business owner wanting to get Obamacare coverage, you're going to have to!

Affordable Care Act To Have [its] Own Police.  It was bad enough to know that an Internal Revenue Service that targets the political opponents of the Obama administration between partying on the taxpayer dime would be in charge of monitoring compliance with ObamaCare's individual mandate via our tax returns.  Now, the Daily Mail, which lodged a Freedom of Information Act [request] with Health and Human Services, reports that the agency has hired a bevy of criminal investigators as we continue to learn what is in the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act.

IRS Chief: I Want to Keep My Health Care Plan, Not Switch to Obamacare.  IRS chief Daniel Werfel says he wants to keep his health care plan, not switch to Obamacare:  "Mr. Werfel, last week your employees who are a member of the National Treasury Employee's Union sent a form letter for union members to send in to ask they be exempt from the exchanges," a congressman asked.  "Why are your employees trying to exempt themselves from the very law that you're tasked to enforce?"

Agency responsible for enforcing Obamacare doesn't want it to apply to them.  Millions of Americans are going to "go through a change" in their insurance policies and premiums.  Why should [IRS chief Daniel] Werfel and his employees be any different?

IRS chief says he'd rather not switch to ObamaCare plan.  The head of the agency tasked with enforcing ObamaCare said Thursday that he'd rather not get his own health insurance from the system created by the health care overhaul.  "I would prefer to stay with the current policy that I'm pleased with rather than go through a change if I don't need to go through that change," said acting IRS chief Danny Werfel, during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

Cantor on ObamaCare: The IRS in doctors' offices threatens everyone's privacy.  A few weeks ago, the White House announced it would delay the employer mandate under ObamaCare.  The evidence is clear, this law is threatening job growth and turning full-time jobs into part-time jobs.  On top of the negative economic and health consequences of ObamaCare, the law requires an unholy union between the IRS and your protected health information.

Treasury Employees Union launches a campaign to help IRS goons elude PPACA exchanges.
IRS: Obamacare for Thee but Not For Me.  Among the most offensive features of the ironically titled "Affordable Care Act" is its designation of the Internal Revenue Service as the main enforcer of the law's many mandates, taxes, penalties, and reporting requirements.  It exponentially increases the power of a group of bureaucrats notorious for repeatedly abusing their authority.  Now, highlighting the growing gulf between the government and the governed that has become the hallmark of the Obama era, these IRS enforcers are asking their congressional representatives to spare them the indignity of enrolling in Obamacare's insurance exchanges.

IRS employees refuse to get shoved into Barack Obama's [...] health care system.  ObamaCare is all about expanding the power of the Internal Revenue Service — that's the only promise it has actually kept, the only part of the 11,000-page program that's actually working the way it was supposed to.  The IRS became as important to health care as any doctor or hospital when ObamaCare was passed, because they are its enforcement arm, and like all central planning schemes, there's a huge amount of enforcing to be done.

Obamacare's Branch of the NSA.  President Obama has had a poor record of job creation, but at least one small economic sector is doing well: community organizing.  The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of "patient navigators" to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling.  These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.

ObamaCare Unraveling.  Having fewer companies offering affordable coverage January 1 could mean more individuals would have to pay the mandate tax, or pay for more costly coverage.  You guessed it, the governmrent defines what's affordable coverage — the IRS is the lead agency asking you, your household and your employer about coverage versus your wages here, to determine if you owe the mandate tax.

IRS Scandal Brings Calls for Heads to Roll, Obamacare to be Delayed.  With allegations swirling that the IRS was used as a political weapon against groups that are conservative, libertarian, or constitutionalist in nature came news it was also used as a shield for progressive, "green," and other groups.  At about the same time, news also broke of a lawsuit alleging the IRS had improperly obtained millions of personal health records.  This raises more concerns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, because the IRS has a big role to play in its implementation and enforcement.

House to Vote on Bill Prohibiting IRS Enforcement of Obamacare.  The House of Representatives will take up a bill that would stop the Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Services, from implementing and enforcing the provisions of Obamacare.  The bill, authored by Georgia Republican Tom Price and co-sponsored by 114 other House members, is just two pages long and claims its purpose is to "prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from enforcing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010."

IRS dumps up to 100,000 Social Security numbers on the Internet.  We're in the very best of hands, aren't we?  Just wait until the people who slipped up and posted up to 100,000 Social Security numbers onto a website are in charge of your health care information.

Is America in a Pre-Revolutionary State this July 4th?  We are two-thirds of the way into the most incompetent presidency in our history.  People everywhere are fed up. [...] And now looming is the monster of monsters, ObamaCare, the healthcare reform almost no one wanted and fewer understood.  It will be administered by the Internal Revenue Service, an organization that has been revealed to be a kind of post-modern American Gestapo, asking not just to examine our accounting books but the books we read.  What could be more totalitarian than that?

Government gone wild.  With each passing week comes more proof that President Obama's government is out of control.  The past couple of months alone have produced a long list of scandals:  The Internal Revenue Service spent taxpayer dollars to target groups Mr. Obama considered his opponents. [...] In the coming months, when the full implementation of Obamacare draws near, the Internal Revenue Service will be in charge of enforcing the law's various mandates and rules.  It has played politics with our taxes.  Soon, it will have the power to play politics with our health care.  If the events of the past few weeks have proven anything, it's that there will be no one to stop them.

Confused IRS Tax Rules Threaten Obamacare Rollout.  Last month, Gallup conducted a survey to determine small business attitudes toward the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare.  The results were not encouraging for backers of the law.  The polling firm determined that as many as a quarter of small business employers were restricting job openings to part-time workers.  Nearly half said Obamacare would be bad for their business, compared to only 9 percent who said it would be a good thing.  More than half believed they would be forced to reduce the quality of the health care they provide.

Think the IRS Is Bad Now? Just Wait.  The Internal Revenue Service has never been an agency much loved by the American people.  With the IRS's targeting of conservative groups, its already bad reputation has now sunk to a new low.  But the scandal raises a critical question:  If the IRS can't manage an increase of 1,700 applications for tax-exempt status that the agency said spurred its targeting of conservative groups, how will the IRS handle its massive new role in implementing ObamaCare?

Republicans Focus Fire on IRS Involvement in Obamacare.  After the Supreme Court's decision labeling Obamacare's mandate a tax, the IRS has become the crucial centerpiece of President Obama's health care rollout.  But with the IRS' targeting of conservative non-profits, Republicans are calling into question the agency's involvement in the application of Obamacare.

Getting The IRS Out of Obamacare.  As the IRS scandal continues to take shape and the massive overreach of one of the most powerful agencies in Big Government becomes even more apparent, it becomes frightening to think this same agency will soon be heavily involved in your personal healthcare situation.  Remember folks, as the United States Supreme Court said nearly a year ago, Obamacare is a tax and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the IRS.

This Won't Turn Out Well.  On August 1, the one-year "safe harbor" for religious charities objecting to provisions of Obamacare will end.  Starting then, these nonprofit employers will be forced to violate their religious beliefs or pay large fines.  In charge of collecting the fines will be our recently newsworthy friends at the Internal Revenue Service.

Obamacare's Big Brother Database.  In spite of the blatant, political corruption at the IRS, the Obama administration is moving full steam ahead with Obamacare, a law that gives unprecedented new access and powers to bureaucrats at the IRS and at least four other federal government agencies.  Is that really going to undo the cynicism we have about government and protect Americans from further targeting?

Obamacare puts the IRS on steroids.  If ever there were an argument as to why Obamacare should be repealed and defunded, these numbers — coupled with the IRS revelations of recent weeks — tell the tale.

Top IRS Official For Obamacare Implementation Placed On Administrative Leave.  Sources say a key official in charge of overseeing health reform implementation, as well as another staffer, have been put on leave for accepting more than $1,000 in free meals and other items at a 2010 conference.

Defund ObamaCare's 16,500 New IRS Agents.  Unable to police the supposedly "rogue" agents it has now, the IRS wants thousands more to police your body under ObamaCare.  Lawmakers should impose a hiring freeze instead.

The IRS attempts to save Obamacare by unilaterally declaring that it will disregard the law.
An IRS Scandal Inseparable from Obamacare.  Thanks to ubiquitous if imperfectly honest press coverage, most Americans know about the IRS scandal involving tax-exempt applications from various Tea Party groups.  The public is still, however, getting the mushroom treatment on two other outrages by that rogue agency.  The media have devoted scant coverage to its theft of 60 million medical records, now the subject of a class action lawsuit, and they have been all but silent regarding the illegal IRS scheme to fund Obamacare's federal insurance exchanges.

Giant octopus: IRS has 8 offices to enforce Obamacare.  The Internal Revenue Service, charged with implementing the biggest change in tax laws in 20 years due to Obamacare, has created eight offices and special "teams" to handle the chore, way more than initially revealed.  Besides the top office headed by the woman in the middle of the IRS-Tea Party scandal, there are seven others and a special enforcement team that make up an organization chart that mirrors the organization of the IRS itself, according to a Treasury Inspector General's report.

The unwelcome role of the IRS in Obamacare.  Let us stipulate that now might not be the best time — with IRS officials exposed for abusing power, caught in self-serving deceptions, invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination — to dramatically expand the authority and size of their agency.  But this is what Obamacare requires.  Thousands of new IRS agents will implement 40-odd provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the exact number is a matter of dispute since the law itself is so confusing.

Exclusive: IRS Org Chart Puts Ingram, Lerner at Center of Power.  An official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) organizational chart of the Tax Exempt & Government Entities division from February 2011 offers a more complete picture of the authority Lois Lerner — the now-removed IRS director of the tax-exempt unit — and Sarah Hall Ingram — presently tasked with overseeing the implementation of Obamacare — held as the IRS scheme to politically target conservative groups was hatched.

Big Government's Abuses of Power.  We have just learned that the Internal Revenue Service before the 2012 election predicated its tax-exemption policies on politics.  It inordinately denied tax exemption to groups considered conservative or otherwise antagonistic to the president's agenda.  If the supposedly nonpartisan IRS is perceived as skewing our taxes on the basis of our politics, then the entire system of trust in self-reporting is rendered null and void.  Worse still, the bureaucratic overseer at the center of the controversy, Sarah Hall Ingram, now runs the IRS division charged with enforcing compliance with the new Obamacare requirements.

Propaganda: NPR Incorrectly Claims IRS Has Nothing to do With Obamacare.  During the May 22 broadcast of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation," host Neil Conan repeatedly contradicted a guest by claiming that the IRS has nothing at all to do with Obamacare.  NPR's Conan is, of course, completely incorrect.  The IRS is up to its Tea Party harassing neck in Obamacare.  The guest Conan contradicted was Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist and pollster.  Conway was on to discuss the various scandals in which Obama is mired and close to the end of her segment she questioned how the American people can trust the IRS to implement Obamacare.  Conan initially pressed her on the claim saying that she must have "misspoken."

Time to Go for the Kill.  The IRS scandal provides Republicans and conservatives with the opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare now.  The House Republican majority should refuse to fund the expansion of the IRS necessary to manage Obamacare.  Without that funding, and hiring thousands of additional agents, the IRS cannot even begin to manage Obamacare. [...] Nobody wants the IRS playing political games with their health care and health records, like it did with the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and Equal Protection of Tea Party and conservative organizations.

ObamaCare, Tea Party Targeter Run By Same IRS Exec.  The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of tax-exempt organizations when the unit targeted Tea Party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for enforcing ObamaCare.

Obama's Defenders: He's Not Corrupt, Just Dishonest and Incompetent.  [T]he IRS's reach and power is expanded as part of ObamaCare — itself an expansion of government along demonstrably failed strategic lines.  So it's no surprise that after the IRS systematically targeted conservative and pro-Israel groups in order to eviscerate the First Amendment rights of those who disagreed with President Obama (and at the direction of high-ranking elected Democrats), the IRS official responsible for overseeing tax-exempt groups has since been moved over to run the IRS office responsible for ObamaCare.

This Is What Tyranny Looks Like.  Here is a woman we will need to learn much more about in the coming weeks.  Sarah Hall Ingram is a highly valued employee at the IRS.  In the last three years she has received $103,390 in bonuses for her excellent work.  She was the Commissioner of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entitles Division.  Under her leadership, groups that expressed a fear of large, out-of-control government were systematically crushed by her branch of our large, out-of-control government.  They were specifically singled out for harassment for political reasons.  Secret information about the conservative applicants was leaked to leftist opposition groups to facilitate further harassment.

IRS official in charge during Tea Party targeting now runs agency's Obamacare office.  Sarah Hall Ingram is a career IRS employee, having graduated from Georgetown Law in 1982 to start her career in IRS Tax Litigation.  She became Commissioner of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entitles Division of the IRS in 2009. [...] Surely, the anti-Bush fervor and politics of an off-year election would have created a disproportionate number of liberal groups applying for status even pre-Citizens United — a situation similar to the one that allegedly justified the IRS' improper scrutiny of conservatives in 2010 — yet we haven't heard about Ingram coming down systematically on them.

IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office.  The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.  Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012.  But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS' Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today [5/16/2013].

IRS official who oversaw unit targeting Tea Party now heads ObamaCare office.  The IRS official who led the tax-exempt organizations unit when Tea Party groups were targeted is now in charge of the IRS office responsible for ObamaCare, two Capitol Hill sources told Fox News.  The acknowledgement comes after the administration announced that the official's successor Joseph Grant — who had only been on the job a few days — would be retiring.

Official in charge of corrupt IRS department promoted — to top ObamaCare enforcer.  I see media headlines all over the place describing [Joseph] Grant as the second person to "lose his job" or "resign" over the IRS scandal.  That is not trueNo one has lost his job over this scandal yet.  The Acting Commissioner was due to leave anyway, unless President Obama actively re-appointed him for another term.  The commissioner of the tax-exempt organizations department is retiring gracefully.  Furthermore, Grant only became the commissioner of his department last week.  He was the Deputy Commissioner before that, so he has strong links to the scandal, but he wasn't the top executive when the outrage occurred.  That would be one Sara Hall Ingram.  And she didn't get fired or disciplined.  She got promoted.  She is now the director of the IRS' Affordable Care Office.  In other words, the person in charge during the worst abuse-of-power scandal in modern history is now the chief enforcer for ObamaCare.
[Emphasis in original.]

Biggest Question About IRS Scandal: Why The Apology?  The Internal Revenue has always been perceived as the bane of law-abiding and long-suffering taxpayers.  It can also unfortunately be a punishing henchman of a corrupt administration.  In the past it has allowed itself to be used to punish critics and enemies of a despotic government more totalitarian than democratic.  News that the Obama administration had requested the hiring of thousands of new IRS to enforce Obamacare only confirmed fears that the IRS was being used once again to do an administration's dirty work.

Outgoing Head Of IRS Gets Grilled By Republican Lawmakers Who Call Him 'Uncooperative' And 'Drunk On Power'.  Members of Congress grilled former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller on Capitol Hill Friday morning [5/17/2013], in an attempt to get answers on the IRS' inappropriate targeting of conservative-sounding groups that were applying for tax-exempt status.

'Is this still America?' Congressional hearing turns into IRS smackdown.  The IRS under the Obama administration painted targets on the backs of conservatives beginning in 2010, and ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller apologized to the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday [5/17/2013].  But members on both sides of the aisle were furious, and castigated him for the mismanagement and political gamesmanship the IRS engaged in on his watch.

Oops, Maybe Government is Tyrannical.  Less than two weeks ago President Obama stood in front of graduates from The Ohio State University and told them to reject those who warn of government tyranny. [...] Practically overnight people labeled conspiracy theorists by the elite were proven prescient interpreters of how big government operates when news broke last Friday that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in their tax-exempt applications.  The media pile-on against the administration is so ferocious Fox News could run live feeds from its competitors without losing a beat.  It should be so because the partisan treatment of hundreds of groups is stunning.

IRS head on targeting tea party: 'It is absolutely not illegal'.  The outgoing leader of the Internal Revenue Service drew audible "wows" from Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday [5/17/2013] for saying he doesn't think what the agency did to tea party groups was illegal.  "It is absolutely not illegal," Steve Miller, the acting commissioner of the IRS who resigned this week because of the scandal, said while being questioned by Georgia Rep. Tom Price.

Obamacare isn't about health care, it's about power.  Obamacare's heavy reliance on the IRS seems somehow fitting, as the entire law relies on a scheme of government controls and regulations to work its will on the health care system.  The law imposes price controls on insurance companies and extends a system of price controls for pharmaceutical companies.  Obamacare also places a board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the center of its plans to control health care costs.

IRS sued for stealing the medical records of 10 million Americans.  The last scandal dampening rods just failed, and the reactor core at the Internal Revenue service may be about to blow.

How the IRS Scandal Threatens Obamacare.  Obamacare is not merely a massive overhaul of the health care system.  It is also a substantial expansion of the Internal Revenue Service.  That's because the law relies on the tax collection agency to both enforce its individual mandate and administer the tax credits the law offers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance.  Following recent revelations that agents in multiple IRS offices, including tax officials in Washington, targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, a number of former and current Republican legislators are already counseling caution about the agency's role in administering the law.

Will The IRS Abuse Its ObamaCare Enforcement Powers Too?  As nonconservative groups complain of politically motivated targeting by the IRS, we're reminded it's the IRS that's going to be enforcing one of the greatest expansions of government power in our history.

IRS Admission Fans Flames of Anti-'Obamacare' Push.  The admission by the Internal Revenue Service that it singled out conservative advocacy groups for intense scrutiny provides conservatives with what one Hill aide described as "fresh ammunition" to attack the 2010 health care law — especially given the critical role the IRS is expected to play in implementing and regulating the law.  The timing of the IRS admission, coming just days before the House will vote on the full repeal of a polarizing law the IRS will have a major role in enforcing, has conservative lawmakers and outside groups eager to talk.

Coming Next January: New Tax Form to Comply With Obamacare Mandate .  I've been wondering how the IRS was going to determine whether taxpayers were complying with the individual mandate contained in Obamacare.  I needn't have wondered.  The IRS is a bureaucracy and what do bureaucracies adore almost as much as taxpayer-financed trips to Vegas for conferences?  Forms, of course.

New Obamacare Challenge: Lawsuit Says IRS Is Flouting the Law As Written by Congress.  Here comes another legal challenge to Obamacare:  On Thursday [5/2/2013], a group of small business owners and individuals in six states sued the federal government over an IRS regulation that they say goes beyond the "plain language" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In a nutshell, the plaintiffs argue that federal subsidies intended to help lower-income people afford insurance are going to states that should not get them.  The way the Affordable Care Act is written, states that refuse to set up their own health care exchanges are not eligible for the federal premium subsidies.

IRS moves to collect billions in fees from healthcare law.  The Internal Revenue Service on Friday unveiled its proposal to raise tens of billions of dollars through annual fees on health insurers, prompting fierce criticism from industry groups who warn the costs will be passed along to consumers.  The proposed rule from President Obama's healthcare law will be published for public consideration in Monday's Federal Register.  The rule would assess annual fees on most insurers that would total $8 billion next year and rise thereafter, eclipsing $14 billion in 2018, according to the IRS.

You must not stand on your own two feet — even for one day.
IRS: Parents Must Pay Federal Fine for Uninsured Kids.  In new, final regulations issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that parents must pay a federal fine under Obamacare if their children or dependent spouses are uninsured for any part of the year.

House committees investigate whether the IRS illegally expanded tax subsides to strengthen Obamacare.
Exceeding its Mandate.  Two House committees are investigating whether the IRS illegally implemented an important provision of Obamacare.  House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) and Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) sent a letter on Tuesday [1/29/2013] to the acting secretary of the Treasury Department and the acting commissioner of the IRS requesting documents and interviews with specific officials.

IRS Warns Employers: Do Not Try to Avoid ObamaCare Insurance Mandate.  The Internal Revenue Service warned employers in a new regulatory proposal not to come up with clever schemes to avoid Obamacare's employer health insurance mandate.  The IRS said it would soon issue "anti-abuse rules" to discourage employers from taking advantage of any regulatory loopholes.

The New Face of Health Care — the IRS.  When President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka "Obamacare") goes fully into effect in 2014, the American people will only then begin to see the implications of its thorough government takeover of health care, in all its glory.  But what they are not expecting is the massively expanded role of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") in our lives, as the IRS is the chief agency responsible for enforcing the Act.

Illegal IRS Rule to Increase Taxes & Spending under Obamacare.  Contrary to the clear language of the statute and congressional intent, this [IRS] rule issues tax credits in health insurance "exchanges" established by the federal government.  It thus triggers a $2,000-per-employee tax on employers and appropriates billions of dollars to private health insurance companies in states with a federal Exchange, also contrary to the clear language of the statute and congressional intent.  Since those illegal expenditures will exceed the revenues raised by the illegal tax on employers, this rule also increases the federal deficit by potentially hundreds of billions of dollars, again contrary to the clear language of the statute and congressional intent.  The rule is therefore illegal.  It lacks any statutory authority.  It is contrary to both the clear language of the PPACA and congressional intent.  It cannot be justified on other legal grounds.

Obamacare's Empty Mandates.  Turns out, the government has no way to enforce the individual mandate — the tax that scofflaws have to pay for failing to get health insurance coverage.  That's right.  There is no penalty in the law for refusing to pay the tax.  So that unlike paying income taxes, if you don't get coverage, the IRS cannot seize your bank accounts or dock your wages.  They can't even charge you interest on unpaid penalties!  So how is the IRS going to enforce it?

LePage says IRS is the 'new Gestapo' in radio address.  Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to blast President Obama's health care law and described the Internal Revenue Service as the "new Gestapo."  The IRS description was a reference to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay an annual penalty when filing their tax returns.  The provision, known more broadly as the individual mandate, was the subject of a multi-state lawsuit, but was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The IRS is the Iron Fist to Enforce Obamacare.  One of the arguments raised against the health care reform law is that few people want their health care run by the same people who run the IRS.  But the IRS will enforce the law.  According to Newsmax, the Obama administration is transferring $500 million to the IRS to allow the tax agency to begin enforcing tax provisions of Obamacare outside the normal appropriations process and before the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

Army Of IRS Enforcers Can't Make ObamaCare Legitimate.  After foisting its 2,700-page health law on the public, the White House now plans to enforce its detested mandate by siccing the IRS on unwilling citizens.  All that stands in the way is "the consent of the governed."

White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law.  The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president's healthcare law.  The money is only part of the IRS's total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process.  The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.

IRS Commissioner Can't Say How Many New Agents IRS Will Need to Enforce Obamacare.  Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman said at the National Press Club on Monday [4/5/2010] that the IRS cannot say how many new agents it will need to enforce the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama last month.

16,500 More Reasons to Vote Republican in November.  Thanks to the Democrats, the most hated agency in America, the IRS, just got 16,500 agents bigger.  By sprinkling in an additional 16,500 IRS agents into their health care mix, the Democrats may have just placed upon their own backs a backbreaking straw.

IRS chief:  Buy health insurance or lose your tax refund.  Individuals who don't purchase health insurance may lose their tax refunds according to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.  After acknowledging the recently passed health-care bill limits the agency's options for enforcing the individual mandate, Shulman told reporters that the most likely way to penalize individuals that don't comply is by reducing or confiscating their tax refunds.

Obamacare expands IRS authority, may cause greater tax non-compliance.  Not only does the Democratic health care bill include tax hikes, as reported by Americans for Tax Reform, it also would expand the role of the Internal Revenue Service.

IRSteroids.  As if the Internal Revenue Service doesn't have enough power, the agency says it will regulate tax preparers.  And ObamaCare gives it even more clout.

GOP lawmakers believe over $1 billion spent to promote Obamacare.  Republicans are demanding greater transparency on how much the administration spent to promote and implement Obamacare — and hitting back at President Obama's claim that he "didn't make a hard sell."  The new effort comes after Obama's claim that the administration met its goal of enrolling more than 7 million people without spending billions.  "We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said.  "We didn't have billions of dollars to spend on commercials like our critics did."  But both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill estimate the administration has spent roughly $4 to 5 billion to get the Affordable Care Act running, including hundreds of millions to build and repair healthcare.gov.

Gov't Spent $700 Million Promoting Obamacare.  President Barack Obama contended that the government did not "make a hard sell" for Obamacare, despite his administration spending nearly $700 million to promote the law.  "We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, praising the 7.1 million sign ups for the Affordable Care Act.  "We didn't have billions of dollars of commercials like some critics did."  However, last July the Associated Press reported that Obamacare's marketing campaign would cost at least $684 million.  [Updated later to $684 million.]

The Editor says...
You must purchase insurance from us by March 31 or you will be fined, and the IRS will come after you.  Is that not a hard sell?

Watchdog requests IRS review of group that is promoting ObamaCare.  A watchdog group is asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of a organization crucial in helping to promote ObamaCare.  Cause of Action has asked the IRS to investigate Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage options under the healthcare law.

Even IRS Head Would Keep His Health Plan Over ObamaCare.  The American people don't want it, even Democrats think it's a train wreck, and now members of the agency charged with enforcing it have said it's hazardous to our health, financial and otherwise.  While testifying Thursday [8/1/2013] on Capitol Hill, Daniel Werfel, acting chief of the Internal Revenue Service, the agency charged with enforcing ObamaCare's mandates, told a House committee he would rather keep his current health insurance plan than make the switch to one offered by the Affordable Care Act.

House votes 232-185 to block the IRS from enforcing ObamaCare.  The House voted Friday to prevent the IRS from enforcing any aspect of ObamaCare, a bill meant to exact revenge against an agency that Republicans say is incapable of neutral enforcement of the law.  Members approved the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act in a 232-185 vote.  Four Democrats supported the bill along with every Republican.  The vote capped off several days of work in the House on bills aimed at reining in government regulation and government overreach.

The New Face of Health Care — the IRS.  When President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka "Obamacare") goes fully into effect in 2014, the American people will only then begin to see the implications of its thorough government takeover of health care, in all its glory.  But what they are not expecting is the massively expanded role of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") in our lives, as the IRS is the chief agency responsible for enforcing the Act.

House committees investigate whether the IRS illegally expanded tax subsides to strengthen Obamacare.
Exceeding its Mandate.  Two House committees are investigating whether the IRS illegally implemented an important provision of Obamacare.  House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) and Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) sent a letter on Tuesday [1/29/2013] to the acting secretary of the Treasury Department and the acting commissioner of the IRS requesting documents and interviews with specific officials.

Four Tactical Steps That Will Defeat Obamacare.  [#1.]  Denounce this bill for the lying fraud scheme it is:  Just as an example:  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) "scored" the Pelosi bill to cost $1.055 trillion — far above Barack Obama's $900 billion ceiling.  Pelosi immediately held a press conference and announced her bill would cost $894 billion — a figure that did not appear in the CBO report and which could be reached only by subtracting projected IRS-administered penalties from the actual cost.

Obamacare bill

IRS Issues 159 Pages of Obamacare Rules.  It took the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 159 pages to explain one new Obamacare tax on investments that will be used to pay for Obamacare.  Only individuals and families making more than $200,000 and $250,000, respectively, will be impacted by the tax, which "applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives."

Anyone For More Obamacare Tax Rules?  This stack explains the tax on people making more than $200,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (families), and suggests that Obama's plan to lower unemployment is to expand the ranks of the IRS until it employs as many people as the military.

My Doctor Is Now the IRS.  The Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, "A Brief Overview of the Law, Implementation, and Legal Challenges," gives a new definition to Nancy Pelosi's statement that we had "to pass Obamacare to find out what's in it."  Not only did Congressmen not read the 2,700-page law before they voted and passed it by twisting arms and briberies, but they now have to be informed of the disaster they have created.

IRS: Employers Face $36,500 Per Worker Tax for 'Obamacare Dumping'.  The Internal Revenue Service ruled it will impose a tax penalty on employers of up to $36,500 per worker for dumping employees into the Obamacare exchanges. [...] The IRS ruling is an effort by the Obama administration to stop employers with 50 or more workers from doing what critics of the health law said they would do:  pay a penalty for not providing insurance and dump workers into the unpopular Obamacare program.

What the IRS Obamacare ruling means.  The headline at the New York times suggests that the Obama administration has cut the escape for business' trying to avoid the costs of Obamacare: [...] But while some might crow over this change here is what it's going to mean:  [#1]  Pink slips.  You don't have to provide health insurance to people who do not work for you.  If the government won't allow companies to make a cost-effective decision they will cut those costs a different way and the cheapest and fastest is to cut people.  [#2]  Part Timers:  If you can't afford to lose people the next choice will be to reduce hours or create new part-time positions to replace the full-time ones that required insurance coverage.  [#3]  Hiring Freezes:  If you work for a company on the edge of the Healthcare requirements and in an industry where part-time workers simply won't do be prepared to do a lot more work with a lot less help.

IRS Warns Employers: Do Not Try to Avoid ObamaCare Insurance Mandate.  The Internal Revenue Service warned employers in a new regulatory proposal not to come up with clever schemes to avoid Obamacare's employer health insurance mandate.  The IRS said it would soon issue "anti-abuse rules" to discourage employers from taking advantage of any regulatory loopholes.

16,500 more IRS agents needed to enforce Obamacare.  New tax mandates and penalties included in Obamacare will cause the greatest expansion of the Internal Revenue Service since World War II, according to a release from Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Obamacare's Hit Man.  Last week the Congressional Budget Office reported that it expects that the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services will spend up to an additional $200 billion over the next decade on administering Obamacare.  That's in addition to the estimated $1 trillion that will be spent in 2014-2019 under the new healthcare law.  Much of the money will go to hiring hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to administer Obamacare over the next decade.

A Bigger, Badder IRS:  Brought to You by Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  And why is this tax reporting stuff even in a health-care bill?  To help fund it, that's why.  To help Pelosi and Reid and Obama get the faux deficit score they needed, the measure is expected to raise $13.7 billion over ten years — though that's before administrative and discretionary costs, which will add another $115 billion or so to the bill's official price tag.  Pass the bill to find out what's in it.

Why Obamacare Might Force Doctors to Perform Sex-Reassignment Surgeries.  You've heard about the Obamacare Individual Mandate.  That's the one that requires every person in America to get government-approved health insurance or face significant IRS penalties.




The IRS operates in cahoots with other federal agencies

The DEA:

Exclusive: IRS manual detailed DEA's use of hidden intel evidence.  Criminal defense lawyers are challenging a U.S. government practice of hiding the tips that led to some drug investigations, information that the lawyers say is essential to fair trials in U.S. courts.

Creepy: IRS In On DEA's 'Special Operations' Trickery.  It's amusing when lefties get upset at stuff like this.  They're too thick to understand that mammoth growth of the federal government will always lead to widespread abuse.  Better to err on the side of sanity and assume the worst from the federal level at all times.

The FEC:

The Other Targeting Scandal.  The IRS targeting scandal is best understood as part of a larger effort to limit the political speech of conservatives and business groups.  That became clearer last week regarding the Federal Election Commission, and now evidence is spreading to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Senior Republicans on the House Oversight Committee recently wrote to new SEC Chairman Mary Jo White to report on disturbing events that occurred under her predecessor, and to request agency documents.  As at the IRS, there's an emerging pattern at the SEC of senior officials rolling over career staff to politicize the work of a powerful federal agency.

When Scandals Reach Into the Oval Office.  Evidence is not the same as proof.  Proof comes as evidence accumulates.  But the fact that Barack Obama is the only common supervisor of all the corrupt activity in various departments of the federal government is certainly compelling evidence.  [Jay] Carney's insistence that there is no evidence whatever that this scandal goes as high as the oval office is simply wrong.

IRS Union Tied to FEC.  The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) represents the bureaucracy that staffs the Internal Revenue Service.  The IRS.  The NTEU also represents the bureaucracy that staffs the Federal Elections Commission.  The FEC.  The NTEU has a political action committee — the Treasury Employees Political Action Committee.  TEPAC.  TEPAC routinely gives over 90% of its contributions to Democrats.

Republican says e-mails could mean FEC-IRS collusion.  The vice chairman of the Federal Election Commission told CNN on Monday [8/5/2013] he has seen numerous undisclosed e-mails between FEC staffers and the Internal Revenue Service that raise new questions about potential collusion between the two federal agencies in the alleged targeting of conservative political groups.

Another Agency Goes IRS.  One big question raised by IRS political targeting is whether Obama officials or their bureaucratic allies unleashed the power of the administrative state for partisan ends.  Now evidence is emerging that officials at another agency, the Federal Election Commission, used their enforcement power as an anti-conservative sword.  The House Ways and Means Committee this week released emails showing that, in 2008 and 2009, the FEC's general counsel staff sought tax information about conservative political groups from Lois Lerner of the IRS.  Ms. Lerner [...] had previously worked at ... the FEC's general counsel office.

New Links Emerge in the IRS Scandal.  Congressional investigators this week released emails suggesting that staff at the Federal Election Commission have been engaged in their own conservative targeting, with help from the IRS's infamous Lois Lerner.  This means more than just an expansion of the probe to the FEC.  It's a new link to the Obama team.

Did IRS Help Other Agencies Target Conservatives?  We now know that IRS honchos shared information about conservative groups with other agencies, using the vast data in the IRS databanks to help other federal officials make cases against conservatives.  Now we need to know how much, how often and what kind.  Email exchanges between Lois Lerner, the Democrat at the center of the probe into abuses at the IRS, and a lawyer at the Federal Elections Commission show Lerner and the lawyer teaming up to try to block a conservative group from winning a case before the commission.

E-mails Suggest Collusion Between FEC, IRS to Target Conservative Groups.  The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency's enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law.  [Lois] Lerner, the former head of the IRS's exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.




If you criticize Obamacare, you will be audited

Related topic:  Obamacare and the suppression of dissent.

Obama Makes the IRS Free Speech Cop Too.  As if the Internal Revenue Service did not have enough to do with administering Obamacare, President Obama wants to give it another job:  regulating the free speech of his political opponents, while leaving the political activities of the president's friends untouched.  The new proposed IRS regulations were placed in the Federal Register the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, and comments on them are due by the end of February.

Obamacare Whistleblower: I was Told IRS Retaliation 'Came from the Top'.  [Bill] Elliott appeared on [Sara Marie] Brenner's show last week to discuss the audit and the help he received from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a South Carolina Congressman and a Democratic Senator from North Carolina, Senator Kay Hagan.  In the segment, he discussed how the IRS audit was ultimately squashed thanks to intervention by lawmakers; however, he noted that he was told that the IRS investigation "came from the top."

IRS intimidating health insurance broker helping people who lose policies.  C. Steven Tucker,the man who helped cancer patient Bill Elliott regain his health insurance policy, now believes that he is purposefully being intimidated by the IRS.  The Washington Times reported on Thursday that Tucker and Elliott received notices from the IRS on the same day, but for different matters.  Since receiving his first notice, Tucker has experienced a series of events that have left him feeling targeted, but very determined.

IRS Goes After Obamacare Whistleblowers.  By now, the news has spread online of the IRS audit notices sent to two Obamacare whistleblowers.  On November 25th, cancer victim Bill Elliott and C. Steven Tucker were informed of the ordeal each was to face.  Elliott has been waging a pitched battle with cancer.  Tucker is the insurance agent and healthcare freedom activist who informed him that the canceling of his insurance, wrought by the Obama administration for the sake pushing citizens into Obamacare, was illegal. [...] What subsequently transpired for Tucker has deepened his impression that the twin IRS notices were no coincidence, but an attack by our federal government, an orchestrated effort at intimidation of them both.

Cancer Patient and ObamaCare Critic Says He's Being Audited by IRS.  A cancer patient, who publicly discussed the cancellation of his insurance under ObamaCare, now says he has been informed by the Internal Revenue Service that he is going to be audited.  Bill Elliot appeared on Fox News on November 7th to discuss the cancellation of his insurance.  He claims he was told that his cancer was considered "beyond the catastrophic previous condition" and his plan was being canceled because of ObamaCare regulations.

Lose Insurance Under Obamacare, Speak Up, IRS Audits You.  Yep, suddenly — and not coincidentally — [Bill] Elliot and [C. Stephen] Tucker are being audited by the IRS, joining a list of other organizations and individuals who are also suddenly enduring an IRS audit or other problems after disagreeing with Obama such as several Tea Party and conservative groups, prominent black physician Dr. Ben Carson who has publicly criticized Obamacare, Catholic professor Ann Hendershott who also had the audacity to publicly disagree with Obama and even the billionaire owners of the Chicago Cubs.

Cancer Patient Who Spoke Out Against ObamaCare Now Being Audited.  Bill Elliot was a cancer patient who lost his insurance due to ObamaCare and couldn't pay the expensive new premiums.  He was talking about paying the ObamaCare fine, going without health insurance and "letting nature take its course." [...] Now suddenly Bill Elliot is being audited for 2009 with an interview only scheduled in April 2014.  Assuming he lives that long.  That might be a coincidence, but Tucker is being audited back to 2003.  That's a rather strange coincidence.




Lois Lerner allegedly loses her most important emails at the most convenient moment

It's a scandal within a scandal.  This story is simply not believable because one government employee can't lose a selective part of an organization's email due to the crash of her personal computer — even if that actually happened, which it probably didn't.  This is most likely just an evasive delay tactic to slow down the investigation of the IRS, probably because the investigation is about to point directly at the White House.

First of all, Ms. Lerner's email messages don't reside on her computer.  Her email resides on a server somewhere, and the servers, if they are managed properly, have backup files stored at yet another location.  (Ask Oliver North how that works.1  E-mail messages that North believed to be deleted were found and used against him in litigation.2  A total of 758 e-mail messages were sent, involving him in the Iran-Contra affair, and every one of them was recovered.3)  But even if this latest foot-dragging excuse is valid, the whole thing is surprisingly convenient, isn't it?

Overview:
No Wonder the IRS Is 'Losing' E-mails: It Was Trying to Throw Innocent Conservatives in Jail.  Even a small child can connect these dots.  The IRS is announcing the "loss" of mass numbers of e-mails (do they have any computers that don't crash?) even as the e-mails that do exist are beginning to show the extent of IRS corruption. [...] And in the last few days we learn the IRS has "lost" e-mails from — among others — Lois Lerner and Nikole Flax.  What a remarkable coincidence.  The scale of the wrongdoing is staggering.  Targeting Americans for criminal investigation without evidence, attempting to enlist multiple federal agencies in the effort, selective audits, selective disclosures of confidential documents, selective questioning and delays of nonprofit applicants — all in the service of suppressing dissent.

Overview / recap:
More Lerner Emails Destroyed — Just An Accident, Right?  In May 2013, Lois Lerner, then director of the IRS' Exempt Organizations Division, acknowledged that the agency had given especially hard looks at applications for tax-exempt status from groups that had the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their title.  Lerner blamed the practice on "front-line people" in the Cincinnati office who weren't thinking about politics, just doing their jobs.  She wouldn't admit it, but the IRS was passively harassing groups it felt were President Obama's political opponents and a threat to his 2012 re-election.  The inspector general's report said applications filed by several hundred groups were delayed for a year or more.

Seven Giant Scandals That Barack Obama Just Couldn't Keep Undercover!  [#5] IRS Scandal:  Remember that time when the Internal Revenue Service was caught red-handed, targeting conservative and tea party groups to omit their tax-exempt status, just as Obama's second-term presidential campaign was gearing up?  Not only that but two years worth of Louis Lerner's emails just, poof!  DISAPPEARED!  It's magic!

13 Incompetent Failures in the Obama Administration.  [#9] When allegations surfaced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had purposefully stalled the tax exemptions for conservative non-profit groups, director of the Exempt Organizations Unit Lois Lerner became a central focus in the investigation.  But the IRS repeatedly refused to turn over Lerner's emails to the public.  At first they claimed the server had been wiped, and the emails lost.  Then they acknowledged there was a backup, but still refused to provide them.  Lerner even had a second email account she used to conduct IRS business under the name "Toby Miles."  Nevertheless, the Department of Justice announced last October that they would not be filing any criminal charges.

Another overview:
A Government Feared and Distrusted.  Recently, it was discovered that information gathered not so secretly by the IRS has been used to target certain groups who dare to criticize our government.  Non-profit groups with names including words like "Tea Party," "patriot," and "conservative," were deliberately singled out for endless bureaucratic foot dragging while more liberal organizations passed inspection with ease.  The IRS scandal is possibly an even worse case of this administration's abuse of its own citizens than the NSA scandal.  Joe Average citizen, you not only have reason to fear and distrust the NSA's invasion of your personal life for who knows what obscure reasons.  You also have cause to fear and distrust the IRS because you now know you may be targeted for your political and/or religious beliefs.

And another:
IRS: abuse and cover.  First the agency lost whole troves of emails from disgraced former apparatchik Lois Lerner — emails that would have shed light on her role in the ongoing scandal over the targeting of conservative groups by the agency.  Then, on a recent Friday afternoon (of course), the agency admitted it also could not find emails from several others connected to the scandal.  The disappearances are extremely convenient — especially because the IRS is being treated under a different standard than the one it uses to treats taxpayers. Lerner and others will face no serious legal consequences without hard evidence of guilt — evidence that has now vanished into the ether.  But taxpayers who find themselves in a dispute with the IRS are presumed to be in the wrong until they can produce hard evidence to prove otherwise.

Maybe just one or two more...
How Civilizations Collapse — Is U.S. Next?  Who will police the tax police?  Former IRS official Lois Lerner and her subordinates were found to have targeted conservative nonprofit groups for excessive federal scrutiny.  While testifying before Congress, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and investigators later found that two years of her emails had gone missing in a mysterious computer crash.  Lerner has not been charged.

The Poisonous Obama Years.  Artful" Nixonian abuses of the IRS in order to intimidate and tarnish the reputations of political opponents were once a Republican phenomenon.  Today, yet another simmering scandal involving the misuse of the IRS has ensnared Democrats.  As such, it is dismissed as a non-issue by the left and partisans in the press.  Americans recently learned that, like Clinton, Lerner conducted official business via a private email account where she went by the name "Toby Miles."  The emails sent via that account are among the hundreds that have been shielded from congressional investigators, but those that have been recovered reflect a searing disdain for conservatives against whom Lerner has been accused of conspiring to limit their ability to participate in civic affairs.  "Citizens United is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to this country," Lerner, who has been accused of targeting conservative political action committees with undue scrutiny, wrote.  "We are witnessing the end of 'America.'"  Motive and opportunity having been established, we are told that there is nothing to see here.  You're just being paranoid.

IRS chief:  Officials who deleted Lois Lerner emails were not fired.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Wednesday the two unnamed employees who destroyed thousands of emails belonging to Lois Lerner, former head of the tax-exempt unit, kept their jobs at the agency.  During his impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Koskinen said the two officials had committed an "honest mistake" by wiping 422 back-up tapes believed to contain Lerner's emails in 2014.  The emails had been requested under a congressional subpoena during the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.  "The IG's investigation found that they were not aware" of the subpoena, Koskinen said of the employees who scrubbed Lerner's records.

IRS Employees Erased 422 Backup Tapes Containing 24,000 of Lois Lerner's Emails.  Investigators at the Internal Revenue Service are looking to agency employees as the reason thousands of emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner were lost, and the agency's watchdog said today their actions were a mistake.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) J. Russell George testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and told lawmakers IRS employees erased 422 backup tapes that housed 24,000 emails sent to and from Lerner.  Employees erased the contents of the tapes just a month after IRS officials were told that thousands of Lerner's emails were missing because of a hard drive crash.

The IRS Deleted 422 Backup Tapes With Lerner Emails.  The IRS "accidentally" erased 422 backup tapes that investigators believe contained emails to and from IRS official Lois Lerner, according to the Associated Press.  The tapes contained as many as 24,000 Lois Lerner emails.  The tapes were erased eight months after Congressional investigators requested all emails to and from Lois Lerner and a month after the IRS informed Congress they were missing some of Lois Lerner's emails.

We Are a Fish, Rotting From the Head.  The IRS scandal would have sunk a Republican administration, perhaps leading to impeachment.  But the Democratic press is in on the joke, and the Obama administration is set to run out the clock in its usual fashion.

IRS Employee Admits He Would Go After, Target, and Try to End Conservative Groups.  A self-identified IRS employee admitted he would go after, target and try to end conservative groups who wanted to abolish the IRS, to Cleta Mitchell, an attorney representing those groups, on a Washington Journal segment on C-SPAN.  Mitchell, a political law attorney who has represented conservative groups during the IRS targeting scandal since 2010, was a guest on C-SPAN to discuss the possible impeachment of the IRS commissioner John Koskinen.  The first caller was a self-identified IRS employee who said he would go after the groups Mitchell represents if their goal was to abolish the IRS.

House investigator calls for IRS chief to be censured over Lois Lerner emails.  The House's chief investigator introduced a resolution Wednesday [5/18/2016] censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and calling for him to resign or be fired, saying he misled Congress and even tried to thwart a subpoena seeking former agency employee Lois G. Lerner's emails.  Rep.  Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced the resolution ahead of a hearing next week in the Judiciary Committee, which is exploring what steps Congress should take toward Mr. Koskinen.  Mr. Chaffetz said censure was the first step on the path toward impeachment, serving as an official condemnation.  Impeachment is still very unlikely, particularly given the short amount of work days left in this Congress and in the Obama administration's tenure overall.

Appeals Court issues nightmare decision for Lois Lerner and the IRS.  The wheels of justice slowly have been turning, and those of us who feared that Lois Lerner and the IRS would get off scot-free despite their lawless targeting of Tea Party groups have something to celebrate.  And Lois Lerner may have had a troubled sleep last night if she was paying attention instead of enjoying her six-figure pension with leisure activities.  An appeals court judge in the Sixth Circuit has delivered a blistering rebuke to both the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department attorneys that have defended it in behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.  As a result, officials current and former will be forced to testify under oath for their misdeeds in a civil action with big bucks at stake.

It's Been 513 Days Since Any Big 3 Network Has Touched the IRS Scandal.  The latest stunning development in the IRS targeting scandal, that a federal appeals court on Tuesday scolded the IRS for failing to turn over its full list of groups it targeted, has yet to be reported on any of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows.  However, as NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock reported, all three networks on Thursday found time to gush over Barack Obama's "fancy footwork" and "dancing diplomacy" in Argentina.  In fact, it's been 513 days since any network has touched the IRS scandal.

Washington's culture of corruption rots on.  Last week saw the passage of a grim milestone in government corruption:  Pepperdine University Law Professor Paul Caron's TaxProf blog marked the 1000th day of the scandal involving the IRS's deliberate political targeting of conservative "Tea Party" groups.  There are some lessons in this, and they're mostly bad news.  The first sad lesson is that the notion of an impartial, professional civil service is a fiction.  The big government designs of Democrats and the federal bureaucracy are aligned, and the bureaucracy often deploys its powers in ways calculated to frustrate Republican presidents and to protect Democratic ones.

A Pattern Of Executive Overreach.  Recently, the Justice Department announced it would not be indicting anyone for their role in the most serious domestic political scandal since the Nixon years.  Starting in 2010, the IRS, under pressure from congressional Democrats and the White House, engaged in blatant ideologically motivated discrimination against conservative organizations applying for non-profit status.  That the most feared bureaucracy in Washington was making decisions based on illegal political criteria should send a chill down the spine of any American who cares about the First Amendment and the rule of law.

Cruz to DOJ: Preserve Every Record Related to the IRS Scandal, Eh, For the Next Administration. Or Else.  Yesterday, Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch suggesting that it would be in the administration's best interests to preserve all IRS records for the next administration.  The request came after the DOJ  covered up  closed its investigation into political targeting of conservative and pro-Israel groups by the IRS.

Cruz asks feds to save documents in IRS probe.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wants the Justice Department to save documents related to its two-year investigation of allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups.  "This Administration's recent announcement ... has finally made it abundantly clear that the responsibility of ensuring a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation of IRS employees and their potential criminal conduct will fall to the next presidential administration, and relevant materials must be protected accordingly," Cruz, who is running for president, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Imprisonment, Not Impeachment: What Rogue IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Really Deserves.  The introduction of a resolution to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen should come as no surprise considering the lawlessness of the Obama administration and its use of the IRS to bludgeon its political opponents and the refusal by the DOJ to prosecute Lois Lerner for her political targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative political groups, as well as her destruction of evidence.  The resolution, introduced by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. James Jordan (R-OH) and 18 other committee members, accuses Koskinen of making false statements under oath, failing to comply with a subpoena, and failing to notify Congress that key evidence was missing or destroyed.

A Good Start.  On October 27, the House of Representatives moved to impeach the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen.  It may seem odd that Koskinen is being punished since he wasn't commissioner when the IRS scandal broke two years ago.  But make no mistake, Koskinen is a worthy candidate for impeachment.

Judicial Watch Statement on Obama Justice Department Decision to Close Obama IRS Investigation.  Judicial Watch's independent litigation proved the Obama IRS obstructed justice and destroyed evidence.  And we uncovered that the IRS and Lois Lerner conspired with the Justice Department and FBI on a plan to jail the very Americans the IRS was illegally suppressing.  In fact, Justice Department lawyers recently admitted in federal court that the IRS watchdog is still digging through IRS backup tapes and has no idea when the search will be complete.  This same Justice Department decides it can shut down an investigation before it has all the evidence?

DOJ Lets Lois Lerner, IRS Off the Hook.  It was a foregone conclusion, but the Obama Administration's right hand just couldn't find anything wrong with what the left hand did, even if it was designed to help the president win a second term by targeting his political opponents.  The Department of so-called Justice announced Friday that Lois Lerner and other IRS managers will not face any charges after singling out for harassment conservative groups that applied for nonprofit status leading up to the 2012 election.

The House Mobilizes Against A Rogue Agency — The IRS.  After nearly a decade of unaccountable government, including the unprecedented emergence of banana-republic state impunity in targeting dissidents, it seems a train brake has finally been pulled.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has voted to impeach John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner whose abuses of power have been arguably the worst in the entire Obama era.  The IRS not only targeted tea party and other conservative groups on political grounds with a whole array of harassment, it also thumbed its nose at lawful orders to cooperate in an inquiry from its own overseers.

Kostiken should be Imprisoned, not Just Impeached.  The introduction of a resolution to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen should comes as no surprise considering the lawlessness of the Obama administration and its use of the IRS to bludgeon its political opponents and the refusal by the DOJ to prosecute Lois Lerner for her political targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative political groups, as well as her destruction of evidence.  The resolution, introduced by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. James Jordan (R-OH) and 18 other committee members, accuses Koskinen of making false statements under oath, failing to comply with a subpoena, and failing to notify Congress that key evidence was missing or destroyed.

Yes, the IRS chief has earned impeachment.  If you responded to an IRS audit the way [John] Koskinen's IRS has behaved, you'd be looking at huge penalties and maybe prison time.  He waited months to tell the IRS that an "accident" had destroyed the e-mail records of Lois Lerner, the woman at the scandal's heart.  Indeed, he made no real effort to secure those e-mails, despite a subpoena — allowing key backups to be destroyed.  Then he nonchalantly testified that Lerner's e-mails were all gone forever — and then showed not a hint of shame after an inspector general came up with thousands of them.

GOP Moves to Impeach IRS Chief.  Federal investigators are done with former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, but House Republicans are not finished with the IRS.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and 18 other committee members introduced a resolution on Tuesday [10/27/2015] to begin impeachment proceedings against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Impeachment drags IRS scandal into the spotlight.  Just days after former IRS official Lois Lerner escaped criminal charges from the Department of Justice, Republicans in Congress moved to impeach the head of the tax agency for his role in trying to cover up the misconduct that landed Lerner under investigation.  The impeachment resolution, brought Tuesday [10/27/2015] by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, capped off a week that saw the embattled tax agency back under fire for a scandal that surfaced more than two years ago.

IRS chief faces Senate grilling over Tea Party targeting.  Members of the Senate Finance Committee blasted the head of the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday [10/27/2015] for problems still lingering within the agency more than two years after the targeting controversy came to light.  Commissioner John Koskinen denied suggestions that the IRS had ever scrutinized conservative groups for political reasons, citing the Justice Department's decision last week to close its investigation without pressing criminal charges.

House Republicans introduce measure to impeach IRS Commissioner Koskinen.  House Republicans on Tuesday [10/27/2015] introduced a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, accusing him of making "false statements" under oath and failing to comply with a subpoena for evidence.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and 18 other committee members introduced the resolution to begin impeachment proceedings.  In doing so, they followed through on a threat first made over the summer, when Republicans accused the IRS leader of making inaccurate statements to Congress regarding the Tea Party targeting scandal and its aftermath.

Lois Lerner and the Rule of Lawlessness.  In a Friday news dump, Obama's Justice Department announced that following its "investigation," Lois Lerner will not be charged for any wrongdoing in the case of the IRS' targeting of conservative organizations.  The law, apparently, is only meant for little people. [...] Tellingly, the Committee concluded that:  "The IRS's treatment of these organizations was almost universally consistent with Lerner's personal political views — this is, supporting Democratic candidates and opposing conservative tax-exempt organizations that engaged in political speech.  Conservative organizations that sought to participate in the nation's political discourse, such as the Tea Party, drew the strongest ire from Lerner."

Tea party targeting accusations, legal issues persist for IRS after Justice ends probe.  The IRS is still holding up the nonprofit applications of tea party groups, including one that has been waiting nearly six years for approval, as conservatives panned the Justice Department's announcement last week that it had cleared the tax agency, and former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, of any wrongdoing.  The Obama administration's decision, outlined in a Friday afternoon [10/23/2015] letter to Congress, said the IRS did mishandle nonprofit status applications from conservative groups but said the bad behavior wasn't criminal.

The FBI & Hillary's e-mails: A Lois Lerner precedent?  The fix was in:  Lois Lerner will walk away scot-free.  On Friday, the Justice Department closed its two-year investigation into the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and decided to charge ... no one.  This, when Lerner admitted the IRS had singled out righty groups, but blamed the "absolutely inappropriate" actions on "front-line people" — that is, lower-level folks.  And then refused to answer more questions by pleading the Fifth.  Questions about, say, her orders to hold up applications from any outfit with "Tea Party" or "patriot" in its name.

Rep. Jim Jordan: 'Flat Out Wrong' Not to Bring Criminal Charges Against Lois Lerner.  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), head of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a member of the House Oversight committee, says he strongly disagrees with the Justice Department's decision not to bring criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner for impeding conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.  "That is just flat out wrong, in my judgment," Jordan told "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.  "Here's a lady who systematically and for a sustained period of time targeted people for exercising their most fundamental rights, their First Amendment free speech rights.

Citizens are no longer equal under Obama.  Disgraced former IRS chief Lois Lerner is enjoying her "Get Out of Jail Free" card care of the Obama administration.  Who's surprised she won't face charges given the fact that most Americans believe the White House was in on allegations the IRS targeted Tea Party and conservative groups applying for nonprofit status?  It gets worse.  During the "investigation," IRS head John Koskinen stonewalled big time, refusing to provide Congress with information including Lerner's "missing" emails.  Sound familiar?

Justice Department Lets Lois Lerner Off The Hook.  The Justice Department will not seek criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner for her role in targeting conservative non-profits groups, CNN is reporting.  The investigation into Lerner's and the IRS' handling of conservative groups' tax-exempt applications uncovered substantial mismanagement and poor judgment, but none of it rose to the criminal level, according to the letter, which Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik sent to members of Congress on Friday [10/23/2015].

Justice Department: No criminal charges for Lerner, others in IRS scandal.  The Justice Department announced Friday afternoon [10/23/2015] that it will not bring criminal charges against Lois Lerner or any other IRS official involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups, in a decision Republicans ripped as a "free pass."  In a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, the department said the investigation into the controversy will be closed — and while they found "mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia," they found "no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution."

Networks Censor Justice Department Ending Probe Into IRS Scandal.  ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Friday [10/23/2015] all failed to cover the Justice Department announcing that it would be ending its investigation into the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.  The Big Three networks' news program did find time to air reporting on the top Google searches for Halloween costumes, the fewer number of turkeys available for upcoming Thanksgiving dinners, and the controversy over the first bear hunt in Florida in 20 years.

GOP outraged as Lois Lerner escapes.  Republicans on Friday [10/23/2015] were outraged by the announcement that former IRS official Lois Lerner will not face any charges for her role in the scandal involving her agency's decision to slow-walk decisions about the tax-exempt status of conservative groups. [...] The federal government is thus closing its nearly two-year inquiry into the matter without charging anyone.

IRS' Lois Lerner Skates; An Ugly Precedent Is Set.  Is there anyone out there subject to an Internal Revenue Service audit or a multiyear delay in approval for tax-exempt status who won't be concerned that the process is politically rigged against them?  That's the message the Justice Department sent when, in a classic Friday night news dump, it decided to not file charges against IRS tax-exempt groups chief Lois Lerner.  In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Justice said that while it found "mismanagement, poor judgment and inertia," there was no case for a criminal prosecution.

Government Investigation Tricks or Treats. As reported at National Review, "Before Lois Lerner was embroiled in the IRS scandal, she was involved in a questionable pattern of law enforcement at the Federal Election Commission," where she was Associate General Counsel for Enforcement.  The FEC obviously liked Lerner's style to raise her to such a position.  Judicial Watch uncovered that when Lerner moved over to the IRS, she disclosed confidential tax information of conservative organizations to the FEC.  She also obviously still had adherents to her style there.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Facing Impeachment.  During a discussion with the Young America's Foundation Saturday, Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Oversight Committee, said Congress will impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. [...] The House is going to pursue impeachment because there needs to be consequences for the egregious behavior of the IRS and "we think it's critical to preserving fundamental freedom, fundamental rights," said Jordan.  Partisan hack, longtime Democratic donor and IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, has unreasonably delayed every FOIA request and ignored every court order to turn over documents on the IRS scandal and the infamous Lois Lerner.  After promising at his nomination hearing that he would be honest and open, he's done exactly the opposite and he's smug about it.

Impeach the IRS director.  The Constitution's framers, knowing that executive officers might not monitor themselves, provided the impeachment recourse to bolster the separation of powers.  Federal officials can be impeached for dereliction of duty (as in Koskinen's failure to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation); for failure to comply (as in Koskinen's noncompliance with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation); and for breach of trust (as in Koskinen's refusal to testify accurately and keep promises made to Congress).  Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says the IRS has "lied to Congress " and "destroyed documents under subpoena."  He accuses Koskinen of "lies, obfuscation and deceit":  "He assured us he would comply with a congressional subpoena seeking Lois Lerner's emails.  Not only did he fail to keep that promise, we later learned he did not look in earnest for the information."

Jordan: Congress will impeach IRS' Koskinen.  This Congress will impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Oversight Committee, told a group of students from the Young America's Foundation Saturday [10/3/2015].  "It is something that has to be done," said the Ohio Republican.  "If we don't hold some people accountable in the executive branch for the executive overreach we've seen in [the Obama] administration, then they'll never get the message."

Lois Lerner's 'Partners'.  Unless you are a lawyer representing nonprofit organizations, it's unlikely you've ever heard of NASCO, which is the National Association of State Charity Officials. [...] To know NASCO is to understand why Mr. Jones' 2007 letter to Lois Lerner, in which he discusses a "sentiment" for charities to become more transparent, is so typical of NASCO's hypocrisy about transparency, honesty and ethics.  Their annual conference was once completely closed off from representatives of nonprofit organizations because NASCO did not like being criticized for their questionable and overbearing tactics.  Indeed, in his 2007 letter to Ms. Lerner, Jones criticizes "'push back' from the nonprofit sector."  These bureaucrats do not like criticism from those they regulate, and they are effective at chastening their critics.

The Poisonous Obama Years.  [Scroll down]  "Artful" Nixonian abuses of the IRS in order to intimidate and tarnish the reputations of political opponents were once a Republican phenomenon.  Today, yet another simmering scandal involving the misuse of the IRS has ensnared Democrats.  As such, it is dismissed as a non-issue by the left and partisans in the press.  Americans recently learned that, like Clinton, Lerner conducted official business via a private email account where she went by the name "Toby Miles."  The emails sent via that account are among the hundreds that have been shielded from congressional investigators, but those that have been recovered reflect a searing disdain for conservatives against whom Lerner has been accused of conspiring to limit their ability to participate in civic affairs.  "Citizens United is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to this country," Lerner, who has been accused of targeting conservative political action committees with undue scrutiny, wrote.  "We are witnessing the end of 'America.'"  Motive and opportunity having been established, we are told that there is nothing to see here.  You're just being paranoid.

America's descent into lawlessness.  IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner was exposed as a rank partisan whose office gave particular scrutiny to would-be tax-exempt groups deemed opponents of Obama's re-election efforts.  She invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before a congressional committee about her actions at the IRS.  Lerner has never been indicted.  Almost everything former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated about her improper use of a private email account and server has been proven false.  A State Department staffer who worked on Clinton's private server plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before a congressional committee about his role in privatizing Clinton's email.  But like Lerner, Clinton has escaped an indictment or jailing.

America's descent into lawlessness.  Internal Revenue Service bureaucrat Lois Lerner was exposed as a rank partisan whose office gave particular scrutiny to would-be tax-exempt groups deemed opponents of Mr. Obama's re-election efforts.  She invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before a congressional committee about her actions at the IRS.  Ms. Lerner has never been indicted.

IRS scandal: Time to fish or cut bait.  If we didn't know better, we'd suspect that senior Justice officials are intentionally stalling, delaying a decision on prosecuting Ms. Lerner and others complicit in the IRS scandal until President Obama is safely out of office. [...] Indeed, we think there is ample evidence to indict Ms. Lerner, who has acknowledged "absolutely inappropriate" actions by her division, while casting blame upon low-level "front-line people" who worked for her.  But it seems Ms. Lerner was at the center of the scandal.  Just this past week, in fact, we learned that she had a secret email account at IRS — named after her dog, "Toby Miles" — which she used to conduct official government business.

Judge to IRS: turn over the White House email information.  One aspect of the Lois Lerner fiasco which has gotten slightly less attention than Lerner herself and her mysteriously disappearing and reappearing emails is the allegation that the White House had been requesting the tax information of certain conservative groups as well.  Up until now any and all FOIA requests for such correspondence with the White House has been refused, citing the privacy of taxpayers under federal statute.  But now a judge has handed down a ruling saying that this excuse isn't going to fly.

Lois Lerner May Have Committed a Crime With Use of Private Email at IRS.  In case you missed it yesterday [8/25/2015] the Washington Times reported former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, used a private email account under her dog's name to conduct official government business.  The report came as a result of a Judicial Watch lawsuit against the IRS for information about the scandal.  The discovery of this private account comes in addition to Lerner's use of another personal account on top of her government email system.  In total, we know she used at least three different email accounts during her time at the agency.  Now, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is responding to the new revelation and notes Lerner may have broken the law if she shared confidential tax information on her private account.

IRS tea-party villain Lois Lerner had another secret email address.  Embattled former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner used at least two separate private email accounts to conduct government business, it has emerged, after the agency told a federal court that investigators discovered a second address as they sifted through her communications.  Lerner, considered a Washington Cruella de Vil by conservative groups who say she orchestrated a campaign to discriminate against them, retired in September 2013 amid a scandal launched by her Exempt Organizations office's slow walk of tax-exempt applications from right-wing organizations.

"Toby Miles": IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account.  Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration's efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner's actions during the tea party targeting scandal.  The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

Response to Obama IRS Disclosure of New Lois Lerner Email Account.  It is remarkable that the Obama IRS and Justice Department waited two years to tell a federal court that Lois Lerner had a separate email account that contains documents at issue in the IRS scandal.  Especially since both agencies knew about this account since April of last year.  It could be a crime if Lois Lerner kept confidential taxpayer data on her non-governmental email account.  This new disclosure follows the Obama administration's Nixonian practice of "modified limited hangouts" of information about its IRS scandal and Lois Lerner "lost and found" emails.  Every step of the way, the Obama IRS has obstructed this court's orders to get Lois Lerner's emails recovered and searched.  The Court has already threatened contempt against both IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Justice Department attorneys over the Lerner email issue.  And I suspect that Judge Sullivan won't be pleased by this latest revelation.

IRS scandal: Lois Lerner's secret, personal email account was perfect cover.  Former top IRS official Lois Lerner — at the center of a well-orchestrated scheme targeting conservative organizations — used an alias while at the IRS.  In new documents just released, an IRS attorney has confirmed that Lois Lerner used another email to conduct IRS business — under the name of "Toby Miles."  That revelation prompts this question: why would the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit use an alias — a secret, personal email account while at the IRS?  You don't have to think very long to come up with the answer.

Lerner, in newly released emails, calls GOP critics 'evil and dishonest'.  Newly released emails from Lois Lerner show the former IRS official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal calling Republican critics "evil and dishonest," and even "hateful."  The emails — part of a report released Aug. 6 by the Senate Finance Committee — offer a revealing look at Lerner, who used to head the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status and was at the center of the scandal over the alleged targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Federal Judge: I Will Haul IRS Chief Here and Personally Hold Him in Contempt.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has been stonewalling Congress and the courts for more than a year over Lois Lerner's "missing" emails.  He's also ignored court orders to produce documentation and now, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has had enough.  During a hearing yesterday surrounding a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, Sullivan said he "will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally into contempt" after the IRS failed to turn over ordered documentation to the Court.  The information ordered included status reports and recovered emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner.  Sullivan also noted Department of Justice of attorneys are in the same position for failing to turn over ordered documentation.

The Curious Case of Lois Lerner's Physically Damaged Hard Drive.  New documentation released by the House Oversight Committee this week again raises questions on how Lois Lerner's hard drive was physically damaged and whether there was some kind of deliberate act to destroy data on it.  The House Oversight Committee report cites an officially transcribed interview with John Minsek, senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) unit.  Minsek examined the Lerner hard drive in 2011.  In the transcribed interview, he notes Lerner's hard drive contained "well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk." [...] So how did the scoring get there?

IRS "Midnight Unit" Destroyed Backup Tapes With Lois Lerner Emails.  Backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 Lois Lerner emails were destroyed by an IRS entity officially known as the "Media Management Midnight Unit" located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, according to documentation released this week by the House Oversight Committee.  In all, 422 backup tapes holding the emails were magnetically "degaussed" despite an agency-wide preservation order and congressional subpoena.

IRS Used Instant Messaging System to Hide Internal Communications.  The IRS used a "wholly separate" instant messaging system that automatically deleted office communications, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday [7/27/2015].  The system appears to have been purposefully used by agency officials responsible for the targeting of conservative non-profits, in order to evade public scrutiny.  The system, known as "Office Communication Server" or OCS was used by IRS officials, including many in the Exempt Organizations (EO) Unit, which was headed by Lois Lerner.  As the Oversight Committee report states, the instant messaging system did not archive any communications, so it is not possible to know what employees of the EO unit discussed on it.

Top 5 Reasons IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Must be Impeached.  In the wake of the Obama administration scandal that saw the IRS illegally targeting conservatives and pro-Israel groups for daring to oppose Democrat policies, little has been done.  The administration appears to be in full cover-up mode, with "crashed" hard-drives, missing emails, and lost backup tapes.  Hoping to jumpstart scrutiny of the IRS's plainly illegal activities, House representatives Jim Jordan and Ron Desantis offer a powerful argument that IRS chief John Koskinen should be immediately terminated by the President.  And, if Mr. Obama refuses, that Congress should impeach the head of the troubled agency.

The Editor says...
If the administration is "in full cover-up mode," it is Barack H. Obama who should be impeached.

IRS Failed to Search Five of Six Locations for Lois Lerner Emails.  The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner's emails, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday [7/27/2015].  Over the course of investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal, Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress that he would provide all of Lois Lerner's emails.  But based on testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this did not occur.  The agency's ineptness — or corruption — resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were "accidently" destroyed.

IRS Produces Recovered Lerner Emails.  The new documents show that Lois Lerner and other top officials in the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations.  The documents also show that at least one group received an inquiry from the IRS in order to buy time and keep the organization from contacting Congress.

With new documents, stench of IRS scandal reaches into its third year.  In 2013, Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS non-profit section, pleaded the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight Committee.  She had been called to testify about her division's unjustifiable harassment of conservative applicants for nonprofit status.  Just over a year later, it was reported that a number of Lerner's work emails had gone missing due to a supposed problem with her hard drive.  Then last month, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration testified that IRS employees — despite being under explicit orders not to destroy records — had "magnetically erased" as many as 24,000 of Lerner's missing emails from hundreds of data tapes where they were being stored.

IRS Fails To Meet Deadline To Produce Lois Lerner's Emails.  Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, ordered the IRS last week to begin producing, every Monday, nearly 1,800 newly recovered Lois Lerner emails.  On Monday [7/6/2015], the IRS defied the order.  The developments come in the wake of Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS' targeting and harassment of conservative non profits (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service[).]  Thanks to Judicial Watch's litigation, the IRS was forced to admit that Lerner's emails were supposedly missing and, then, that the emails were on IRS back-up systems.

The Penumbra School of Law.  The administration at every level expresses its contempt for Congress and its legal obligations knowing the attorney general will never prosecute its wrongdoing. The most obvious at the moment involve record keeping by the IRS and Hillary Clinton.  As you'll recall, the IRS contributed to Obama's reelection campaign — perhaps even fixing its result — by denying his opponents the tax exemptions to which they were entitled.  Then it made up cockamamie excuses why it could not produce the email record evidence which they were legally obligated to preserve and produce.  Now it turns out that the records requested did exist and were destroyed after the agency was put on notice to keep and provide them to Congress.

IRS Found to Have Erased Hundreds of Backup Tapes Regarding Tea Party Scandal.  The IRS has been a veritable circus of ineptitude since it was discovered to have been targeting tea party-affiliated groups.  The latest episode in this saga includes IRS employees "accidentally" deleting 422 computer backup tapes regarding the aforementioned scandal.  Yeah, and these people handle our most delicate information.

IRS Deleted Hundreds of Back-up Tapes Containing Thousands of Lerner Emails After Congressional Subpoena Was Issued.  This used to be called obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.  According to new information from the House Oversight Committee, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration [TIGTA] Russell George and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus, the IRS deleted hundreds of backup tapes containing thousands of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the conservative targeting scandal.  The tapes were destroyed nine months after a congressional subpoena was issued to the agency demanding they be preserved and turned over.

Destruction of Evidence at the IRS.  [Scroll down]  Fox is told the hearing will definitively state there was a destruction of evidence 10 months after a preservation order for the emails was in place, 7 months after a subpoena was in place and 30 days AFTER the IRS realized there were potential problems locating the emails.  This destruction of evidence happened 22 days BEFORE the IRS Commissioner testified to Congress, in response to my questioning on March 26, 2015, that they had the documents and they would provide all of them to Congress.

House Republicans Considering Impeachment of IRS Head over Stonewalling in Lois Lerner Investigation.  House Republicans investigating the IRS's targeting of tea-party groups are seriously considering an effort to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen or other agency employees for "culpable misdemeanors" pertaining to the destruction of e-mails written by Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the scandal.  "We've briefed the leadership's counsel, and I think that they're open to it, but it's the type of thing where this town is like, 'oh, that's not how we do things, it's not really been used lately,'" a Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says.  "But, quite frankly, we really haven't had executive branch officials behave this way like we do now."

Exactly Who is Going to Prison?  Republicans are going to consider impeachment.  Just like they considered repealing Obamacare or stopping Obamatrade.  I'll believe it when I see it.

IRS erased Lerner emails even after subpoena: audit.  As many as 24,000 emails may have been permanently lost, but the inspector general has managed to recover about 1,000 messages from the tapes because the IRS only "degaussed" the tapes but didn't destroy them.  Still, the move to erase the tapes after they had been requested by Congress didn't sit well with Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who accused IRS chief John Koskinen of obstructing Congress' investigation into the emails and tea party targeting.  "They destroyed evidence.  That's what they did," Mr. Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said.

My guess:  a Louisville slugger.
Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Was Shredded.  Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner's hard drive most likely crashed due to "an impact of some sort," like somebody hitting it or smashing it, according to new congressional testimony.  Then the hard drive was shredded and its pieces were sold for scrap.  Lerner's laptop, which crashed on June 11, 2011 between 5 and 7 PM, was sent to an IT technician two days later.  The Hewlett-Packard technician looking at her laptop determined that the hard drive failed because of an impact of some sort.

Another Blow To IRS: Judge Demands Info on Lerner Emails, With 7/1 Hearings.  Judicial Watch announced today [6/22/2015] a second legal blow to the IRS which occurred on Friday.  The agency was ordered to report back to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan by June 29 the status of the recovery and release of emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.  The Court also ordered a court hearing, scheduling a status conference for July 1, 2015.  The developments are a result of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit and continued pressure seeking documents about the Obama IRS's targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)).

Judicial Watch: Federal Judge Orders IRS to Account for "Lost" Emails.  Judicial Watch announced that U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report to him by June 29 the status of the recovery and release of emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.  The Court also ordered a court hearing, scheduling a status conference for July 1, 2015.  The developments come in Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS's targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)).

IRS' Latest Email Excuse Draws It Closer To Rogue Agency Status.  Let's cut to the chase here:  The IRS is obstructing justice because it doesn't want the truth to come out.  The agency has been caught red-handed targeting opponents of the Obama administration, including the tea party, pro-Israel groups and conservative news media.  It purposely delayed issuances of tax-exempt status to nonprofit groups and held investigations entirely outside its own mandate.  What the IRS is hiding is bound to be the work of malicious political operatives cloaking themselves as impartial civil servants, plotting among themselves against their political enemies through email.  The stiff-arms given by the IRS at every juncture — from Lerner's invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a House hearing to this latest claim about preventing duplicates — is consistent with that scenario.

IRS Finds 6,400 New Lois Lerner Emails, Gives Dumbest Excuse Yet For Not Releasing Them.  The Internal Revenue Service found 6,400 more Lois Lerner emails — but they're not handing them over in court.  The IRS' latest excuses are nothing short of infuriating.  Department of Justice lawyers Geoffrey J. Klimas and Stephanie Sasarak, acting as counsel for the IRS, submitted a U.S. District Court filing June 12 in the case Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service.  The court filing, provided to The Daily Caller, claims the IRS received new Lerner emails from the Treasury Department's inspector general (TIGTA) but can't fork over the emails to Judicial Watch, a nonprofit group suing to get the emails.  Why?  Because the IRS is busy making sure that none of the emails are duplicates — you know, so as not to waste anyone's time.

IRS Finds 6,400 Lois Lerner Emails But Won't Hand Em Over.  The Internal Revenue Service may have found 6,400 emails from Lois Lerner, who oversaw the tax agency's Exempt Organizations Unit, but the government agency has no plans to share.  Attorneys from the Department of Justice representing the IRS say the emails won't be shared because the service is making sure that none of them are duplicates.  Lerner is at the center of a scandal in which the tax agency denied special tax status to conservative groups.

IRS using absurd excuse to avoid turning over newly discovered Lois Lerner e-mails.  There must be some seriously incriminating material in these e-mails if DoJ attorneys are willing to beclown themselves by offering nonsense arguments to prevent their disclosure.  Lois Lerner took the Fifth Amendment for a reason.  Most federal judges do not enjoy being mocked this way.  But it is possible to use nonsense arguments and filings to delay, and the goal clearly is to get past the 2016 election and hope that the public memory fades.

Federal Judge: What's The Status On Lois Lerner's "Lost" Emails?  Remember when the IRS claimed they "lost" tens-of-thousands of emails belonging to former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner?  (Who by the way, is retired now with a full taxpayer funded pension after raking in hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in bonuses).  Remember when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen claimed there were no back up tapes?  Lerner's emails aren't lost and backup tapes do exist.  Now, it's important to find out what's in both.

Loretta Lynch has a Lois Lerner decision to make.  Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch for an update on whether she will pursue criminal charges against former IRS employee Lois Lerner for her role in the IRS targeting scandal.  The committee last year identified three possible criminal charges that could be brought against Lerner, and asked the Department of Justice to consider bringing those charges.  At the time, the attorney general was Eric Holder, and the committee chairman was Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.  The new chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., asked Lynch on Thursday [5/28/2015] where that criminal referral stands.

House GOP demands criminal investigation into Lois Lerner.  Insisting Lois G. Lerner is still a target, congressional Republicans sent a letter to new Attorney General Loretta Lynch Thursday [5/28/2015] asking her to follow through on their official request last year for a criminal investigation into Ms. Lerner's behavior at the IRS.  Led by Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Republicans said it's been more than a year and the Justice Department has yet to respond to the referral the committee approved on April 9, 2014, listing three areas where lawmakers believe Ms. Lerner may have broken the law.  "The committee continues to believe that these serious charges should be pursued by the Department of Justice," Mr. Ryan and his fellow lawmakers said in their letter.

6,500 Lois Lerner emails recovered from backup tapes.  While the old and largely forgotten IRS scandals have been replaced by whole news sets of scandals, I guess there was still some work going on in the background.  The Inspector General for the Treasury announced this week that more than six thousand of Lois Lerner's emails — lost when "her computer crashed" a few years ago — have been recovered from backup tapes and will be turned over.

Thousands of new Lerner emails found.  An inspector general investigating the IRS's improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups has found thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the agency official at the center of that controversy, according to committees involved in the probe.  Treasury's inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) said it found roughly 6,400 emails either to or from Lerner from between 2004 and 2013 that it didn't think the IRS had turned over to lawmakers, the congressional committees said.  The committees have yet to examine the emails, aides on Capitol Hill said.

Networks Ignore Discovery of 'Lost' Lois Lerner E-Mails.  Despite a combined eight hours of air time on Wednesday, all three network morning shows ignored the revelation that 6400 "lost" e-mails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner have been found.  On cable, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer alerted viewers, reminding, "The IRS claimed the emails were lost when learner's computer crashed three years ago.  They will now be examined by the Senate Finance Committee."

How Lois Lerner evaded charges.  Good soldiers in the Obama administration don't get indicted, thanks to other good soldiers.  And no doubt they get rewarded, too.

A Flawed Legal Analysis Is Helping Lois Lerner.  On March 31, Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote House Speaker John Boehner to inform him that the Justice Department would not present Lois Lerner's contempt citation to a federal grand jury.  The letter explaining his decision is an exercise in misdirection — the kind of misdirection that magicians use to fool an audience.  Why?  Because at no point in his detailed, seven-page legal analysis does Machen mention the most important point demonstrating that Lerner did, in fact, waive her Fifth Amendment right.

Feds won't pursue contempt charges against Lerner for not testifying before House.  The Justice Department has declined to pursue contempt of Congress charges against Lois Lerner for refusing to testify about her role at the IRS in the targeting of conservative groups.  The department announced the decision in a letter Tuesday [3/31/2015] to House Speaker John Boehner, whose Republican-controlled chamber made the request to prosecute, after holding Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify at committee hearings.

No justice from the Justice Department.  [T]he Obama administration's Internal Revenue Service is institutionally incapable of self-correction.  And, now it is even clearer that the Obama administration's Department of Justice is incapable of holding accountable those responsible for a massive illegal targeting scheme.  Even worse, its own involvement in the scandal not only means that it can't properly investigate the IRS, it should instead be investigated for cooperating with the IRS in its campaign of censorship and oppression.  The latest troubling development comes as the Justice Department announced it will not pursue criminal contempt charges against former top IRS official Lois Lerner — who's at the center of a scandal that unlawfully targeted conservative and Tea Party groups because of their political views.

Shocker! Obama's DOJ Won't Seek Contempt Charges for Lois Lerner, Networks Ignore.  On Wednesday [4/1/2015], the Department of Justice announced it would not be seeking contempt charges against Lois Lerner for refusing to testify to Congress on the IRS targeting scandal.  The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks, so far, have refused to report on this big development in the Obama IRS scandal that they apparently just don't want to talk about any more.

Lois Lerner Skates.  The Justice Department says Lois Lerner, who used her IRS office to target the Tea Party, didn't waive her Fifth Amendment rights before Congress and won't be prosecuted for contempt over her missing emails. [...] Lois Lerner, poster child for hard-drive crashes and missing emails, won't face charges for contempt of Congress either. After pleading her innocence at that 2013 hearing, Lerner went on to invoke her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.  This raised the question of whether the Constitution let her remain silent after she was not silent and pleaded her case.

DOJ lets Lois Lerner off the contempt hook.  The House sought a DOJ prosecution for contempt.  News that will shock no one, DOJ will not prosecute.

No Criminal Charges For Lois Lerner Of IRS, Keeps Bonuses, Nice Retirement.  If you were targeted by the IRS, you probably thought that retired but officially silent Lois Lerner — who ran a key IRS division — might face charges.  Congress found her in contempt after she professed her innocence, and thereafter took the Fifth.  Much later, she broke her silence to Politico, saying she did nothing wrong, claiming that she was the victim.  The U.S. Attorney's Office was supposedly considering prosecution, but now it announced she is off the hook and will not be charged with contempt.

IRS's Lois Lerner won't be charged with contempt.  The Obama administration informed House Speaker John A. Boehner this week it will not prosecute former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress, concluding that she did not waive her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid answering questions when she was called to testify nearly two years ago.  Ms. Lerner, the figure at the center of the IRS's tea party targeting scandal, is still facing investigation over the intrusive scrutiny of conservative groups, but the decision by U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen does away with at least some of her legal jeopardy.

Outgoing US attorney hasn't acted on Lerner contempt charge.  Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia appointed by President Obama and set to step down next month, has not acted on a contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner.  Machen, who announced at the beginning of the week he'd step down April 1 to return to private practice, has not referred Lerner's case to a grand jury.  Her contempt citation for not testifying at two hearings has been in Machen's hands since May 2014.

EmailGate: First Lois Lerner, Then Hillary Clinton, Now Eric Holder. How Corrupt Is This Administration?  Although we all talk about Hillary's EmailGate, we shouldn't forget that this controversy actually started with Lois Lerner.  When Republicans tried to find out whether the IRS had purposefully targeted conservative organizations, this former head of the Internal Revenue Service said her email had suddenly disappeared.  In other words, there's no way that Lerner's hard drive suddenly crashed causing her to lose two years of emails.  It's just not possible.

Most Transparent Administration Ever Suffers Curious Epidemic of Disappearing Email Systems, Crashed Hard Drives and Lost Backup Tapes.  Remember when Barack Obama promised his would be the "most open and transparent administration ever"?

Lawyer: Department of Justice Shut Down Search For Lois Lerner's Emails.  The Department of Justice blocked an attempt to force the Internal Revenue Service to search for Lois Lerner's missing emails at off-site storage facilities, according to a lawyer pushing to obtain the emails.  The IRS never looked for Lerner's backup email tapes at the West Virginia storage facility where they were being housed.  Treasury deputy inspector general Timothy Camus told Congress that the IRS never asked IT professionals at the New Martinsville, W.V. storage site for the backup tapes.  Camus only found the backup tape for Lerner's missing 2011 emails about two weeks ago.

Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Was Searched By Legally Blind IRS Employee.  The first IT specialist to inspect the computer hard drive of former IRS exemptions director Lois Lerner was legally blind, according to an affidavit filed last year by Stephen Manning, deputy chief information officer for strategy and modernization at the IRS.  Manning's July 18, 2014, affidavit pertained to a lawsuit filed by True the Vote against the IRS alleging that Lerner led an effort to target it and similar conservative groups by refusing to grant them tax-exempt status.

Investigators Recover 32,000 Emails To and From Lois Lerner.  Investigators said Thursday they have recovered 32,000 emails related to a former IRS official at the heart of the agency's tea party scandal.

Among IRS emails unearthed is one by Lerner that pretty much admits cover-up.  Here's hoping for Lois Lerner's sake that orange is her color and that she looks good in jumpsuits.  As noted in today's headlines, federal investigators have recovered 32,000 emails on 424 previously unaccounted for backup tapes that relate to the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative organizations.  These are among the infamous "lost" tapes that the agency's chief, John Koskinen, swore under oath last June had been "irrevocably lost because the disaster recovery tape onto which the agency's electronic correspondence is backed up holds data for only six months."  By November, Koskinen, feeling Congressional pressure, had managed miraculously to pluck the missing 744 tapes from the ether and turned them over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe.  The IRS's inspector general confirmed Thursday [2/26/2015] it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner's emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency's chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.  Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.  "There is potential criminal activity," Mr. Camus said.

The Liberal Circus.  [Scroll down]  The president said there was not a "smidgeon" of corruption in the selective targeting of conservatives.  Lois Lerner, the focus of investigations, pled the Fifth Amendment after having received over $100,000 in merit bonuses.  When congressional investigators wanted to subpoena her computer records, IRS officials claimed both that her hard drive had crashed and that its data was unrecoverable.  The latter proved untrue; but then so far so has everything the IRS has said.  The only lesson is that any private citizen who replied to IRS inquiries in the manner that the IRS responded to public subpoenas would be jailed.

IRS Withheld Document From Inspector General Showing Existence Of IRS Email Tapes.  The IRS inspector general, tasked with the internal IRS investigation, reveals to House Oversight Committee that the IRS withheld the documents showing the existence of the back-up tapes which contain internal IRS email communication, thought to contain the missing Lois Lerner emails. [...] The evidence so far showcases a chain of communication from the initial discussion with the Obama Administration toward the IRS and Dept of Justice.

IRS Employee Looking for Lois Lerner Emails Was Blind, Literally!.  An IRS employee tasked with trying to restore and obtain emails on Lois Lerner's IRS computer's hard drive was legally blind.  Stephen Manning, the deputy chief information officer for strategy and modernization at the IRS, submitted an affidavit in the True the Vote vs. IRS litigation regarding the persons and procedures used to attempt to recover Lois Lerner's hard drive containing emails pertaining to Tea Party targeting.

Treasury IG: IRS Never Asked for Backup Tapes of Agency Emails.  During congressional testimony Thursday, the Treasury Deputy Inspector General Timothy Camus suggested the IRS did not do all it could have to recover Lois Lerner's missing emails.  Camus told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that while investigating, his team realized the IRS had failed to turn over one relevant document.  The IG demanded and got the document in question, which subsequently led to the discovery of an additional 424 backup tapes they had not previously been aware existed at a government data center.

Investigators Found 'Lost' Lois Lerner Emails In 2 Weeks.  So "irretrievably lost" means they can be easily found within in two weeks.  In fact, it turns out that The IRS never even asked technicians to recover the tapes.

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe.  The IRS's inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner's emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency's chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.  Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.  "There is potential criminal activity," Mr. Camus said.

Lois Lerner Received $129K in Bonuses.  Former IRS official Lois Lerner received $129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.  Over a three-year period, Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal, received a 25 percent retention bonus — averaging $43,000 a year — on top of her regular salary.  The federal government uses retention bonuses to incentivize valuable employees who are considering retirement or private sector jobs to stay at their agencies.  Former acting IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller recommended Lerner for a $42,000 retention bonus in December 2009, when she first became eligible for retirement.

Let's see her e-mails.  Contrary to earlier assertions by the IRS, the Lois Lerner emails Congress sought were not lost forever.  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, says authorities have now managed to recover roughly 16,000 Lerner emails.  This has led Johnson to send Koskinen a letter in which the senator writes, "I respectfully request your assistance in better understanding the IRS's document-retention and -production process."  We prefer the way the senator put it on Fox News:  "I smell a rat.  I smell a number of rats, and that's what we are going to get to the bottom of."

Seven Misconceptions about E-mail.  [Misconception:]  Emails can be deleted.  Reality:  By using utilities or by checking recipients' workstations, they can almost always be recovered.

Lois Lerner Tried To Block Supervisor's Visit Because She Feared Targeting Would Be Exposed.  Former IRS official Lois Lerner tried to block an IRS supervisor's visit to the Cincinnati office that she oversaw during the period in which her division was targeting conservative groups.  Lerner made clear that she didn't want the official talking to employees involved in early congressional and inspector general probes into the "c4" business, according to newly unearthed emails.

Docs: Ahead of 2012 Presidential Election Lois Lerner Begged Supervisor Not to Visit IRS Office.  New emails obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit show former IRS official Lois Lerner begged her supervisor not to visit the Cincinnati office or ask specific questions related to Congressional inquiries into whether the agency was improperly targeting conservative groups just ahead of the 2012 presidential election.  As a reminder, it wasn't until May 2013 when Lerner admitted inappropriate targeting had occurred and plead the Fifth in front of the House Oversight Committee.

Lerner Objected to IRS Deputy Director Visit to Cincinnati Office During Congressional Inquiries.  The newly released documents include an intense chain of emails in which Lerner pleads with Grant, who was a supervisor to her, to "put this [Grant's planned visit to Cincinnati] off please" at the very time during which both the internal IRS watchdog and Congress were investigating whether the IRS had been inappropriately targeting conservative groups in the months leading up to the 2012 elections.

New IRS Emails Surface: Evidence of a White House Cover-Up?  Newly released emails expose possible collusion between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and President Obama's Department of Justice, a disturbing new development in the IRS targeting scandal.  The IRS originally claimed that the emails, which were sent and received by former IRS administrator Lois Lerner, were all missing.  On November 22, however, IRS Inspector General John Koskinen announced that 30,000 of Lerner's emails between 2009 and 2011 had been recovered.

IRS Watchdog Continues to Hide Records on White House Leaks.  An independent IRS monitor announced Monday it will block the release of roughly 400 more pages of documents related to unauthorized leaks of confidential taxpayer information to the White House.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) told the watchdog group Cause of Action it would be withholding nearly all of the 2,500 documents it located that were related to unauthorized IRS leaks to the White House.  Earlier this month, TIGTA told Cause of Action it was withholding roughly 2,100 of the documents and said it would take an additional two weeks to review the rest.

New Lois Lerner emails indicate Obama's DOJ involved in IRS targeting scandal.  In the month prior to the 2010 midterm elections, Internal Revenue Service investigator Lois Lerner met with Justice Department officials to discuss the criminal prosecution of tax-exempt political groups.  It had previously been revealed that Lerner investigated avenues for prosecuting certain tax-exempt status applicants upon the suggestion of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) when the watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained Lerner's emails on that subject via a FOIA request.

Emails confirm 2010 Lois Lerner meeting with DOJ elections prosecutor.  Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through litigation confirm that Lois Lerner was in contact with DOJ officials about the possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt entities two full years before what the IRS conceded was its "absolutely inappropriate" 2012 targeting of the organizations.

Smidgen Alert — Dept. of Treasury Blocks Release of IRS to White House Emails Because The Content Would Be Illegal To Share With Court.  As the Daily Caller partly outlines[,] Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Obama's former White House Chief of Staff, who was chief of staff when the illegal IRS/White House scheme was rolled out, took the emails and documents that were set to be released and now refuses to ever turn them over.  His rationale?  Secretary Lew claims he cannot release information about improper disclosures of confidential taxpayer information — because [...] that would be an improper disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

Will 'Lost' IRS Emails Reveal A Corrupt White House?  Leaking taxpayer information to the White House isn't new, just as the email shell game in the IRS fiasco no longer shocks.  But the discovery of data "lost" on backup tapes may expose the extent of administration guilt.

A Transparent Conflict of Interest — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Blocks White House/IRS Email Release.  Enough circumstantial information exists to speculate the information within the denied documents could outline collusion between the White House and the IRS — to formulate a list of political opponents for targeting.  The enforcement mechanism used for targeting includes the DOJ and various other government agencies (ATF, OSHA, EEOC, EPA Banking/Finance)[.]  According to the jaw dropping IRS letter — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, interceded and blocked the FOIA discovery from being released.

Miracle at the IRS.  After saying over and over — in press statements, in court filings, in congressional hearings — that the emails that went missing when Lois Lerner's hard drive crashed were gone forever, up to 30,000 Lerner emails have now turned up and are on their way to Congress.  But not thanks to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  To the contrary, the emails were reclaimed from disaster-recovery tapes by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  It's yet another reminder of Koskinen's failures.  Remember, Koskinen was installed at the IRS to restore credibility after the public learned the agency had targeted conservative organizations — and then lied about it.

What Will We Find In "Lost" Lois Lerner Emails.  The Internal Revenue Service inspector general has recovered up to 30,000 of Lois Lerner's emails that were thought to be lost because of a computer crash.  The emails were recovered from back up recovery tapes from the IRS email system.  Previously, it was thought the emails were lost forever. [...] While it's possible the emails will link Lerner to the White House, it's more likely the information will reveal Lerner's personal agenda against conservatives including possible illegal behavior.

It's Probably Just A Coincidence That 30,000 Lois Lerner Emails Were Discovered Right After The Election.  By now, the whole world knows that on Friday [11/21/2014], 30,000 "missing" Lois Lerner emails were discovered.  We don't want you to think that there's anything shady going on here.  It's probably just a coincidence that they were found a couple of weeks after an important, mid-term election.  These 30,000 emails were allegedly lost forever.  But, lo and behold, they were discovered on backup disaster recovery tapes!  Yes, the same kind of backup disaster recovery tapes that experts have been telling us existed all along.

The Editor says...
Notice also that this announcement came the day after Obama's imperial declaration of amnesty for illegal aliens, which is likely to displace this topic on all the weekend political talk shows.

30,000 missing emails from IRS' Lerner recovered.  Up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever.  The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of "disaster recovery tapes" that were used to back up the IRS email system.

Where are the Handcuffs?  [M]ultiple agencies of the Obama bureaucracy have thumbed their collective noses at the law and federal judges.  The rule of law means absolutely nothing to the Left, and it's high time they were held to account.

The IRS Admits To Breaking The Law.  The law requires that an FOIA search encompass all "reasonably retrievable" records, from which the party served can then argue for exemptions from disclosure.  It does not permit the target to choose not to look at its pleasure.

IRS: Um, Yeah, We Never Actually Looked for Lois Lerner's Emails or Anything.  Today's banana republic update comes to us from the exasperated watchdogs at Judicial Watch, which has a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pending in the IRS targeting scandal.  Some months ago, we learned that former Tax Exempt Organizations honcho Lois Lerner generates an intense bio-electric field that causes every hard drive that comes anywhere hear her to crash and lose all its data, something that never seems to happen to hard drives outside the government any more, but verily the Age of Obama is an age of wonders.  Lerner's mutant hard-drive crashing powers supposedly wiped out a ton of electronic correspondence relevant to the scandal.

Judicial Watch: IRS "did not undertake any significant efforts to obtain" missing Lerner emails.  Judicial Watch has spent a great deal of time and resources seeking information about the IRS targeting of conservative groups.  In September, Judicial Watch asked the court for permission to conduct discovery into how "lost and/or destroyed" records might be recovered; the IRS is fighting transparency efforts, but their latest response to the discovery request contains inconsistencies that could pull the rug out from under IRS officials responsible for the cover up.

IRS Admits to Court it Hasn't Searched for Missing Lerner Emails.  Judicial Watch announced today [11/5/2014] that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted to the court that it failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the "missing" emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.  The admission appears in an IRS legal brief opposing the Judicial Watch request that a federal court judge allow discovery into how "lost and/or destroyed" IRS records relating to the targeting of conservative groups may be retrieved.

Treasury Department won't let witness testify about Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails until AFTER the election.  The chairman of a powerful committee in Congress is demanding access 'without delay' to a key witness in the Lois Lerner email saga that has engulfed the IRS, but the Treasury Department insists she can't testify until after the midterm congressional elections.  House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, demanded late Wednesday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that he must make Treasury counsel Hannah Stott-Bumsted available before that Nov. 4 political milestone date.  Stott-Bumsted was the first Treasury aide to learn that the IRS was unable to locate two years' worth of disgraced official Lois Lerner's emails because of a hard drive crash.

The Lois Lerner app.  Imagine if you downloaded something that ended up wiping out all the information you needed before meeting with an IRS agent asking about discrepancies on your tax return.  How sympathetic do you think that IRS agent would be?  But when it comes to the IRS itself, this is just what officials would have us believe.  Turns out too it's not just Lois Lerner, whose computer crashed right after Congress asked for info about the tax targeting of conservative organizations.

Lois Lerner Tries to Barge Into Neighbor's Home to Dodge Journalist.  Jason Mattera [...] approached Lerner on the street in her upscale neighborhood just outside Washington, D.C. and asked Lerner if she wanted to apologize to conservatives or to comment on her role in "using the government as a weapon to crush political dissent."  Lerner then dashed across a neighbor's yard and began knocking on the door.

IRS Erased Key Records in Lawsuit, NetJets Says.  There may be a pattern involving the IRS losing e-mails and other key computer records.  For months, the House Oversight Committee has been pursuing the lost e-mails of Lois Lerner and other figures in the IRS tax-exempt organization scandal.  Now, the private-jet company NetJets is claiming in a lawsuit that as part of its tax dispute with the agency the IRS "wiped clean a number of computer hard drives containing emails and other electronic documents that the Government was required to produce."

Republicans and the IRS.  On Tuesday [9/22/2014], the Republican House passed several reform bills.  One would ensure that anyone who did what Lois Lerner did — i.e., send out confidential taxpayer info on her private e-mail — would be violating the law.  Others are designed to help taxpayers appeal when their groups are denied tax-exempt status or to ensure that officials who deliberately destroy federal records get the old heave-ho.  Here's the problem:  The bills now head to a Senate controlled by Democrat Harry Reid.  During his time as majority leader, Reid has ensured that the best reforms passed by House Republicans never even come up for a vote — sparing President Obama the bother of an embarrassing veto.

Lois Lerner breaks silence.  Employers won't hire her.  She's been berated with epithets like "dirty Jew."  Federal agents have guarded her house because of death threats.  And she's spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending herself against accusations she orchestrated a coverup in a scandal that has come to represent everything Americans hate about the IRS.  Lois Lerner is toxic — and she knows it.  But she refuses to recede into anonymity or beg for forgiveness for her role in the IRS tea party-targeting scandal.

Lois Lerner breaks silence: I'm 'not sorry for anything I did'.  Lois Lerner, the former IRS director accused of using her position to delay nonprofit applications to scores of conservative and tea party groups, has broken her wall of silence in a sit-down interview with Politico to say:  "I didn't do anything wrong."  "I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country," she told Politico.

The Editor says...
I suspect that the most notorious criminals in history probably didn't think they were doing anything wrong, either.

Politico: Lois Lerner is the Real Victim of the IRS Scandal.  Lois Lerner wants a new job.  She can't get one.  No one will hire her.  So it makes perfect sense that she would go to the leftwing Politico for aid and comfort.

Lois Lerner Says She Is No Jeffrey Dahmer.  During the interview with Politico, Lerner was still defiant:  "I didn't do anything wrong.  I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country."  Added Lerner:  "Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did."

Sorry, Politico, But Lois Lerner Is Not A Victim.  Lois Lerner.  Hero.  Servant.  Brownie-baking puppy lover.  Sister of the Blessed State.  This is about all a person reading Politico's new exclusive "interview" with the former head of the I.R.S. division that oversees tax-exempt groups, might take away.  "I didn't do anything wrong" claims Lerner, who, like any innocent person, is flanked by a major law firm's partner, two personal attorneys and her husband — a lawyer.  "I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country."  And in around 3,700 obsequious words, Politico seems to agree.  What exactly did she do for her country, you ask?  Well, sitting in her $2.5 million house in Bethesda, Maryland, this question, like most others, goes unanswered.

Lois Lerner's Sob Story.  Behold, the martyrdom of Lois Lerner.  At least, that is the takeaway from Monday's Politico interview with the former head of the IRS's tax-exemption unit, the guileless victim of right-wing conspiracy theorists, Republican operators, and Darrell Issa.  "Lerner ... has been painted in one dimension: as a powerful bureaucrat scheming with the Obama administration to cripple right-leaning nonprofits," writes interviewer Rachel Bade.  In reality, the scandal-hounded Lerner is — didn't you suspect? — "a much more complicated figure than the caricature she's become in the public eye."  Of course, Richard Nixon was "complicated," too, but he did not get 3,700 rehabilitative words in Politico.

Cry us a river, Lois Lerner.  Everyone in Washington has a P.R. machine, or at minimum, an agenda.  That's certainly the case with Lois Lerner, the former IRS executive whose division targeted conservative nonprofit applicants with delays and harassment.  Lerner's division of the IRS systematically obstructed and denied status to Tea Party groups while subjecting many of the smallest ones — those most vulnerable and least likely to be lawyered up — to inappropriate demands for information that was not legally required.  In one case, this included the content of the opening prayer recited in meetings, and in others, this IRS Inquisition demanded that leaders of certain groups pledge never to run for office.

More Abject Failure from Koskinen's IRS.  John Koskinen has failed the IRS and the American people.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified last week about the missing emails lost forever due to computer failures.  When questioned about any more crashes or computer issues recently, Koskinen told the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that "Hard drive crashes continue as we speak."  Can someone please buy the IRS reliable computers and a backup system?

The Editor says...
Of course there is nothing wrong with the reliability of the IRS computers.  Any computer hard drive will "crash" if it is hit with a sledgehammer.  How does Mr. Koskinen know (with enough certainty to pronounce under oath) that hard drive crashes are still occurring, or will soon occur?  One can rationally infer from Mr. Koskinen's statement that he is aware of on-going intentional destruction of computer hardware.

Citing IRS Wrongdoing, Judicial Watch Asks Federal Court to Permit Discovery to Find 'Missing' Emails in IRS Abuse Scandal.  Judicial Watch announced today [9/17/2014] that it has filed a Motion for Limited Discovery in its Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to force the agency to comply with federal court orders to produce information about how "lost and/or destroyed" IRS records relating to the targeting of conservative groups may be retrieved.

White House knew of destroyed emails two months before Congress.  Congressional investigators have released tesimony showing that an attorney for the IRS told the Treasury Department counsel of the destroyed emails, who then passed the information on to the White House.  The conversations took place in April — two months before the IRS told Congress of the destruction of evidence.

Attorney Representing Conservative Groups Not Surprised by More "Lost" IRS Emails.  Surprise!  The IRS claims it has lost emails belonging to even more employees embroiled in the scandal surrounding the targeting of conservatives.  Guy covered the details of the newest revelations earlier today and the AP reported about the lost emails over the weekend.

We still don't know why Lois Lerner's Blackberry was wiped clean.  As lawmakers return to Washington to continue the search for thousands of missing subpoenaed emails related to the Internal Revenue Service's alleged targeting of conservative groups, questions abound.  Among the most pressing is the fact that a Blackberry belonging to Lois Lerner, a former official at the center of the scandal, was wiped clean shortly after investigators started asking questions about her alleged role in the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.  Despite the fact that this revelation first came to light in August, the IRS has yet explain why this was done.

Will Orange be the New Black for IRS Chief Lois Lerner?  First it was just Lerner's computer that was affected, then those of her closest co-conspirators, then "no more than twenty" computers, and now an ever larger batch of burned out workstations.  Even more interesting, the IRS has apparently not yet shared this newest tidbit with Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, the distinguished and courageous jurist presiding over Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

IRS says it has lost emails from 5 more employees.  The Internal Revenue Service has lost emails from five more employees who are part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, the tax service disclosed Friday.

Why did the IRS clean out Lois Lerner's Blackberry as probes began?  Congress had little opportunity to debate the Internal Revenue Service's missing-e-mail controversy while on break during the past month, but lawmakers will have plenty to talk about when they return next week.  One question likely to come up is why the IRS wiped out Lois Lerner's Blackberry shortly after congressional staffers interviewed the then-IRS official about suspected targeting of conservative groups.  So far, the IRS has provided no answer.  The issue came to light last month after U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the IRS to explain its efforts to recover emails that went missing when the former official's hard drive crashed in 2011.

IRS scandal needs a special prosecutor.  We have heard the phrase "phony scandals" applied this summer to several important developments in President Obama's administration.  Obama would now love to place in this category even the IRS scandal, in which Lois Lerner's division of that agency targeted and harassed conservative non-profit groups.  Last summer, Obama had called that scandal "inexcusable" and forced the head of the IRS to resign.  How times change.  This scandal, though without the fatal consequences that attended the mismanagement of the Veterans Administration, is nevertheless egregious and telling about the nature of the executive over which Obama presides.  It escalated significantly last month as evidence of a bureaucratic cover-up mounted.  It bears watching, and it deserves a truly independent investigation.

The Biggest Issue in 2016.  (1) Lois Lerner's lost e-mails were never "lost" at all, but have been archived, and (2) Lois Lerner's BlackBerry, which also contained all the lost e-mails, was scrubbed and destroyed one year after her hard drive crashed.  Judge Sullivan shows no intention of letting Obama's underlings off the hook, and at this point a full-scale judicially ordered independent prosecution of the crimes committed seems to be in the works. [...] We do not know today just who has been involved, but it seems likely that the trail of wrongdoing stretches right into the White House.  The longer they stonewall and lie, the greater their criminal culpability.  Already it seems certain that the criminal misconduct includes not only conspiracy to abuse the power of the IRS, but also conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The Phony IRS Scandal is Not So Phony.  The Obama administration had clearly hoped to shut down the investigation by claiming that the central figure in the investigation, Lois Lerner, and six other IRS staffers, had all lost their emails when their computers crashed.  They said that after they were unable to recover her emails, they recycled the hard drive, so they didn't even have that to turn it over to the investigating committee.  Our friends at Judicial Watch have been leading the way in this investigation.  And this week they revealed that a Justice Department attorney told one of their attorneys that, in fact, Lerner's emails were not lost.  They stated that "...indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe."

Discovery of backups for `missing' Lois Lerner IRS e-mail.  Perhaps we now need a separate fourth branch of government whose only job it is to secure all government data against deletion by the other three branches.

Judicial Watch Statement on Discovery of Backups for "Missing" Lois Lerner IRS Emails.  The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner's missing emails.  There are no "missing" Lois Lerner emails — nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate.  All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion.  The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be — but dishonestly withheld this information.

The Latest Admission from the Obama IRS is Not Only Maddening, It's Criminal.  We were told that the agency did have all of Lois Lerner's emails, then we were told they did not.  The claim was made that they were destroyed when her hard drive crashed.  We were told that no backups of the emails were done, even though that is required by law.  On Tuesday [8/26/2014], Judicial Watch obtained an admittance from the Justice Department that, contrary to the lies previously told, the backups were done, but they would not search for the emails pertinent to the case because it would be too difficult.  Now comes an even more stunning admission from the Obama IRS that screams of criminal misconduct in the destruction of evidence.

IRS scandal: Obama administration strategy = delay, derail, deceive.  After being told repeatedly by a number of administration officials — including the IRS Commissioner — that former top IRS official Lois Lerner's computer problems resulted in the destruction of thousands of her key emails, we have now been told that those emails actually exist — backed up by an emergency system in the event of a catastrophe.  The Obama administration is doing everything it can — including presenting false and misleading information — to stall what can only be described as a faux investigation.

IRS back-up baloney.  Some 15 months after Americans learned about the IRS' targeting of conservative groups, we still have no clue how such an abuse was allowed to happen.  And every day, the story only gets murkier. This week, for instance, a government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, said administration officials admitted that all the "missing" e-mails belonging to Lois Lerner (the woman at the heart of the scandal) had been backed up after all — as part of a practice to back up all the government's e-mails.  No government official had said anything like that before.

IRS Shocker: Filing Reveals Lerner Blackberry Destroyed.  The IRS filing in federal Judge Emmet Sullivan's court reveals shocking new information.  The IRS destroyed Lerner's Blackberry AFTER it knew her computer had crashed and after a Congressional inquiry was well underway.  As an IRS official declared under the penalty of perjury, the destroyed Blackberry would have contained the same emails (both sent and received) as Lois Lerner's hard drive.  We all know by now that Lois Lerner's hard drive crashed in June 2011 and was destroyed by IRS.  The emails of up to twenty other related IRS officials were missing in remarkably similar "crashes," leading many to speculate that Lois Lerner's Blackberry perhaps held the key.  Now, the Observer can confirm that a year after the infamous hard drive crash, the IRS destroyed Ms. Lerner's Blackberry — and without making any effort to retain the emails from it.  Judge Sullivan has had to pry information from the IRS to learn anything about Ms. Lerner's Blackberry.  Now, with these latest revelations, I'm confident he's not finished.

Lois Lerner's Blackberry deliberately destroyed after start of congressional probe: IRS lawyer.  Lois Lerner's Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups, a senior IRS lawyer acknowledged in a sworn declaration.  Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was "removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012."  That date — June 2012 — is significant because by that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS' targeting of conservative groups.

George Will: IRS is 'off the rails' and 'corrupted'.  George Will said Tuesday [8/26/2014] on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that new revelations in the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal show the agency is "off the rails" and "thoroughly corrupted."  The president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch told Fox News Monday that Justice Department attorneys have said the "missing" emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner likely still exist in back-up computers.  However, the attorneys told Judicial Watch that retrieving the emails would be "too onerous."

Lois Lerner's Emails Exist — and Always Have.  The Obama administration is now admitting that IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner's emails, and all other "lost" IRS records for that matter, have not been destroyed.  They are backed up, as are all other government records.  To claim as the Obama administration originally did, that the emails were destroyed, is a bald-faced lie.  We all always knew that of course.  But there is nothing this administration won't do to change the subject when its shenanigans are uncovered.  Now that they have been backed into a corner, they say it is too much trouble to recover the information.  Another lie.  To suggest that these backup systems are incapable of finding records is ludicrous.  If records can't be recovered, why preserve them?

Will IRS's Strategy of Destroying Evidence Pay Off?  If the latest revelations about the IRS are correct, then its officials have approached the abuse-of-power scandal with a clear strategy, pretty much from the beginning.  They have been betting that, since their illegal targeting campaign against those who disagree with President Obama has had the backing of Democrats in Congress, they needed only a media strategy, not a political one.  And that media strategy appears to have been:  conceal or destroy potential (and actual) evidence, and assume that this activity will be less damaging than whatever is in the files they've worked to hide.  It's a direct challenge to the media, in other words.

GOP lawmakers say DOJ probe into IRS 'compromised,' demand special counsel.  House Republicans are calling on the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel for its probe into the IRS targeting scandal, claiming new evidence shows the investigation is "compromised" due to multiple instances of conflict of interest.  One example, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, involved a DOJ attorney representing the IRS in litigation relating to the scandal who used to work for the IRS and was involved in the targeting.  However, Monday night [8/25/2014] a DOJ source confirmed to Fox News that the employee in question, Andrew Strelka, "no longer works at DOJ."

Obama IRS caught lying to the Courts, Congress and the American People.  Judicial Watch does it again, acting as an advocate for the American citizen when neither party appears willing to uphold the law.

Darrell Issa: IRS Scandal Is 'Amazing Sequence' of Cover-Up, Denial.  House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa ( R., Calif.) slammed the IRS' "amazing sequences" of cover-ups during an appearance on Fox News, following a new report which suggests that Lois Lerner's emails were never truly "missing" following a computer crash.  Watchdog group Judicial Watch learned Friday from a Department of Justice attorney that the federal government backs up all their computer records in case of catastrophe.  The Department of Justice now says it would be "too hard" for them to obtain the emails from that database.  Issa described the reports as part of "What's emerging to be just an amazing sequences of cover-up, delay, denial, even what now appears to be a false statement from the new IRS commissioner in which he said he moved heaven and earth to get us Lois Lerner's lost emails.

Is there no end to the Obama administration's duplicity in the IRS scandal?  For months on end, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen insisted that Lois Lerner's emails were destroyed when her computer's hard drive failed.  Koskinen even told Congress that IRS "moved heaven and earth" trying to recover the emails but simply could not find a way to do so.  Now, thanks to a determined federal judge, the country learns that all government emails are preserved in a doomsday kind of database.  Lerner's emails never were lost.

Networks Dodge Huge IRS Scandal News as DOJ Attorney Says Lost Lerner E-Mails Do Exist.  Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton appeared on the Fox News Channel (FNC) Monday afternoon and informed viewers that a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney admitted to his organization on Friday [8/22/2014] that the e-mails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost likely still exist.  He declared to FNC's Shannon Bream that the story of Lerner's hard drive being damaged and destroyed and thus her e-mails were permanently lost has "all been a pack of malarkey" and "a big lie."  When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this huge story on their Monday evening newscasts, there was no coverage to be found as ABC, CBS, and NBC all carried out the latest censoring of news surrounding the IRS.

DOJ attorneys suggest 'lost' Lerner emails likely still exist: Judicial Watch.  In a stunning revelation, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch told Fox News that Justice Department attorneys have intimated that Lois Lerner's "lost" emails likely exist in back-up computers.  Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the news came during a Friday [8/22/2014] phone call with Department of Justice attorneys representing the IRS in Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuit against the IRS.  Fitton said DOJ attorneys told him the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure the continuity of government in [the e]vent of a catastrophe.

Judicial Watch: DOJ Admits Lois Lerner's Emails Exist.  A Justice Department official admitted that former IRS official Lois Lerner's apparently missing e-mails actually exist on a backup server, but the government doesn't plan to retrieve them.  "A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday [8/22/2014] that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there's a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News's Shannon Bream.

Further Misadventures of Obama's Deleted Administration.  I think we'd all like to know more about the IRS' policies for destroying hard drives, since they've been destroying so many of them lately.  It's been like a hard drive skeet shoot over there.  Question:  Is it safe for former Tax Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner to fly on commercial aircraft, since she evidently emits a magnetic field that causes computers to crash all around her?

Judge launches special inquiry into missing IRS emails and Lerner hard drive.  Judicial Watch has sued over missing IRS emails in the federal district court in D.C., pursuant to its FOIA request for such documents.  The IRS was ordered to provide explanations as to missing emails, particularly Lois Lerner.  The IRS provided explanations, but those were not good enough for the Judge, who launched his own inquiry into the matter, [...]

IRS Scandal: Lies, [More] Lies, and Missing Hard Drives.  In sworn affidavits filed in court by top IRS muckety-mucks, the IRS maintains that Lois Lerner's computer was sent out to be fixed by a private contractor because of an alleged problem with its hard drive.  When the contractor was unable to retrieve the lost data, the computer was forwarded to the IRS's criminal unit forensics lab, which was also unable to recover any data.  At that point the computer's hard drive was "degaussed" and batched with other defunct computer components for destruction and/or recycling by an outside contractor.  And since the IRS doesn't assign serial numbers to internal computer parts, there's no way to track it down.

More lost emails — When will Democrats have enough?  Twenty different Obama administration officials have lost or destroyed a portion of their email traffic.  Email traffic that was, in some cases, under subpoena or in others requested as part of a larger inquiry into the conduct of the executive branch. [...] The brazenly contemptuous stonewall-and-erase-evidence approach to congressional inquiries preferred by the Obama administration is perhaps this president's greatest affront to our constitutional system of government.  When you have records going missing across an administration, it is impossible to conclude anything other than it is a coordinated and condoned cover-up, and not just a series of incompetent, coincidental keystrokes wiping out information.

Tavenner: Transparency for Thee But Not for Me.  It has been widely reported that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails requested by congressional investigators is Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Far less coverage, however, has been devoted to the ironic fact that Tavenner's agency administers the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  The "Sunshine Act," as it is generally known, is a provision of Obamacare meant to ensure that physicians conduct business transactions with complete transparency.  In other words, the very bureaucrat whose emails have conveniently gone missing oversees the agency tasked with keeping your doctor and his business associates honest.

Is it time to view the Obama administration as a criminal enterprise?  [C]onsider the steadily accumulating evidence about the Obama administration's modus operandi with potentially incriminating documents subpoenaed by Congress:  A scandal erupts.  Congressional hearings are held.  Documents are requested and withheld.  Subpoenas are issued.  Contempt charges threatened.  A few documents dribble out.  Then come the admissions that, oh by the way, emails required by multiple federal laws to be preserved have either been destroyed or "lost."  Over and over and over...  The latest example comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, which admitted Wednesday [8/6/2014] that hundreds of Obamacare emails subpoenaed in 2013 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were destroyed months ago.

Lost emails scandal spreads to top Obamacare official.  The Obama administration admitted Thursday [8/7/2014] that it has lost emails from the key official who oversaw the botched federal Obamacare rollout last year, and the health department may have broken the law by failing to report the lost emails to the National Archives.  Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, thought she had saved the emails as official records but now realizes they "might not be retrievable," the Health and Human Services Department said in a letter to Congress detailing the problem.

IRS notches legal win over lost tea party emails.  The IRS won what might be Round One in a series of contests pitting tea party groups against the agency, with a federal judge rejecting a conservative group's bid for a court-appointed forensics expert to hunt for ex-official Lois Lerner's lost emails.  Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia said True the Vote's lawsuit against the IRS failed to show "irreparable harm" in its injunction relief request and that "the public interest weighs strongly against the type of injunctive relief the plaintiff seeks."

Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials 'Lost or Destroyed' E-mails After House Launched Probes.  The revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.  "The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn't disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner's lost e-mails.

Key ObamaCare official likely deleted emails now sought in House probe.  A key ObamaCare official involved in the rocky rollout of Healthcare.gov likely deleted some of her emails that are now being sought as part of an investigation into the problems by a House committee, Fox News confirmed Thursday [8/7/2014].  The Department of Health and Human Services informed House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa in a letter Thursday that some of the emails belonging to Marilyn Tavenner, who leads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, may not be "retrievable."

Law Prof Gets Cute with Trey Gowdy On IRS Scandal & Gets Perp-Walked to the Democrat Walk of Shame.  The Democrats thought it would be a good idea to invite Professor Charles Tiefer, a fierce critic of the GOP's lawsuit against President Obama, to testify against the creation of a Special Counsel for the IRS scandal.  They were wrong.  Trey Gowdy's tough and incisive arguments put Tiefer on the defensive, making it difficult for the Harvard Law grad to answer even basic questions.

Lois Lerner ripping 'crazies' on right: Why some media folks don't care.  To be sure, this investigation has dragged on a long time without proving a link between the White House and the Cincinnati office's targeting of advocacy groups, especially on the right, for special scrutiny of their tax-exempt status.  Critics say that conservative outlets such as Fox have tried to keep the story alive.  But the administration has done a decent job of bringing the story back to the headlines.  The IRS acknowledged that it could not find two years' worth of lost emails written or received by Lerner, who pleaded the Fifth when summoned by Congress.  And the commissioner, William Koskinen, sounded downright arrogant when he showed up on the Hill.

IRS commissioner: Even if we find those lost emails, Congress 'won't concede error' and will find something else to attack.  Even if the IRS recovers thousands of missing emails belonging to key officials involved in the targeting of conservative groups, congressional investigators will likely "go on to something else" and continue to hound the agency, according to IRS commissioner John Koskinen.  Investigators "won't concede error.  They'll say it was worth pursuing, which it is.  Whether it was worth making a federal case out of it or not is another issue," he said in an interview this week with Tax Analysts, a nonprofit group.  Certain lawmakers, he added, are determined to go after the IRS for any reason they can find.

Lois Lerner: A Partisan Hack, Not A Public Servant.  A congressional panel has released new emails from top IRS official Lois Lerner, revealing a boiling hatred for the conservatives she illegally targeted.  So much for claims that she was just a disinterested bureaucrat.  The latest batch of emails released Wednesday [7/30/2014] by the House Ways and Means Committee contained more than a "smidgeon" of hatred and intolerance from the IRS chief of tax-exempt organizations already famous for singling out conservative Tea Party groups for enforcement scrutiny.  "Great," Lerner wrote to an IRS colleague who complained about conservative radio at work.  "Maybe we are through if there are that many a******s."

New Emails: Lois Lerner Referred to Conservatives As '***holes' and 'Terrorists'.  A newly discovered email exchange from Lois Lerner's official IRS email account "directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner's deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as '---holes,'" House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday [7/30/2014].  In that Nov. 9, 2012 email, Lerner further suggests that conservatives will ruin the country:  "So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists (sic).  It's our own crazies that will take us down," she wrote.  Camp (R-Mich.) told Holder the email "shows that Ms. Lerner's mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives."

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show.  Newly released emails by Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the tea party targeting scandal, show "deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as 'a**h***s,'" according to a House committee.  The emails were among a batch of new evidence the House Ways and Means Committee turned over Wednesday [7/30/2014] to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in support of an investigation of criminal wrongdoing at the IRS.

Lois Lerner's 'Deep Animus Towards Conservatives' Revealed in New Emails.  The discovery of a new trove of emails sent from Tax Exempt Organization director Lois Lerner's official IRS account — in which she compares conservatives to terrorists, and refers to them as "crazies," "rabid," "whackos," and "a**holes" — illustrates the cunning of Democrats in dragging this scandal out for years.  If these new emails had been revealed at the outset of the story, back when Barack Obama was pretending to be outraged by the abuse of IRS power for political purposes, it would have been devastating.  It would have been difficult for the pro-Obama media to control the firestorm.  But now, years later, it's more like a head-shaky footnote, confirming what we already knew about Lerner — a partisan operative who was keenly interested in using her power to serve her political interests.

How Litigating Lost E-mails Works.  Two federal judges in the last couple of weeks have issued very plain, direct, and uncompromising orders to the IRS with tight timeframes.  As I noted in my earlier article, there is no good response the IRS can make to these orders.  Judges — really, any judge — deeply resent being lied to with a straight face.  That sort of behavior shows clear contempt for their authority.  There is no reason to doubt for a moment that the absurdly fabricated lies told to Congress by IRS officials will be accepted by these two judges.  What might follow then?  The judges might, sua sponte, find the IRS official involved in direct contempt of court.  These officials could be sent to a federal jail and held as punishment for direct contempt.

All IRS roads lead to the archivist.  The Internal Revenue Service is the House of Representatives' public enemy No. 1.  The agency has quietly admitted that it has lost emails for seven employees at the center of the agency's targeting of conservative groups, including the former employee at the heart of the scandal, Lois Lerner.  The admission of a loss of records during the course of a congressional investigation hints at either gross bureaucratic negligence or a federal agency gone legally astray — perhaps both.

IRS IT officials testify in court that Lois Lerner's emails may still exist.  On Wednesday [7/23/2014], House Republicans revealed that at least one Internal Revenue Service official believes that it is possible that the agency did not "recycle" all of the hardware and backup tapes on which were stored former IRS executive Lois Lerner's missing emails.  This development may contradict testimony from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen who told members of Congress that none of Lerner's emails could be recovered.  The claim came from Stephen Manning, an IRS IT official, and Todd Egaas, director of technology operations and investigative services for the tax collection agency.  Both testified in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. last week about the IRS's efforts to collect and recover data from Lerner's hard drive.

The IRS Scandal and the Politicization of Justice.  [T]he Justice Department has been supposedly conducting a criminal investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives since Holder announced an investigation in May of 2013 without result. DOJ investigators apparently had no idea that the emails of Lois Lerner and other key employees had been lost; investigators had not bothered in all that time to interview any of the victims; and Holder put an Obama campaign donor who works in the Civil Rights Division in charge of the investigation — a lawyer with no experience in this type of investigation at all.

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

Trey Gowdy Eviscerates IRS Commissioner.  Wednesday [7/23/2014] at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) would not let IRS Commissioner John Koskinen off the hook over his failure to bring acceptable answers to Congress about the supposed loss of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails.

IRS backup tapes discovered!.  You can tell that this is a huge story because the Mainstream Media are completely ignoring it, leaving Fox News the privilege of continuing to break the story that could well be bigger than Watergate. [...] [IRS Commissioner John] Koskinen is a savvy lawyer who realizes that if he does not inform himself of the detailed facts, he can present testimony under oath that there is no information to his knowledge about sensitive topics, without triggering perjury liability.  He has already employed this tactic multiple times in presenting incorrect information to the Issa Committee, based on his failure to inform himself.

IRS experts: Lois Lerner hard drive was just 'scratched' — not damaged beyond recovery.  Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner's hard drive — the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal — was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011.  But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner's computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just "scratched," and that most of the data on it was recoverable.  The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner's computer — something IRS management declined to do.

Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Was 'Scratched' Then 'Shredded'.  Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's computer hard drive was "scratched" and the data on it was still recoverable.  But the IRS did not try to recover the data from Lerner's hard drive, despite recommendations from in-house IRS IT experts to outsource the recovery project.  The hard drive was then "shredded," according to a court filing the IRS made to House Ways and Means Committee investigators.

In the tug-of-war between the Tea Party and the IRS, the Democrats pull for the IRS.
Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings calls for end to 'public harassment' of IRS chief John Koskinen.  The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel is objecting to a plan to call the Internal Revenue Service commissioner to testify for a third time in a matter of weeks, calling it "public harassment of an agency head."  Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday [7/21/2014] to Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to a decision to call Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday.  It would be the third time Koskinen appeared before the panel in the past month, Cummings noted.

The Editor says...
Answering questions raised by Congress is Mr. Koskinen's job.  As the head of the IRS, which is currently up to its neck in scandals, Mr. Koskinen has a lot to answer for.  Congressman Cummings is making a feeble attempt to drum up sympathy for the IRS Commissioner.

What Happened To the IRS IT Asset Management Team?  An Ohio-based trade association, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), wants to know why the IRS's IT Asset Managers have apparently "disappeared at a key juncture."  IAITAM administers internationally accepted certifications for information technology professionals, and according to their records "at least three IT Asset Managers ... were working at the IRS prior to the 13 May 2013 Inspector General Report [that detailed the IRS abuse of conservative political groups]."  However, IAITAM claims in a press release Monday [7/21/2014] that those workers "were shuffled out from those positions around the time of the report."

6 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.

IRS: Lerner emails may exist after all.  The IRS might not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner's emails after all, according to a top IRS official.  In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS's deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the backup tapes which held the emails have been recycled.  The IRS told lawmakers in June that the tapes had been recycled, one of the reasons that an untold number of Lerner's emails were missing.  Since then, the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, has repeatedly stood by those statements in congressional testimony.

IRS official: Lost Lois Lerner emails may still exist.  Could the IRS have those missing Lois Lerner emails after all?  New testimony from a key Internal Revenue Service official indicates the IRS may not have lost two years of emails sent by former top IRS official Lois Lerner after all.  That is what the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee suggested Monday morning in a newly released transcript of a recent closed-door interview with IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane.

IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives.  Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner's computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.  The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for "media destruction" services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency's record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.

Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole.  The Lois G. Lerner emails released this month revealed a potentially huge loophole in federal open-records practices when an IRS tech staffer acknowledged that the agency doesn't regularly store — and never checks — instant message chats as official government records.  Analysts say there is no question that the Internal Revenue Service and all other federal agencies should be storing chats and even cellphone text messages that may constitute official government documents, but a check by The Washington Times suggests that hardly any agency is doing so.

Now IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes, Doesn't Know If Emails Still Exist.  IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to "less than 20," and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.  The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner's technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens

Rep. Stockman: Still Waiting for NSA Metadata on Lois Lerner's Emails.  Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) says he's still waiting for the National Security Agency (NSA) to hand over metadata of emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner, which he says is an appropriate request by Congress to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal and protect Americans' First Amendment rights.  On June 13, Stockman sent a letter to NSA Director Michael Rogers requesting that the agency "produce all metadata it has collected on all of Ms. Lerner's email accounts for the period between January 2009 and April 2011."  Stockman said he sent the letter just hours after the IRS blamed a "computer glitch" for the allegedly lost emails, which House Republicans subpoenaed in their investigation of whether the IRS inappropriately targeted certain conservative groups for political reasons.

Lois Lerner's Illegal Instant Message Trick.  It was so brazen.  Right there, over email, Lois Lerner warned her colleagues "Congress has asked for emails... so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails."  Then she asked whether the IRS's instant messaging application was being archived, and was told that — contrary to law — archiving had been disabled.  She responded:  "Perfect."

IRS: Lerner's hard drive was wiped clean in 2011.  The IRS said under oath Friday [7/18/2014] that former agency official Lois Lerner's hard drive was destroyed and recycled, echoing earlier testimony from its commissioner.  In its most extensive comments yet on Lerner's hard drive, the agency said in court filings Friday that the hard drive was destroyed in 2011 to protect confidential taxpayer information.  Before that, the IRS said, the hard drive underwent a process designed to permanently erase stored data.  That process occurred after a series of IRS technical officers examined Lerner's hard drive, and found that it couldn't be restored after a crash.

The Editor asks...
What are the names of those "IRS technical officers," and how did they wipe the data off Lois Lerner's hard drive if it had "crashed?"

Lois Lerner's Former FEC Pal Under Investigation Claims Her Computer Crashed Too.  Really, how much more smoke do we need to choke on before we understand exactly what is burning here[?]

Former Congressman Says 'Arrest and Confine' Lois Lerner Until She Talks!.  Congressman Steve Stockman, fresh from visiting the Texas border, was interviewed on TPNN's "The Capitol Hill Show" with fill-in host, former Congressman Ernest Istook on Friday, to discuss the Obama border crisis, the impeachment of Barack Obama, and whether to arrest the Obama IRS's Lois Lerner.

Department of Justice: We Heard About IRS Missing Emails On The News.  James Cole, deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice, testified Thursday [7/17/2014] that the DOJ heard about the destruction of IRS officials' emails in the news, even though DOJ has formally been investigating the IRS for more than a year.  "I think we learned about it after that, from press accounts," Cole told House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan at a hearing Thursday on the DOJ's response to the wave of computer crashes at the IRS that wiped out seven different employees' hard drives.

Would You Believe, Another Crashed Hard Drive?  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday [7/14/2014] made yet another request to the federal government for details about a crashed hard drive that may have contained information allowing criminal charges to be brought against a federal official.  Issa's newest letter concerns the hard drive of April Sands, a former employee at the Federal Election Commission who resigned in the spring after admitting to violations of the Hatch Act.  That law puts restrictions on the ability of government officials to conduct political activities while on the job, or from government offices.

Resolution Filed for Arrest of Lois Lerner.  On Thursday, Tea Party Congressman Steve Stockman announced that he and several other lawmakers had "filed a resolution directing the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest Lois Lerner for contempt."  Lerner has been at the center of the IRS scandal as she was the head of the nonprofit department that oversaw tax exempt status designations.  She and the IRS waged a years-long campaign of harassment against Tea Party groups in an apparent effort to stymie political efficacy.  On Wednesday [7/9/2014], Congress discovered emails that show an attempt by Lerner to cover her tracks as investigators investigated her department's actions.

IRS scandal: Lois Lerner's 'perfect' method for hiding emails.  At what most expected to be a relatively routine House oversight committee hearing on Wednesday [7/9/2014], there was yet another IRS bombshell.  On April 9, 2013, just days after seeing the draft Treasury Inspector General Report that revealed the IRS's massive Tea Party targeting scheme, Lois Lerner, then director of exempt organizations at the IRS, sent an email to an IRS IT official asking whether the IRS's internal chat system was searchable.  What's equally as troubling and unbelievable is that congressional investigators and the American people learned of this internal chat system only on Wednesday — the first time this critical communications method inside the IRS was disclosed.

House Drafting Statement to Arrest Lois Lerner for Contempt.  Lerner has come under renewed scrutiny this week on two fronts.  Emails show that she was aware of a key email that later went "missing."  More importantly, other released emails show that she sought to hide information from Congress as it was investigating the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.  The House has the power to arrest and jail on charges of contempt.

Lois Lerner email: "we need to be cautious about what we say in emails".  This evidences a consciousness of guilt, even if somewhat after the fact of the harassment of conservative groups.  She's also not the brightest bulb in the theater — if you are worried about saying incriminating things in emails because Congress may discover the emails, don't talk about it in emails.

Second federal judge tells IRS to explain lost Lerner emails.  U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton told Obama administration lawyers on Friday [7/11/2014] he wants to see an affidavit explaining what happened with Lerner's hard drive.  The IRS claims her computer suffered a crash in 2011 that wiped her email records at the time clean.  But at a hearing examining a lawsuit against the IRS by conservative group True the Vote, Walton said he wants to know what happened to Lerner's hard drive, which allegedly was recycled.  He asked for an affidavit from those involved in handling the crashed drive.

Federal judge to IRS: Explain these "lost" e-mails, please ... under oath.  The excuse of "the hard drive ate my homework" flies just as well in federal court as it does in any middle school, it seems.  After Judicial Watch filed a complaint over the lack of notice on their FOIA demand that the Lois Lerner e-mails no longer existed, a federal judge ordered the IRS to explain what happened within 30 days — and that explanation has to come under oath.

Lois Lerner Did Print Out 'Some' Emails, After All.  Lerner's lawyer Bill Taylor initially claimed that Lerner did not print out and file her emails, as the Federal Records Act required her to do, before they allegedly went missing in a 2011 computer crash and her hard drive was "recycled" by the IRS.  Taylor also claimed that Lerner "did not think it was required," despite clear instructions for employees on the IRS website.  But now the story is changing.  Taylor told a Virginia-based publication Wednesday that Lerner printed out "some" of her emails.  "During her tenure as Director of Exempt Organizations, she did print out some emails, although not every one of the thousands she sent and received," Taylor said.

Lawyer: Lerner may have printed some emails.  Former IRS official Lois Lerner said she warned her colleagues to be careful about what they write in emails amid congressional inquiries, according to new emails released by House Oversight Republicans.  She also asked whether the IRS's internal messaging system could be searched, in the same email to an IRS colleague.  It was sent April 9, 2013, less than two weeks after the IRS inspector general that unearthed the tea party targeting practice shared a draft report with the agency.

What Lois Lerner told her IRS colleagues not to say in emails.  Embattled former Internal Revenue Service senior executive Lois Lerner cautioned colleagues against including comments in official emails and text messages that might be seen by Congress.  "I was cautioning folks about email and how we have several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails," Lerner said in an April 9, 2013, email to IRS technology staff member Maria Hooke and Nannette Downing, manager of the IRS Exempt Organizations Exam Unit.  "Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable — I don't know, but told them I would get back to them.  Do you know," Lerner asked.

Former IRS Director: IRS Scandal Due to Budget Restrictions.  A former IRS director said Tuesday that IRS mismanagement was due to budget restrictions and a backlog of applications, claiming it had nothing to do with tax-exempt organizations.  "This issue with the IRS performance has been building for a long time, and critical decisions were made actually back in 2003.  Training was cut back dramatically in 2003 because of budget restrictions," said Marcus Owens, former director for the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS for 10 years, during a panel discussion hosted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) at the Capitol.

Federal Judge Orders IRS to Explain Lost Emails.  A federal judge on Thursday [7/10/2014] 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.

Republicans Say Ex-I.R.S. Official May Have Circumvented Email.  Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official at the center of an investigation into the agency's treatment of conservative political groups, may have used an internal instant-messaging system instead of email so that her communications could not be retrieved by investigators, Republican lawmakers said Wednesday [7/9/2014].  The accusation against Ms. Lerner, the former head of the agency's division on tax exemption, came nearly a week after the I.R.S. gave investigators thousands of her emails, including some that were destroyed when her hard drive crashed in 2011 but were recovered from the accounts of people with whom she had corresponded.

IRS Official Whose Computer Crashed Was Responsible For Spinning Congress On Targeting.  Nikole Flax served as ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's point person on delaying and reviewing all IRS responses to questions about what Lerner called "c4 stuff."  Flax was tasked with emailing "affirmative messages" to IRS officials if she approved of their responses to questions about the targeting.  Flax, a frequent White House visitor, is one of seven IRS employees whose emails were allegedly destroyed in a wave of computer crashes that afflicted the IRS' Washington and Cincinnati offices.

Litigating Lost E-mails.  [Scroll down]  In such a hearing, all the absurdities, all of the impossible coincidences, all the smirking lies would be brought before justices who are unaccustomed to lawyers arrogantly telling them childish fabrications.  These justices would then be able to interrogate those who have been having fun committing perjury to a House committee.  Given this current attitude by the high court towards Obama's duplicitous behavior, it is likely that the Supreme Court would find that the Obama administration is not acting in good faith to produce the e-mails.  The court might then issue an order compelling officials to produce the records or be found in contempt of court.

Lois Lerner discussed new IRS 'scrutiny' guidelines same month her emails disappeared.  Former Internal Revenue Service executive Lois Lerner, once the head of the division which oversaw tax-exemption applications, spoke at a 2010 government conference where she joined former chief of staff to the IRS commissioner Nikole Flax, in discussing new guidelines the agency would use when scrutinizing applications.  According to a report via The Daily Caller's Patrick Howley, Flax and Lerner both briefed federal bureaucrats on the new approach to vetting groups applying for tax-exempt status apparently amid a series of computer crashes that permanently deleted the emails of both IRS officials.

Court Grants Judicial Watch Hearing Over Missing IRS Emails.  Judicial Watch filed a Motion for Status Conference in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to confer about the emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials, which were the subject of longstanding Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and a lawsuit, and which the IRS now claims to have "lost" (Judicial Watch v. IRS (No. 1:13-cv — 1559)).  U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan almost immediately granted our request and ordered a federal court hearing on the missing IRS emails be set for July 10!

Another federal judge tells IRS to explain itself on lost emails.  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 [6/30/2014].

Shifting Sands.  This week, the efforts to push the IRS scandal under the carpet seem to be unavailing.  Increased numbers of IT experts say the crashed drive story is implausible. [...] In fact, no one seems to be buying the IRS tale.  A Fox news Poll indicates 76% of Americans believe the IRS deliberately destroyed the emails evincing it had deliberately targeted Obama's opponents in violation of the law.  Capping off the week, we learned that the EPA is now also claiming crashed drives destroyed a critical email trail.

Lois Lerner's unconvincing defenders.  Judging from an appearance on CNN by former IRS executive Lois Lerner's attorney, William Taylor III, the embattled former IRS official at the center of the targeting scandal is embracing an argument similar to the White House's defense of the IRS as a whole:  Republicans are on a political witch-hunt.  More accurately, Taylor's defense of his client is based on the notion that Lerner is the real victim of targeting here.

Lois Lerner Attorney Claims She Pleaded The Fifth To Avoid Being Bullied.  Sunday [6/29/2014] on CNN's "State of the Union," former IRS official Lois Lerner's attorney, William Taylor was questioned by host Candy Crowley about why she would pled the fifth if she was innocent.  "If she's done nothing wrong she doesn't need to be subjected to the kind of bullying that goes on in that committee," Taylor said.

Lois Lerner Fights Back!  Let's look at his opening move:  "She doesn't know what happened," Taylor said of the 2011 computer crash that erased two years' worth of Lerner's correspondence.  "It's a little brazen to think she did this on purpose."  First, he is actually asserting that she didn't do it on purpose.  But it did happen, so she either she did accidentally or someone with reach power and understanding of the consequences of the e-mails ordered it done.

Lois Lerner's Lawyer: 'A Little Brazen' to Say She Purposely Destroyed Hard Drive.  Lois Lerner is back in the news cycle after the IRS told a House committee recently a chunk of her emails are missing because of a failed hard drive, with House Republicans holding multiple hearings on the matter in the past week.  And in an interview with POLITICO, Lerner's lawyer says it's "a little brazen to think she did this on purpose."  William Taylor III says all the Republican hand-wringing about Lerner doing something sinister is just "silly" because, he said, she honestly doesn't know what happened to the emails.  He charges that Republican "critics of Ms. Lerner and the IRS seize indiscriminately on small pieces of fact to claim they prove scandal."  Taylor also claims that Lerner "requested that IT use every possible resource" to fix the hard drive in 2011 after she discovered it crashed.

The IRS Says It Lost a Bunch of Lois Lerner's Emails. That Deserves More Scrutiny.  The loss of a personal computer hard drive shouldn't be able to permanently eliminate emails from a well-run workplace email system.  Those emails are run through central email exchange servers, and backups are typically kept using those central exchanges.  Add to that Lerner's prominence in the investigation — she has repeatedly declined to answer questions before Congress, invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate — and the year it took for the IRS to inform the House Ways and Means Committee that the emails were lost in a crash, and the dog-ate-my-emails bit starts to smell rather fishy.

Breaking: Meet Emmet Sullivan, IRS Judge Who Once Sicced a Special Prosecutor on DOJ.  Americans are appalled over the false testimony of four consecutive IRS Commissioners, Lois Lerner's countless acts of malfeasance, and the IRS's targeting of conservative groups and specific individuals, among them Senator Grassley.  The ultimate outrage came over the lame, intellectually insulting assertions that all of the most relevant emails have gone missing from multiple IRS computers at the same time.

About That 'Server Ate My Emails' Thing.  Is the IRS really claiming both the IRS' mail server and Lois Lerner's local hard-drive crashed?  If the server's hard-drive failed, that would mean email for everyone within the organization who had an account on that particular mail server would not be able to access their email accounts.  Email still being sent from other email accounts on the same mail server that hosted Lois Lerner's account, and during the same time period that Lerner claims her hard-drive crashed, would indicate the mail server was still operational, despite any misfortune that befell Lerner's local hard-drive.

IT Trade Association Questions Whether Lerner's Emails Were Destroyed.  Were Lois Lerner's allegedly lost emails actually destroyed?  An Ohio-based trade association, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), isn't so sure, and they don't find IRS commissioner Koskinen's explanation of their loss very plausible.  IAITAM administers internationally accepted certifications for information technology professionals.  According to the group's standards, if Lerner's supposedly malfunctioning hardware was properly destroyed, there would be records of it.

'Suspicious': Experts, GOP lawmakers question Lerner's lost email explanation.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, in testimony on Capitol Hill this week, cited those emails as proof of the hard drive crash.  But Lerner's communications with the agency's IT team referred to her desire to retrieve "lost personal files" — not lost emails.  And that detail is "very suspicious," according to David Kennedy, chief executive of information security firm TrustedSec.  Kennedy said that when government computers crash, email recovery should be a priority.  But in Lerner's communication with the IT team, "There is no talk about the recovery of the emails," Kennedy said, adding, "It didn't seem like they really wanted to recover the data."

It's Time For AG Holder To Appoint A Special Counsel To Investigate The IRS.  You may have heard that the Internal Revenue Service has lost some emails.  We are going to help the agency find them — either on their own, or through an investigation by a Special Counsel.  These aren't just any emails.  They are emails from 2009 through 2011 that Lois Lerner sent as head of the division of the IRS responsible for targeting conservative groups based on their political beliefs.  In March, the IRS promised to turn over these emails as part of the ongoing congressional investigations into political targeting.  Now the agency says they are lost, the result of an untimely crash of Lois Lerner's hard drive.  Other key employees' emails are lost too, apparently the result of the coincidental demise of additional IRS hard drives.

The sleeper case that could bust open the IRS scandals.  In the absence of a special prosecutor, the best opportunity for piercing the veil of secrecy and evasion that surrounds the IRS handling of groups perceived as enemies of the Obama administration lies in civil litigation.  The National Organization for Marriage has just obtained a $50,000 settlement from the IRS for its criminal release of confidential donor information to an opposition group.  But so far Eric Holder's Justice Department is not pursuing inquiries into who feloniously released that information.

IRS Spent $4.4 Billion on IT.  The IRS under the Obama Administration has spent over $4 billion on contracts labeled under information technology and software despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifying this week that budgetary restraints prevented the agency from spending $10 million to save and store emails.  Koskinen said "declining budget resources" at the IRS caused the agency decided to reject spending the $10 million needed to ensure emails were properly secured.  A review of IRS spending by the Free Beacon shows the agency has spent a massive amount on what it labeled as IT/software and data processing contracts in the past five fiscal years.  The official government's spending website shows the IRS spent $4.4 billion during this time period.

Blitzer Grills IRS Head: Why Shouldn't Taxpayers Use 'Crashed Hard Drive' Argument?  After days of getting hammered by Republican members of Congress on Capitol Hill over the last few days, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen sat down with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room Thursday afternoon [6/26/2014] and attempted to defend his agency's reaction to the scandal involving Lois Lerner's missing emails.  "I apologize to anybody who had their applications held up needlessly," Koskinen said.  [E]verybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly, Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to.  It's a serious matter."

Email reveals how Lois Lerner targeted GOP Senator after she accidentally received invitation meant for him.  Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday [6/25/2014] showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal also sought to audit Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in 2012.  According to the emails, former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant for the Iowa Senator.  An event organizer had offered to pay for Grassley's wife, Barbara Ann, to attend the event.  In an email to other IRS officials, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit.  'Perhaps we should refer to exam?' Lerner wrote in a December 4, 2012 email.

Meet The Seven IRS Employees Whose Computers 'Crashed'.  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.

IRS scandal evolving too fast for reporters to ignore.  A handful of former IRS executive Lois Lerner's emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee seem to be serving as a Rorschach test for political actors and members of the press alike.  For some, the early reaction to those emails revealed more about an individual's thinking about the IRS scandal, and the Republican-led House committees, than it did about the alleged misconduct of one of the country's most powerful law enforcement agencies.

Gohmert and Flores Propose $1M Bounty for Lerner E-mails.  Representatives Bill Flores and Louie Gohmert, both Texas Republicans, have proposed a million dollar bounty for the recovery of former IRS official Lois Lerner's e-mails.  They've filed the Identify and Recover Sent Emails Act, which, if passed, would award $500,000 to anyone with "pertinent information sufficient for prosecution" of anyone involved in the destruction of Lerner's e-mails or a cool $1 million to anyone who can recover the e-mails outright.  How is the sizeable bounty to be funded?  From the IRS budget.

Jon Stewart: IRS, federal government behavior 'borders on criminal idiocy'.  Comedian Jon Stewart isn't impressed with the Internal Revenue Service's story that it simply lost Lois Lerner emails during a 2011 hard drive crash, saying that the government's behavior "across all platforms borders on criminal idiocy."  In response to the agency's assertion that IRS employees had an email quota of 150 megabytes per mailbox he replied, "That's 1 percent of what Gmail offers users for free," he said Tuesday [6/24/2014].

Lerner sought IRS audit of sitting GOP senator, emails show.  Congressional investigators have uncovered emails showing ex-IRS official Lois Lerner targeted a sitting Republican senator for a proposed internal audit, a discovery one GOP lawmaker called "shocking."  The emails were published late Wednesday [6/25/2014] by the House Ways and Means Committee and pertain to the woman at the heart of the scandal over IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

One Million Dollar IRS Bounty Offered For Info Leading to White House.  With idea that surely someone somewhere knows something, one of the non-profits that was victimized by the IRS, is offering a million dollar bounty for smoking gun evidence that leads to the White House.  In May, Catherine Englebrecht's group, True the Vote created The IRS Bounty which offers a million dollar "crowd-funded award for new, relevant evidence implicating IRS senior leadership or Obama White House officials in the IRS scandal."

Media Bias and the Obama Scandals.  If you are a New York Times reader, let me bring you up to date:  the IRS, urged on by Democratic Party politicians, has gone to considerable lengths to suppress conservative-oriented nonprofit organizations.  Among many other things, it sent 1.1 million pages of documents, some of them confidential materials that it is a felony to disclose, to the FBI, encouraging the FBI to stir up criminal prosecutions of conservative donors.  When its activities came to light, the IRS stonewalled and likely destroyed incriminating documents, while its key employee refused to testify under oath, relying on her privilege against self-incrimination.  Scandal, anyone?

Now EPA says it can't find emails requested by Congress because of hard drive crash.  Does the federal government have any systems at all to back its email archives?  Maybe not, because the Environmental Protection Agency is now using the same excuse as the IRS is using in response to a Congressional subpoena:  the computer ate our homework.

Trail Of Lost IRS Emails Might Lead To White House.  One of the seven people, including Lois Lerner who lost emails from the period of Tea Party targeting by the IRS, served as chief of staff to former IRS head Steven Miller.  She also made 35 visits to the White House.  The funny thing about emails is that they are never orphans.  When you send one, there's always a recipient who has his or her own copy.  The "lost" Lois Lerner emails had recipients.  How about subpoenas to all of them during the Tea Party targeting period?

IRS Commissioner: 'I Do Not Remember' How I Was Told Lerner Emails Lost.  While Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) grilled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the first time he learned his agency had lost Lois Lerner's emails, Koskinen insisted he remembers nothing about the situation.  When Jordan responded incredulously, Koskinen explained, "We were in the middle of filing season as all this was going on."

IRS's Own Employee Manual Proves They Are Lying.  ["]Refrain from sending large attachments to work groups or audiences.  Remember every email message and any attachments, embedded graphics and photographs require a copy for each Exchange server store where each recipient's mailbox resides.["]

Welcome To The Executive Dictatorship.  There is almost nothing the president of the United States cannot do.  This week, we found out President Barack Obama's IRS not only targeted conservative nonprofit applicants with impunity but then destroyed the emails that could have illuminated the process behind such targeting.  Meanwhile, the attorney general — the executive officer charged with fighting government criminality — continues to stonewall an independent prosecutor, maintaining along with his boss that there is not a "smidgen of corruption" in the IRS.

IRS Failed to Share News of Lost Lerner Emails.  Testifying before the House Oversight Committee today, U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero said the IRS failed, as required by law, to notify him that records — in this case the lost emails of Lois Lerner — had been destroyed.  "They did not follow the law," Ferriero said.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified Monday [6/23/2014] that he knew of the lost email records in April and didn't tell a soul, not even the committee to which he had promised to provide them.

The Merger of the Party and the State.  If you suspected that the Administration's plan was to stonewall until things die down and it was safe to resume ruining the lives of its opponents, [IRS Commissioner John] Koskinen's performance in recent days would have more or less confirmed it. [...] On his previous appearance before Congress, the IRS Commissioner gave false testimony.  As he has now conceded, he has known since February that Lois Lerner's and other officials' emails were "lost" and "irretrievable".  Gone, forever, and the hard drives destroyed.  Yet the following month he was asked by Trey Gowdy why the IRS was taking so long to cough up the requested emails, and said that it was because they had to be "screened".  That was a lie.

Scarborough Savages NYT For Burying IRS Email Scandal: 'This Is A Scam!'  Co-host Mika Brzezinski had just wrapped up explaining another possible scandal for New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, involving diverted funds for the Pulaski Skyway, when Scarborough pounced on the newspaper.  "Let's see, so this is the top of The New York Times," he began.  "I'm trying to figure out where the IRS story — is it on the front page?  Because actually, there was an investigation launched yesterday of the IRS — an internal investigation."

Mark Levin: Democrat Response to House IRS Email Inquiry a 'Cover-up,' 'Criminal Corruption'.  On his Monday [6/23/2014] radio show, conservative talk show Mark Levin reacted to how congressional Democrats in a House Oversight Hearing had conducted themselves earlier over the committee's inquiry into missing emails related to an investigation of former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner. [...] "So let me be very blunt about it — the Democratic Party now is conducting itself as the mob," Levin said.  "The Democratic Party is in a full-scale cover-up on this scandal — even more than Benghazi, on the IRS scandal.

"White House Learned of Lerner's Crashed Hard Drive 6 Weeks Before Congress".  This is criminal.  No two ways about it.  All of it.  It matters not that the hard drives of key players crashed in ways that were statistically near impossible; because the information is still out there somewhere [the NSA, perhaps, as noted by BBH in the comments?  Or archived by an off-site back up company?], and forensics experts would be able to find it. But Boehner still has not empaneled a select committee — and no one is ever going to get to actual bottom of this if Congress can help it, because as I've surmised since day 1 of this breaking scandal, it isn't only Democrats who were complicit, either actively or by omission, in the targeting of TEA Party groups.

IRS Chief Admits: WH Wrong that Scandal Was Just 'Rogue Agents'.  [Rep. Trey] Gowdy pointed out that the White House inserted itself in the controversy, and asked whether the White House's claim that misconduct was conducted solely by "two rogue agents in Ohio" was correct.  Koskinen responded, "Not that I know of."  Gowdy then pressed Koskinen, and got him to admit that the White House inserted itself into the scandal, and that a scandal could exist, even if it didn't reach the White House.

IRS Head Gets Cute About 'Lost' Emails & Has the Grin Wiped Off His Face.  During a rare Monday night hearing [6/23/2014], House Republicans hammered embattled IRS commissioner John Koskinen over the "lost" Lois Lerner emails and over his continued insistence that there was no criminal wrongdoing in their coincidental disappearance.  While, as to be expected, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) repeatedly challenged Koskinen, for instance, when he demanded that he cite a particular statute or statutes (law, viz.) on which to base his claim that no criminal wrongdoing occurred.  When the commissioner replied, "you can rely on common sense," Gowdy went off: [...]

Fournier to CNN: 'I Was Naive' to Give Obama Benefit of the Doubt on IRS.  "A year ago exactly tomorrow I called for a special prosecutor in this case while giving the president the benefit of the doubt," he told CNN's John King.  "I now realize how naive I was to give the administration the benefit of the doubt.  This needs to be investigated by an independent prosecutor."  Congress has now held several dramatic interrogations of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over Lerner's missing emails.  Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace added that even if the lost emails represented no sinister intent, the IRS wasn't exactly acting apologetic to a public that doesn't yet believe its story.

CNN Reporter Spars with Earnest on IRS Emails: Like Saying 'Dog Ate My Homework'.  Josh Earnest once again faced some tough questioning from reporters on his second day as White House press secretary Tuesday, this time about missing emails tied to the IRS targeting scandal.  CNN's Jim Acosta confronted Earnest about the lack of evidence, which to him sounded like "the dog ate my homework" excuse.  "On the face of it, it doesn't sound credible," Acosta said.  Earnest pushed back, saying, "If you listen solely to the arguments that are offered up by Republicans, you might have reason to question their credibility."

National Archives boss: IRS 'did not follow the law' on lost Lerner emails.  The top U.S. official in charge of archiving federal records testified Tuesday that the IRS ran afoul of the law by neglecting to tell his office that a trove of emails from the woman at the center of the targeting scandal disappeared after an apparent hard drive crash.  Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero, speaking before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made clear that federal agencies are supposed to report whenever their records are destroyed or even accidentally deleted.  But he said that after emails from embattled IRS official Lois Lerner vanished after a computer failure in 2011, nobody told the National Archives.  "They did not follow the law," Ferriero said.

Smoking Gun in the IRS Scandal?  During questioning by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Darrell Issa at his June 23, 2014 appearance and testimony, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen provided a startling revelation, one that could conceivably lead to the dam bursting in the IRS scandal.  At the 2:21-2:28 mark of his testimony, Koskinen said:  ["]All emails are not official records under any official records Act, only emails are saved that reflect agency actions.["] [...] Koskinen's above statement, coupled with the utterly ridiculous notion that the emails of seven IRS personnel potentially implicated in the scandal have been lost forever, strains credulity, never mind common sense.

Fox News Poll: Voters think IRS emails were deliberately destroyed.  The consensus is:  it's no accident.  More than three-quarters of voters — 76 percent — think the emails missing from the account of Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting of conservative groups, were deliberately destroyed.  That's according to a new Fox News poll.  That suspicion is shared across party lines, albeit to varying degrees.  An overwhelming 90 percent of Republicans think the emails were intentionally destroyed, as do 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats.

Issa: 'Serious Questions' Tonight for the IRS Commissioner.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hear testimony from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a rare, prime-time hearing Monday night [6/23/2014].  "We have some serious questions for the commissioner," Committee Chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Fox News Monday morning.  "The biggest one being, you came before us, you said you'd tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under oath. Do you believe you told the whole truth?  Of course, the answer is, he did not tell the whole truth."

Reminder: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is Major Democratic Donor.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups.  It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.  Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.  Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.

'We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility'.  [Scroll down]  Just ten days ago the IRS informed congressional investigators that a hard drive crash had destroyed 28 months of emails to and from Lerner, who led the IRS's office in charge of vetting and policing tax-exempt nonprofit groups.  In an opening statement Monday night [6/23/2014], Koskinen argued that 'it is not unusual for computers anywhere to fail, especially at the IRS in light of the aged equipment IRS employees often have to use in light of the continual cuts in its budget these past four years.'  'Since Jan. 1 of this year, for example,' he claimed, 'over 2,000 employees have suffered hard drive crashes.'

Fireworks Erupt After GOP Rep Tells IRS Boss His Personal Integrity Is in Question.  Monday night at a evening congressional hearing on the Internal Revenue Service claims that Lois Lerner's email's were lost due to a computer crash, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) confronted agency commissioner John Koskinen over whether he had contacted the FBI since he claimed he "can not say no crime was committed," and that Lerner had pleaded the Fifth Amendment "to avoid criminal prosecution."  Turner grilled Koskinen demanding to know why the FBI has not be contacted asking, "Will you call the FBI, integrity of your agency is absolutely at stake?"

An arrogant and lawless IRS.  It is a mix of arrogance and delusion that seems designed to incense Republicans.  Koskinen had delayed informing Congress of the lost e-mails for months, even while assuring members they would be provided.  "It was my decision that we complete the investigation," he said, "so we could fully advise you as to what the situation was."  Translation from management-speak:  We wanted to get our story straight before we advised you of anything. Koskinen complained about the breadth of subpoenas and the "piecemealing out" of information.  Translation:  We will provide you what we want when we want.  "Every e-mail," Koskinen assured the House Ways and Means Committee, "has been preserved that we have."  Except the ones they don't have — and somehow snuffed out, tied to an anvil and thrown into the ocean.

Declarations Of War.  [Scroll down]  I cannot remember an exchange between an appointed Cabinet official and an elected federal legislator that's remotely comparable to these.  Commissioner Koskinen's arrogance and defiance are unprecedented.  He appears unconcerned with what might follow his open refusal to cooperate with the investigation, the most important such since Teapot Dome.  No appointee concerned with his tenure in his position would exhibit such an attitude except after having secured assurance of protection against any significant penalty.  Such protection could only issue from higher up in the Administration:  specifically, from the White House.

Readers School Politico on 'Missing' IRS Emails.  [Scroll down]  ["]Most large corporate and government entities keep backups possibly forever.  Been in this business a long time, contracting for both.  Both corporate and government user emails are archived or mandated to archive if the size reaches whatever limit set by their exchange (or other email) servers.  In addition, periodic backups of all servers (most weekly, some more often) would mean there are redundant offsite backups, hundreds (thousands if incremental).["]

IRS Cancelled Contract with Email-Storage Firm Weeks After Lerner's Computer Crash.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cancelled its longtime relationship with an email-storage contractor just weeks after ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's computer crashed and shortly before other IRS officials' computers allegedly crashed.  The IRS signed a contract with Sonasoft, an email-archiving company based in San Jose, California, each year from 2005 to 2010.  The company, which partners with Microsoft and counts The New York Times among its clients, claims in its company slogans that it provides "Email Archiving Done Right" and "Point-Click Recovery."  Sonasoft in 2009 tweeted, "If the IRS uses Sonasoft products to backup their servers why wouldn't you choose them to protect your servers?"  Sonasoft was providing "automatic data processing" services for the IRS throughout the January 2009 to April 2011 period in which Lerner sent her missing emails.

Questions Mount About Effort to Drive Democrat Votes for Cochran.  [Scroll down]  Two observations about the Sonasoft story:  first, the IRS's cancellation of the Sonasoft contract occurred in the context of a $1.8 billion annual budget for information services, plus $330 million annually for "business systems modernization."  All of that, and the IRS couldn't afford an email archiving service?  Not only that, it had to recycle its backup tapes to save money?  Ridiculous.

Paul Ryan Unloads on IRS Commissioner in Hearing.  House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday laid into IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for failing to keep Congress informed about the lost Lois Lerner emails, and was forced to conclude that he cannot believe Koskinen's testimony.  "This is unbelievable," Ryan began.  "I am sitting here listening to this testimony... I just, I don't believe it.  That's your problem, nobody believes you."

White House Calls IRS Investigation A 'Conspiracy Theory'.  Friday at the daily briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest repeatedly dismissed concerns over Internal Revenue Service claims that two years of Lois Lerner's emails are lost forever as "conspiracy theories."

Reference material:
Spoliation of evidence.  The spoliation of evidence is the intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding. [...] The spoliation inference is a negative evidentiary inference that a finder of fact can draw from a party's destruction of a document or thing that is relevant to an ongoing or reasonably foreseeable civil or criminal proceeding:  the finder of fact can review all evidence uncovered in as strong a light as possible against the spoliator and in favor of the opposing party.

Spoliation defined
Black's Law Dictionary, 1991, page 1401.

Krauthammer's Take: IRS Playing 'Adversarial Game' with Lerner Emails.  Putting aside the validity of whether the emails are totally erased, Krauthammer said the commissioner could at least acknowledge the frustrations caused by their absence, but instead defiantly claimed the agency had nothing to apologize for during a recent congressional hearing.  Instead, the administration has played an "adversarial game" with the Congress throughout the process.  "That's why people feel there is a true scandal underneath here because of the way in which they are concealing, and delaying, and stonewalling," he said.

About Those Missing Emails.  Lois Lerner's emails are lost, and they need finding.  In the meantime, their very disappearance tells us that Congress is sniffing down the right trail.  A year into congressional investigations of IRS targeting, we know two things beyond a doubt.  We know from the public record that starting in 2010 the most powerful leaders of the Democratic Party — President Obama, Senate chairmen, House Democrats — ran a ceaseless campaign pressuring the IRS to silence conservative groups.

The Lost IRS E-mails Exist!  When you write an e-mail, it goes to your server to be sent to the person you e-mailed.  Your server keeps a copy of that e-mail, and of all your e-mails — sent and received. [...] When you read your e-mails from your PC, tablet, or smartphone, they are all accessing the e-mails that reside on the server.  The only reason you can access them from different devices is because they exist on the server.  We went through this with Al Gore years ago, when he destroyed his PC and supposedly lost his e-mails.  It was bogus then, and it's bogus now.

Kim Strassel and the WSJ on the Lost IRS Emails.  According to Strassel's column today [6/20/2014], the contents of Lois Lerner's hard drive were wiped out by forces unknown "about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived," that is to say, a letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp inquiring into targeting of conservative groups. [...] Thank heavens for Kim Strassel and her colleagues at the WSJ, because otherwise it would seem as if few in the press were willing to focus serious investigative attention on this extraordinary scandal.

IRS Official Whose Emails Were "Lost" Visited White House More Than 30 Times.  Last night on The Kelly File Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulo revealed that the former chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, Nikole Flax, visited the White House 35 times after talking with former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner about working to criminally prosecute conservative tea party groups for "lying" about political activity.  At the White House, Flax met with a top Obama aid during some of those visits.  This entire exchange is worth your time.

"Never apologize, never explain", the IRS brazens it out.  It is one thing to say "Never apologize, never explain" as an adjunct or symptom of cultural self-confidence, quite another in an atmosphere of duplicity, evasion, or brazen contempt.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen presented a breathtaking example of the latter when he blithely admitted that the IRS had simply "recycled," i.e., tossed out, physically destroyed, Lois Lerner's malfunctioning hard drive that (he claimed) was unrecoverable.  "I don't think an apology is owed," he told a stunned House Ways and Means Committee.

The Editor says...
If I had a hard drive crash in my own computer, and there was anything even remotely important on that drive, if I could not afford to have the data recovered, I would wrap it up and stash it in my garage, hoping to someday be able to afford a professional recovery of the missing files.  On the other hand, if I had a hard drive that contained incriminating information, and an investigation of my business had just been announced, and if I were inclined to feloniously destroy the evidence on that hard drive, I would make that hard drive disappear forever.  I might also claim that the hard drive had been "recycled." 

The IRS case involves half a dozen simultaneous hard drive "crashes," which in my opinion were probably induced with the same sledgehammer.  All of those hard drives happened to belong to the central figures in a major scandal.  The likelihood of these events happening exactly as the IRS now claims are approximately zero.  As is so often the case, the government is lying to the American people.  The truth will be known someday, and it may not be soon because the Justice Department has been completely politicized.  But that day would arrive sooner if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives asserted its checks and balances on the Executive Branch.

Darrell Issa calls White House attorney on IRS email loss.  House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is hauling in a former IRS counsel-turned-White House attorney to testify on the disappeared Lois Lerner emails.  The California Republican on Thursday evening [6/19/2014] requested Jennifer O'Connor of the White House Counsel's office to testify on Tuesday morning about her knowledge of the crashed hard drive of ex-IRS tax exempt chief Lerner.  The IRS says the crash erased two years' worth of Lerner's emails just when the IRS was beginning to pull conservative social welfare groups for additional scrutiny.

IRS commissioner: You know, e-mail isn't necessarily an "official record"; Update: IRS Manual says it is.  The issue isn't that some things should be kept in hard copy; it's that the electronic copy of all e-mail is supposed to be retained for a much longer period, as well as storing important records by hard copy.  That's certainly the expectation that the federal government has of us.

NSA Utah data center
We know the whereabouts of the "lost" IRS emails.  Access to any of those records can be had with a simple directive from the President of the United States.  The facility where the records are stored, along with the private emails, text messages, google searches and 20 trillion domestic phone calls since 2001 is owned and operated by America's National Security Agency which, among other things, is responsible for the monitoring of American citizens and storing any and all digital interactions captured on private and public telecommunications lines.  The NSA's most advanced intelligence monitoring facility is located at Camp Williams and is called the "Utah Data Center."  If the emails ever existed, whether they were deliberately wiped or accidentally lost, the National Security Agency undoubtedly has a digital record of them.

On the Missing IRS Emails, Two Observations.  As Scott [Johnson] noted earlier today [6/20/2014], IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House and Ways and Means Committee this morning. Koskinen was grilled about Lois Lerner's lost emails, and was unapologetic.  It is clear that the IRS made no systematic effort to retain emails beyond six months, and Koskinen testified that this is OK because emails are not necessarily "records."  Documents that are not "records" can be deleted at will.  Koskinen's position is tenuous, however, in light of the broad definition of "record" under federal law.

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.

IRS contracted with email archiving company in 2005.  Is that a smoking gun I smell?  It turns out the IRS contracted with a company that provides email backup services starting in 2005.  This first came to light in the Twitter feed of moregenr, who noticed that the IRS appears on the client list of email archiving service provider Sonasoft.

Ryan to IRS: "Nobody Believes You".  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House and Ways and Means Committee this morning [6/20/2014]. [...] In his testimony, we learn that in IRS-world, agency emails are not considered records subject to preservation under otherwise applicable law.  According to Koskinen, the agency's "email system is not being used as an electronic record keeping system."

Is It Time for a Special Prosecutor?  The anniversary of the Watergate burglary arrived this week, along with the disquieting revelation that it's not just disgraced former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner who's taking the Fifth.  Her email is clamming up, too.  More than a year into the controversy over the tax agency's targeting of conservative non-profit groups, IRS officials casually told congressional investigators last week that a 2011 computer crash caused thousands of sought-after Lerner emails to disappear.  So, can the mess at the IRS now objectively be called an Obama administration scandal?

The IRS's 'Lost' Email Deception.  As political pressure builds on Capitol Hill, it can finally be revealed that a mysterious, politically progressive electromagnetic pulse may have hit the hard drives of Lerner and six of her IRS underlings.  Obama officials now claim the emails of all seven government employees to outside organizations and agencies including the White House have been consigned to oblivion.  As a result of this devastating "attack" the IRS is suddenly claiming it no longer possesses tens of thousands of emails from Lerner and her subordinates, a year after congressional investigators demanded the likely incriminating electronic communications.

What is the IRS hiding?  The 24,000 documents, which should have been backed up nightly, were requested more than a year ago but have now been determined to be "unrecoverable" by the techies over at the IRS.  You don't say?  No one has indicated they will ask the National Security Agency, which apparently has all emails ever sent in or out of this country, for help.  John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner who took the job only six months ago with a pledge to restore the public trust, testified in March that emails were hard to find, but he never revealed any destruction of them resulting from "computer crashes."  That news came in a letter from him, of course, late last Friday — when revealing information is always released  — and begs the question of whether Koskinen has any idea of what's going on, lied then or is lying now.

IRS boss faces 'cover-up' claims ahead of Hill hearing on missing emails.  A congressional hearing Friday [6/20/2014] into how the Internal Revenue Service lost thousands of emails from an ex-official accused of targeting conservative groups turned into an angry shouting match, with Republicans accusing the IRS commissioner of lying to Americans.  "This is unbelievable," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., angrily told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  That's your problem.  Nobody believes you."  Koskinen responded, "I have a long career.  That's the first time anyone's said I don't believe you."  "I don't believe you," Ryan shot back again.

Obama's Unbelievable Missing IRS Emails.  Reminiscent of nothing so much as Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods's infamous selective erasures of her boss's tapes, today's sought-after communiqués are, we are told, victim of a crashed computer and a failed hard drive, both belonging to Lois Lerner, the chief of the IRS tax-exempt office at the center of the controversy.  And in good Nixonian style, it's not just Lerner whose emails have gone unaccounted for.  Six more IRS employees connected to the original targeting outrage have records the agency cannot submit to Congress — including Nikole Flax, chief of staff to the man eventually fired for his role in targeting conservative groups while serving as acting commissioner.

'Nobody Believes You': Ryan Blasts IRS Head Over Lost Emails.  New claims have surfaced that [Lois] Lerner's hard drive was destroyed and emails from several other officials also have gone missing.  Koskinen got the hearing off to a contentious start by telling House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that he doesn't feel an apology is owed for the lost emails.  Camp had challenged Koskinen about why he did not apologize in his opening statement.  Later, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) went off on Koskinen, telling him simply "nobody believes you."  He called out Koskinen for "burying" the disclosure about Lerner's lost emails in a 27-page letter to the Senate.

'Let Me Finish!' GOP Rep. Dave Camp and IRS Commissioner's Testy Exchange.  At the close of Koskinen's prepared remarks, Camp immediately went for the gut in thanking the commissioner:  "What I didn't hear him from that was an apology to this committee."  "I don't think an apology is owed," Koskinen replied.  And we're off.  "There's not a single e-mail has been lost since the start of this investigation."  The back-and-forth remained at a near-boil for the next several minutes, with Camp accusing the commissioner of deliberately keeping the lost emails a secret.  Despite knowing about the email loss in February, the IRS had not informed Congress until last Friday.  "It was my decision that we complete the investigation so we could fully advise you with what the situation was," Koskined explained of the delay.  "We were not keeping it a secret.  My position has been that when we provide information, we should provide it completely."

IRS commish: No apologies for losing Lerner emails.  [T]he lost emails are denting the IRS's credibility, which has already suffered from the tea party scandal in which the agency targeted conservative groups for improper scrutiny, asking questions about their religious leanings and donors.  The agency also wrongly blocked approval for some of those application, in some cases for years.  "Nobody believes you," Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential nominee, told Mr. Koskinen, questioning how an agency as powerful as the IRS could not have the capacity to store all emails.  "You ask taxpayers to hang onto seven years of their personal taxpayer info in case they're ever audited, and you can't keep more than six months of employees' emails?"

White House: No emails between White House, Lerner.  The White House said Wednesday [6/18/2014] it has found no emails between any person in the executive office of the president and a top Internal Revenue Service official who has been connected to the improper scrutiny of political groups.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Emails.  They're openly sneering at us now.  Late on Friday [6/13/2014], the Internal Revenue Service revealed that two-and-a-quarter years of Lois Lerner's emails have been "lost".  Yesterday the IRS told Congress that it is unable to produce the emails of six other officials involved in the targeting of conservative groups, among them Nicole Flax, the chief of staff to then IRS commissioner Steven Miller.  We now learn that the IRS only retains email on its server for six months.  After that, the email exists only on the hard drive of the physical desktop computer of the employee in question.  And therefore, if that hard drive crashes, those emails are lost forever.  By the way, do feel free to try that excuse if the IRS asks you to produce any document more than six months old.

The Editor says...
I believe it is reasonable to surmise that the hard drive from Lois Lerner's computer "crashed" after it was removed from her computer and repeatedly hit with a sledgehammer.  I believe it is also safe to assume that the same thing happened to the disk drives in the computers of the other central figures in the IRS scandal, since they all "crashed" at about the same time.  The Congressional investigators should press the IRS for the name of the "recycler" to whom the hard drives were turned over for destruction, and demand a certificate that shows where the disk drives came from and the person ordering the destruction.

IRS Officials: 'Oops, Lerner's Hard Drive Is Gone Too'.  Four year-olds can make up better stories than this.  I don't care how long it takes but I hope at least one or two Republicans stay focused on this until somebody fries for it.

IRS commissioner won't apologize for lost e-mails.  In his most contentious hearing since becoming commissioner six months ago, Koskinen testified about efforts the IRS has made to recover e-mails that were lost when Lois Lerner's computer hard drive crashed in 2011.  Lerner is the former director of the Exempt Organizations office that held up the tax exemption applications of conservative groups from February 2010 through the 2012 election.  Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., pressed Koskinen on why he didn't notify Congress about the problem with Lerner's e-mails when he first found out about it in February.  "You can blame it on a technical glitch, but it is not a technical glitch to mislead the American people," Camp said.  "You say that you have 'lost' the emails, but what you have lost is all credibility."

Sources: Lois Lerner's emails likely gone forever.  Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.  "We've been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away," Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a brief hallway interview.  Two additional sources told POLITICO the same late Wednesday [6/18/2014], citing IRS officials.

The Editor says...
Politico is not exactly a Tea Party newsletter.  In this case they are "citing IRS officials," which means they are attempting to popularize the wishful thinking of the IRS; that is, that the "lost" (and no doubt incriminating) emails are gone forever, so we might as well forget about trying to find them in the remote email servers, the off-site backup tapes, and the Fusion Centers.

Catherine Engelbrecht: "This administration is rattling the very foundations of this republic".  Catherine Engelbrecht from True the Vote doesn't buy the thee 'lost emails' claim from the IRS and doesn't hesitate to call it a coverup.  She goes on to say:  [Video clip]

Wall Street Journal: IRS scandal 'worse than Watergate'.  The revelation that the computers of Internal Revenue Service workers, including Tea Party prober Lois Lerner, were erased of critical emails sought by lawmakers has elevated the affair to — and maybe beyond — an old familiar presidential scandal, Watergate.  "The IRS tea-party audit story isn't Watergate; it's worse than Watergate," according to deputy Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Daniel Henninger.  "The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power.  The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable," he added.

Democratic Congressman Compares IRS Scandal to Area 51, Obama Birth Certificate and Benghazi.  In Friday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing about Lois Lerner's missing emails, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) compared the investigation to other famous conspiracy theories like Area 51, Obama's birth certificate — and the murder of four Americans in Benghazi.  He said it was not a serious investigation and wondered how IRS Commissioner Koskinen could take it seriously.

The Editor says...
Ridicule is one of the first defenses used by dishonest politicians and their shills.

GOP fury after report claims IRS 'recycled' Lerner hard drive.  The top Republican on one of the House committees investigating the IRS targeting scandal reacted furiously late Wednesday [6/18/2014] to a report that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's hard drive had been recycled, making it likely that many emails sent to and from Lerner prior to the summer of 2011 will never be recovered.  The Politico report cited two anonymous sources, as well as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who confirmed that the Senate Finance Committee had been told that the hard drive had been discarded.

Lois Lerner Emails: Nothing Digital Ever Dies.  To say that the IRS "lost emails" has engendered skepticism is putting it mildly, especially in right-of-center circles.  "The Obama administration's claim that the IRS has 'lost' two years of Lois Lerner's emails is implausible to anyone who understands how email systems work," writes conservative attorney John Hinderaker, a Claremont Institute fellow.  "The Obama administration is lying, and lying in a remarkably transparent way."  To hear the IRS tell it, it wasn't just the hard drive on Lerner's computer that crashed; it was the hard drive on six other computers.  The agency also lacked a centralized archive, it says now, and employed an archaic practice of re-using the tapes backing up its system every six months — thereby erasing the material already there.  Who knew the IRS was so frugal?

IRS 'Lost' Emails From Official That Met With Top Obama Assistant.  The IRS recently claimed that it lost emails from Nikole Flax, who served as chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller.  Flax was one of seven IRS employees including ex-official Lois Lerner whose emails to and from White House officials and other Obama administration agencies were purportedly deleted and could not be handed over to congressional investigators.  Flax held personal meetings with a top assistant to President Obama and also colluded with Lerner to prosecute conservative activists.  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.

Pelosi: 'They Need a New Technology System at the IRS'.  [Scroll down]  "If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about 'losing' e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said in response.  "Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don't just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention."

IRS Contempt of Congress.  The IRS is now telling Congress that it has lost the emails of no fewer than seven IRS employees central to the targeting of conservative nonprofits, though that's only half the outrage.  There's also the IRS's quiet admission that it has spent most of the past year willfully defying Congress.

IRS Head Koskinen Lied About 'Lost' Lerner Emails.  Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to testify June 23 about Lois Lerner's suddenly lost emails.  One of the topics is expected to be his prior contradictory congressional testimony.  Koskinen testified about the emails at an Oversight hearing in March and, as investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson notes, gave quite the opposite impression from the current storyline that has every computer nerd in America rolling on the floor laughing.  Koskinen said the reason that requested emails were difficult to provide was that IRS emails "get taken off and stored in servers."  He failed to mention any Lerner hard-drive crash that allegedly occurred long before, only to be divulged in this administration's habitual Friday data dump of unpleasant news.

Obama's double asterisks on IRS.  As Congress investigates the IRS chicanery, the IRS has responded to a request for emails to and from Lois Lerner, who spearheaded the Tea Party harassment, by saying, basically, that the dog ate its homework.  Or, rather, the IRS claims, somewhat dubiously, that "a hard drive crash" on Lerner's computer led to the loss of emails to outside entities "such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices."  You know, the very people she's accused of coordinating her harassment with.  With those emails missing, it'll be harder to prove whether Lerner's Tea Party harassment might have been at the behest of other wrongdoers, perhaps going as high as the Oval Office itself.  But since government agencies seldom "lose" evidence that makes them look good, reasonable people might suspect that there's a cover-up going on.

Congress to Obama: Send Us 'All Communications' Between Your Office and Lois Lerner.  Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is asking President Obama to "ensure accountability" in the ongoing IRS investigation by providing his committee with "all communications between Lois Lerner and any persons within the Executive Office of President for the period between January 1, 2009 and May 1, 2011."  The IRS informed Congress on Friday [6/13/2014] that an untold number of Lerner's emails to outside agencies, including the White House, were lost during the 2009-2011 time frame due to a "computer crash."

Issa Subpoenas Lois Lerner's IRS Computer Hard Drive.  Because the IRS told Congress late last Friday that former IRS official Lois Lerner's computer had apparently crashed and her emails from January 2009 to April 2011 were now lost, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena today for that computer hard drive, other electronic devices, and all communications and documents related to that PC crash.  "After a year of beating down efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to obstruct an investigation into targeting, the IRS now says it lost perhaps the most critical evidence," said House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in a June 17 statement.

If you think the IRS' latest claim on 'lost' emails is unprecedented, Gawker has some news for you.  As the Internal Revenue Service tries its best to convince a skeptical nation that it's unable to recover nearly two years' worth of subpoenaed emails because of a supposed computer crash, it's important to remember that this isn't the first time that a federal agency has "struggled" to produce requested correspondences. [...] Gawker editor John Cook wrote the State Department nearly two years ago for all emails between Reines and reporters from various news groups, including the New York Times and BuzzFeed, and State has yet to fulfill his request.

The IRS's stunning and shameful record-keeping hypocrisy.  [Scroll down]  A local hard-drive failure would have nothing to do with that record retention in a professional IT environment.  The data would still reside on the servers and could be easily reconstituted from the backup.  In fact, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified in March that the data existed on the agency's servers, and not the local hard drives.  The claim that the IRS recycles its backup tapes every six months is equally ludicrous.  The federal government has more strict expectations for publicly held corporations.  Sarbanes-Oxley regulations passed more than a decade ago specifically require retention of email data for five years, and make the kind of destruction claimed by the IRS in this instance a crime punishable by 20 years in prison.

Krauthhammer Slams Obama: What He Just Did "Is A High Crime".  The IRS has conveniently "lost" all of Lois Lerner's emails regarding the targeting of conservative groups over a two year period.  The same government that claims to capture all of Americans' phone call data and emails suddenly claims that they cannot find any of Lerner's emails.

Lerner on missing emails: 'Sometimes stuff just happens'.  The two years of missing emails from the account of Lois Lerner may be a problem for most people but for Lerner, it's just part of life.  "Sometimes, stuff just happens," Lerner wrote to an IT expert in 2011 who was trying to retreive the emails that were lost in her "hard drive crash."

The Real Story of the IRS Scandal.  So now the IRS claims that a computer crash has irrevocably erased pertinent e-mails (an excuse I will remember when I am audited).  National Review's John Fund reports that the IRS manual says backups must exist.  If e-mails — which exist on servers, clouds, and elsewhere — can be destroyed this way, someone should tell the NSA that there's a cheaper way to encrypt data.

Six More IRS Targeting Scandal Figures' Emails have Disappeared.  The federal government swooped into Gibson Guitar's Tennessee headquarters in August 2011, with armed agents, and shut the company down temporarily.  The suspected crime was using illegally imported wood.  Not a particularly important crime, yet the government treated it as if it was a clear and present danger to the republic.  No charges have even been filed in that case.  In the case of the IRS, the suspected crime is weaponizing government against citizens who exercised their rights as such.  That is a clear and present threat to the republic.  There is an active cover-up happening right now in the very heart of the IRS.  It's time for a raid, a round-up, and trials.

'Lost' IRS emails: Get real, Team Obama, we're not that gullible.  Any American with even a rudimentary knowledge of how electronic messages are sent knows that email records are largely impervious to anything but the most widespread and systematic computer crashes.  Further, we also know that computer crashes are focused events. When a computer "crashes" it's not able to delete incriminating emails from specific time periods while leaving all others intact.  Indeed, in the aftermath of this absurd assertion, the response from experts was overwhelming:  The story makes no sense.  IRS emails were not permanently stored on Lois Lerner's computer alone (of course) but on servers that preserve records.  They would remain there even if Lerner decided to do something outrageous like light her computer on fire in an effort to hide her criminal activity.

IRS Commissioner Subpoenaed to Testify About Lost Lois Lerner Emails.  Today [6/16/2014], the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing Monday about Lois Lerner's "lost" emails.  On Friday, the IRS disclosed to Congress that it had lost many Lois Lerner emails dated from January 2009 to April 2011 due to a previously undisclosed computer crash in 2011.  In a letter to Koskinen today, Chairman of the Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that the Federal Records Act (FRA) was passed by Congress to avoid this very scenario.  "The FRA requires agencies to make and preserve records of agency decisions, policies, and essential transactions, and to take steps to safeguard against the loss of agency records," wrote Issa.

IRS Was Required By Law to Print Out Lois Lerner's Emails.  The Internal Revenue Service is required by federal law to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of the emails to make sure they get saved in the event of a computer glitch.  The IRS recently claimed that it lost 24,000 of 67,000 emails that ex-official Lois Lerner sent between 2009 and 2011, due to a computer crash.  The IRS, which agreed to turn over all of Lerner's emails to the House Committee on Ways and Means, specifically lost emails Lerner sent to other Obama administration agencies and the White House.  Lerner is a major figure in the targeting scandal that has hit the IRS.

'Plot lines in Hollywood are more believable'.  The IRS 'lost' the emails of six other agency officials associated with a scheme to target conservative organizations — in addition to those of former official Lois Lerner — and kept it a secret for months, the House Ways and Means committee learned on Tuesday [6/17/2014].  The news prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to issue broad subpoenas on Tuesday afternoon for hard drives, thumb drives and other backups that Lerner and the tax authorities may have used to archive her messages.

Why Darrell Issa just asked the IRS to hand over a hard drive.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on Tuesday issued a subpoena to the Internal Revenue Service, ordering the agency to turn over the hard drive they claim is responsible for wiping out two years of critical email communications.  Issa has dramatically widened his probe into the IRS after the agency announced last week that it had lost the emails, which may have provided information about an IRS policy of targeting for extra scrutiny and delay many conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

IRS Knew Lerner Emails Were Missing For Months, 'Lied To' Congress.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knew for months that Lois Lerner's emails had been destroyed, even before the current IRS commissioner testified that his agency would produce all of them.  The IRS knew as early as February 2014 that Lerner's emails were missing, top lawmakers on the House Committee on Ways and Means confirmed Tuesday.  The IRS had this knowledge nearly three months before IRS commissioner John Koskinen agreed at a hearing to turn over all of Lerner's emails to the committee.  Additionally, the IRS failed to deliver emails from six other IRS employees at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal including former IRS official and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax, according to the Ways and Means Committee.

Attkisson On Missing IRS Documents: If The Emails Really Are Lost, 'That's Quite A Story In Itself'.  [Sharyl] Attkisson said that regardless of whether the emails were lost accidentally or improperly, the individuals responsible should be held accountable.  "One official wrote me... to say this is entirely implausible, and he said there are criminal penalties for destroying federal records, which makes sense, including liability for negligence for not taking the necessary steps to protect files, including a federal requirement to backup data.  This doesn't happen.  He said ... all email servers are backed up with something called 'RAID' (Redundant Array Of Independent Disks), and it's nearly impossible for something to delete the files, and that even if that were to happen they would not be gone forever," she said.

A Tale of Two Scandals.  In a truly stunning development in the Internal Revenue Service scandal, the agency last week informed Congress that more than two years' of Lois Lerner's email communications with those outside that agency — from 2009 to 2011, meaning the key years at the heart of the targeting-of-conservatives scandal — have gone missing.  Quite strangely.  The IRS says it cannot locate them.  The reason is that Lerner's computer crashed.

GOP: IRS lost emails go beyond Lerner.  Two top Republicans said Tuesday [6/17/2014] that in addition to Lois G. Lerner's emails, the IRS appears to also have lost records from six other agency employees involved in the tea party targeting scandal.  Reps. Dave Camp and Charles Boustany Jr., who are respectively the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and a key oversight subcommittee, said one of those employees whose records have been lost was Nicole Flax, the chief of staff for the acting IRS commissioner.

IRS Has Lost More Emails...  It's not just Lois Lerner's e-mails.  The Internal Revenue Service says it can't produce e-mails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.  The IRS recently informed Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost e-mails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal.

WH on Lois Lerner's Vanished Emails: 'You've Never Heard of A Computer Crashing Before?  The Internal Revenue Service has told Congress that many of the emails to and from Lois Lerner were lost in a computer crash in 2011.  "You've never heard of a computer crashing before?" White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday [6/16/2014], when a reporter asked if that was a "reasonable explanation."  "I think it's entirely reasonable, because it's the truth and it's a fact, and speculation otherwise I think is indicative of the kinds of conspiracies that are propagated around this story," Earnest said.

Krauthammer: Second Article of Impeachment Against Nixon Was For Abusing The IRS.  ["]These guys are living on a different planet.  They asked for this a year ago, it's now discovered they are lost.  I've seen quotes from computer experts who worked for decades at Microsoft who say that this can absolutely be found.  And we already heard from one of the IRS officials a few months ago that all of this stuff is backed up.  Now, the idea — here we have Nixon lost 18 minutes.  Obama's now lost two years of emails, and one thing that people don't remember, the second article of impeachment for Richard Nixon was the abuse of the IRS to pursue political enemies.  This is a high crime; this is not a triviality.["]

Proof that Friday document dumps work!
Only CBS Covers IRS Losing Two Years of Lois Lerner Emails.  On Monday [6/16/2014], only CBS This Morning reported Friday's stunning revelation that the IRS somehow lost two years worth of emails from Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the agency scandal in which conservative groups were unfairly targeted.  At the top of the morning show, co-host Norah O'Donnell wondered:  "How did the IRS lose emails in the scandal targeting conservatives after the government spent millions to back up data?"

More about Friday afternoon document dumps.

IRS Commissioner Subpoenaed to Testify on Lois Lerner's 'Lost' Emails.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz was even more perplexed than most Americans when he heard last week that the Internal Revenue Service had lost two years of Lois Lerner's emails.  He had been told "they're there" by no less than IRS Commissioner John Koskinen himself.  Lerner directed the IRS' tax-exempt division at a time tea-party groups faced additional scrutiny or delays in their applications.  Lawmakers are now seeking her email communications to determine the extent of her involvement — or that of others — with this alleged harassment of conservative groups.

The Ticking IRS IT Department Time Bomb.  It's not unusual for a political operative to take a fall in order to be a "good soldier" under the theory that it is easier to get hired by a campaign or put in a government job or a friendly think tank after committing an ethical lapse than to be hired by a campaign or being employed by a friendly think tank after reporting on an ethical lapse.  This however doesn't apply to the IT department, these guys can often find better work at a better wage outside of government and their expertese and ability to get job is not tied to.

Neal Boortz: The IRS scandal is now worse than Watergate.  News surfaced Friday that the IRS can't find any of Lois Lerner's potentially incriminating emails because of "a computer crash."  "You really have to have your head in cement to not understand that the reason [the IRS] can't find those emails is because they are very incriminating," Neal Boortz said.  "They tie Obama and the Whitehouse to the IRS scandal."

The Latest On Lois Lerner's "Lost" Emails, With A Bombshell At The End.  My opinion of the federal government's efficiency is not high, but I find it hard to believe that this is really how the IRS manages its records.  I am not a tax lawyer, but I assume that any corporation subjected to an IRS audit, or any other kind of government investigation, that had this lousy a system of preserving records would be crucified.  That is all very interesting, but the question remains:  did Lois Lerner really lose the only copies of her 2009-2011 emails in a hard drive crash?

Congress will drag IRS commissioner into TWO hearings to explain how 28 months of Lois Lerner's emails were 'lost'.  The aggressive Republican chairman of a House investigative committee demanded Monday [6/16/2014] that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen explain — in person — how 28 months of emails to and from embattled former official Lois Lerner were 'lost' to a computer crash.  California Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Koskinen in reaction to his agency's claim Friday that the IRS no longer has copies of emails between Lerner and anyone outside the IRS from January 2009 through April 2011.

Darrell Issa subpoenas IRS commissioner over lost Lois Lerner emails.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has subpoenaed the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service to testify next week before Congress about a trove of lost emails that could contain evidence of a plan to targeted conservative groups.  Issa, R-Calif., will hold a June 23 hearing aimed at finding out more about two year's worth of emails — from 2009 to 2011 — that the IRS has reported lost.  The emails were from former top IRS official Lois G. Lerner to Justice Department and Treasury officials.  Issa had requested the emails because he and other Republicans believe Lerner played a key role in the targeting scheme and they believe she can link the targeting to even higher levels of the government.

Former IRS Information Tech Worker Doubts Agency's Claim to have 'Lost' Lerner's Emails.  This person worked at the IRS facility in New Carrollton, Maryland.  He worked on the agency's Prime Systems Integration Services contract, or "Prime," a contract inked between the IRS and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in 1998 to modernize the IRS' digital record-keeping system.  CSC is the primary contractor, but other well-known companies including IBM, BearingPoint, Northrup Grumman, Unisys and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) are secondary players on the same contract.  The former IRS IT contractor finds it difficult to believe that the IRS could really have lost two years' worth of Lois Lerner's emails.  First, he points to the United States Code for government record retention.

IRS scandal gets Nixonian: The 18½-minute (or 26-month) gap.  The case against Nixon was airtight.  The Watergate break-in was bad, but there was more, much more.  Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment against Nixon charged that he "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."  And he had.  There was proof.  Watergate was worse, got all the press, but Nixon had completely abused the power of the presidency and had to go.

The Dog Ate My E-Mails, for Two Years.  Who knew that the Obama administration had a penchant for black humor?  Earlier this year, in February, President Obama told Bill O'Reilly during an interview on Fox News that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups.  In July 2013, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew foreshadowed his boss's nonchalance by insisting that there was "no evidence" that any political appointee had been involved in the scandal.

CNN Mocks Lois Lerner's Vanished IRS Emails.  CNN anchor John King scoffed at the IRS' excuse last week that over two years of emails from disgraced official Lois Lerner were inadvertently lost in a hard drive crash, joking you'd have to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny to "believe that [her] emails just suddenly went 'poof.'"  King discussed the IRS' explanation Monday morning [6/16/2014] with a CNN panel, noting that the tax revenue service trotted out the story over a year after Republicans initially requested Lerner's emails.  As former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations office, Lerner was accused of orchestrating a deliberate campaign targeting Tea Party and other conservative organizations for extra scrutiny.

IRS Commissioner, in March: Lerner's Emails Are 'Stored in Servers'.  In one of the Obama administration's most shameless weekend news dumps, the IRS claimed on Friday afternoon that a hard drive glitch erased many of Lois Lerner's emails sent between 2009 and 2011.  The Associated Press reports that Congressional Republicans are irate over this tardy and dodgy "disclosure," which is sure to catapult the IRS targeting scandal back into the spotlight.

The White House now speaks for the IRS?
White House: IRS made good-faith effort on e-mails.  Facing a furor from angry Republican lawmakers, the White House said Monday [6/16/2014] that the Internal Revenue Service engaged in a good faith effort to find lost emails from an IRS official whose division processed applications for tax-exempt status by politically oriented groups.

Legal Expert: Obama's Secret Message To IRS Officials Would Have Made Nixon Proud.  In an interview with Brian Wilson and Larry O'Connor of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall, legal analyst Joe diGenova stated that the IRS's announcement that it could not find Lois Lerner's emails was actually initiated by President Obama.

Watch the IRS Commissioner Testify They Had ALL of Lois Lerner's Emails & Would Turn Them Over!  Congressman Jason Chaffetz angrily reminded Americans that contrary to current reports, the IRS commissioner had smugly testified in March that all of Lois Lerner's emails would be turned over to Congress after receiving their subpoena.  Friday afternoon [6/13/2014] officials made the maddening announcement that the IRS had "accidentally" deleted emails from Lois Lerner that might explain how the Tea Party targeting scandal occurred.

America, the Headless Horseman.  Forget the endless scandals that seem to come at us every other day — the latest being the Benghazi terrorists using State Department cell phones (!), a crusade of Hispanic children pouring over our Southern border in the company of cartel drug lords and, of course, the suddenly "missing" IRS emails of Lois Lerner — the Obama administration has reached levels of hitherto unknown incompetence.  It is a complete and utter debacle.

Obama thinks Americans are Stupid.  If the average hard-working American taxpayer gave that excuse to the IRS enforcers how understanding would they be?  The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (appointed to the post by Barack Obama) had previously assured the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that these emails had been archived and would be made available for inspection.  The IRS has voluminous records stored away on all Americans going back years.  The government spends tens of billions of dollars on record-keeping and computer technology.  How stupid does Obama thin Americans are?

Just How Stupid Does Obama Think We Are?  I have a sixth grader and a seventh grader and when I posed this dilemma to them they both rolled over laughing.  At the tender ages of 11 and 13 even they understand that email, both inbound and outbound, by definition is not prisoner to the computer from which it either originated, or on which it was ultimately received.  It is transmitted over a vast array of interconnected servers to move from point A to ultimately arrive at point B.  Many call this newfangled contraption the world wide web, or internet.  Additionally most organizations have a central email server (SMTP), or, depending on their size, array of servers, through which all email is transmitted.

Also posted under Liberals think you're stupid.

Did The IRS Really Lose Lois Lerner's Emails? Let a Special Prosecutor Find Them.  A sloppy mistake, the government calls it, but you couldn't blame a person for suspecting a cover-up — the loss of an untold number of emails to and from the central figure in the IRS tea party controversy.  And, because the public's trust is a fragile gift that the White House has frittered away in a series of second-term missteps, President Obama needs to act.  If the IRS can't find the emails, maybe a special prosecutor can.

The IRS Loses Lerner's Emails.  The suspicion that this is willful obstruction of Congress is all the more warranted because this week we also learned that the IRS, days before the 2010 election, shipped a 1.1 million page database about tax-exempt groups to the FBI.  Why?  New emails turned up by Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee show Department of Justice officials worked with Ms. Lerner to investigate groups critical of President Obama.

Lois Lerner's Lost Emails: Questions for the IRS.  According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS reports having "lost" former IRS manager Lois Lerner's emails to and from other IRS employees sent between January of 2009 and April of 2011 due to a 'computer crash.'  In light of the disclosure, these are some of the logical requests that should be made of the IRS:  [#1] Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix.  This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.  [#2] Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS' disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred. [...]

The Obama Administration's Claim That Lois Lerner's Emails Are "Lost" Is Ludicrous.  This is what the administration said:  ["]The IRS told congressional investigators Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year.["]  This statement, on its face, is silly.  Emails are collected on email servers.  Each user (e.g., Lois Lerner) has an account on an email server, where that person's emails are collected.  It is common for emails to be deleted from the user's own desktop or laptop computer, but no one worries about that.  When it is time to collect emails — something I do all the time in my law practice — you go to the email server and pull out the user's entire account.  A crash of the user's computer is irrelevant and will not cause emails to be "lost."

IT experts call BS on IRS claim to have lost Lerner emails.  Jason Howerton of The Blaze interviewed veteran IT expert Norman Cillo, "an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft," who laid out six reasons, complete with charts, why he believes Congress is being lied to. [...] He goes on to describe the ways in which data can be recovered from a personal computer disk that has crashed, as well, citing his experience with a data recovery firm that can pull data off a computer that has been sitting at the bottom of a lake.  Now, this case is going to get interesting, when the cover-up starts to get traced back to its origin.  This is by definition a conspiracy, since multiple parties had to be involved.  Some of them are going to get cold feet.  Ace reporter Sharyl Attkisson lays out the questions she would present, and they are enough to make the IRS officials involved start thinking about copping a plea and implicating the higher ups.

A Dog Ate 2 years of Lois Lerner's Emails. Now What?  So the IRS suffered a catastrophic hard disk failure and — lo and behold! — two years of Lois Lerner's emails have vanished:  poof!  Just like that.  Imagine.  Evidence of those happy days targeting conservative groups, gone. [...] When we lost a hard disk at my office with lots of archival material, we were pretty glum. [...] But here's the thing.  After we lost that hard disk, we wised up and started backing up.  We have redundant backups in our office and offsite back ups as well.  And we're a tiny company with no IT department.  The IRS commands the resources of the federal government and as much of your money as it chooses to glom on to.  Is it credible that they have no backups of two years' worth of emails of a senior staff person — a senior staff person who just happens to be at the center of a huge scandal?

IRS Commissioner previously testified Lois Lerner emails were archived.  As news breaks that the IRS is claiming to have lost 2 years worht [sic] of Lois Lerner's Emails to Outside Agencies Are Gone, Representative Jason Chaffetz took to Twitter to point out previous testimony in which it was claimed Lerner's emails were archived.  [Video clip]

2013 Treasury IG Report May Hint What Was in Destroyed Lerner Emails.  A cottage industry grew up following the revelation that Rosemary Woods, Richard Nixon's secretary, performed feats of contortionism worthy of Barnum and Bailey in order to "accidentally" erase 18½ minutes of a June 20, 1972, tape that most experts agree contained a conversation between the president and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman discussing Watergate.  Perhaps some day we'll have a similar photo of how Lois Lerner "accidentally" crashed her computer to erase nearly two years of emails.  To this day, we don't know what those missing 18½ minutes contained.  Oliver Stone in Nixon used the tape gap to try to link him to the JFK assassination.  Many Watergate experts think since other meetings Nixon had during the day referred to the FBI, that Nixon may have told Haldeman specifically to tell the FBI to back off and halt the investigation so that it led only to the original conspirators.  Will the missing Lerner emails suffer a similar fate?

IRS says it cannot locate Lois Lerner emails prior to 2011.  The Internal Revenue Service told Congress Friday it has lost a trove of emails to and from Lois Lerner, a central figure in the agency's Tea Party controversy, sparking outrage from congressional investigators who have been probing the agency for more than a year.  The IRS said it cannot locate many of Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed during the summer of that year.

All the President's Apologists.  Of all the controversial revelations of 2013, from the news that White House operatives may have altered the Benghazi talking points to the discovery that the National Security Agency was collecting and warehousing the communications records of average Americans, the details involving the targeting of conservative groups by the most intrusive agency of the federal government was by far the most egregious.

All the President's Apologists.  During the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in May 2013, a senior official at the Internal Revenue Service named Lois Lerner divulged information she knew would be released in a forthcoming report by the tax agency's inspector general.  She preemptively apologized for what she called the "inappropriate" scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, which came under her bailiwick as the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division. [...] Surely, it had been Lois Lerner's intention to defuse the politically explosive ramifications of the scandal when she begged forgiveness for her department's misuse of authority even before anyone knew what had happened.  But the significance of her disclosure, along with the illuminating discovery that she had actually planted the question to which she had responded, was immediately apparent.

IRS Says It Lost Two Years of Lerner E-mails.  House Ways and Means Commitee chairman Dave Camp has hit a roadblock in his investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups:  The IRS says it has lost over two years' worth of e-mails sent by former agency official Lois Lerner, the one of the chief subjects of the committee's investigation.  Camp, who is retiring in November, is calling for an investigation into the matter and forensic audits by the Department of Justice and Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Lois Lerner's "Lost" Emails.  Eliana [Johnson]'s report is just stunning — no matter how many times similar "mishaps" have occurred in this administration.  The IRS, like other government agencies, has lots of reasons to maintain e-mails, so I'm curious about whether they will be similarly informing courts, Congress, litigants, FOIA petitioners, and other people and bodies they must periodically make disclosures and reports to that they've lost nearly two years' worth of agency communications?  Or was this just one of those highly, highly unusual computer crashes that affects only the e-mail account of Lois Lerner and any executive branch official with whom she happened to exchange messages?

The two-year gap.  The IRS has informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it has lost Lois Lerner email messages from January 2009 — April 2011.  Harkening back to the allegedly accidental erasure of 18½ minutes of critical Oval Office recordings that contributed to Richard Nixon's resignation from office, the IRS attributes the loss of Lerner email to a computer crash.  Some email survives:  the agency retains Lerner email to and from other IRS employees during this period.  The IRS claims it cannot produce email written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or offices of Democrat congressmen.  Funny how that works.

IRS Claims to Have Lost Over 2 Years of Lerner Emails.  Today [Friday 6/13/2014], Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 — April 2011.  Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame.  The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.




The IRS is used as a weapon against individuals and conservative groups

For years, I've heard people joke that if you get on a powerful politician's bad side, you'll get audited by the IRS and they'll make your life miserable.  The first time I noticed this cause and effect was in 1996, when Patricia and Glenn Mendoza shouted something at President Clinton as he passed by.  They were arrested for it, and sure enough, they had trouble with the IRS shortly thereafter.*

Overviews:

Who Will Hold the IRS Accountable?  Americans don't toss and turn at night over fears of a hazy network of Russian hackers.  But they do fear letters from the IRS.  To their credit, a few conservative Republicans in the House still draw attention to the unresolved scandal at the IRS.  "Frankly in my view the most corrupt IRS commissioner that I've ever dealt with continues in my view to mislead Congress," according to Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.  "And until he's removed I don't think the IRS will ever regain its credibility."  Brady is referring to the still-unsacked John Koskinen, the Obama-appointed IRS commissioner who stonewalled Republicans during the Lois Lerner investigation.

The Worst Perversion.  Under the Obama administration's watch, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies from the BATF to the NLRB were illegally used to target and harass the president's political enemies.  The IRS targeting scandal was the most high-profile of these, but others are just as worrisome.  Federal investigations and congressional oversight were obstructed, and investigators were lied to outright — a serious crime.  The administration protected the wrongdoers and saw to it that they retired with generous federal pensions rather than serving federal sentences for their crimes. [...] Having an IRS that sorts nonprofits by their political stances in order to facilitate the harassment of political rivals is in real terms far worse than anything Bill Clinton got up to with Monica Lewinsky, and far worse than the shenanigans that Gordon Liddy and the rest of the Nixon henchmen got up to in the Watergate.  The BATF harassment of True the Vote and other Obama-administration enemies is the stuff of which banana republics are made.

The Endless Scandal That Is the Obama Administration.  The exercise in futility on the part of TaxProf in highlighting the "IRS Scandal," which was instigated and maintained by President Obama himself, is finally likely to have some relevance to the real world, starting on January 21, when Donald Trump takes office.  TP has done yeoman's work in documenting this scandal, although with Obama in office, it has been mostly meaningless.  This is one particular part of the swamp Trump must drain.  A good start would be firing and indicting everybody in IRS who was responsible for this abomination.

'Legacy': 10 Ways Barack Obama Broke the American System.  [#7] IRS scandal.  Encouraged by Obama's attacks on "dark money" and conservative political donors, the Internal Revenue Service began singling out conservative non-profit organizations for excessive scrutiny, denying them the ability to operate during the crucial 2012 elections, and trying to pry loose private information on their donors, their meetings, and even the content of their prayers.  To this day, no Obama administration official has been punished for that horrific abuse of power.

Obama Says He's Had A Scandal-Free Administration.  Here Are 11 of His Scandals.  [#3] The IRS targeted conservative organizations.  In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees.  Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions.  Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.  Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS.

2010-2016: The Era of Political Repression in America.  [Scroll down]  Since 2010, the "Democratic" government attacked and successfully suppressed the Tea Party and other grassroots conservative groups.  Obama's IRS was screening non-profits' applications by keywords such as "Tea Party" and "patriots," then delaying them and harassing their founders.  The IRS also specifically targeted individual conservative donors for audit, along with organizations associated with the Republican Party, such as Crossroads GPS, and their supporters.  "Democratic" state prosecutors ordered pre-dawn SWAT raids on allies of Republican Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and jailed political author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza for "illegally" contributing $20k to a Republican candidate without real chances in New York.  All these attacks share one common attribute — the opposition has been attacked under allegations of financial crimes.  Of course, this is not the same as murdering opposition, but such attacks are also harder to notice, and they soil the victims rather than the perpetrators.  And such pressure tactics have an even stronger deterring effect than the murder of opposition leaders — there are only a few leaders who can be murdered, but there are about a million audits conducted every year.  Thus, to an ordinary person, going to a meeting or donating $300 to a political organization, weaponized IRS audits are a bigger threat than targeted murders.

Alphabet Soup Corruption.  [Scroll down]  The Internal Revenue Service is likewise now a tainted agency, having lost the public trust.  In similar fashion to the Clinton email scandal, the FBI found that the IRS had mismanaged taxpayer accounts, but argued that the agency had no deliberate intent to break the law.  Yet Lois Lerner, an IRS director of tax-exempt organizations, publicly confessed to targeting Tea Party groups and others deemed inordinately conservative.  Lerner, who pled the Fifth Amendment before Congress and was held in contempt, was allowed to retire with full pension, after ensuring that several conservative grassroots organizations were denied tax-exempt status in the critical months before the 2012 presidential campaign.


Timely news and commentary:

Scandal 'Free' Obama.  Well, let's start with the IRS scandal — or is there another word for what happens when public officials in one of government's most sensitive departments make decisions based on ideology.  Let's see, how about when any organization with the words "tea party" in its name applies for tax-exempt status?  Lois Lerner, who headed the tax exempt division resigned.  But guess that's only a "significant scandal" for those groups still waiting to hear back from the IRS.

The IRS Scandal Still Matters.  Years after the Internal Revenue Service scandal broke and long after the media lost interest in the agency's practice of subjecting conservative groups to special scrutiny and delays, the government is quietly seeking to bury it.  A ruling from a federal judge earlier this month demanding that the IRS finally resolve stalled applications for non-profit status has gotten results.  Many of these small groups often affiliated with the Tea Party movement have now been granted the designation they needed to begin fundraising.

New Documents Reveal Top Obama IRS Official Admitted Cincinnati Office Targeted Office Targeted Groups Based on 'Guilt by Association'.  Judicial Watch announced today [11/16/2016] that it has obtained 1593 pages of new documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including notes from a 2011 interoffice meeting revealing a top IRS official admitted that Cincinnati office agents were targeting organizations requesting tax exempt status based on "guilt by association" and "party affiliation."  According to former IRS Director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements Holly Paz, "they think they know what the org is really doing, rather than looking at actual activities."

IRS denies tea party groups after long wait for decision on tax-exempt status.  Nearly seven years after it applied to the IRS for nonprofit status, the Albuquerque Tea Party has finally been given a decision:  Denied.  The tax agency, under orders from a federal judge, is belatedly tackling the remaining tea party cases that it delayed for years, and so far the tea party isn't doing well.  Only one of the three groups in the case was approved, and the other two, including Albuquerque, got notices of proposed denials last week.  The applicants will have a chance to appeal, but the denials aren't sitting well with the groups, whose attorney said it's more evidence that the IRS continues to single out the tea party for abuse.

Judge orders IRS to stop targeting conservative groups.  A judge in Ohio is ordering the IRS to stop targeting conservative groups applying for tax exempt status and to make an immediate determination on an application by a Tea Party group in Texas.  The decision, made public on Friday, leaves no doubt that despite their claims to the contrary, the IRS is still playing politics in determining the tax exempt status of conservative groups -- some of whom have been waiting for years to be approved.

Obama's Tax Lawyers Had Conservative Groups' Confidential Information.  President Barack Obama's White House hired at least two Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys who accessed conservative groups' confidential taxpayer information while defending the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the targeting scandal.  The two were among 10 Justice Department Tax Division lawyers Obama has kept on the White House staff without taxpayer privacy training since April 2009, nonprofit government watchdog Cause of Action Institute (CofA) said in a report made public Wednesday [10/12/2016].  Obama "is the first president to have recruited litigation specialists from the DOJ Tax Division, some of whom had knowledge of confidential taxpayer information concerning his political opponents," the report said.  "The DOJ has supplied a regular stream of Tax Division lawyers to the Obama White House for more than seven years, all without any apparent guidance or safeguards to ensure against the unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer information."

IRS subjects tea party groups to new round of scrutiny, publicizes tax return data.  The IRS' battle against holdout tea party groups is heating up again, after the tax agency promised it would begin processing their long-delayed applications, but sent a new round of prodding questions demanding still more information.  More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group's lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public.  Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case, and that's one of the few narrow exceptions to strict IRS privacy laws.

The Weaponized Government Continues — U.S. Dept.  Of Labor Target Peter Thiel.  Do you think it is coincidental that Peter Thiel is suddenly sued by the DoL a few months after publicly putting his influence on the line politically?  If so, that's a very naive position.  The President Obama Treasury Department already admitted to the targeting of political opposition, Tea Party Groups, through the IRS.  President Obama claimed "not a smidgen of corruption", the IRS commissioner was fired, IRS division head Louis Lerner plead the fifth, and replacement IRS head John Koskinen apologized for what he initially called a "rogue operation based entirely in Cincinnati".  However, it was later proved this wasn't just a rogue operation.

The IRS Commissioner Belongs in Prison.  If you do not know the story — in which case, shame on you — a brief recap:  After years of pressure from Democratic grandees including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Senator Chuck Schumer, the IRS began targeting conservative nonprofit groups for various kinds of illegal harassment.  Applications for nonprofit status were wrongfully delayed and denied, while investigations into those organizations' tax statuses were turned into partisan fishing expeditions in order to expedite harassment against donors, volunteers, and political activists.  This involved organizations that are under the law explicitly permitted to engage in political activity.  Democratic officials at the state level joined in and continue to do so, with California attorney general Kamala Harris demanding donor lists from California-based nonprofits that came into her crosshairs — with no legal justification.  This is a flat-out illegal campaign of criminal harassment and intimidation of political activists involving the criminal misuse of federal resources for illegal partisan political ends.

Nets Omit IRS Head Admitting to Targeting Tea Party Groups at Hearing.  At a contentious impeachment hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday [9/21/2016], IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted that his agency targeted Tea Party groups looking to obtain tax-exempt status.  "They were totally improper criteria used to select organizations, applying for c-4 designation for further review," testified Koskinen before the committee, "Those organizations predominantly were conservative organizations."  This stunning abuse of power went unreported by the "Big Three" networks Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.  The only reference to Koskinen being in a hearing that day was made by NBC that evening, but the report had nothing to do with a possible impeachment or his testimony.  During her report on NBC Nightly News, reporter Katy Tur used a clip of the commissioner, talking about how tax-exempt organizations can spend their funds, to take a swipe at Donald Trump and his foundation for alleged self-dealing.

Jim Jordan Smacks Down IRS Commissioner at Impeachment Hearing.  Ohio Rep.  Jim Jordan went to town Wednesday against IRS commissioner John Koskinen at Koskinen's congressional impeachment hearing over his response to the IRS conservative targeting scandal.  In a triumphant smackdown, Jordan showed Koskinen to his face that the IRS is still engaging in targeting of conservative groups, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals.  [Video clip]

Judiciary Committee Set to Audit Top IRS Tax Agent.  For the first time, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will come under oath to plead his case, appearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.  A product of compromise, that impeachment hearing means different things to different factions of Congress.  Freedom Caucus members, who have been demanding Koskinen's early retirement for months, see the hearing as a formality necessary to fire Koskinen.  Others see it as a prerequisite to a longer impeachment process and an opportunity to afford the taxman his right to due process.

IRS chief Koskinen says he was misled, doesn't deserve impeachment.  Mr. Koskinen was appointed to be the troubleshooter after the tea party targeting scandal.  But he ran into problems in trying to fend off the congressional probes into the targeting, including overseeing the deletion of backup tapes containing emails sent or received by senior executive Lois G. Lerner — a key figure in the targeting probe.  Mr. Koskinen had assured lawmakers that everything was being preserved and said his staffers couldn't find any backup tapes.  But inspector general investigators quickly located many of the tapes, though not before more than 400 were erased despite a subpoena for their contents.

Republicans Cave on IRS Impeachment — Just as They Always Do.  Last October (2015), Utah representative Jason Chaffetz, one of the few Congressman who actually takes his job seriously, presented four Articles of Impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to the House Judiciary Committee.  It should have been a slam dunk. [...] One of the reasons (not a good reason) the House will not pursue impeachment is that [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell apparently called over and said that the Senate will do nothing regarding Koskinen, regardless of whether the House passes Articles of Impeachment or not.  But what does that have to do with it?  The House has an obligation to do their job.  What the Senate plans to do should be irrelevant to the House completing its job.

Republicans move to impeach IRS chief.  House conservatives moved on Tuesday [9/13/2016] to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over allegations that he misled investigators over the agency's inappropriate targeting of Tea Party groups.  Rep. John Fleming, R-La., introduced the resolution to impeach Koskinen on Tuesday afternoon. "[Koskinen] engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as an officer of the United States," Fleming said on the floor.

Democratic Senator Sought Justice Department and IRS Criminal Prosecutions of Conservatives in 2013.  Judicial Watch today [9/13/2016] released 72 pages of Department of Justice documents revealing email conversations between Department of Justice officials and the staff of Sen.  Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) regarding the criminal prosecution of Tea Party groups for alleged violation of IRS rules.  The conversations were in preparation for a briefing by Justice Department officials for Sen.  Whitehouse's staff and for a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing on April 9, 2013.  One internal agency email exchange indicates Sen.  Whitehouse's interest in seeking criminal prosecution of groups targeted by the IRS.

IRS refuses to abandon targeting criteria used against tea party, conservative groups.  The IRS is refusing to recant the targeting criteria it used to single out tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny, according to court filings made public Wednesday that show the tax agency still struggling with the fallout from the scandal.  At least three tea party groups are still awaiting approval from the IRS more than three years after agents publicly admitted they'd asked inappropriate questions and put the groups through unreasonable delays in obtaining tax-exempt status.

IRS vows to finally stop targeting tea party groups.  The IRS is still holding up three tea party groups' applications, Commissioner John Koskinen admitted in a letter to Congress last week — but he insisted he agents are finally about to begin processing them.  Mr. Koskinen is hoping to head off yet another judicial spanking for his agency, which has suffered a string of defeats in federal courts that ruled he is still improperly targeting conservative groups and mistreating them more than three years after the tax agency admitted to its bad behavior.  Not only are three groups still awaiting approval, but the IRS had left open the possibility of kick-starting the use of its targeting, or "be on lookout" (BOLO), lists that the agency used to figure out who it was subjecting to intrusive scrutiny.  Now, Mr. Koskinen is finally moving to shut the operation down for good.

Will Predatory IRS Finally Be Brought To Justice?  Two months ago, it looked as if the IRS scandal over targeting conservative groups had reached a legal dead end.  But an appeals court, in a stunning reversal, revived it this week.  Will justice finally be done?  We hope so.  The Washington, D.C., Circuit Court, overturning a June lower-court decision, let the suit go forward because, as LSU law professor Philip Hackney noted in the Surly Subgroup blog, "it found that the IRS had not voluntarily ceased its unlawful actions."  In other words, the IRS is still doing what it was accused of in the first place and was supposed to halt.

IRS vows action on years-old tea party applications held up by targeting.  Under pressure from the federal courts, the IRS did an abrupt about-face this week and said it will finally begin processing some of the tea party applications it has blocked for years — but the agency still refuses to say what the new process will be.  The Texas Patriots Tea Party, which first applied for tax-exempt status more than four years ago and has been blocked ever since, received a notice from the Justice Department on Tuesday [8/16/2016] saying it is finally going to see some action.  But the department's attorney, Joseph A. Sergi, said he didn't have any more details to provide, leaving it unclear whether the agency will move quickly, what sorts of standards it will impose and whether it will require another round of questions for the groups to answer.

The IRS just admitted they could resume targeting conservatives.  As we all know, the Obama administration has made sure that no one at the IRS suffers any consequences for the political targeting of conservatives prior to the 2012 election.  Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch have refused to prosecute any of the bureaucrats who were involved.  They have declined to enforce the contempt citation against Lois Lerner for refusing to provide any information to Congress about her misbehavior and the inexcusable (and unlawful) abuse of the IRS's power and authority for political purposes.

Federal Judge Says IRS Still Targeting Tea Party With Classic 'Catch-22'.  A federal appeals court unanimously confirmed Friday [8/5/2016] that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials targeted Tea Party and conservative non-profit applicants, with one of the judges calling the tax agency's actions indefensible.  "It being plain to the Inspector General, the District Court, and this court that the IRS cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits," U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle wrote.

IRS Colleagues Called Lois Lerner 'Volatile'.  Disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner, made famous by the agency's conservative targeting scandal, was a "volatile" "micromanager" who "targets people," her colleagues told the FBI.  Lerner headed the IRS office that targeted conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants.  She sent their tax exemption applications to a bureaucratic "black hole" prior to and after the 2012 election, FBI interviews obtained by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch show.  The documents reveal a side of Lerner's disruptive personality that was previously unreported.  The interviews were conducted in 2013 and 2014.

FBI documents confirm everything suspected about IRS slow walking Tea Party applications.  The truth has finally tied its shoes and caught up with the lies told by IRS officials with regard to the treatment of applications for tax exempt status by Tea Party groups.  FBI documents released by Judicial Watch include interviews with IRS employees in the Cincinnati tax exempt office run by Lois Lerner that prove employees were under instructions to bury the applications of Tea Party groups.

IRS Sent Tea Party, Conservative Applications to Black Hole.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials orchestrated a complex scheme to dump conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants into a bureaucratic "black hole," according to FBI documents made public Monday [8/1/2016] by a government watchdog group.  The documents describe how the IRS targeted the groups applying for tax exemptions beginning in 2010 and continuing beyond the 2012 election in a scandal that culminated in top agency official Lois Lerner's retirement following a series of investigations.  The IRS sent applications associated with the Tea Party to "Group 7822," a special team apparently developed specifically to snare targeted organizations' tax exemption requests, FBI narratives of interviews called "302s" obtained by watchdog Judicial Watch show.

Court says IRS must prove it stopped tea party targeting.  A federal appeals court slapped the IRS with yet another rebuke Friday, ruling that it did, in fact, discriminate against tea party groups and insisting the tax agency prove that it's permanently stopped the unconstitutional targeting of groups because of their political leanings.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said tea party groups can't sue individual IRS employees such as former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, but said the tax agency itself has not sufficiently proved that it has banned any future targeting.  The three-judge panel sent the case back to a lower court for a more thorough ruling.

Court finds IRS may still be targeting conservatives.  A federal court ruled Friday [8/5/2016] that the Internal Revenue Service has not yet demonstrated that officials stopped targeting Tea Party groups in a decision that excoriated the tax agency for its "discriminatory" treatment of conservative organizations.  "This is a blistering rebuke to the IRS and its defenders," Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute Center for Constitutional Studies, said of the court's ruling.  "It takes on squarely the defense the IRS had raised in this case which is, 'Whatever happened, we promise not to do it again.'"  "The court goes through and systematically takes that apart in a way that's very damaging to the IRS's overall defense," he added.

Obama IRS Waited Years to Tell the Truth.  Following up on some mega disclosures last week, this week we released 105 pages of newly obtained FBI "302" documents revealing that, beginning in 2010 and lasting through the Obama reelection campaign in 2012, the IRS orchestrated a deliberate policy of burying conservative groups' tax exemption applications in bureaucratic delays.  Interviews with numerous Cincinnati IRS employees in mid-2013 reveal that "Tea Party" group applications were automatically denied approval and assigned to a special "Group 7822" for an extended "inventory" process while waiting for decisions from IRS headquarters in Washington, DC.  One IRS manager "asked why progressive cases were not segregated similar to the Tea Party cases, but she did not get any satisfactory answers."

Judicial Watch:  Obama Donor/DOJ Prosecutor Spent 1529.25 Hours Investigating the IRS' Targeting of Conservative Groups.  Judicial Watch today [8/2/2016] released a letter from the Justice Department admitting that Democratic Party/Obama campaign donor and Justice Department attorney Barbara Bosserman spent 1,529.25 hours investigating the IRS' targeting of conservative organizations in 2010 and 2012.  According to Federal Election Commission records, Bosserman contributed $6,750 to Obama campaigns and the DNC from 2004 to 2012, including 12 separate contributions to Obama for America between 2008 and 2012.

Judicial Watch:  FBI Investigation Documents of IRS Scandal.  Judicial Watch today [7/27/2016] released 294 pages of new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) "302" documents revealing that top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew that the agency was specifically targeting "Tea Party" and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

FBI Investigation Documents of IRS Scandal.  Judicial Watch today [7/27/2016] released 294 pages of new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) "302" documents revealing that top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew that the agency was specifically targeting "Tea Party" and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

Documents indicate IRS officials knew of Tea Party targeting since 2011.  A new batch of FBI documents released Thursday [7/28/2016] by Judicial Watch indicates that several senior Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials were aware of the targeting of conservative groups almost two years before they told Congress.  Lois Lerner, who oversaw tax-exempt groups for the IRS, and top IRS official Holly Paz "knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011," the conservative legal advocacy group said in a release Thursday.  The IRS did not respond to requests for comment.  The detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations, known as FBI 302 documents, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch.

From Cincinnati to Washington:  How Lois Lerner's IRS Ruthlessly Targeted the Tea Party.  The IRS is a vast organization, employing ninety-five thousand people, who enforce a code 3.7 million words long that oversees taxes on everything from income to corporations to employment to estates to gifts to excises.  It's home to agents and auditors and specialists and examiners and investigators and lots and lots and lots of lawyers.  It also oversees organizations that are "exempt" from paying taxes.  The Exempt Organizations unit at the IRS is in fact a big operation; on any given day it oversees a universe of 1.5 million recognized tax-exempt organizations.  Precisely because the IRS handles so many nonprofit groups, it maintains a dedicated unit in Cincinnati — known as the Determinations unit — that processes initial tax-exempt applications.  The Cincy Determinations unit in turn is divided into thirteen groups, one of which handles the initial "screens" of applications.  The typical screener spends fifteen to thirty minutes on an application, and completes twenty to thirty a day.

Report: IRS's Lois Lerner passed more than a million pages of confidential docs to the DOJ.  President Obama will be joining Hillary Clinton on her campaign trek soon, after sitting by her side in April and explaining away the FBI's investigation into her private email server.  "There's classified and there's classified," the president explained to Fox News' Chris Wallace, adding that he as president handles "classified" information all the time.  It's no surprise, then, that Lois Lerner fit right in at the Obama administration's IRS, where new documents show that she herself used her personal discretion in determining which tax returns were confidential and which were confidential.

New Documents Suggest IRS's Lerner Likely Broke the Law.  It is likely the largest unauthorized disclosure of tax-return information in history:  the transfer of some 1.25 million pages of confidential tax returns to the Department of Justice in October of 2010.  And some say it may have been illegal.  The documents, which consisted chiefly of non-profit tax returns, were transferred to the DOJ's criminal division from the IRS at the request of Lois Lerner, who wanted to get the information to the DOJ in advance of a meeting where she and several of the attorneys in the public integrity section of the department's criminal division discussed their concerns about the increasing political activity of non-profit groups.

Regime of Lies.  In 2013, when evidence surfaced that suggested the IRS was targeting conservative groups, Obama insisted that couldn't be the case, but nevertheless dispatched his henchman, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, to launch a half-hearted investigation into the affair.  Nothing incriminating was discovered and no charges were filed — and later in 2015, in an appearance on "The Daily Show," Obama said that the "scandal" was the result of poorly trained IRS employees and doubted if conservative groups were truly targeted.  Last week, however, the IRS released a list of 426 organizations it had targeted during the scandal.  Nearly all of them are conservative or appear conservative-leaning.

Here's How the IRS Treated Me Because I'm a Conservative.  I suffered through fifteen months of stonewalling followed by demands to quickly meet a financial and ideological inquisition.  I am now a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the IRS, because we now know the IRS had flagged applications based on criteria like this:
  a) Have names including "Tea Party," "Patriots," or "9/12 Project";
  b) Deal with government spending, government debt, or taxes;
  c) Deal with education of the public by advocacy or lobbying to "make America a better place to live"; or
  d) Criticize how the country is being run.
The motto of my site — "resisting the re-education of America" — probably fit (c) and (d).  This is likely why last week, Dissident Prof was exposed as #130 in the IRS's list of 426 targeted groups.

Life on the IRS's enemies list.  Last month, the IRS released a "near-complete" list of the many groups it targeted, pestered and harassed.  The release came more than three years after the tax collector was forced to admit that it intensely scrutinized tea party organizations, and denied many of them nonprofit status. [...] After spending seemingly endless hours fighting Lerner's nonprofit organization division at the IRS, the Rock River Patriots could fight no more.  The group dropped its fatiguing pursuit of 501(c)(4) status after the IRS eventually ceased its push to penalize the organization with fines and penalties.  The agency has yet to give the Rock River Patriots its application fee back.

IRS targeting scandal:  We will not allow Team Obama to run out the clock.  We have been in federal court since 2012 challenging the unconstitutional targeting by the IRS of conservative and Tea Party groups.  This unlawful scheme was designed to punish organizations because of their conservative political beliefs.  In April, we were in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit presenting arguments on behalf of 38 organizations that we represent in our federal lawsuit.  In arguments before the panel, the court was very critical of the IRS.  As Judge David B. Sentelle put it:  "It's hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust."  That's very true.  And, you can add that the IRS is an agency committed to concealing the truth and dedicated to delaying the release of information.

Read the Full IRS "Enemies List".  The federal Internal Revenue Service has finally released a comprehensive list of non-profit groups whose applications for tax-exempt status were held up by bureaucrats around the time of the 2012 election.  The list was filed in federal court in late May as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit waged by conservative groups against the IRS.  The news was first reported by the Washington Times, but until Media Trackers obtained copies of the federal court filings, the list was not published in many of the stories detailing the development.  A majority of groups on the list are conservative organizations skeptical of the Obama administration's policies.

Finally! IRS Lists Tea Party Groups It Targeted, Nets Refuse to Report.  After more than three years of stonewalling the IRS has finally released an almost complete list of organizations that the tax agency scrutinized in the Tea Party targeting scandal, but you wouldn't know that if you got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks.  In fact, it's been 587 days since any network reported on the IRS scandal, when CBS This Morning made a mention of it on October 28, 2014.  NBC last noted the targeting scandal 614 days ago and it's been over two-years — a whopping 760 days — since ABC last mentioned it on the May 8, 2014 Good Morning America.

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.

IRS must publicize sensitive tea party data obtained in targeting, Obama administration says.  The IRS says it has stopped targeting the tea party — but three years later, the tax agency is still holding on to the sensitive information it pried from the conservative groups through invasive questions, and officials are even vowing to make the answers public.  Groups caught up in the scandal say that is proof the targeting is continuing, and they want the IRS to expunge the information or, at the very least, to make sure it is never released.

How Is the IRS Auditing Churches?  Group Demands Answers.  A nonprofit legal organization that advocates freedom of religion is demanding the Internal Revenue Service explain how it audits churches.  "The freedom of religion is too important to ... allow an administrative agency with enormous power like the IRS to just do as it pleases, with no accountability," Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel, told The Daily Signal in an interview.  Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on April 8, alleging the IRS has failed to fully comply with a legal obligation to release documents related to the federal agency's internal policies and procedures.

Overview:
The IRS Attacks the Tea Party.  In the lead-up to the 2012 election, many conservative organizations and Tea Party groups that had sought tax-exempt status from the IRS were frozen in limbo, unable to participate fully during election season because they were wasting away on an IRS list specifically created to stymie right-leaning groups hostile to President Obama's radical leftwing agenda.  In spring 2013, the IRS admitted to using keywords to target conservative organizations seeking tax exemption.  The agency said it used the keywords as a way to quickly flag applications for closer scrutiny because, after the First Amendment-affirming Citizens United ruling in 2010, the IRS was overloaded with applications.  Some of the keywords used to target conservative groups included "Tea Party" and "patriots," as well as the word "Israel."  Other key phrases and concepts used by the IRS to apply a heightened level of scrutiny included questioning government spending, government debt, government capability, or criticizing how the country was being run, advocating for education about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and any challenges to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).

IRS sued for refusing to release secret 'church investigations' procedures.  Government watchdog groups have filed a motion in federal court to compel the IRS to reveal how it determines when to initiate "church investigations" after accusing the tax-collecting agency of "stonewalling" efforts to bring to light its procedures.  The motion, filed jointly Friday [4/8/2016] by the Alliance Defending Freedom and Judicial Watch, came in response to a legal settlement struck in 2014 with an atheist organization, which said the IRS had "resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations."

Court rebukes IRS for tea party targeting, orders release of secret list.  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.

IRS Baloney Meets Sixth Circuit Grinder.  Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the Circuit that includes Ohio and thus the IRS's Cincinnati office) released its decision in United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots.  In the court's published decision, rejecting the IRS's petition for extraordinary relief in a pending class action by the NorCal Tea Party and others mistreated by the IRS, the baloney meets the grinder.

Federal appeals court slams IRS in Tea Party case, demands documents.  In a blistering rebuke of the IRS, a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court has ordered the tax-collecting agency to quit stalling and produce the names of organizations it targeted based on their political leanings.  The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit gave the IRS two weeks to turn over the documents sought as part of a class-action lawsuit brought by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots.  "The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation's interests and enforcing its laws ... The conduct of the IRS's attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition," the opinion said.

No "Major Scandal" in Obama Administration?  The IRS targeted conservative groups applying for non-profit status from 2010 to 2012.  In what some see as an attempt to influence elections, the IRS began requesting inappropriate information disproportionately from conservative groups and then delaying their approval, generally chilling free speech throughout the country.  Lois Lerner, at the heart of the scandal, has refused to testify before Congress, pleading the Fifth Amendment.  The media continue to argue that President Obama is not connected to this scandal, but it can be tied directly to the White House.  The President has tried to assert that there isn't a "smidgeon" of corruption at the IRS.

Federal judge certifies tea party in class action lawsuit against IRS.  A federal judge on Tuesday [1/12/2016] certified a class-action lawsuit against the IRS for its political targeting, advancing the cause of more than 200 tea party groups who said they were denied their First Amendment rights by the tax agency's actions.  Judge Susan J. Dlott in the Southern District of Ohio issued an order certifying the class, though she sealed the order for now to protect private taxpayer information.

Lerner, in newly released emails, calls GOP critics 'evil and dishonest'.  Newly released emails from Lois Lerner show the former IRS official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal calling Republican critics "evil and dishonest," and even "hateful."  The emails — part of a report released Aug. 6 by the Senate Finance Committee — offer a revealing look at Lerner, who used to head the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status and was at the center of the scandal over the alleged targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account.  Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday [8/24/2015] that further complicates the administration's efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner's actions during the tea party targeting scandal.  The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

IRS Scandal: Lerner A Secessionist?  No, She Just Hates Southerners.  Tuesday [8/11/2015], according to the Tax Prof's calculations, is Day 824 of the IRS scandal.  That would be 823 more than the number of conservative groups that the Lois Lerner regime granted tax-exempt status during President Obama's first three years in office.  We've long known that there has been some nasty business going on at the IRS, with Lerner and others harassing conservative and Tea Party groups trying to organize under a tax-exempt status.  But the virus still elicits mild surprise when it's exposed to the air, as a Senate Finance Committee report released last week illustrates.

IRS Awarded One Conservative Group Tax-Exempt Status in Three-Year Period.  The Internal Revenue Service gave only one conservative advocacy group tax-exempt status because of its "deliquent" handling of applications from Tea Party and conservative groups, according to a report released by the Senate Finance Committee last week.  As reported by Americans for Tax Reform, former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit Lois Lerner so severely failed to manage her staff that she prevented the government agency from granting non-profit status to all but one conservative group in a three-year period.

IRS's Lois Lerner called conservatives [nasty names] in emails.  A trove of IRS emails show top official Lois Lerner had a deep commitment to the Democratic Party and a significant dislike for the new conservative grassroots groups that formed under the Tea Party banner and sought tax-exempt status from the agency. [...] The emails are included in a bipartisan report issued Wednesday [8/5/2015] by the Senate Finance Committee, which cited "gross mismanagement" and also "personal politics" as the root cause of the IRS mishandling of tax-exempt applications from Tea Party organizations.

Jailtime For IRS' Political Hacks.  After a year's stalling by the IRS, the Senate Finance Committee has released its bipartisan report, denouncing the tax-collection agency's partisanship and incompetence.  When are these people going to jail?  The Senate report wasn't entirely satisfactory, given that its criticism was primarily in the compromise language of "gross mismanagement" to describe the agency's targeting of Tea Party dissident groups.  Using legal technicalities to silence and repress political dissent under the color of the nation's most feared enforcement agency isn't mismanagement.  It's a crime.

McConnell: Obama Administration 'Misled' Congress, Hid Evidence to Conceal IRS Targeting.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) accused the Obama administration of misleading Congress and hiding evidence in order to conceal the effort by the Internal Revenue Service to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.  The Hill reported that McConnell slammed the White House in a statement Wednesday [8/5/2015] following the release of a bipartisan Senate Finance Committee report that revealed the extent to which the "delinquent" IRS mismanaged applications from Tea Party groups.  "The report makes clear that civic groups were harassed specifically because they identified as conservative," McConnell declared.  "It underlines the seething contempt partisan officials like Lois Lerner had for them.  It also reveals that administration officials continually misled Congress and attempted to hide evidence that might have brought the truth to light sooner."

Lois Lerner Wanted To Audit A Group With Ties To Bristol Palin.  Embattled ex-IRS official Lois Lerner inquired about auditing a pro-abstinence group with ties to Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to a Senate report released on Wednesday [8/5/2015].  Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, disclosed Lerner's email — which she sent in April 2011 — in an addendum to a report detailing the results of a two-year investigation into whether the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups.  The bi-partisan report concluded that Lerner and the IRS often ignored applications for tax-exempt status submitted by Tea Party organizations and other groups.

10 tea party groups still awaiting approval from IRS.  Ten tea party groups are still awaiting approval by the IRS years after they applied for tax-exempt status, Senate investigators revealed Wednesday in a report that recommends the tax agency issue a ban preventing employees who work on nonprofit applications from engaging in political activity.  Investigators said the IRS's top brass showed bad management in letting the division that handles nonprofit applications run amok, but the report cleared those top officials of more serious charges of trying to punish groups politically opposed to President Obama.

Networks Refuse to Report on Latest IRS Scandal Revelations.  None of these three stunning IRS scandal developments, that have unfolded this week, have yet to be reported on by any of the Big Three network evening or morning shows.  The cover-up behind the IRS targeting scandal continues to unravel, despite President Barack Obama's protest to The Daily Show's Jon Stewart last week that "the truth of the matter is there was not some big conspiracy."  This week's revelations provided the perfect opportunity to catch Obama in a "gotcha" moment but so far ABC, CBS and NBC have reacted with total silence.

Federal judge threatens to hold IRS chief in contempt.  A federal judge threatened to hold IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in contempt Wednesday [7/29/2015] after the IRS failed to produce, as ordered, newly recovered emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.  U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the IRS on July 1 to turn over Lerner emails on a weekly basis in response to a lawsuit by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.  The lawsuit focused on the 2013 scandal in which the IRS acknowledged agents had improperly singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Federal Judge Threatens to Hold IRS Chief and DOJ Attorneys in Contempt of Court Over Lerner Cover-Up.  U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan today [7/29/2015] threatened to hold the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and newly recovered emails of Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.  During the a status hearing today, Sullivan warned that the failure to follow his order was serious and the IRS and Justice Department's excuses for not following his July 1 order were "indefensible, ridiculous, and absurd."  He asked the IRS' Justice Department lawyer Geoffrey Klimas, "Why didn't the IRS comply" with his court order and "why shouldn't the Court hold the Commissioner of the IRS in contempt."  Judge Sullivan referenced his contempt findings against Justice Department prosecutors in the prosecution of late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and reminded the Justice Department attorney he had the ability to detain him for contempt.  Warning he would tolerate no further disregard of his orders, Judge Sullivan said, "I will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally into contempt."

Ted Cruz presses IRS commissioner on non-profit targeting.  It's been two years since the IRS targeting scandal broke, but Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, said on Thursday [7/30/2015] they're still looking for answers.  The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, chaired by Cruz, on Wednesday questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the agency's cooperation with investigations, and rehashed accusations of a White House conspiracy to target conservative groups.  "The American people have a right to be angry when an instrument of the american government is used a partisan cudgel," said Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate running on abolishing the IRS.  "I have to say, Richard Nixon's ghost must have been smiling."

Cruz compares Obama to Nixon.  Sen. Ted Cruz compared the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS to the Watergate scandal during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday [7/29/2015].  The Texas Republican and presidential candidate blasted the Obama administration in his opening remarks, saying "When Richard Nixon did it it, it was wrong and he rightly resigned from the presidency in disgrace."  "No politician has the right to use the machinery of the executive branch to target their political enemies," he went on to say.

IRS gets lashing from judge for refusing to release Lerner emails, other documents.  A federal judge Wednesday [7/29/2015] rebuked the Obama administration's IRS for refusing to divulge documents, including Lois G. Lerner's emails, and warned that he would hold in contempt those who break his orders.  Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called the administration's defense "nonsensical" and said the IRS must release documents every Monday to Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that requested the documents under open records laws and then sued after the IRS didn't comply.

IRS Concealed Internal Communications By Using Instant-Messaging System.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials — including ex-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner — used an instant-messaging system in a seemingly deliberate effort to prevent their communications from being archived.  Americans for Tax Reform observed that new documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform demonstrate that IRS officials used an instant messaging system called the "Office Communication Server," denoted OCS, that did not archive their communications.

Lois Lerner Used Instant-Messaging System Because It Didn't Save Her Messages.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used an instant-messaging system that did not automatically save the messages they sent, according to newly released emails obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner loved the agency's "Office Communication Server" (OCS) specifically because it left no record of her messages during the period in which her department was targeting conservative and tea party groups.

New IRS Lerner emails show agency tried to block Congressional scrutiny: Watchdog.  The IRS sent one of its intrusive scrutiny letters to a nonprofit group in order to throw up a smokescreen and prevent the group from complaining to Congress about poor treatment, according to one of Lois G. Lerner's apparently lost emails, which were recovered by auditors and released by an interest group Tuesday [7/28/2015].  Judicial Watch, which had sued to force the production of the Lerner emails, said the emails confirm Ms. Lerner, the central figure in the targeting probe, and her colleagues were aware of the sensitive nature of the cases, but appeared to hide details of the massive backlog they were amassing as they held up hundreds of tea party and conservative group applications for nonprofit status.

The Stonewall at the Top of the IRS.  Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen needs to go.  When it was revealed in 2013 that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for exercising their First Amendment rights, President Obama correctly called the policy "inexcusable" and pledged accountability.  He even fired the then-acting IRS commissioner because he said it was necessary to have "new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward."

House chairman: Documents prove IRS 'political targeting' of conservatives.  The chairman of the top House committee probing the IRS political witch hunt of President Obama's foes said documents prove that the agency targeted conservatives and then tried to destroy the evidence and he promised "news" on the panel's investigation next week.  "I promise you — there will be news on the IRS side as early as next week.  So stay tuned," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Chaffetz asks Obama to fire IRS chief Koskinen for 'obstruction' of congressional probes.  The head of the top House investigative panel Monday called for the firing of IRS chief John Koskinen, arguing he has repeatedly "obstructed" congressional probes into the agency's political targeting of taxpayers.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs, made his request Monday [7/27/2015] in a letter to President Obama, arguing the president vowed in 2013 to "work hand-in-hand with Congress to fix the problem."

The Editor says...
One might as well send a letter to Barack H. Obama asking him to immediately resign.  Asking corrupt politicians to do the right thing is like going to the airport and asking for a free ride to Hawaii.  It isn't gonna happen.

"We Need A Woman of Your Special Skills".  The woman who "discovered" all of those deleted emails at the IRS was the one person the State Department felt it had to have onboard to "vet" Hillary's emails?  I wonder why.

House Republicans to Obama: Fire IRS chief.  House Republicans on Monday [7/27/2015] demanded that President Obama fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and announced that they have begun contempt proceedings against the tax chief.  Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), flanked by more than a dozen other Republicans on his committee, said the panel would use any and all methods available — including contempt of Congress charges or impeachment — to take aim at Koskinen.

The Editor says...
The Republicans don't have the collective backbone to impeach Commissioner Koskinen, as he is surely aware, and if there's a contempt of Congress charge in the works, there is probably a presidential pardon being written, too.

GOP House chairman asks Obama to remove IRS commissioner; says he obstructed tea party inquiry.  The Republican chairman of a powerful House committee called for the removal of the IRS commissioner Monday, saying he has obstructed congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups.

President punts on IRS.  Because there's a looser vibe on late-night talk shows perhaps President Obama felt free to play looser than usual with the facts.  But his characterization of the IRS scandal during an appearance on Jon Stewart's show this week isn't as easily laughed away as it may have been by the audience.  Yes, the president tried to rewrite a bit of embarrassing history, chalking up the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status as the simple fallout from a "crummy" law enacted by Congress.

Report: IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Conservatives for Audits.  President Obama appeared on the Daily Show this week and claimed that the IRS never targeted the Tea Party.  Yet according to an explosive new report from Judicial Watch, the IRS used donor lists from certain organizations to target specific people for audits: [...]

FreedomWorks: We Refuse to be Silenced by the IRS.  In light of recent revelations that the IRS used donor lists to target right-leaning groups for audits and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stating that targeting of conservatives is still possible, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:  "It is completely unacceptable, and 100 percent illegal, for the IRS to target donors of right-leaning groups for audits.  Even after the Lois Lerner scandal, this problem has not been fixed.  This has to change now."

IRS Scandal: It's Dangerous On Wrong Side Of Obama.  Documents produced by the IRS confirm that being on the wrong side of this administration is a dangerous place to be.  Judicial Watch, which used the Freedom of Information Act to pry the documents from the government's grasp, said Wednesday they "confirm that the IRS used donor lists to tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits."  Among these groups was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  That organization "may find itself under high scrutiny," an IRS official whose name was redacted told IRS attorney Lorraine Gardner in an email.

A bit foggy on that IRS scandal, Mr. President?  U.S. House members are meeting today, July 23, for a hearing on the IRS — and President Obama may have provided some fodder for Republicans.  The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the Internal Revenue Service's audit selection process and internal controls within the Tax Exempt and Government Entities division.  The hearing comes just after President Obama appeared on "The Daily Show" and claimed the IRS did not target tea party and conservative groups.

AO: 'Americans Still Vulnerable to IRS Audits Over Personal Beliefs'.  A House Oversight subcommittee hearing today will provide more pushback to President Barack Obama's claim to the Daily Show that there was no IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits.  The hearing, which will take testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen, will zoom in on a new report from the Government Accountability Office that will deliver this bombshell:  The GAO now says that IRS political "targeting is indeed possible in the audit process" for nonprofits, largely due to poor agency oversight and controls.  "Unfortunately, the IRS has not taken sufficient steps to prevent targeting Americans based on their personal beliefs," the GAO says.

The Hell That is the Obama White House.  [Scroll down]  And what exactly is the I.R.S. scandal about — to take just one case?  It's a plan unprecedented in modern American politics to push the political system towards a one-party state by using the taxing authority of the government to cripple and destroy the political opposition.  The administration's campaign to promote voter fraud by opposing measures to stop it (and defaming them as "racist" is guided by the same intentions and desire.  And why shouldn't Obama want to destroy the two-party system since he is also in utter contempt of the Constitutional framework, making law illegally, and defying an impotent Congress to stop him?  Of course every radical, like Obama, hates the Constitutional framework because, as Madison explained in Federalist #10, it is designed to thwart "the wicked projects" of the left to redistribute income and destroy the free market.

Obama Outrageously Denies IRS Targeting Scandal on Daily Show, Nets Censor.  President Barack Obama outrageously denied there was anything scandalous about the IRS-Tea Party controversy, in his Tuesday [7/21/2015] interview on The Daily Show, as he lectured Jon Stewart that:  "When there was that problem with the I.R.S. everybody jumped, including you... you got this back office and they're going after the Tea Party.  Well it turned out no."  Obama went on to assert "the truth of the matter is there was not some big conspiracy there."  Obama was never challenged by Stewart on this dodge despite the recent bombshell news that Lois Lerner had a meeting with the Justice Department and the FBI to target Obama opponents.  While all Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network morning shows, on Wednesday [7/22/2015], offered glowing coverage of Obama's sitdown with Stewart, not one of them picked up on Obama's scandal denial.

New Documents Show IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Audits.  Judicial Watch announced today [7/22/2015] that it has obtained documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that confirm that the IRS used donor lists to tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits.  The documents also show IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under "high scrutiny" from the IRS.

IRS Targeted Mainstream Conservatives.  The information was made public late Wednesday [7/22/2015].  The documents reveal, according to the organization, that the IRS used donor lists from conservative tax-exempt organizations to target donors for audits.  In 2010, they say, the IRS considered cross checking donor lists against gift tax filings and commencing audits against taxpayers who failed to file.  Some audits were initiated, but the IRS ultimately stopped the effort.  Such audits are the subject of controversy because the Supreme Court has ruled against them as a violation of the First Amendment.

Obama: 'Real' IRS Scandal Is That It's 'Poorly Funded'.  During an interview on the Daily Show, President Obama insisted that the IRS scandal isn't real.  He blames Republicans for not providing enough money to the federal agency to allow it to do its job.  Obama explained that accusations that they were specifically targeting conservative organizations was false and that IRS employees were simply implementing laws passed by Congress "poorly and stupidly."

Obama defends IRS, says tea party targeting didn't happen.  President Obama defended the IRS Tuesday [7/21/2015] in an interview with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, saying the tea party-targeting scandal was actually Congress' fault for passing "a crummy law" and that the real problem is the agency doesn't have enough money.  Mr. Obama, who has overseen a series of scandals at the IRS, the Veterans Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and now the Office of Personnel Management, was asked why government didn't seem to be working on his watch.

Also posted under Barack Obama's many lies.

Midnight raids, secret subpoenas: IRS' Lerner close friends with leader who targeted Scott Walker.  The official behind the IRS' conservative nonprofit targeting scandal, Lois Lerner, was friends with the Wisconsin regulator who targeted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's conservative aides and allies.  Lerner and Kevin Kennedy, director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, were friends for 20 years and traded emails on campaign finance, politics, and personal matters between 2011 and 2013, emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveal.  That was the same time frame the IRS increased its harassment of conservative groups and Wisconsin prosecutors conducted a secret John Doe probe of Walker's allies, raising the troubling question of whether they coordinated their investigations.

You Can't Keep Up with Obama's Incompetence, Corruption, and Hyperactivity.  Wednesday's [7/8/2015] headlines revealed a far broader and darker abuse of power.  "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 the IRS files of innocent Americans," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.  The conservative watchdog group uncovered an IRS document that shows how the agency furnished the FBI with 21 computer disks bearing 1.25 million pages from some 113,000 tax records.  This transfer included the improper disclosure of "confidential taxpayer information," which is covered by two laws that carry criminal penalties:  Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 and the federal Privacy Act.  Given Team Obama's Chinese-style stonewalling, congressional investigators are unlikely to solve this mystery.  They also lack police power to do much about it.  Thus, it's time for a special prosecutor.

It looks like Lois Lerner may have also been behind conservative targeting in Wisconsin.  Remember those horrifying police raids in Wisconsin a while back?  With no hyperbole, it was modern-day tyranny that should have incensed the entire nation, regardless of political affiliation or viewpoint.  Instead, very few ever even heard about it.  Why?  Because progressives were the perpetrators and conservatives were the targets.  The raids were part of a so-called "investigation" of conservatives who were supporting Scott Walker.  Well new email evidence suggests that Lois Lerner may have been in cahoots with a Wisconsin official regarding the investigation.

Overview / recap:

More FOIA Documents Reveal IRS Targeting Stemmed From DOJ and White House.  As a result of a trillion dollar stimulus filled with scheme and graft; and as a result of Obamacare being similarly schemed in backroom deals and late night votes; President Obama was "shellacked" in the November 2010 election. [...] The Obama Team response to the 2010 Shellacking was to use the Dept. of Justice (AG Eric Holder) to weaponize the IRS and go after groups — like Tea Party Groups — organized under the financial umbrella of 501(c)(4) donation structuring.  Years later, when the scheme was discovered — the White House denied knowledge ("not even a smidgen of corruption"), the DOJ feigned ignorance, and the IRS began working overtime trying to hide the construct of the prior communication, planning and strategy.

Surprise, Surprise: Lois Lerner Had Friends in Wisconsin.  The [Wall Street] Journal has been doing an outstanding job peeling the corrupt onion of Wisconsin's astonishingly abusive "John Doe" investigations, and — given the similar objectives of the John Doe investigations and the IRS Tea Party targeting — these latest revelations are hardly shocking.  Both the IRS and the Wisconsin investigators were dead-set on reading confidential donor lists and determining exactly how conservative organizations communicate.  The IRS sought its information through lawless and discriminatory document demands, while Wisconsin officials used the blunt instrument of predawn raids and electronic snooping that would make the NSA blush.

New Docs Reveal DOJ, IRS, and FBI Colluding to Prosecute Obama Opponents.  Documents released today [7/7/2015] by Judicial Watch show the Department of Justice colluding with the Internal Revenue Service to cook up criminal prosecutions of targeted non-profit conservative groups.  The newly obtained records include an official "DOJ Recap" report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI.  The documents 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.

Judicial Watch: Lois Lerner, DOJ Officials, and FBI Met to Plan Criminal Charges for Obama Opponents.  Newly obtained documents from the conservative educational foundation Judicial Watch detail an official memo from October 2010 of a meeting between Lois Lerner and officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI to plan for the prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations.  A lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act produced the documents which included the memo as well as revelations that the Justice Department wanted IRS employees to turn over sensitive documents before giving them to Congress, Judicial Watch said in a press release Tuesday [7/7/2015].  In a letter from Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, then-House Oversight Committee Chairman said "this revelation likely means that the IRS — including possibly Lois Lerner — violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department."

The IRS scandal just got even worse.  So the Obama IRS wasn't just persecuting right-leaning nonprofits — it was out to prosecute them, too.  And with the help of the Obama Department of Justice and FBI.  Via Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the watchdog group Judicial Watch just got evidence of the plot.  A "DOJ Recap" on an Oct. 8, 2010 meeting tells how officials from the three agencies discussed "several possible theories to bring criminal charges under FEC law" against groups "posing" as tax-exempt nonprofits.  As part of the project, the IRS handed the FBI 21 computer disks with 1.23 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups — nearly every 501(c)(4).  This, though federal law generally bans the IRS from sharing such data.

New Documents Reveal DOJ, IRS, and FBI Plan to Seek Criminal Charges of Obama Opponents.  Judicial Watch today [7/7/2015] 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.

Watchdog: IRS workers mistakenly erased tea party emails.  Investigators are blaming two IRS workers at a computer center in West Virginia for erasing thousands of emails related to the tax agency's tea party scandal, impeding congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative political groups.

The Obama Presidency — A Cacophony of Corruption.  [Scroll down]  Then, of course, there is Watergate.  That's the scandal where Richard Nixon allegedly thought about using the IRS to go after his political enemies in order to help assure his re-election.  Excise the word "allegedly," and — according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration — that is a pluperfect description of the Obama administration's targeting of conservative opponents of his policies leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

Obama IRS Political Appointees Protected Tea Party Probe Requests.  Senior IRS officials set up a special internal committee after congressional investigators sent information requests to the IRS's two White House political appointees to investigate conservative and tea party non-profit applicants.  Mary Howard, the IRS's director of privacy, governmental liaison and disclosure division, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday she never saw any of the information requests because the requests were forwarded to the special committee.  Howard is also the tax agency's chief Freedom of Information Act officer.  "I think Lois Lerner was just the tip of the iceberg," Howard said.

What is wrong with Democrats?  Democrats pushed the IRS to target Republicans; Richard Nixon was excoriated and faced impeachment for far less when it came to trying to use the IRS against a few political opponents — and his critics included many Republicans.  Have any Democrats objected to the use of the IRS for doing the "wet work" of the Democratic Party?  What is wrong with Democrats?  Of course, weaponizing the IRS is just part of a broader attempt to restrict the free speech of conservatives and Republicans.

How a rogue fourth branch of government is threatening our republic.  Two years ago this month, we learned of the burgeoning scandal at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — the deliberate targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups — a coordinated move to keep these groups on the sidelines during a critical election. [...] But over the course of the two years when the scandal broke, one thing has become very clear:  unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats were at the center of this scheme.  What's equally troubling — there's been no accountability.  Not one person has been fired.  Zero.  The IRS, along with a long list of other agencies, is run by bureaucrats.  And these bureaucrats destroy our liberty and threaten our democracy.

GOP has waited two years for info on IRS correspondence with Dem senators.  Washington Republicans said this week that their requests to the IRS for correspondences between the agency and congressional Democrats remain unfulfilled after two years, raising questions about whether the Obama administration is trying to withhold information for a third-straight election cycle.  "Instead of holding the IRS accountable, Democrats are trying to cover-up their involvement in the IRS targeting scandal," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said Friday [5/15/2015].

IRS takes steps to stop targeting of conservative groups, report says.  The IRS has taken "significant actions" to stop agents from targeting political groups based on their names and policy positions, according to a report issued Thursday [4/30/2015] by the government watchdog who disclosed the inappropriate activity two years ago.

Two years later, IRS probes drag on.  Exactly two years after the IRS first admitted improperly scrutinizing Tea Party groups, congressional investigations into the tax agency show no sign of drawing to a close anytime soon.  Congressional Republicans say they are deeply irritated that they haven't finished off the investigations launched after Lois Lerner apologized for the IRS on May 10, 2013, and insist that President Obama's Justice Department has stonewalled their efforts.  Top lawmakers like Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) note that they've only just received thousands of emails to and from Lerner that the IRS said were unrecoverable close to a year ago.

Do Judicial Watch and Wayne Allyn Root now have the smoking gun on IRS?  Thanks to assistance from Judicial Watch and the Freedom of Information Act, prominent conservative Obama administration critic Wayne Allyn Root believes that "I was targeted by the IRS in a coordinated attack at the highest levels of government... and we now have the proof."  In a Foxnews.com story, he narrates the story of his audits by the IRS and what has been discovered in the course of responses to FOIA.

New Documents Tie Obama and Senate Democrats Directly to the IRS Scandal.  The entire article is worth reading, but the short version is as follows:  Root was targeted for audit in 2011, disputed the findings in Tax Court, and won in 2012.  Only five days later, Root was again targeted for a separate audit, an unprecedented step.  Judicial Watch took Root's case and after the traditional, illegal withholding of evidence for over a year, finally secured documentation of the audit.  Stunningly, a "random audit of small businessman" was marked "SENSITIVE CASE" with no other explanation.

I Have the Proof That Ties Obama and the Democratic Party to the IRS Scandal.  The IRS scandal just won't go away — kind of like Watergate.  The media knew about Watergate for months.  It simmered and boiled, then it turned into a bigger-than-life scandal that destroyed Richard Nixon's presidency.  Could that be how the Barack Obama IRS scandal is playing out?  Up until now, no one has been able to tie the IRS scandal to the Obama White House or the Democratic Party.  That just changed.

IRS Scandal: I was targeted and I've got proof it was a Democratically-led conspiracy.  I was targeted by the IRS in a coordinated attack at the highest levels of government... and we now have the proof.  My IRS files, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, clearly implicate the IRS and a Democratic U.S. senator.

IRS still targeting tea party: Nine groups awaiting agency approval.  Nine tea party groups were still awaiting IRS approval for nonprofit status nearly two years after the political targeting program was exposed, the inspector general said in a report Thursday [4/30/2015] that, despite hiccups, claimed the tax agency has generally done a good job of cleaning up its act.  IRS employees no longer judge groups based on political leanings of their names, and has come up with an approved set of questions that means its agents can no longer ask the types of intrusive questions that landed the agency in trouble, the investigators said in their report, which updates their initial May 2013 finding.

John McCain and Those Newly Released Lois Lerner Emails.  [Scroll down]  [R]eining in political advocacy groups is not the same thing as targeting conservative groups.  The core complaint against the IRS is that it did not act even-handedly.  Had it done so, rather than focusing its fire on conservative groups, the IRS could be accused of incorrectly interpreting the law and/or making a bad policy decision.  But it could not be accused of using its power to tip the scales against conservatives.  It is the latter allegation that makes this story a scandal.

IRS Documents Reveal Lerner Knew Targeting Criteria of Nonprofit Groups 'Might Raise Questions'.  Judicial Watch today [4/9/2015] released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents, including an email from former IRS official Lois Lerner in February 2012 asking that a program be set up to "put together some training points to help them [IRS staffers] understand the potential pitfalls" of revealing too much information to Congress.  The documents also contain a Lerner email from 2013 in which she says she is willing to take the blame on some aspects of the scandal.  She also indicates that she "understands why the IRS criteria" leading to the targeting of Tea Party and other opponents of the President Obama "might raise questions."

Lerner Email Warns IRS Employees of Emails That 'Can Be Seen By Congress'.  Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), warned other IRS officials that lower-level employees "are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public — or at least be seen by Congress," according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released on Thursday [4/9/2015].

This just in:  Obama stole the 2012 election.
Norquist book: IRS assault on Tea Party saved Obama's presidency.  The administration-ordered persecution of Tea Party groups shut down the movement in time to save President Obama's reelection and starve Republican Mitt Romney of the 4,262,296 votes needed to take the White House, according to an explosive new book from tax foe Grover Norquist.  In End The IRS Before It Ends Us, a clarion call for a new, fairer tax system, Norquist pieces together the IRS scandal and scholarly electoral studies to show that plot worked to stifle the expanding Tea Party movement in the nick of time to help Obama.

Judge orders IRS to release list of tea party groups targeted for scrutiny.  A federal judge ordered the IRS this week to turn over the list of 298 groups it targeted for intrusive scrutiny as the agency defends against a potential class-action lawsuit by tea party groups who claim their constitutional rights were violated.  The IRS had argued it shouldn't have to release the names because doing do would violate privacy laws, but Judge Susan J. Dlott, who sits in the Southern District of Ohio, rejected that claim and ordered the tax agency to turn over any lists or spreadsheets detailing the groups that were targeted and when they filed their applications.

Obama Justice Department Refuses to Seek Justice for Targeted Americans.  The Obama Administration's IRS targeted Americans for their political beliefs.  Former top IRS official Lois Lerner abused the power of her office and refused to answer any questions from congressional oversight committees after proclaiming her own innocence.  The House Oversight Committee recommended specific action be taken to prosecute her criminally and voted her in contempt of Congress, yet the Obama Administration's Justice Department has done nothing to pursue justice.

Politico sat on allegations Lois Lerner had prior history of targeting conservatives.  Politico scored a journalistic coup with its exclusive 2014 profile on Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency's targeting of conservative groups.  But a former Illinois lawmaker who said Politico contacted him repeatedly that year with questions regarding claims he was targeted by Lerner in the mid-1990s has been left wondering why the news group chose to ignore his documented dealings with the former federal official.

Elijah Cummings is Knee Deep in IRS Scandal.  Cleta Mitchell, who is representing True the Vote, has filed an ethics probe against Elijah Cummings on February 6th (2014) with the Office of Congressional Ethics.  Last fall, True the Vote started receiving 8 and 9 page letters from Cummings, claiming he was conducting an investigation of their organization as part of the House Oversight Committee.  One problem.  The House Oversight Committee is only allowed to investigate government agencies.  Going after a private citizen is illegal.  Mitchell wants to find out if Cummings is responsible in part or completely for the harassment of Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote.  After Cummings launched his "investigation", Engelbrecht had her business audited twice, her personal taxes once, two visits from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a surprise visit from OSHA, seven visits from the FBI.

Congress demands Obama-approved IRS emails disclosing taxpayers' info.  Two top congressional chairmen demanded Wednesday [3/4/2014] that the IRS turn over all its emails that might have given private taxpayer information to the White House, after President Obama's lawyer last week passed the buck to the tax agency, insisting they would be able to search for the emails.  The IRS last year had claimed it didn't have the technological ability to search for those emails, so Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan went to the White House for them.

Obama's Little Shop of Horrors.  The IRS has proven itself to be untrustworthy in light of the continuing investigation into the illegal targeting of conservatives and their political views.  The IRS, is another independent government agency which our constitution demands have no ties to the White House.  Yet, once again, this administration knows no boundaries.  It has also been discovered that the agency has fraudulently spent millions and millions of taxpayer dollars for parties and trips.  Add insult to injury, the taxpayers are funding bonuses and salaries of IRS employees who have refused to pay their own taxes for years.

White House that promised transparency refuses to cooperate with IRS probe.  The White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama's top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue — eventually.  The tax agency has already said it doesn't have the capability to dig out the emails in question, but the White House's chief counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, insisted in a letter last week to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan that the IRS would try again once it finishes with the tea party-targeting scandal.

The Real Dirty Dozen at the IRS.  [#1] Internal emails show these groups were targeted because IRS employees thought them "icky."
[#2] Other emails showed that Lois Lerner was conspiring with the Department of Justice to prosecute conservative groups on trumped-up charges.
[#3] Lerner herself refused to testify to investigating committees and was held in contempt.
[#4] That didn't stop her from defending herself to Politico magazine and complaining about being "harassed" for her role.
[#5] Then, the IRS claimed it had lost the most crucial batch of Lerner's emails.
[#6] Oh yeah, and her Blackberry was destroyed too.
[#7] Six months later, the Tax Inspector General may have found those lost emails.  (Still no word yet on what was in them.)

White House Says They Will Not Release IRS Documents On Tea Party Targeting.  Is the Obama regime still claiming to be the "most transparent" administration ever?

Obama administration won't release IRS targeting documents.  The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS's targeting of Tea Party groups.  Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency's scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations.

Obama administration stonewalls FOIA request on IRS targeting scandal.  It has been almost two years since the exposure of the IRS efforts to target conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, and their donors. In the meantime, the Obama administration has done exactly nothing to hold IRS personnel accountable for their actions.

The Senate is Preparing to Investigate Ties between White House and IRS.  The newly minted Republican Senate appears to be getting at least one thing right.  The Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), have sent a letter to the White House demanding all communications the President and his aides have had with the IRS since 2010.

Obama Administration Refuses to Release Time Records of Key Attorney in IRS Scandal Investigation.  Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to extreme lengths to keep from the public the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative organizations.  The DOJ has claimed no less than four separate privileges in federal court to keep secret Bosserman's hours.  In doing so, the DOJ has confirmed that the criminal investigation into the IRS' abuses is ongoing and that Bosserman, a major donor to Obama's political campaigns and Democratic National Committee, continues to be part of the team of lawyers criminally investigating the issue.

IRS keeps Albuquerque Tea Party in limbo 5 years after tax-exempt status application.  Before there were the lost Lerner emails, the congressional hearings and the retaliatory budget cuts, there was the Albuquerque Tea Party, a group of politically minded folks in New Mexico who wanted to get together and share ideas for taking back their country.  The IRS had other ideas about them.  Five years after the Albuquerque Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, they remain in limbo — their application apparently no closer to being approved or denied than it was the day they mailed it to the IRS on Dec. 29, 2009.

Issa Releases Report On IRS Targeting Of Tea Party Groups.  The Republicans in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released a new staff report with a very long name "The Internal Revenue Service's Targeting of Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants:  Report of Findings for the 113th Congress."  The report represents findings from the review of over 1.3 million pages of documents and 52 transcribed interviews with IRS, Treasury, and Justice Department employees and lays out the story of the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.

IRS Says it 'Mistakenly' Penalized GOP Candidate Christine O'Donnell For a Second Time.  The IRS says it was only an accident that for a second time it penalized Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell by putting an "erroneous levy on her bank accounts."

IRS mistakenly penalizes Christine O'Donnell a second time, placed levy on bank accounts.  Adding to the long-running saga of IRS dealings with conservatives, former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says the tax agency punished her mistakenly for the second time in five years by imposing an erroneous levy on her bank accounts.  Ms. O'Donnell told The Washington Times that she discovered the levy when she couldn't access her checking account as she was preparing to visit relatives over Thanksgiving.

True The Vote Appeals Dismissal of Lawsuit Against IRS.  True the Vote, a Houston, Texas-based non-profit organization focused on "voters' rights and election integrity," has appealed a U.S. District Court's order dismissing their lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Breitbart Texas has learned.  The lawsuit had alleged that the IRS had improperly delayed granting True the Vote's application for 501(c)(3) status and targeted them as a conservative organization, but the opinion, issued by Judge Reggie B. Walton in October, found that the IRS had taken sufficient "remedial steps to address the alleged behavior."

The IRS Scandal Is Not Going Away.  The utter contempt the Obama administration shows toward the oversight powers of Congress, toward the millions of information technology-savvy Americans who grasp the lying and silly explanations provided by the administration, and toward federal judges who have ordered serious explanations for presumably "destroyed" e-mails is breathtaking and appalling.

Thousands of Documents: IRS Gave Taxpayer Information To White House.  The IRS' improper disclosure of taxpayer information to the White House was extensively investigated, according to thousands of documents the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently sitting on and could release within the next two weeks.  The Daily Caller first reported that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and White House policy adviser Jeanne Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information about a conservative group that was suing to stop Obamacare's contraceptive mandate in 2012.  Now, with 30,000 Lerner emails set to be turned over to Congress, new information is surfacing about the White House-IRS information pipeline.

2,500 new documents ID'd in White House-IRS taxpayer 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.

A Chance To Get To The Bottom Of The IRS Scandals.  The Republican takeover of the Senate is rich in potential consequences.  One such consequence is the opportunity to get to the bottom of the IRS targeting scandal.  Cleta Mitchell, the attorney who has led the charge to uncover the truth about IRS abuses, points out that Republicans now control key Senate committee's with jurisdiction over the matter:  Finance, Judiciary, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.  The new chairmen are, respectively, Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley, and Ron Johnson.  Each, says Mitchell, has demonstrated attentiveness to the IRS targeting scandal.  None is likely to shrink from forcing the agency to respond to the many unanswered questions about its behavior.

The IRS scandal: A refresher.  The House Oversight Committee has released the video [in this article] providing a short refresher in the IRS targeting scandal.  One of the Obama administration's greatest successes is the stonewalling, covering up and bald-faced prevaricating with which it has kept the lid on the scandal.

Report: Election-Eve Bombshell Memo Embroils Jeanne Shaheen in IRS Targeting Scandal.  Conservative groups here are outraged at a memo that surfaced hours before the polls open — a memo that suggests that incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) personally coordinated with the IRS's Lois Lerner to use the tax agency's power to target conservative groups.

Memo: Jeanne Shaheen Conspired With White House Insider On IRS Targeting Scandal.  Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was principally involved in a plot with Lois Lerner and President Barack Obama's political appointee at the IRS to lead a program of harassment against conservative nonprofit groups during the 2012 election, according to letters exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not want to publicly release 2012 correspondences exchanged between the IRS and Jeanne Shaheen at her personal Washington office:  the agency delayed releasing the information to a major conservative super PAC multiple times, even threatening to see the super PAC in court, according to emails.

IRS Stonewalls Cruz Investigation; Cruz Threatens Subpoena Come January.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is ripping the Internal Revenue Service after the agency sent him a one-page, pro forma response to a series of questions prompted by its audit of Breitbart News Network.  In the Sept. 25 letter, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS could not answer some of Cruz's questions — including how many other news organizations had been audited under President Obama and whether the agency had communicated with White House officials about auditing Breitbart — because of taxpayer confidentiality rules.

Barack Obama, bewildered bystander.  Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration.  The IRS?  "It's inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it," he thundered in May 2013 when the story broke of the agency targeting conservative groups.  "I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS."  Except that within nine months, Obama had grown far more tolerant, retroactively declaring this to be a phony scandal without "a smidgen of corruption."

Woodward: Lots of Unanswered Questions on Obama's Involvement in IRS Scandal.  Sunday [10/26/2014] on Fox News Channel's "MediaBuzz," Bob Woodward said there are, "lots of unanswered questions," about the Obama administrations involvement in the IRS scandal surrounding the targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

The nastiest political tactic this year.  Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.  Such misbehavior takes a toll on something that already is in short supply:  belief in government's legitimacy.  The federal government's most intrusive and potentially punitive institution, the IRS, unquestionably worked for Barack Obama's reelection by suppressing activities by conservative groups.  Would he have won if the government he heads had not impeded political participation by many opposition groups?  We will never know.

Targeting the Constitution.  It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations.  What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution. [...] Grass-roots organizations around the country, such as the Linchpins of Liberty (Tennessee), the Spirit of Freedom Institute (Wyoming), and the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (Pennsylvania), allege that they were singled out for special scrutiny at least in part for their work in constitutional education.  There may have been many more.

Federal Judge Offers Flimsy Legal Reasoning in Dismissing IRS Scandal Lawsuit.  For years, the IRS served as a cudgel that worked to penalize and diminish the efficacy of political organizations that objected to the Obama Administration's radical agenda.  The IRS demanded information on Tea Partiers and the organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, including records of members, emails, lists of reading materials and other protected information.  While other leftist organizations were free to make differences in their communities and within the political process, Tea Party organizations were harassed and delayed by the IRS until after the 2012 elections.

6 Times Obama Declared Crisis, Then Did Nothing.  In the aftermath of the IRS admitting that it had targeted conservative non-profit applicants, President Obama said, "Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it."  He then said that there was no need for a special prosecutor — Eric Holder would clearly clean up this mess.  Today, conservatives are still being targeted, and the Obama administration continues to obstruct any attempt to find the wrongdoers.

Inside the IRS, part 7.  According to a recent column by Jay Sekulow on the FOX News website and a statement by House Ways and Means Committee member Charles Boustany, 10 percent of the conservative donors whose names were improperly obtained by the IRS in the section 501(c)(4) scandal were subjected to individual audits.  This is an extraordinarily high individual audit rate for any random subset of the population.

President Obama, Audit Threats, And Rogue IRS Employees.  It is not enough for the IRS to do a good job of enforcing the tax laws in a fair and non-discriminatory way.  As important, the IRS needs to be perceived as fair.  If profiling is a dirty word, it should be equally dirty when the IRS does it.  Truly, audit targeting is scary.  No matter how good your records may be, no one wants to face an audit.

First-Time Filmmaker Seeks to Expose IRS in Political Documentary Debuting This Week.  Craig Bergman had just hit the road to produce his first political documentary about Agenda 21 — the United Nations' controversial sustainable development plan — when news of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservatives broke in May 2013.  "When I saw this scandal, I said somebody has to seize this and seize it right now. [...]"

Reporter Won't Pay Taxes Until IRS Truth Comes Out.  Are you fed up with your tax money being misspent while the government that collects them tramples on citizens' rights?  When the IRS scandal broke, one man decided enough was enough — and he hasn't paid taxes since.  Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley has refused to pay taxes since the public learned about the IRS targeting conservatives.  On the 500th day after the news hit, he reviewed what we've learned about what happened in the IRS (precious little) and what has happened in our country in the meantime.

Department of Injustice.  [Scroll down]  It is clear, despite an administration effort to muddy the waters and strangle the congressional investigation, that the president and his party's leaders in Congress launched a Herculean effort to bully the IRS to silence conservative organizations critical of the administration, and that the IRS, led by the head of the tax-exempt-organizations section, Lois Lerner, did its best to comply with this request.  The extent of the collusion has been made difficult to fix with precision because Ms. Lerner's hard drive disappeared and she has declined to answer congressional questions, exercising her right to avoid self-incrimination.  No one believes that her e-mails vanished accidentally, but let us note the contrast between the complacency with which the Democratic national media have assimilated this news with the hysteria that followed the revelation that Rose Mary Woods, Richard Nixon's assistant, had lost only 18 minutes of a Watergate tape.

Is Another Obama Administration Scandal About to Explode?  While strong cases can be made for both Benghazi and Fast and Furious, most voters consider Barack Obama's misuse of the IRS to be his administration's worst scandal so far.  But, as we wrote last year, targeting of conservative non-profits for harassment is not the only dimension of the IRS scandal.  In addition, there is strong reason to believe that one or more White House political appointees have illegally accessed private taxpayer information and used it for political gain.

Obama complains about OTHER countries for trying to silence dissent.  After all that Tea Party groups have been through because they were targeted by Obama's IRS, Obama has the audacity to call out other countries for trying to crackdown on legitimate dissent.  Talk about narcissism.  Not only that, but he decries 'endless regulations' as though his hands were clean.  Hello Obamacare?  Hello EPA?

Obama's Untruth, Inc.  Little the administration has stated about the IRS scandal has proven true.  It was not a slip-up in one local office; nor were liberal groups equally targeted.  There was quite a bit more than a "smidgen" of corruption.  The administration's strategy was to make so many things up that the public got confused and the matter went away.  The corruption worked to defang the Tea Party in 2012, and the cover-up — except for fall woman Lois Lerner, who took the Fifth Amendment — worked even better.

IRS E-mails: The Perfect Storm.  This is a scandal ordinary Americans can completely grasp in all its incarnations.  The Obama administration picks out its political opponents for particular persecution.  The organ of federal power chosen for this persecution, the IRS, is despised and feared by millions of Americans. [...] If the chosen agency to torment conservatives is toxic to voters, then the idiotic arrogance of the principal IRS officials makes for breathtaking politics.  They are clearly lying to Congress, lying to the American people, and lying to federal judges.  They are obviously hiding important information.  Their misconduct, already, would qualify as obstruction of justice and perjury, and the longer they stonewall, the guiltier they look.

The IRS Scandal and Media Bias.  Here's a thought experiment. Assume during the George W. Bush administration the IRS had targeted MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, the Center for American Progress, and a slew of other liberal groups.  Assume, too, that no conservative groups were the subject of harassment and intimidation.  And just for the fun of it, assume that press secretary Ari Fleischer had misled the press and the public by saying the scandal was confined to two rogue IRS agents in Cincinnati and that President Bush had declared that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" that had occurred.  Let's go a step further.  Assume that the IRS Commissioner, in testifying before Congress, admitted that the emails of the person at the heart of the abuse of power scandal were gone, that the backup tapes have been erased and that her hard drive was destroyed.  For good measure, assume that the person who was intimately involved in targeting liberal groups took the Fifth Amendment.

50 Things Barack Obama Has Done Wrong:  [#18]  The IRS targeted Obama's political enemies including Christian groups, pro-Israel groups, and most prominently, Tea Party groups.  The Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for the illegal behavior.  [#19]  Numerous donors to Mitt Romney were audited by the IRS after giving him large contributions.  [#20]  When the EPA and IRS were asked to provide emails requested by Congress as part of an investigation into their illegal activities, they've claimed over and over again to have lost the information because of "hard drive crashes."  Given that it's quite easy to back up a hard drive and that they're required by law to retain that information, it seems likely that they're habitually destroying evidence to hide their illegal activities.

Eric Holder's DOJ Conspires with House Oversight's Elijah Cummings in Massive IRS Cover-Up.  We have commented many times of the all-too-cozy relationship between the IRS and Democratic members of the House and Senate, with members writing to the agency demanding that specific conservative groups and political action committees they find particularly irritating be subject to the "special scrutiny" that the Tea Party and other conservative and religious groups were subjected to in the ongoing scandal.  Of particular interest to us has been Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member on Rep. Darrell Issa's House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who has made every effort to keep the committee from finding out the true extent of IRS corruption and abuse of power in its targeting of conservatives.

IRS and DOJ Conducted Targeting With Illegally Obtained Conservative Donor Lists.  The IRS scandal is NOT about the IRS.  Yes, the IRS did indeed target conservative groups; however, they were NOT the originating entity in the overall plan to create a list of targets.  The U.S. Department of Justice was the originating governmental agency who constructed the plan to make a target list and then weaponize various government agencies against those on the list.

More about the heavily-politicized Department of Justice.

Mark Levin: IRS Cover-up 'Most Loathsome Police Act in Modern American History'.  In what many could only expect to read in a fiction novel, it has been discovered that the emails of more IRS agents have gone missing.  The IRS blamed "routinely experienced" computer crashes for all the lost emails, and said that all the crashes happened well before Congress launched its investigations.

IRS Under Fire for Targeting Conservatives Again ... and This Time It's a Media Outlet.  The Internal Revenue Service, already under investigation for illegally targeting conservative and tea party groups, recently audited the conservative Breitbart News Network in a move that the company says was politically motivated.  The IRS sought the company's financial records from 2012, Fox News reported earlier today.  Brietbart.com relaunched that year with a more robust reporting team.  Over the past two years, it has produced hard-hitting stories exposing scandals in the Obama administration.

Cruz Letter: Why is the IRS Auditing Breitbart News?  U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service regarding its decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC.

Judicial Watch and Daily Caller Are On Trail To "The Red List" — IRS/DOJ "Research Project".  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) improperly obtained donor lists from nonprofit groups as part of a "secret research project" being run by Lois Lerner and other officials.  IRS official David Fish revealed the "secret research project" in a June 27, 2012 email to Lerner's direct subordinate Holly Paz, according to emails released Thursday [9/4/20-14] by the nonprofit group Judicial Watch, which obtained the emails in a pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Where is IRS Scandal Figure Andrew Strelka?  The IRS targeting scandal has all the intrigue of a political thriller.  First it was the missing e-mails, then destroyed hard drives and now a missing person in the form of one-time Lois Lerner underling Andrew Strelka.  On September 3, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding to know, by a Friday deadline, the information on the whereabouts of Strelka.  In the letter Jordan suggested the Department of Justice was hiding Strelka from the House Oversight Committee investigating the IRS-targeting scandal.

GOP lawmaker accuses DOJ of hiding former employee linked to IRS scandal.  A top House Republican is demanding the Department of Justice hand over contact information on a former employee accused of having a conflict of interest in the IRS targeting scandal investigation.  In a Sept. 3 letter, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, once again asked Attorney General Eric Holder for information on Andrew Strelka's whereabouts.

Defending the IRS.  Investigations of the IRS are taking place not only in Congress but also in court. One case, which has developed slowly since it was filed in 2010, reveals much about both the long reach of the agency and the interwoven nature of the broader federal bureaucracy.  Defending IRS commissioner John Koskinen against the claims of the pro-Israel group Z Street is Andrew Strelka — and before joining the Department of Justice's civil-trial section, Strelka worked at the IRS for Lois Lerner, who was then the agency's head of exempt organizations.  As it happens, this is the very IRS division at which the mistreatment of Z Street is alleged to have occurred — and Strelka worked there at the very time Z Street's application for tax-exempt status was being considered.

Justice's IRS Connection.  It was fishy enough when Democratic donor Barbara Bosserman was appointed to lead the Justice Department investigation of IRS targeting of conservative groups.  Now there are new questions about Justice's staffing choice on one of the private lawsuits brought against the IRS.

The IRS's Friend at Justice.  Congressional investigators have been finding more breadcrumbs on the trail of Andrew Strelka, the former IRS Exempt Organizations staffer who later became the Justice Department's attorney handling one of the viewpoint discrimination cases against the IRS. [...] Mr. Strelka was a White House management fellow assigned to the IRS when the targeting was underway, so at Justice he was handling a case to which he was potentially a witness.  Now Mr. Strelka's personal knowledge of policies in the Exempt Organizations unit run by Lois Lerner is turning up in emails found by the House Oversight Committee.

A campaign to silence conservative speech.  Did IRS targeting swing the election for Mr. Obama?  That's hard to prove absolutely, but it certainly hurt the opposition.  It didn't stop with holding up tax-exempt approvals.  Miraculously, as though just by mistake, the tax returns of the pro-traditional marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage, were leaked to a hostile activist group, which then targeted donors.  The ensuing lawsuit was settled by the IRS, but not before the damage was done.

Senate panel hits auditor but clears IRS of bias in targeting scandal.  A Senate investigative panel on Friday confirmed that the Internal Revenue Service used inappropriate methods to scrutinize tax-exempt groups but said it found "no evidence of IRS political bias" in the agency's actions.  In its 228-page report, the Democrat-led Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also criticized the IRS's independent watchdog for allegedly failing to make clear that the agency targeted more than just conservative groups.

Another "Smidgen of Corruption" in the IRS Scandal.  Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder this week demanding that he hand over contact information for a former IRS attorney with ties to Lois Lerner.  Jordan, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, said in the letter he is requesting the contact information for former Department of Justice attorney Andrew Strelka.  "The department's efforts to prevent the committee from learning Mr. Strelka's whereabouts suggest the department has cause for keeping him from speaking with the committee."  Prior to joining DOJ, Strelka worked for former IRS executive Lois Lerner.  He was the recipient of an email that directed him to "[b]e on the look out for a tea party case."  The email went on to say, "If you have received or do receive any case in the future involving an exemption for an organization having to do with tea party, let me know."

New IRS Documents Show Lerner Did Not Need Conservative Group Donor Lists — Emails Mention "Secret Research Project" by Top IRS Official.  [Scroll down]  Key parts of this email and other documents the IRS produced to Judicial Watch have been blacked out.  (Many of the documents are completely blacked out (or partially redacted) seemingly because they are allegedly "pre-decisional" or "deliberative," information that might be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.  The Obama administration's decision to withhold this information is completely discretionary and is not required by law.)  A subsequent IRS email thread on June 27, 2012, revealed that inappropriately obtained donor lists were being used for a "secret research project" and that a top official wanted then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller to decide how to handle the issue.

Email Reveals Lois Lerner Ignored Political Expenditures By Unions.  The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.  In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.  At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.

IRS Take Note: The Tie Goes to the Speaker.  Both section 501(c)(3) public charities and section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations face distinct constitutional tensions between the IRS's regulation of their tax-exempt limitations and the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of their First Amendment rights.  This tension is perhaps most evident for "issue advocacy," which is the term coined for nonprofits' educational communications on public policy matters related to their tax-exempt goals.  The U.S. Supreme Court's decisions on politically related speech should provide a critical safeguard against the IRS's current overreaching.  As the Court observed in its 1986 Massachusetts Right to Life decision, "Freedom of speech plays a fundamental role in a democracy; as this Court has said, freedom of thought and speech 'is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every form of freedom.'"

Congressional Report on IRS' Targeting of Conservative Groups Supported by Thomas More Society Evidence.  This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a staff report entitled "Lois Lerner's Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations," verifying information that Thomas More Society began to uncover nearly a year ago.  In both May and August of 2013, the Society presented the House Committee on Ways and Means with two memos totaling over 500 pages of evidence and documentation of six different groups that had experienced viewpoint-biased discrimination by the IRS, dating back to 2009.

IRS and Barack's Half-Brother.  [Scroll down]  [I]n the IRS ongoing case known as True the Vote (TTV) v. IRS the court "rejected an attempt by the conservative Tea Party group to have the court appoint a forensics expert to find Lois Lerner's missing emails and documents."  The basis for this decision was the judge's ruling that no "irreparable harm" had occurred.  But in January 2014 Walid Shoebat unearthed the information that a jihadist was granted USA tax exempt status 26-2461343 by Lois Lerner while conservative groups and Jewish groups were thwarted in their attempts to gain this same status.  And this is where things begin to get very interesting.  Who might this jihadist be?  None other than Barack Hussein Obama's brother Malik Obama.

Conservatives suing IRS fail to get injunction.  A federal judge on Thursday [8/7/2014] declined to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the Internal Revenue Service from destroying e-mails or other potential evidence. [...] In asking for the injunction, True the Vote said it didn't trust the IRS to refrain from destroying other evidence.

The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails.  Until the scandal erupted last year, Lois G. Lerner was in charge of the IRS division overseeing tax[-]exempt organizations.  Congressional investigators have spent months sifting through her emails — the ones that didn't "go missing" — to find out why she or her superiors subjected Tea Party organizations to intimidating questions and delays while applications from equivalent left-wing groups sailed through without a problem. [...] Ms. Lerner's own words betray not only a lack of professionalism, but deep partisanship.  If investigators conclude that she used the resources and power of the government to carry out a political vendetta,

Ends up Lois Lerner was e-mailing her husband with the conservative knock.  Republicans this week released e-mails showing that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner expressed scorn for conservatives in an e-mail to an unidentified recipient — the name was redacted.  Lerner's remarks would be troubling if she sent them to another IRS official, but it ends up that she was communicating with her husband, Michael Miles, according to unredacted copies of the exchange that Democrats leaked on Friday [8/1/2014].

The Editor says...
It doesn't matter if she made her inflammatory and hyper-partisan comments to her husband or to someone in the I.R.S.  The email shows a history of prejudice against conservatives.

Lois Lerner's Vendetta.  House Republicans have released a Lois Lerner email exchange from November 2012 that "clearly demonstrates why Ms. Lerner not only targeted conservatives, but denied such groups their rights to due process and equal protection under the law," wrote House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. [...] Camp is using this information to make the case that Lerner's bias is self-apparent, and that the DOJ should get more involved in reviewing her, along with the IRS.  He also reiterated his contention that Holder has yet to make a determined effort to do so.  "Despite the serious investigation and evidence this Committee has undertaken into the IRS's targeting of individuals for their beliefs, there is no indication that DOJ is taking this matter seriously," he said in a statement.

Revealed: IRS and State Department conspired in targeting pro-Israel group.  The IRS scandal has just gained another dimension, and it is more than a "smidgen."  Emails uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee show that the State Department was involved in the IRS's attempt to deny tax-exempt status to Z-Street, the pro-Israel organization founded and run by AT contributor Lori Lowenthal Marcus, based on Z-Street's pro-Israel positions that conflicted with Obama administration policy.  This is known as "viewpoint discrimination," and is strictly illegal.

Anatomy of a Government Conspiracy
Anatomy of a Government Conspiracy.  IRS Scandal Timeline [and schematic diagram].

Z Street: The Case Which Could Blow Open The IRS Scandal.  In its lawsuit against the IRS, Z Street alleges that the IRS violated the First Amendment when it implemented a policy that subjected Israel-related organizations applying for tax-exempt status to more rigorous review procedures than other organizations applying for that same status.  They call this viewpoint discrimination.  Ironically Z Street's case received a boost last summer when Democrats tried to defend the administration and prove the IRS was not just engaging in viewpoint discrimination against politically conservative groups.

IRS Ship Sinking: First Deadline Friday.  The IRS is running but cannot hide due to citizens; citizens who obtained two important victories this week.  Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the watchdog group Judicial Watch has taken the government to federal court seeking answers to the IRS missing emails; emails that are important in determining the extent and guilt of the IRS targeting the political opinions of ordinary Americans.  This past week, the US Federal District Court for the District of Columbia has mandated two important rulings taking effect on Friday July 18, and no later than August 11, forcing the "most transparent administration in history" to put its money where its mouth is.

Noose Tightens on IRS.  Last Thursday [7/10/2014], Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the IRS 30 days to file a full explanation of the dubious computer crash and infamous missing emails — under oath.  Perhaps more importantly, he assigned Magistrate Judge John Facciola to "assist the parties" in the process of finding the emails from other sources. [...] Judge Sullivan is proceeding reasonably and cautiously, as he should, but to those who know him, the hearing reveals his devotion to uncovering the truth.  Judge Sullivan made it perfectly clear to the IRS and its attorneys that he expects the Agency to get its facts straight and ducks in a row.

Group At Center Of IRS Scandal Has Never Been Interviewed By FBI Investigators.  No one from True The Vote, the highest profile organization targeted by the IRS in the scandal involving improper scrutiny of conservative-leaning non-profits, has been interviewed by the FBI or investigators from the Department of Justice, according to the group's President, Catherine Engelbrecht.  This stunning revelation comes just days after Attorney General Eric Holder rebuffed the suggestion that an independent investigation is needed into the growing scandal.

Update:
FBI To Finally Meet With Target Of IRS Bullying.  Just days after IJ Review revealed that True the Vote, the non-profit organization at the center of the IRS scandal, had not even met with FBI agents investigating the charges of illegal activity, the group's founder has announced that the Department of Justice has finally notified them that they will be interviewed.

Is the IRS scandal the ultimate test of the Constitution's checks and balances?  Two federal judges acting within 24 hours of each other last Thursday and Friday served notice on the IRS that it's time to pay up.  In doing so, U.S. District Court Judges Emmet G. Sullivan and Reggie Walton have set up what may prove to be the ultimate test of the Constitution's checks and balances system.  Sullivan and Walton both serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Both are well-known as no-nonsense judges who are not to be trifled with.

The IRS under oath.  At a recent hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan neatly summarized the problem the IRS has when he responded to Commissioner John Koskinen this way:  "I don't believe it.  That's your problem:  Nobody believes you."  Now two federal judges have basically said the same thing.  Last Thursday, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Bill Clinton appointee, ordered the IRS to designate an official to explain — under oath — how it lost the Lois Lerner emails.  The judge also asked a federal magistrate to look at other ways the court might find the IRS records.

IRS Union Boss Colleen Kelley: The Missing Link to Obama?  On March 31, 2010, the day before the Inspector General's report says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began its scheme to target tea party and conservative groups, the White House Visitors Log reveals that President Barack Obama met with IRS union boss Colleen Kelley.  In a notable feat of investigative journalism, American Spectator reporter Jeffrey Lord exposed what appears to be an unholy alliance among the White House, Democrat members of Congress and the thousands of IRS employees, who are members of the far-left, anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

The President met with anti-Tea Party IRS union chief the day before agency targeted the Tea Party.
Obama And The IRS: The Smoking Gun?  In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS "Determinations Unit Program agreed" to open a "Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases."  As stated by the IG report.  The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies.

Obama's Big Brother Database Grows Scarier By Day.  Known as the National Mortgage Database, it will store vast amounts of personally identifiable information, as well as extremely sensitive financial information that even the IRS doesn't collect, including your credit scores and performance data on credit cards and home, auto, business and student loans.  The repository will be linked to your name, telephone numbers, Social Security number, employment records, address and date of birth, as well as race and religion.  The regime cryptically explains it's collecting the data for "research" and "policymaking."  But according to a Federal Register notice, the database will also be used by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to prosecute financial crimes.

More Than a Smidgen.  The facts are simple.  The IRS systematically targeted conservative and Tea Party groups after their activism proved decisive in the 2010 midterm elections — Obama's famous "shellacking."  The effects of this targeting were widespread.  Some Tea Party groups were neutered in the months before the 2012 presidential election.

Obama: treacherous or incompetent?  Obama's IRS targeted his perceived political enemies, conservative and pro-Israel groups, prior to the 2012 election.  Questions are being raised about why this occurred, who ordered it, whether there was any White House involvement and whether there was an initial effort to hide who knew about the targeting and when.  Obama apparently lied when he told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in IRS activities.

Obama political donor leading Justice Department's IRS investigation.  Two Republican lawmakers and a conservative legal group are crying foul over the Justice Department's selection of a Democratic donor to lead the agency's investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) issued a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday [7/9/2014] saying DOJ trial attorney Barbara Bosserman's involvement is "highly inappropriate and has compromised the administration's investigation of the IRS."  They asked that the department remove her from the case.

Lois Lerner Targeted Chuck Grassley After He Blocked Obama's DOJ Tax Nominee.  Ex-Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner tried to audit Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley after Grassley blocked President Obama's nominee to head the Department of Justice (DOJ) tax division, an executive branch insider told The Daily Caller.  Grassley made it more difficult for the IRS and DOJ to work together to target conservative groups by blocking Obama's political appointee Mary L. Smith from taking over the DOJ Tax Division, which prosecutes criminal cases for the IRS.  Grassley held up the nomination in early 2010, just as Lerner and fellow IRS officials were mapping out their targeting strategy.  The White House later withdrew Smith's nomination.

IRS stare down not going away.  A top GOP investigator and former IRS official Lois Lerner's lawyer squared off on Sunday, underscoring that the battle over the agency's improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups isn't going anywhere this election year.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) even accused the lawyer, Bill Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder, on CNN's "State of the Union" of having lied several times, and of giving his client shoddy legal advice.  He insisted that Lerner had broken the law by not ensuring the safekeeping of official records.

Lois Lerner and Fellow IRS Official Announced Targeting At 2010 Conference The Same Month Their Emails Went Missing.  Ex-Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner spoke at a 2010 government conference where Lerner's underling Nikole Flax announced the new IRS program scrutinizing groups applying for tax-exempt status.  Both Lerner and Flax experienced "computer crashes" that led to the permanent deletion of their emails, according to the IRS, which said it cannot hand over their emails to congressional investigators on two House committees.  Both Lerner and Flax briefed fellow government bureaucrats on the new targeting at the conference, where Lerner appeared at a workshop called "Will the IRS Come Knocking?"

Audit the IRS.  There is "no evidence of criminal wrongdoing," the Internal Revenue Service assured Americans during an internal investigation of the agency's targeting of conservative groups.  Few will find comfort in those words, and understandably so.  Last week, while seeking to reassure Americans he has seen no evidence of a crime, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen acknowledged he had not even bothered to review any of the applicable laws.

Smoking Gun Trail To White House.  How can the DOJ conduct an investigation into unlawful aspects of the IRS targeting of specific 501(c)(4) groups, when the DOJ is the initiating body for the illegality they are seeking to investigate?

Former IRS Attorney Donated $12,831 to Democrats.  Former IRS attorney Jennifer O'Connor, who now works in the White House Counsel's office, donated a total of $12,831 to Democrat candidates and parties between 2008 and 2012, which included donations to the Barack Obama campaign and to the Hillary Clinton campaign, according to records from OpenSecrets.gov.  O'Connor made headlines when she evaded questions about the IRS-Tea Party scandal at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 24.

You've got mail and an IRS auditor knocking on your door.  What would you do if you opened a piece of mail addressed to you, only to discover that it was clearly intended for one of your neighbors?  Most people would stop reading and simply forward it.  It would seem right and moral — if not legally required — to avoid taking advantage of or otherwise exploiting the information in a letter intended for someone else.  Evidently, such ethical standards do not concern some politically engaged people at the IRS.

Here's the backstory behind Chuck Grassley and Lois Lerner.  By the time Lois Lerner suggested auditing Sen. Chuck Grassley in a Dec. 4, 2012, email, the Iowa Republican had spent five years scrutinizing Lerner's IRS division.  Grassley, during his tenure as top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, zeroed in on abuses by charities and other nonprofit groups improperly claiming tax-exempt status under Lerner, and he spearheaded a 2006 change in federal law making it harder for organizations to improperly claim the credit.  Grassley and Lerner were no strangers to each other, and it's one of the reasons Republicans fear Lerner's push to audit Grassley might have been politically motivated.

Clinton adviser Lanny Davis: IRS scandal needs an independent prosecutor.  Lanny Davis, the former counselor to Bill Clinton and close adviser to 2016 hopeful Hillary Clinton, says that he agrees with Republicans that the IRS scandal has gotten out of hand, and that Democrats should feel the same.  "There's no Democrat that I know of that wouldn't be asking a Republican administration to conduct an independent investigation" if Republicans were in charge, said Mr. Davis, the New York Post reported Friday [6/27/2014].

Crimes of the IRS: John Eastman comments.  Our friend John Eastman is the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage.  After months of evasion and denial, the IRS has now admitted that it illegally leaked the names of NOM's donors to a third party who saw to their publication.  The IRS agreed to settle NOM's case against it on the basis of a consent judgment under which it will receive $50,000 as actual damages. [...] Despite the relevance of this case to the current controversies involving the IRS, and the illumination it casts on them, the coverage this case has received ranges from pitiful to nonexistent.

The Federal Octopus.  The Internal Revenue Service has enormous carrot-and-stick power in picking and choosing who needs a tax audit, or which group deserves tax-exempt status.  Under Lois Lerner, the IRS's tax-exemption division targeted conservative groups to defang them before the 2012 election — and then attempted to cover up that perversion of the agency.  Lerner herself pled the Fifth Amendment, and now we learn that much of her key e-mail correspondence mysteriously disappeared from her computer.  E-mail records from six other IRS officials of interest likewise vanished.  The IRS also improperly handed over tax files of particular groups to the FBI for investigation.  It is no exaggeration to state that the IRS has now surrendered its reputation as an impartial agency and lost the public trust.  It has degenerated into an extension of the White House.

IRS Admits Wrongdoing, to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group's Tax Return.  Two years after activists for same-sex marriage obtained the confidential tax return and donor list of a national group opposed to redefining marriage, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to settle the resulting lawsuit.  The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM's chief political rival.

Email Shows IRS Official Was Pretty Happy About Obama Publicly Singling Out Conservative "Secret Donor" Groups.  An email recently released by the House Oversight Committee shows IRS official Sarah Ingram was pretty excited about President Obama publicly speaking out against conservative groups with "secret donors."  The email was sent from Ingram to Lois Lerner and others inside the tax agency after a glowing piece was published in the New York Times about the IRS and the trouble it was having with new tax exempt applicants and groups in light of the 2010 Citizen's United ruling.

More smoke at the IRS — and not only from the hard drives.  [Scroll down]  We also now know that several Democratic senators, including Dick Durbin of Illinois, had urged the IRS to look into some of these [conservative] groups.  And we know that, in 2012, top IRS officials repeatedly misled Congress by not disclosing — in response to highly specific questions — that the agency was giving extraordinary attention to conservative groups.  Are those data points connected?  Or are they mere coincidences?  None of us yet knows the origins, motivations and scope of the agency's actions.  In May 2013 we wrote that with their stonewalling, claimed ignorance and convenient amnesia, IRS officials were making it difficult for Americans to evaluate the depth, but also the official awareness, of the agency's evident assault on free speech.

Why the IRS scandal won't die.  The agency, accused of harassing conservative groups, claims that emails from individuals who are the focus of congressional investigators are gone and unrecoverable.  A dubious claim.  As the partisans haggle over "recycled" hard drives and the existence of back-up servers, though, let's not forget why we care.  This isn't just an ordinary story about an over-powerful government agency run amok.  The allegations here are of political corruption in which officials appointed by the party in power allegedly sought to impede and punish those of the opposing view with the intent to alter the outcome of two elections.  That's not just the usual stuff we read about with regulators gone wild — consequences of an obtuse and overbroad bureaucracy that rains misery on citizens just and unjust.  This is an allegation of rigging two elections by high officials in an agency with enormous powers to harass and intimidate.

Oversight Report: Obama's Use of 'Bully Pulpit' Led to IRS Targeting.  A House committee report maintains that the rhetoric used by President Obama in disparaging the nation's campaign finance system impelled the Internal Revenue Service to undertake an extensive review of the tax status of conservative groups.  The report compiled by the staff of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, "How Politics Led the IRS to Target Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants for their Political Beliefs," claims the president's use of the "bully pulpit" led the IRS to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, leading to often lengthy delays in the process.

The dangerous Democratic assault on free speech.  The spark that lit this fuse of intimidation, coercion and abuse was struck before the 2012 elections, when the IRS began a systematic campaign of targeting certain organizations seeking tax-exempt status, compelling applicants to divulge the nature of their prayers and reading material, among other things.  This targeting had the effect of silencing those who wanted only to engage in constitutionally protected speech but were prevented from doing so by the Obama administration.  These actions represent the biggest threat to free speech since the late 18th century, when Americans were arrested, fined and thrown into prison for the crime of disagreeing with their government.

Of the Bureaucrats, by the Bureaucrats, for the Bureaucrats.  For understandable reasons, the IRS scandal has largely focused on the political question of whether the White House deliberately targeted its opponents.  To date there's no evidence that it did.  That's good for the president, but it may not be good for the country, because if the administration didn't target opponents, that would mean the IRS has become corrupt all on its own.

Treasury: Lerner never talked Tea Party with us.  Treasury Department officials said Friday that there's no reason to believe that former IRS official Lois Lerner came to them with the tax agency's improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups.  To back that up, one official said the Treasury handed over a wide range of communications between Lerner and the department's employees, as requested by GOP investigators, according to a letter obtained by The Hill.

Judicial Watch Smoking Gun Busts Open IRS Scandal, Again.  The news just keeps going from bad to worse for President Obama and disgraced former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner, thanks in large part to Judicial Watch's investigative work.  JW has been instrumental in uncovering evidence of Lerner's role in the IRS "Tea Party" scandal, obtaining records even Congress could not get — documents proving the nation's tax collecting agency attempted to silence conservative organizations through abusive practices.

Obama's IRS Sent The FBI 1.1 Million Pages Of Taxpayer Documents: An Update.  In the Fall of 2010, as part of its effort to stem the conservative uprising that was occurring at that time, the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Lois Lerner and Sarah Ingram, sent the FBI 21 disks containing 1.1 million pages of taxpayer filings.  The IRS's purpose was to give the FBI ammunition with which to investigate and prosecute conservatives.  The IRS covered up this transaction.  Over more than a year, despite three subpoenas from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the IRS never disclosed its transmission of documents to the FBI.

Cleta Mitchell To The IRS: Answer This.  Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell represents True the Vote, one of the groups illegally targeted by the IRS in the scandals that have exposed the agency as a partisan operation.  True the Vote's Catherine Engelbrecht has been harassed by federal law enforcement authorities representing three different federal agencies.  They represent the price of politics in the Age of Obama.

The IRS's war on free speech.  The Obama administration's IRS actively attempted to enlist the FBI in its war against the Tea Party. [...] The sitting government, angry that dissenting citizens are challenging its hold on power, decides to subject those citizens to a long string of abuses, including bureaucratic delays that limit free speech rights, targeted audits designed for intimidation, and selective leaks of private information, for the purpose of humiliation.  When those efforts fail to stem the tide of dissent, the frustrated government tries to criminalize disagreement, handing over voluminous files on individual citizens to a powerful law enforcement agency, all in the hopes that law enforcement will take action, possibly even imprisoning dissenters.

House Bill to Impeach Eric Holder Now Has 26 Co-Sponsors.  It might be time for Eric Holder to get his resume ready and start looking for other employment.  Holder might be on the brink of making history, but not in a good way, as a House bill calling for his impeachment is starting to gain massive support in Congress, which could make him the first Attorney General to be removed from office.  Many conservatives are ready to give Holder the boot for breaking the law and attempting to violate the First Amendment of the Constitution by using information from the IRS to prosecute people for their political beliefs.

IRS Gave FBI 1.1 Million Pages Of Taxpayer Data To Encourage Prosecution Of Conservatives.  The perversion of law enforcement agencies for political ends is starkly revealed by the fact that in 2010, as part of its effort to stem the Tea Party movement, the IRS gave the FBI disks containing more than 1.1 million pages of documents on Section 501 non-profits, so that the FBI could selectively prosecute conservative groups and donors.

After Revelations DOJ Collaborated With IRS on Targeting, Oversight Reiterates Calls For Special Prosecutor.  Earlier we learned that in 2010, the IRS sent a massive data base full of confidential information belonging to [conservative] tax exempt groups to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections.  The information was sent after collaboration and agreement between former IRS head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner and DOJ Election Crimes Branch official Richard Pilger that tax exempt groups needed to be investigated.  Fast forward to four years later and the Department of Justice has been tapped to "investigate" the IRS targeting of conservative groups, even though they were involved in the targeting themselves.

Fictions as Truth.  For the IRS scandal, the Obama administration would have us believe:  [#1] Some low-level bureaucrats may have proved over-zealous in targeting some non-profit groups.  [#2] There was no real pattern in the political affiliations of those who were inordinately targeted by the IRS. [...] [#5] The targeting of so-called Tea-party groups between late 2010 and late 2012 had no effect on the 2012 election.

IRS Sent Confidential Information On Nonprofit Groups To FBI Days Before 2010 Midterm Elections.  Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner sent confidential taxpayer information about nonprofit groups to the Federal Bureau of Investigation days before the 2010 midterm elections.  New emails provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for its investigation into the IRS targeting scandal show that the IRS sent 21 disks containing 1.1 million pages of information on groups to the FBI, which is overseen by DOJ, in October 2010.  DOJ has the authority to monitor elections nationwide.  Lerner previously coordinated with DOJ in 2013 to attempt to prosecute conservative activist groups.

Schumer's IRS.  Did Chuck Schumer try to use the IRS to sidestep the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling — and stick a dagger in the heart of conservative groups? [...] The Center for Competitive Politics is asking that Schumer and nine other Democratic senators be investigated for trying to use the IRS to suppress the free speech of political opponents.  The complaint notes Schumer signed letters asking the IRS if it was investigating "social welfare organizations" to see if they were improperly campaigning.  Turns out the IRS did investigate.  And — surprise! — almost all the groups singled out for special IRS scrutiny were conservative.

Conservative groups complain Whitehouse pressured IRS.  Two conservative organizations in Washington have filed complaints with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, charging that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has unlawfully exerted pressure on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether nonprofit conservative groups have engaged unlawfully in partisan politics.  The Center for Competitive Politics asked that the panel look into actions by Whitehouse and eight other senators, who the group said had sought such probes and interfered with IRS adjudications of nonprofit tax status.

The Other Guy Blinked: IRS Backs Down — for now.  The Obama administration has definitely been on the ropes for most of his second term.  This week has been no different for Obama.  His IRS agency has been forced to back down after threatening to go toe to toe with the Tea Party.

The 6 Lamest Excuses For Failure From The Obama Administration.  [#4]  Obama wasn't responsible for the IRS targeting the Tea Party because he heard about it on the news:  Barack Obama apparently knows less about what's going in his administration than Colonel Wilhelm Klink knew about what was going in his prison camp in Hogan's Heroes.  If Barack Obama consistently claims he doesn't know more about what's going on in his administration than the general public then he's a liar, an idiot or both.

I.R.S. Delays New Rules on Taxation for Activists.  The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday [5/23/2014] that it has delayed and is revamping new rules intended to curb political activity by tax-exempt groups and that were proposed after the agency was accused last year of targeting Tea Party groups.  The I.R.S. said it made the decision after receiving 150,000 comments — both positive and negative — about the proposal, the biggest public response to any proposed rule in its history.  The decision postpones public hearings originally expected for this summer.  The proposal is intended to clarify how the I.R.S. defines political activity and how much nonprofit groups are allowed to spend on it.

GOP: Justice Department pushed Lois Lerner to help build criminal case against nonprofits.  Republicans on a House oversight panel say the Justice Department asked former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in 2010 to help them build criminal cases against nonprofit groups conducting political activity.

IRS backs off proposal critics warned would 'silence' conservative groups.  The IRS has agreed to overhaul a controversial proposal that Republican lawmakers warned would revive the agency's "harassment and intimidation" of conservative groups, after receiving a record number of comments on the proposed regulation.  The new rules have been in the works ever since the IRS came under fire for its targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups.  In the wake of that scandal, the agency said it wanted to clarify for everybody how tax-exempt groups can engage in political activity — by reining in the political work those groups do.

Group Offering $1M for New Info in IRS Targeting Scandal.  A group that was targeted by the IRS is now offering up to $1 million for anyone who provides information leading to the conviction of anyone involved in the scandal.  Catherine Engelbrecht, True the Vote founder and president, was among those targeted by the IRS.  She was on "The Kelly File" tonight [5/21/2014] to discuss the $1 million bounty being offered.

New Proof of Extensive IRS Scheme.  Since the founding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a sacrosanct rule in American politics has been that the IRS would never be used to target political enemies.  However, we now know that this rule was violated by Democrats just a few short months after Barack Obama assumed power.  Last week, the legal advocacy organization, Judicial Watch, released incriminating emails that prove the IRS abused its authority by singling out Tea Party conservatives for punitive actions.  The most damaging email was sent by Lois Lerner, the now-disgraced IRS honcho who's still refusing to testify before Congress, and it revealed that raw political motives were behind the efforts.

Issa Subpoenas DOJ After 'Election Crimes' Director Refuses to Answer Critical Questions 34 Times.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) subpoenaed the Department of Justice today for documents after the DOJ's Election Crimes Branch director, Richard Pilger, refused to answer critical questions 34 times, as advised by a DOJ lawyer, about the IRS-Tea Party scandal.  "The Department's refusal to allow Mr. Pilger to testify about matters highly relevant to the Committee's investigation unnecessarily delays and frustrates the Committee's Constitutional oversight obligations," said Chairman Issa in a letter sent with the subpoena.  "The Department's obstruction in this regard, coupled with its failure to produce any relevant material to date, leads the Committee to conclude the Department is not seriously committed to cooperating with the Committee's investigation on the Committee's terms," said Issa.

Gowdy Statements on Lerner Contempt and Special Counsel.  "Lois Lerner made 17 separate factual assertions when she came before the Oversight Committee.  She testified she had broken no laws and done nothing wrong.  That is a lot of talking for someone who wants to remain silent.  You don't get to tell your side of the story and then refuse to answer the cross-examination.  That is not how our system works.  And no one should be above the law.  Today [5/7/2014], Congress voted to make sure we are leveraging every possible option we have to bring accountability at the IRS."

The IRS's Media Firewall.  After the full House of Representatives cited former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress on Wednesday, the Washington Times fittingly made it the lead story.  Over at the Washington Post, however, print readers had to go 19 pages deep to "The Fed Page," a union-style newsletter for federal employees.  If the Post had buried the story any deeper, it would have been wedged into the classifieds or crumpled up in a backyard mulch barrel.

IRS Stonewalling FOIA Request Surrounding Correspondence With Democratic Members of Congress.  On May 21, 2013 the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent the IRS a Freedom of Information Act request asking for "any and all documents or records, including but not limited to electronic documents, e-mails, paper documents, photographs (electronic or hard copy), or audio files," related to correspondence from January 1, 2009 and May 21, 2013 between thirteen different Democrat members of Congress and top IRS officials.  Those officials include former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, former Commissioner Steven Miller, senior IRS official Joseph Grant and former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner.

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The Internal Repression Service.  Through months of Obama administration stonewalling, the redoubtable Judicial Watch perseveres in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, finally uncovering bombshell documents that have eluded several congressional investigations.  For the second time in a matter of days, we find that standing oversight committees with competing subject-matter jurisdictions and limited attention spans are incapable of the grand-jury-style probe needed to get to the bottom of administration lawlessness.  For that, in the absence of a scrupulous special prosecutor reasonably independent from the Obama Justice Department (not gonna happen), it becomes clear that a select committee will be necessary.

Get to bottom of IRS targeting of Tea Party to avoid future abuses.  [Scroll down]  Something else was revealed in the latest emails that in some respects is the most worrisome aspect of the IRS scandal. In an April 2013 email, Lerner described the four criteria for deciding whether to subject a particular applicant to targeting and harassment.  The third and fourth criteria were, Lerner said, whether the applicant described its purpose as to educate "the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live" or if statements were found in the applicants case file "that are critical of the how the country is being run."  Those two statements are so broad and potentially inclusive that they should instantly prompt Democrats and liberal nonprofit activists to rethink their opposition to House Republican efforts to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal.

Can You See the IRS Scandal Now?  A year after Judicial Watch submitted its FOIA request the IRS coughed up a stack of emails.  Among them is a July 2010 exchange between IRS director Holly Paz and a top D.C.-based IRS lawyer, Steve Grodnitzky, in which the latter explains how his Washington office "is working the Tea Party applications in coordination with" an office in Cincinnati.  Not only was the effort being directed out of Washington, the emails reveal, but D.C. was also telling the Cincinnati office how to handle Tea Party applications.  The emails also expose intense pressure from Sen. Carl Levin to block these groups in the run-up to the presidential election.

Krauthammer: New Emails Proves 'Lie' in White House Claim IRS Didn't Target GOPers.  The conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch, a group which recently forced the White House to release new email exchanges relating to the Benghazi attack, published newly uncovered communications which shed light on the scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups.  Reacting to those new emails on Fox News Channel's Special Report, columnist Charles Krauthammer said the emails prove the "lie" in the White House's claim the targeting was not political or directed at conservatives.  One email from a former IRS official to a tax agency attorney in Washington appears to disprove the White House's claim that two "rogue" agents in a Cincinnati office were solely responsible for the targeting of tea party groups.

New Emails: Democratic Senator Pressured IRS To Target Groups.  The IRS' Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller.  Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the "urgency" of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants.  Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.  A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out "individualized questions and requests."

IRS's tea-party noose tightens: Targeting campaign was directed by HQ in Washington, D.C..  Judicial Watch [...] said it received a cache of papers from the IRS showing the depth of the Obama administration's involvement in what officials have previously called the work of a few 'rogue agents' in Cincinnati, Ohio.  And letters from U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, show his involvement in pressing the IRS to target mostly conservative organizations with cumbersome questionnaires seemingly calculated to slow down their applications for tax-exempt status in the middle of an election year.

The Hill Insists GOP Abandoning IRS Investigation.  The Hill has a piece desperately trying to perform damage control for the Obama Administration by somehow insisting that the GOP is abandoning its investigation into the IRS scandal in favor of its investigation into the Benghazi scandal.  It seems The Hill wants to reduce the number of Obama Administration fronts coming under fire.

Your Tax Dollar Collectors At Work-The IRS Targeting Scandal Deepens.  New documents obtained by Judicial Watch demonstrate conclusively that the IRS policy of targeting tea party and conservative groups came directly from Washington D.C., not a rogue office in Cincinnati.  They also show that Sen. Carl Levin was working with the IRS to make sure tea party and conservative groups were targeted for harassment.  As to the first point, a July 2012 email from IRS Attorney Steven Grodnitzky confirms that tea party group applications for exempt status were being handled in Washington.

Judicial Watch Obtains New Documents Showing IRS Targeting Came Directly From Washington D.C..  New documents obtained and released through a Judicial Watch lawsuit show the targeting of tea party and conservative groups came directly out of Washington D.C., not a rogue IRS office in Cincinnati.  On July 6, 2012, former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance Holly Paz sent an email to IRS Attorney Steven Grodnitzky asking for an explanation of how tea party group applications were being handled.  Grodnitzky responded by confirming the cases were being handled in Washington.

House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS.  Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn't destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday [5/7/2014].  Republicans argue that the Internal Revenue Service still hasn't come clean about the full extent of its targeting, which swept up dozens of conservative groups.

Voter Fraud: An Existential Threat to America.  In 2010, homemaker and small business owner, Catherine Engelbrecht, founded True the Vote (TTV), an organization dedicated to combating vote fraud.  The group's experience at the hand of government has become emblematic of the Obama administration's despotic nature.  The travails of TTV are but one example of hundreds of conservative and tea party non-profits the IRS deliberately targeted in the run-up to the 2012 election.  For example, the Ohio Liberty Council submitted their application on June 30, 2010.  They received the first IRS answer in January 2012.  It asked extensive questions about every single event they held and planned to hold, the people in their groups, their qualifications, speakers, publications, websites, Facebook pages and more.  The IRS demanded they respond in two weeks.

Will the House arrest Lois Lerner?  The House has held Lois Lerner in contempt, but it won't use its power to place the former IRS official under arrest, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Sunday [5/11/2014].  Under a precedent affirmed by the Supreme Court, each chamber of Congress can authorize its sergeant-at-arms to detain individuals it holds in contempt.  But Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday" that he has no interest in doing that with Lerner, whom the House last week voted to hold in contempt over her refusal to testify about her role in the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.

Boehner Won't Issue an Arrest Warrant for Lerner If Holder Fails to Prosecute Her.  House Speaker John Boehner indicated on Sunday [5/11/2014] that if Attorney General Eric Holder doesn't proceed with the contempt charge against former IRS official Lois Lerner, that will be the end of it.  "The contempt charge has gone to the attorney general.  And it's up to the attorney general, Eric Holder, to prosecute this.  And to assign someone to prosecute the case.  Now will they do it?  We don't know.  But the ball is in his court," Boehner told Fox News's Maria Bartiromo.

The Editor says...
Speaker Boehner gives up too easily.  Discarding your weapons in the middle of a battle is not a winning tactic.

Arresting Lois Lerner.  Use it or lose it.  That's the message for House Speaker John Boehner.  If he thinks Congress has the power to arrest Lois Lerner for contempt, now is the time.  If he shrinks from sending the sergeant at arms to bring Lerner to the Capitol jail after the full House held her in contempt, he's weakening his own institution.  And if this case is not worth a fight, what is?

Congressman calls DOJ Lois Lerner criminal investigation 'a joke' after Holder deputy says he doesn't know who's in charge.  The acting deputy U.S. attorney general in charge of overseeing 'public integrity' prosecutions testified Friday [5/9/2014] that he doesn't know who's in charge of the criminal investigation of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the tea-party targeting scandal.  David O'Neil, whose job atop the DOJ's criminal division puts him in charge of public corruption prosecutions, told Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan that he also doesn't know how many prosecutors are assigned to the case, or how many attorneys from his division are working on it.  Asked to identify the lead agent in the Lerner investigation, O'Neil would only answer, 'I'm sure that we can provide that information to you.'

Eric Holder will sprout wings and fly before Lois Lerner goes to jail for contempt of Congress.  Now that the House has found Lerner in contempt and asked Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute her, Boehner and his fellow GOPers are headed to an embarrassing dead end.  Holder will sprout wings and fly from atop the Justice Department building before he lifts a finger to prosecute Lerner.  And he will find some way — not excluding simply ignoring it — to get around the law that says the U.S. Attorney "shall" file charges against an individual found in contempt of Congress.  At that point, Republicans will have to decide whether to blink or to do what no House has done since 1935, which is invoke its power of inherent contempt and jail Lerner until she talks.

Why Lois Lerner Should Be Granted Immunity.  In this week's episode of the Capitol Hill soap opera, Lois Lerner, the apparatchik at the center of the IRS jihad against conservative groups, was at long, long last held in contempt of Congress.  Amid the farce, the House's IRS probe is floundering.  Ironically, this happens just as the chamber's separate probe of the Benghazi massacre has been given a chance to succeed.  That is because House speaker John Boehner, after over a year of delay, has finally agreed to appoint a "select committee" to investigate Benghazi.  Congress has no constitutional authority to enforce the laws it writes, a power our system vests solely in the executive branch.  But a select committee, with a mission to find out what happened — as opposed to conducting oversight through the prism of some committee's narrow subject-matter jurisdiction (judiciary, budget, education, reform, etc.) — is the closest legislative analogue to a grand jury.

IRS finally agrees to turn over all Lois Lerner emails to House Republicans.  Less than a day after former IRS official Lois Lerner was found in criminal contempt of Congress, her old agency has agreed to turn over copies of all her emails and other correspondence to one of the Republican-led House committees investigating the scandal that led to her retirement.  The agency's quick concession came after Wednesday night's 231-178 contempt vote, which closely followed the passage of a second resolution demanding the appointment of a nonpartisan 'special counsel' at the Department of Justice.  Lerner has twice refused to answer questions in congressional hearings after lawmakers issued a subpoena for her appearance.

John Boehner has the Authority to Arrest Lois Lerner

IRS to Turn Over All Lerner E-Mails.  Less than 24 hours after the House voted to hold disgraced Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, the agency agreed to turn over all of Lerner's e-mails and correspondence to a House panel investigating its targeting of conservative nonprofit groups.  "While it is good that we are finally getting these e-mails, it should never have taken this long," Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp said in a statement, arguing that the information is critical to his investigation.

House votes 231-187 to hold IRS's Lerner in contempt of Congress.  The House voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency's improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups.  The 231 to 187 vote, which attracted just 6 Democrats, marked the latest escalation in the nearly yearlong IRS controversy, which broke last May when Lerner acknowledged and apologized for the agency's singling out of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status.

House finds Lois Lerner in contempt and refers prosecution to Eric Holder.  The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening [5/7/2014] to find Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress.  The 231-187 vote fell largely along party lines, with six Democrats joining every Republican to give the former IRS official a formal thumbs-down.  The result will place Lerner's case in the hands of Attorney General Eric Holder, who was himself found in criminal contempt in 2012 because he resisted subpoenas for documents in teh [sic] Operation Fast and Furious firearms scandal.

Lois Lerner is about to join an exclusive club.  Lawmakers are expected to vote later Wednesday to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress — a long-anticipated vote that will come just a few days short of the one-year anniversary of Lerner's first apology for the tax agency's decision to improperly target and investigate conservative-leaning tax-exempt political organizations.

Ten IRS scandal Excuses That Are Now Completely Discredited.  With Lois Lerner facing a contempt of Congress vote Wednesday [5/7/2014], and coming up on the one-year anniversary of the IRS conservative-targeting scandal, it's time to take a look at the pro-IRS case.  What have we found?  There isn't one.  Every defense put forth by the Obama administration and its allies in the Democratic Party and the media has now been disproved and discredited.

Ted Cruz Demands Vote to Stop IRS Targeting.  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took bold action on the Senate floor yesterday, requesting votes on his proposed legislation to stop the IRS's targeting of citizens based on their political actions.  Cruz said that if Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocks the legislation from being voted on, he will not consent to the passage of Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-MN) STOP Identity Theft Act, bill S. 149.  Cruz argued that Reid continues to disallow Republican-sponsored bills to be voted on by the body of the Senate.

Report: TV abandons IRS scandal; just 14 stories in 10 months as issue rages again.  According to the conservative media watchdog, when a Democratic report was issued in June 2013 suggesting that liberal groups were targeted equally by the IRS, the major media gave up coverage, even though that report was widely rejected, even by Treasury's inspector general.  Since then, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted along party lines to recommend that the full House hold Lerner in contempt.  A Roll Call report even suggested that the House, after voting, could imprison her.

There are plenty of smidgens in the IRS scandal.  Today [5/6/2014], the House Rules Committee is considering a resolution recommending that former IRS official Lois Lerner be held in contempt for refusing to answer questions about her role in the IRS targeting of President Obama's political opponents.  It is likely that the resolution will pass, and then it will come to the floor for a full vote in the House.  When it does, the vote to hold Lerner in contempt should be bipartisan — if not unanimous.  Any Democrats who vote "no" should be labeled as enablers of obstruction of justice.  It should be impossible for Democrats to defend a vote that could only serve to encourage more corruption and non-cooperation in the future.

Republicans gear up for contempt vote on alleged IRS targeting mastermind Lois Lerner.  Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to call a vote next week on a contempt resolution against Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of an alleged plot to target conservative nonprofit groups for special scrutiny based on their political beliefs.  Lerner, who retired in late 2013 with a government pension, led the agency's Exempt Organizations office and is accused of masterminding a scheme aimed at hobbling tea party groups when they applied for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2010 federal elections.

House GOP probes on Benghazi, IRS set up tough votes for Democrats.  With votes looming to create a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks, hold former IRS official Lois G. Lerner in contempt of Congress and demand a special counsel to look into the IRS, House Republicans have created a political minefield for Democrats in tough re-election races.  The votes all pit Congress against the White House and the broader Obama administration over key transparency questions — though they also open Republicans to charges of political grandstanding.

GOP Demands IRS Special Counsel.  Not only are House Republicans forming a select committee to investigate Benghazi, there is now a concerted push from top GOP officials for the appointment of a special counsel on the IRS scandal.  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced the IRS scandal special counsel resolution on Friday [5/2/2014].  Jordan's resolution calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the IRS scandal, rather than the current Department of Justice attorney investigating.  The current DOJ investigator donated thousands of dollars to President Obama's re-election campaign and to the Democratic National Committee.

GOP demands Justice name special counsel to probe IRS scandal, Lois Lerner.  Frustrated by the administration's efforts to brush the IRS scandal under the rug, House Republicans on Friday turned up the heat under Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding that his Justice Department appoint a special counsel to probe the efforts to punish conservative, anti-Obama groups.  "We must hold the IRS accountable so this powerful agency cannot be used as a tool to target and harass Americans for their political beliefs," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp.  Explaining the demand for a special counsel, Camp expressed doubt that Justice will aggressively probe the IRS in its own investigation.

Lois Lerner's Lawyer: Holding Her in Contempt Would Be 'Un-American'.  Ms. Lerner has twice declined to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, citing her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.  GOP lawmakers argue that she waived her privilege by making a statement at the first hearing, professing her innocence of any wrongdoing.  They were further angered when it became known that Ms. Lerner gave a lengthy interview to the Justice Department about the matter.  The committee approved a contempt resolution concerning Ms. Lerner earlier this month.

House GOP sets May vote on holding Lois Lerner in contempt.  The House next month plans to vote to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for her refusal to testify before Congress about the targeting of Tea Party groups, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told his colleagues in a memo Friday [4/25/2014].  The vote on Lerner, who led the agency's tax-exempt division, follows a party-line contempt referral by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has tried for nearly a year to get Lerner to answer questions on the grounds that she waived her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Darrell Issa seeks answers about Justice Department's role in IRS targeting.  Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is raising new questions about the Justice Department's role in the IRS targeting of conservative groups.  Issa wants more answers from the administration about a previously unreleased email between a DOJ official and former IRS official Lois Lerner about potential prosecutions of conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status.

IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements.  The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exempt status of a conservative charity for making statements critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry, according to a USA Today report.  The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, based in Manassas, Va., "has shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns" and made "repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate's character and qualifications," according to a written determination released Friday by the IRS.

Liberals Digging Their Political Graves.  I don't think that our all-American liberals have really thought through their sophomoric ideas about striking a "balance between free speech in a democracy and protection against racial abuse in a multicultural society" and the use of the IRS to punish their enemies.  One repression leads with iron logic to the next, and each injustice provokes its own head of rebellion.  At some point, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), you and your fellow House Democrats may have to embarrass yourselves and walk back your partisan insouciance, and admit that your opponents were right about the IRS and True the Vote.

Fox News Poll: 49 percent think White House had IRS target conservatives.  Nearly half of American voters think the IRS targeted conservative groups at the request of the White House, and most want Congress to keep investigating the matter.  The latest Fox News poll also finds 69 percent don't feel President Obama has followed through on his vow to "find out exactly what happened on this."  By a 49-41 percent margin, voters believe the Obama administration "intentionally had the IRS target conservative political groups."

True the Vote founder to Fox: Five separate agencies came down on me out of nowhere.  Conservative activist Catherine Engelbrecht was on "Fox and Friends" Wednesday [4/16/2014] and said she has no doubt that there was a "collaborative effort" by a number of federal agencies to try to silence her.  The founder of "True the Vote" made the assertion in the aftermath of last week's release of emails by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that suggest U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., may have worked with the IRS to target Engelbrecht after her organization applied for nonprofit status.

IRS Hack Lois Lerner Plays the Victim Card.  [O]ne of the most astonishing features of this whole circus has been Lerner's alleged rationale for refusing to cooperate the investigation and help right the wrongs of her agency.  Presented with an opportunity to display honesty and humility in order to root out political corruption, Lerner instead took refuge in cowardice.  Lerner's attorney claimed that she feared that giving an open testimony before the congressional committee would place her life in danger.

Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty Flouts IRS List Demand.  The Internal Revenue Service is demanding that Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty organization hand over its list of contributors, and has fined the non-profit organization $12,900 for failing to give names on its annual IRS filing.  "There is no legitimate reason for the IRS to know who donates to Campaign for Liberty," the organization's Communications Director Megan Stiles told the Washington Examiner in an e-mail April 15.

The IRS Scandal's Smoking Gun?  The so-called "smoking gun" proving the Internal Revenue Service played politics with conservative groups seeking official non-profit, social welfare status over the last several years may finally have been found.  In a rash of documents provided under the Freedom of Information Act to Judicial Watch, a non-partisan public interest law group, is an April 2013 email written by David Fish, acting manager of IRS Exempt Organizations Technical Guidance and Quality Assurance and sent to, among others, former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner.  It was part of a thread discussing a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the potential for the abuse of the 501(c)(4) tax status by organizations intervening inappropriately or improperly in candidate elections.

Emails Show Corruption At [the] Heart Of [the Obama] Administration.  The newly released emails were gathered for a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan public interest law group.  They show that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner discussed with the Justice Department going after conservative groups that she believed lied about their political activities.  What's shocking is that this discussion came just days before Lerner acknowledged that the IRS had investigated tea-party and other conservative groups but insisted that it was an isolated incident conducted by low-level officials in the IRS' Cincinnati office.

Those 'rogue' agents.  Remember when Lois Lerner, in answering a planted question at an American Bar Association conference, admitted the IRS had targeted conservative groups but tried to pass it off as the work of rogue agents — "our line people in Cincinnati"?  Today we know there were indeed federal agents involved.  But they weren't rogue, and they weren't confined to IRS workers in Cincinnati.  Thanks to a Freedom of Information request by Judicial Watch, we now have an e-mail Lerner sent to colleagues noting the Department of Justice was looking into criminal prosecutions of these tax-exempt groups.

Big Three Networks Censor Huge IRS Scandal Developments.  At this point it might take a dead body to get the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to give the IRS-Tea Party scandal any sort of real coverage.  Huge developments in the last week — like IRS official Lois Lerner receiving a criminal referral from the House Ways and Means Committee and e-mails proving she fed tax information on a targeted group to the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) — were completely censored by ABC and NBC news.  Only a 90 second report on Thursday's CBS This Morning kept last week's revelations from being totally blacked out on the Big Three networks.

Obama's thug administration.  The IRS and the Department of Justice colluded to steal the 2012 presidential election by stonewalling conservative political groups and denying them their constitutional right to participate in the democratic process. [...] When these felonious actions came to light, the IRS initially said they were the work of a few "rogue agents."  But that explanation did not survive the light of day, as more and more information about these crimes emerged.

Today's IRS Documents: What Do They Show?  Earlier today [4/16/2014], Judicial Watch made public a batch of documents that it received from the IRS in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.  The documents consist of a series of emails relating to the IRS's treatment of applications for 501(c)(4) status from "Tea Party" or otherwise conservative organizations. [...] [One message] was sent by Cindy Thomas to Lerner just after Lerner disclosed the targeting of conservative groups at an American Bar Association conference, and blamed it on "low level workers" in the IRS's Cincinnati office.  That was obviously a total lie, and Ms. Thomas, who was in charge of exempt organizations at the Cincinnati branch at the time, rubs it in.

The Terrifying Implications of the IRS Abuse-DOJ Connection.  [Hooray] for Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.  His investigation of what turned out to be the IRS abuse scandal may well have saved the Constitution and the nation.  For his fair and impartial investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's abuse of Americans who dissent from President Obama's agenda, Democrats have called for an investigation of him.  George should not be investigated, but perhaps the Democrats who want him investigated — Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) — should be.  Their call for an investigation of the investigator might constitute interference with the ongoing investigation of the IRS abuse scandal.  That would be obstruction of justice, in what may turn out to be the most widespread and damaging scandal in American history.

A New, More Sinister IRS Scandal.  Yesterday [4/16/2014] was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal.  The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.  Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal Lois Lerner cooking up plans with Justice Department officials to talk about ways to criminally charge conservative groups that are insufficiently quiet.

The IRS Scandal Blows Wide Open.  A bombshell revelation has brought the IRS scandal to a new level.  Judicial Watch has released internal IRS communications revealing that former Tax Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding whether it was possible to criminally prosecute tax-exempt groups she believed had "lied" about their political activity.  Judicial Watch obtained the documents by successfully filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the IRS in October 2013, following the agency's stonewall of four FOIA requests dating back to the previous May.

Oversight member on Lois Lerner coordination with DOJ: "Now I see why IRS is scared to give up emails".  Key members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform expressed outrage at revelations made in newly released emails showing ex-IRS official Lois Lerner coordinating with the Department of Justice on prosecuting nonprofit groups.  One committee member said the emails prove why the IRS is "scared to give up the rest of Lois Lerner's emails."  IRS commissioner John Koskinen was recently threatened with contempt for stonewalling the committee's investigation.  Koskinen claimed in a hearing that it could take years to provide the documents requested by Oversight.  "The release of new documents underscores the political nature of IRS Tea Party targeting and the extent to which supposed apolitical officials took direction from elected Democrats," Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said in a statement.  "These e-mails are part of an overwhelming body of evidence that political pressure from prominent Democrats led to the targeting of Americans for their political beliefs."

New Emails Show Lois Lerner Contacted DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups.  [Video clip]After this email exchange, Lerner handed things off to Senior Technical Adviser and Attorney Nancy Marks, who was in charge of setting up a meeting with DOJ.  Just a few short days later on May 10, 2013, Lerner admitted and apologized for the inappropriate targeting of conservative tea party groups during an American Bar Association Conference after answering a planted question.  Further according to Judicial Watch, "In an email to an aide responding to a request for information from a Washington Post reporter, Lerner admits that she "can't confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum" who had been targeted by the IRS.  She then adds that "The one with the names used were only know [sic] because they have been very loud in the press."  In other words, only conservative groups were being looked at for criminal prosecution.

Feds: Philly IRS worker cheated on taxes.  A Philadelphia woman is facing federal charges for allegedly collecting five years worth of unemployment compensation and failing to report the income on her tax return forms, all while working full time for the Internal Revenue Service.  Lora Lewis, 51, also allegedly took numerous tax credits for which she was not eligible, including a first-time homebuyers' credit, an earned income credit and an education credit, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Eastern Pennsylvania said.

AP's Julie Pace: Media Not Covering IRS Scandal Because 'We Don't Have A Lot To Work With'.  Last week, the House Oversight Committee asked the Justice Department to seek criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner.  Despite the newest revelations in the IRS scandal, the Associated Press' Julie Pace attempted to excuse the lack of media coverage.  Appearing as a panelist on Fox News Sunday on April 13, Pace argued, "If you are going to keep the story going and you want to keep the investigation going, eventually there has to be some material there to work with.  And we're in this period of time where we don't have a lot to work with."

Lois Lerner sits in her lavish house on $2.4 million property as she awaits possible contempt charge.  Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner is living the life of a private citizen at her more-than $2.4 million property in Bethesda, Md. while Republicans consider holding a House floor vote to hold her in contempt of Congress.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 21-12 to hold Lerner in contempt last week after she waived her Fifth Amendment rights but continued to stonewall the committees investigation into the IRS targeting scandal.  The measure was opposed by all 12 of the committee's Democrats, including Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose staff requested information from the IRS about a conservative non-profit applicant group under agency scrutiny.

IRS villain Lois Lerner faces 11 YEARS in prison as GOP-controlled House committee sends criminal referral to Eric Holder.  Republicans on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee won a vote Wednesday demanding the Justice Department criminally prosecute Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official at the center of a scheme to slow-walk tax-exempt applications from conservative groups.  They claim she committed three federal crimes punishable by a total of 11 years in prison.  The panel voted 23-14, along party lines, to approve a letter instructing Attorney General Eric Holder to charge Lerner and prosecute her in court.

GOP claims Democratic congressman colluded with IRS's Lois Lerner to gather information on conservatives.  The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee claimed Wednesday that his Democratic counterpart secretly colluded with the Internal Revenue Service to bring about the targeting of conservatives that has gripped politics-watchers for nearly a year.  If true, it would mark the first involvement of an elected politician in a nearly year-long scandal that involved the IRS breaking the law and playing political favorites.  California Rep. Darrell Issa charged in a letter that Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings put a nonprofit tea party group called True the Vote on the IRS's radar by asking the tax agency for information about the organization's activities and its growing corps of volunteers.

True the Vote Witness Who Testified on IRS Scandal Pens Blazing Letter to Grandstanding Democrat.  Catherine Engelbrecht became the face of the IRS scandal with her riveting testimony before Congress on how her group True the Vote was targeted by the IRS for selective persecution and harassment.  Recently, it was discovered that Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings had a hand in the IRS targeting True the Vote.

IRS Gave House Oversight Democrats Info on Targeted Conservative Group.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent tax documents on a targeted conservative group to Democratic staff on the House Oversight Committee, newly released emails show, despite previous denials by ranking Oversight Democrat Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) that such contact had occurred.  Emails released by the GOP-led Oversight Committee show Democratic staff requested information from the IRS' tax-exempt division on True The Vote, a conservative group that monitors polling places for voter fraud.  Republicans and conservative activists say the IRS tax-exempt division, led by former official Lois Lerner, targeted dozens of conservative groups because of their politics while ignoring similar progressive organizations.

Issa: IRS coordinated with Dems to attack tea party group.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa on Wednesday accused his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, of colluding with the IRS to attack one of the tea party groups that was targeted by the tax agency for intrusive scrutiny and long delays.  Mr. Issa and five other top Republicans said they just last week were given emails showing Mr. Cummings sought information from the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative tax-exempt organization that drew the ire of liberals for pushing states to eliminate potentially bogus names from their voter rolls.

Rep. Trey Gowdy: How Does Lois Lerner Still Have The Right To Remain Silent.  Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) challenged the notion that former IRS official Lois Lerner still had the right to remain silent since she had made factual assertions since she invoked her Fifth Amendment right.  Gowdy said that he counted 17 separate factual assertions by Lerner which in his opinion was enough to force her to be cross-examined.

Networks Ignore House GOP's Criminal Referral for Lois Lerner.  In a major new development in the IRS scandal, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS chief Lois Lerner.  FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story to the vote by the committee chaired by Congressman Dave Camp, but none of the three broadcast network evening newscasts covered the vote.  The letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stated that "findings" from the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Republican Camp, "suggest that Lerner may have violated multiple criminal statutes."  The letter went on to add that "the Committee asks that you pursue this evidence."  The three networks ignored this letter, however, although CBS and ABC talked about Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.

IRS at the Crossroads.  Congress's investigation into IRS political targeting accelerated Wednesday, with a referral for the criminal prosecution of a former Treasury official and new evidence to back it up.  In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp recommends the Justice Department proceed on three probable criminal actions taken by former director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner.  The letter, which was endorsed in a party-line Ways and Means vote Wednesday morning, discloses new evidence suggesting that Ms. Lerner used her position to single out conservative groups for scrutiny not applied to left-leaning groups.  Investigators also charge that she misled investigators in her original conversations with the Treasury Inspector General and potentially disclosed confidential taxpayer information by using her personal email address for IRS business.

When 'No' Means 'No'.  Lerner's case is by now well known.  From 2006 to 2013, she was the IRS's Director of Exempt Organizations, vested with power to decide which nonprofit organizations receive tax-exempt status, which ones do not, and which ones find themselves subjected to painful trials in the process.  That is no small matter.  As Chief Justice John Marshall warned, "the power to tax" is "the power to destroy."  All the more so for nonprofit organizations, for which tax-exempt status truly is the difference between life and death.  And tax-exempt status benefits more than just a particular organization, its donors, and its direct beneficiaries.

House panel asks DOJ to consider criminal prosecution for Lerner.  A House committee voted Wednesday [4/9/2014] to formally ask the Justice Department to consider criminal prosecution against ex-IRS official Lois Lerner, the figure at the center of the political targeting scandal.  The House Ways and Means Committee voted 23-14 to send the criminal referral, which accused her of "extreme bias."  The vote marked an escalation in Republicans' push to confront Lerner over her role in the agency's controversial practice of singling out conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.

Questions About the IRS Targeting Scandal.  A panel of House Republicans voted on Thursday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, citing her refusal to answer questions about the agency's targeting of conservative organizations for special scrutiny.  The 21-12 vote by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been probing the alleged abuse since the scandal erupted last spring, broke along party lines: each of the panel's Republicans voted to censure Lerner, while the Democrats on the committee opposed the resolution.

Speier: 'There Is No Connection to the White House'.  Today is not about Lois Lerner or the alleged inappropriate tactics she may have employed," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday.  "Today is about protecting the integrity and the credibility of this committee."  Speier accused committee Republicans of fabricating a "vast conspiracy" around a "mid-level bureaucrat who may have made some poor decisions."  "There is no connection to the White House," Speier said.  "What we are trying to do is hold in contempt a mid-level bureaucrat, and the actions of this committee won't hold up to judicial scrutiny."

Darrell Issa: Emails suggest Elijah Cummings prompted IRS targeting of True the Vote.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has accused the panel's top Democrat of prompting the Internal Revenue Service in 2012 to target a conservative organization applying for non-profit status.  Issa said records obtained last week from the IRS show communications from the office of ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., about True the Vote, a Texas-based, non-profit conservative group that aims to prevent voter fraud.

House panel votes to hold ex-IRS official Lerner in contempt of Congress.  A House committee voted Thursday [4/10/2014] to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, as Republicans escalated their bid to "get to the bottom" of the former IRS official's role in the political targeting scandal.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 21-12 to hold Lerner in contempt.  The party-line vote followed hours of heated debate on the committee.  The contempt measure heads next to the House floor.

The Lois Lerner files: A partisan bureaucrat at work.  The House Ways and Means Committee released a letter Wednesday detailing what it believes to be criminal misconduct by Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the ongoing IRS Tea Party targeting scandal.  For those who want to understand how partisan bureaucrats can manipulate a powerful federal agency, the letter is a must-read. [...] At this point, anyone — including the president of the United States — who claims there's not a "smidgen" of corruption in the IRS targeting scandal is willfully blind to the facts and the law.

New Emails Suggest Collusion Between IRS, Rep. Cummings in True the Vote Targeting.  The U.S. House Oversight Committee today released emails between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Democrat Minority Leader Elijah Cummings of the same committee detailing joint attempts to collect non-public information from True the Vote.  According to the release obtained by Breitbart Texas, House Oversight offered glimpses into coordinated fishing attempts for information: [...]

Lois Lerner 2013 e-mail: Maybe I can land an office job at Organizing For Action.  Organizing For Action is, of course, the group founded by Team Obama in 2009 after he was sworn in to push his agenda while in office.  It's the successor to Obama For America, his 2008 campaign outfit.  The first OFA got him elected, the second OFA is supposed to help get his policies through Congress.  Here's who was running the scrupulously impartial IRS Exempt Organizations Division that targeted dozens of tea-party nonprofits for extra scrutiny. [...]

IRS's Lerner sought to deny Crossroads tax status, emails show.  House Republicans on Wednesday [4/9/2014] accused former IRS official Lois Lerner of breaking agency rules by aggressively urging denial of tax-exempt status to Crossroads GPS, the giant political nonprofit founded by Karl Rove.  The House Ways and Means Committee released emails showing the former chief of the tax-exempt unit took a special interest in Crossroads GPS in early 2013 — inquiring with IRS officials why they hadn't been audited.  Around the same time an email suggested she might be applying for a job with a pro-President Barack Obama group, Organizing For Action, though it is unclear if she was joking.

House Committee Votes to Refer ex-IRS Official Lois Lerner for Criminal Charges.  On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.  By a vote of 23 to 14, a closed-door session of the House committee determined that Lerner's role in the alleged singling out of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for undue scrutiny was a criminal act.

Elijah Cummings (D) Collaborated With IRS to Target Conservatives Then Lied About It.  No wonder Cummings has been so anxious to suppress the investigation: he's been intimately involved with the scandal. Cummings should be censured and removed from the committee. Of course, knowing the cowardly leaders of the GOP, they'll moan "it's a sad day", and do nothing.

IRS Political Hitman Lois Lerner: Go to jail. Go directly to jail..  A staff report by House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa reveals testimony by IRS agents that the IRS has not deliberately targeted progressive groups. [...] That crimes have been committed and the Internal Revenue Service has become a corrupt criminal enterprise used to bludgeon political opponents of the Obama administration is hardly in dispute.  The charge might have long ago been adjudicated had the Justice Department of Eric Holder, rife with its own very real scandals, not been politicized beyond all recognition.  According to the report, obtained by the Daily Caller, "Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word 'progressive,' all of which were then approved by the IRS, while tea party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays."

House Republicans won't rule out arresting Lois Lerner if Justice Department doesn't.  House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren't ruling out the use of the chamber's "inherent contempt" authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel's accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner.  The committee voted Wednesday to seek an investigation of whether Lerner violated federal law by using her power to ensure Right-leaning groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the agency, giving misleading information during a probe of the matter by the Treasury Department's inspector general and using her personal email to conduct official business, which could have resulted in the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus.  Nearly a year into the IRS scandal, we still don't know exactly what happened — though we are finally getting an inkling.  That's thanks to the letter House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp sent this week to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner.  The average citizen might be dizzied by the torrent of confusing terms — BOLO lists, Tigta, 501(c)(4) — and the array of accusations that have made up this IRS investigation.  Mr. Camp's letter takes a step back to remind us why this matters, even as it provides compelling new information that goes to motive and method — and clarifies some of the curious behavior of Democrats during the investigation.

A Criminal Organization Masquerading As....  In Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of California has just leveled an explosive charge against his Democrat counterpart on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee — to wit, that the gentleman from Maryland colluded with the IRS to harass a conservative organization fighting for honest elections.

House Committee: Possible Crimes by IRS Official.  The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says investigators have uncovered evidence that a former Internal Revenue Service official may have committed crimes as part of the agency's tea party controversy.

IRS's Lois Lerner faces criminal prosecution over targeting of Tea Party groups.  Embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner is on two different hot seats this week, as a pair of Republican-led congressional committees aim to prosecute her for her role in a scheme to target conservative groups in the middle of an election campaign season.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday to consider a motion holding Lerner in contempt of Congress, the first step toward a possible criminal prosecution.

Sen. Roberts: IRS Actions Set To Keep Conservative Groups on the Sidelines' This Election Year.  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's comments make it clear that the "IRS's actions are designed to control the battle space of the election this coming fall to keep conservative groups on the sidelines," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) at an Americans For Tax Reform Tax Day press conference on Thursday [4/10/2014] at the U.S. Capitol.  "This is an attack — that's just the way we have to put it," Roberts said.  "It's an attack on the First Amendment rights of our citizens just because they dare to differ from this administration and the president.  I can't think of anything more reprehensible and certainly I'm not going to stand idly by when the administration tries to dodge and weave its way out of this."

Contempt and the IRS.  The House Oversight Committee has voted to hold former IRS subpotentate Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, while the House Ways and Means Committee has referred her case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.  The facts in the case suggest very strongly that Ms. Lerner has earned the contempt of the American people as well as criminal prosecution to the full extent of the law.  The question of whether Justice will do justice now rests with the Obama administration, in service to which Ms. Lerner organized and oversaw the repression of nonprofit activists under color of IRS authority.  That a not inconsiderable portion of the moral credibility of the United States government now rests in the hands of Eric Holder is not a comforting thought.  Mr. Holder holds the title of attorney general, but he is in effect very little more than a political enabler.

Ted Cruz: Congress Should Impeach Eric Holder If He Takes No Action on IRS Targeting Scandal.  On the day the House Oversight Committee held Lois Lerner in contempt, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Congress should impeach Attorney General Eric Holder if he does not indict those like Lerner for their roles in the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.  In a Thursday appearance on Sean Hannity's radio program, Cruz said Holder should be impeached for "defying Congress and the rule of law."

Handling of former IRS employee Lois Lerner makes lawyers cringe.  Ms. Lerner faces a vote in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that could begin the process of accusing her of contempt of Congress.  The Ways and Means Committee announced that it will hold a vote Wednesday on whether to officially accuse Ms. Lerner of breaking the law by targeting tea party groups.  The congressional moves escalate House Republicans' effort to highlight Ms. Lerner's role in the IRS targeting, which has turned into a major legal battle on Capitol Hill.

IRS agents' testimony: NO progressive groups were targeted by IRS.  IRS agents testified before Congress that the agency's political targeting did not apply to progressive groups as Democrats and the media have claimed, according to a bombshell new staff report prepared by the House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa.  IRS agents testified before Oversight that ACORN groups were scrutinized because the agency thought they were old organizations applying as new ones.  Emerge America was scrutinized for potential "improper private benefit."  No evidence exists that the IRS requested additional information from any Occupy Wall Street group.

House GOP sets first vote to hold Lois Lerner in contempt over IRS targeting.  House Republicans have scheduled a vote next week to hold Lois G. Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the Internal Revenue Service's tea party targeting scandal, setting up a major battle over constitutional rights versus Congress' ability to oversee the government.

Vote to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress Scheduled for Next Thursday.  Lerner has twice been called before Congress to testify about her involvement in the inappropriate targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) groups for extra scrutiny.  On both occasions Lerner asserted her 5th amendment right not to testify.  Rep. Issa and other Republicans on the Committee have maintained that Lerner waived her right not to testify when, during her first appearance before the Committee back in 2013, she made a speech proclaiming her innocence before asserting the 5th.  The Committee subsequently met (June 2013) and voted that she had in fact waived her right not to testify.

IRS chief: No 'targeting' of tea party groups, just 'inappropriate criteria'.  House Republicans who have investigated the IRS's handling of applications of conservative groups' seeking tax-exempt status have referred to the practice as "targeting." So have news organizations, including The Washington Post.  But the Obama administration has preferred a more bureaucratic phrase — that "inappropriate criteria" were used to decide which organizations needed extra scrutiny.  That would be words like "tea party."

Issa calls meeting next week to weigh contempt against ex-IRS official Lerner.  A House committee will meet next week to consider whether to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa announced Thursday.  The former IRS official has twice appeared before Congress, and twice invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions, regarding the IRS targeting scandal.  But Republicans argue she waived that right — and have scheduled a meeting of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 10 to weigh contempt.  They say she played a key role in the agency's practice of singling out conservative groups seeking non-profit status for extra scrutiny.

The IRS Digs in its Heels.  It could take years for Congressional committees to get all the documents demanded about the IRS scandal under mandatory subpoenas, IRS' new Commissioner John Koskinen testified.  The new IRS Commissioner displayed the slippery style of a snake-oil salesman while testifying March 26 before Congressman Darrell Issa's Committee on Oversight and Government.  Koskinen's excuses were especially surprising because similar demands for documents are imposed upon private companies all the time by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

Republicans prepare brickbats for Obama administration with new IRS corruption hearing.  Congressional Republicans, led by House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa, are planning another IRS coal-raking exercise for Wednesday, hauling the tax agency's commissioner in for a hearing about the nearly year-old tea party targeting scandal.  Committee staff say the U.S. Department of Justice and the rest of the Obama administration haven't shown them any sign that they're investigating corruption in the awarding of income tax exemptions to nonprofit groups.  An aide to one Republican committee member said Monday that the White House and the Treasury Department were already dangerously close to causing a constitutional crisis.

Untruthful and Untrustworthy Government.  The Benghazi, Associated Press, and National Security Agency scandals are scary, but not as disturbing as growing doubts about the honesty of permanent government itself.  It is no longer crackpot to doubt the once impeccable and nonpartisan IRS.  When it assured the public that it was not making decisions about tax-exempt status based on politics, it lied.  One of its top commissioners, Lois Lerner, resigned and invoked the Fifth Amendment.  A system of voluntary tax reporting rests on trust.  If the IRS itself is untruthful, will it be able to expect truthful compliance from taxpayers?

Turning over Lerner e-mails could take years, IRS says.  Internal Revenue Service documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee could take years to produce, the IRS commissioner said.  At a hearing Wednesday [3/26/2014], Commissioner John Koskinen sparred with Republicans over the breadth of the investigation into the agency's handling of applications for tax-exempt status of conservative groups.

Issa to IRS Commissioner: Release Lerner's Emails or Face Contempt.  Six months ago, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa subpoenaed the emails of former head of IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner.  Lerner was in charge during the IRS' inappropriate targeting of conservative, patriot and tea party groups.  IRS officials have failed to comply with the subpoena and today during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Issa threatened IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen, one of only two political appointees at the agency, with contempt.  "Unfortunately you've been more concerned with managing political fallout than complying with this Committee," Issa said, urging Koskinen to comply or "potentially be held in contempt."

Trey Gowdy threatens to hold IRS commissioner in contempt for withholding Lerner emails.  After a contentious Wednesday hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, South Carolina Republican congressman Trey Gowdy threatened to hold the top tax official in contempt of Congress unless he produces disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner's emails by the end of this week.  Gowdy spoke with Fox News' Greta van Susteren about Wednesday's hearing, where a slew of GOP congressmen tore into Koskinen's claim that responding to the Oversight committee's subpoena for Lerner's emails could take years.

A Special Prosecutor for the IRS.  [Scroll down]  When Ms. Lerner appeared before Congress in May 2013, she made this statement:  "I have done nothing wrong.  I have not broken any laws.  I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations."  But Ms. Lerner, we discovered, forwarded confidential taxpayer information to her personal email account in early May 2013, which is a violation of IRS rules.  About the infamous "Be on the Lookout" targeting list — a document used to identify conservative groups for additional scrutiny — she told Congress that the criteria for screening tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny never changed.  In fact, she personally ordered it changed in July 2011 according to documents and testimony received by the committee.  Ms. Lerner was most certainly driven by politics.

Obama's IRS, cont'd.  Reminder: The charge that Richard Nixon attempted to misuse the IRS for political purposes made its way into the second of the three articles of impeachment against him.  Nixon "endeavoured" to misuse the IRS, as set forth in in article 2.  Nevertheless, Nixon's efforts to misuse the IRS were futile.  They went nowhere.  Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to "screw" their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.  Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a "monstrous bureaucracy... dominated and controlled by Democrats."  As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something.  By contrast with Nixon's failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS has very effectively "screwed" Obama's political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

The Department of Justice Isn't Rushing to Investigate the Administration.  The Department of Justice has been asked by the CIA to investigate Senate staffers, by the Senate to investigate the CIA, and by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to investigate the IRS.  The DOJ has replied "maybe," "maybe," and "no," respectively.  Cruz had asked Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether or not the IRS had illegally targeted conservative groups when it began filtering tax-exempt applicants by key words.  The segregation of Tea Party and other conservative groups has spurred a nearly year-long crusade by conservative politicians and activists searching for a link back to the White House.

Eric Holder pressed for Lois Lerner interview details by Issa, Jordan.  Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are pressing the Department of Justice for more information about contact government lawyers reportedly made with Lois Lerner, the former IRS employee at the center of the scandal over the IRS's targeting of tea party groups for special scrutiny.  The fresh push from committee chairman Darrell Issa of California and committee member Jim Jordan of Ohio is a signal the GOP will continue to pursue possible contempt charges against Ms. Lerner after she invoked the fifth amendment right against self-incrimination on two occasions when called before the committee.

DOJ Rejects Ted Cruz's Request for Special Prosecutor in IRS Scandal.  The Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) rejected a request from Texas Senator Ted Cruz to appoint a special prosecutor for the investigation into the IRS scandal in a letter released this week.  The DOJ argued that it saw no apparent conflict of interest with its current investigator Barbara Bosserman — who has contributed thousands of dollars to Obama and other Democrats according to recent Breitbart News reports.

Issa pens scathing letter to Cummings as IRS feud escalates.  Republican Rep. Darrell Issa has penned a personal, scathing letter to his Democratic counterpart on the House oversight committee, escalating the public feud between the two high-ranking lawmakers amid the committee's investigation into IRS targeting.  The letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on that committee, was obtained by Fox News.  In it, Issa countered, point by point, a series of claims that Cummings and two legal experts made earlier this week about whether former IRS official Lois Lerner could be held in contempt for refusing to testify.  Issa went further, effectively accusing Cummings of running interference on behalf of his party and the administration.

Report: Lerner Emails Show Partisan Concern For Democrats.  Former IRS official Louis Lerner and her colleagues at the tax agency were under a tremendous amount of pressure from President Obama and other Democrats to scrutinize a Tea Party applicant for public disclosure, despite rules protecting the privacy of unapproved applications, according to a staff report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

House Republicans slam Lois Lerner in report on IRS targeting.  A top House Republican on Tuesday released a scathing report on Lois Lerner's involvement in the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of advocacy groups, accusing the former IRS official of trying to crack down on conservative nonprofit organizations that have grown increasingly influential in recent elections.  The report, released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said Lerner "led efforts to scrutinize conservative groups while working to maintain a veneer of objective enforcement."

Oversight report: 6 reasons Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights.  [Lois] Lerner continues to stonewall California Rep. Darrell Issa's committee, pleading the Fifth again in a divisive Oversight hearing last Wednesday convened to get to the bottom of the IRS' improper targeting of conservative groups between 2010 and 2012.  Oversight member Rep. Jim Jordan told The Daily Caller that the committee is "moving" toward holding Lerner in contempt of Congress to compel her to testify.  "I think that's where we're moving," Jordan said.  "I think that's where this is headed."  Jordan added that he feels holding Lerner in contempt is "the right thing to do."

Issa Issues Report Ripping Lois Lerner.  Darrell Issa has apologized to Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking Democrat Elijah E. Cummings for cutting off his mic, but the chairman isn't changing the course of his committee.  The California Republican issued a 141-page report Tuesday [3/11/2014] on the involvement of Lois Lerner, the former director of IRS exempt organizations, in the targeting of prospective tax-exempt organizations.  The report, which did not have signoff from committee Democrats, concludes that Lerner "created unprecedented roadblocks for Tea Party organizations" and "worked surreptitiously to advance new Obama Administration regulations that curtail the activities of existing 501(c)(4) organizations."

The NAACP Realizes the IRS Limiting Free Speech is a Bad Thing.  In response to its own inappropriate targeting of conservative, patriot and tea party groups, the IRS has proposed a new set of rules limiting the free speech of tax exempt groups. [...] But now, liberal groups like the NAACP are discovering new rules apply to them too and they're not happy about it.

The IRS: Deliberate and Partisan.  We now know that Obama Administration actions were intentional and partisan when the Internal Revenue Service targeted, harmed, and intimidated conservative and tea party organizations.  Keep in mind the timetable while reading this — that the plot against conservatives inside the IRS was gearing up in March 2010 and in full force in September 2010, according to recently released Lois Lerner emails.  Also keep in mind that Lois Lerner previously worked enforcement at the Federal Election Commission.

The IRS Outrage.  what did Tom Perez know and when did he know it?  That's one of the questions congressional investigators were asking as they probed what increasingly looked like a whitewash of the Internal Revenue Service scandal.  Perez, now secretary of labor, was formerly head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, where his key aide Barbara K. Bosserman was chosen to head up the DOJ's investigation of the IRS.

IRS silent on nonprofit Center for American Progress' coordination with the White House.  The IRS still has not responded to allegations from a former Center for American Progress (CAP) employee that the left-wing think tank coordinates on editorial content with the White House — revelations that could threaten the organization's nonprofit status.  Former ThinkProgress reporter Zaid Jilani wrote a piece this week detailing his experiences working for the liberal blog, which is run by CAP's 501(c)(4) nonprofit Action Fund, the advocacy arm of White House counselor John Podesta's think tank.

Lerner contempt charges on hold.  The House Oversight Committee is unlikely to consider potential contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner this week, a GOP aide said Monday [3/10/2014].  Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had said that he could move on holding Lerner in contempt this week, after the former head of an IRS tax-exempt division invoked her Fifth Amendment rights for a second time on Wednesday.

New Emails Point to IRS Officials Targeting Political Groups.  The Congressional investigation into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups for persecution ended today on a controversial note after former official Lois Lerner refused to answer questions.  The rough day for the investigation followed the release of emails corroborating political targeting of groups.

Levin: IRS's Lois Lerner 'Part of a Coverup'.  Conservative talk-radio host Mark Levin said he believes Lois Lerner, the former director of IRS exempt organizations, is "part of a coverup" concerning the IRS-Tea Party scandal.  Levin made his remarks at a Citizens United-sponsored event on Thursday [3/6/2014] in National Harbor, Md.

Lois Lerner stays silent to protect someone outside the IRS.  It isn't hard to figure out why Lerner's lips are sealed.  First, she knows the House of Representatives can cite her for contempt of Congress, but Attorney General Eric Holder would decide whether she is prosecuted on that charge.  Lerner need not worry since President Obama has already told the world there wasn't "a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS actions, and Holder allowed a major Obama campaign contributor to have a role in Department of Justice's faux investigation of the scandal.

The IRS's behavior taxes credulity.  What's been said of confession — that it is good for one's soul but bad for one's reputation — can also be true of testifying to Congress, so Lois Lerner has chosen to stay silent.  Hers, however, is an eloquent silence.  The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama's party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.

IRS agrees to hand over Lerner emails.  The Internal Revenue Service has agreed to turn over emails and other documents from Lois Lerner, a core player in the agency's targeting controversy, the House Ways and Means Committee said Friday [3/7/2014].  Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) threatened last month to subpoena those documents after criticizing the IRS for failing to comply with his request.  "This is a significant step forward and will help us complete our investigation into the IRS's targeting of conservative groups," Camp said in a statement.

Democrats Unleash the IRS Tyrant.  Lois Lerner did not flinch from using the IRS to persecute conservative citizens groups and corrupt the 2012 election.  Once again she has taken the Fifth rather than come clean to Congress about what the IRS did to squelch the Tea Party and others, and who ordered it.

Former IRS Official Lerner Gave Interview to DOJ.  A former Internal Revenue Service official who declined to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment, gave a full interview to the Justice Department, her lawyer said.  That's raising questions among Republican lawmakers, who wonder whether her choice to talk to Justice reflects a lack of concern about the DOJ probe.  They also question the propriety of letting her avoid questions by lawmakers when she is answering DOJ's.

Lois Lerner Talks to DOJ.  There are, of course, a number of good reasons for objective observers to suspect that Lerner's motives are less than pure:  (1) The DOJ investigation is being led by an Obama donor — a highly unusual circumstance[,] (2) Attorney General Eric Holder himself has a checkered history when it comes to favoritism among non-profits.  (3) The FBI has already signaled that it won't file charges against anyone, even though none of the victims of the harassment have been interviewed.

Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies at Wednesday's oversight hearing.  Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies openly before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday, according to her attorney.  House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa announced Sunday that Lerner will testify at Wednesday's hearing, but Lerner's attorney Bill Taylor said that Lerner will seek to continue invoking her Fifth Amendment rights and will also seek a one-week delay of her testimony.

Darrell Issa angrily adjourns Oversight hearing after Lois Lerner pleads the Fifth.  California Rep. Darrell Issa adjourned a divisive House Oversight hearing Wednesday after IRS official Lois Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer his questions.  "Seeking the truth is the obligation of this committee," Issa said before announcing that he had no expectation that Lerner would answer his questions and adjourning the hearing.  Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment on each question Issa asked about the agency's targeting of conservative groups.  The hearing lasted approximately fifteen minutes before Issa released Lerner.

Ex-IRS official Lerner again invokes 5th Amendment, refuses to testify on scandal.  Lerner, who last year refused to answer questions about her role in singling out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, was called back before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday [3/5/2014].  Though Republicans argue she waived her Fifth Amendment right by giving a statement during the last hearing, Lerner continued to invoke that right on Wednesday.

Four questions Lois Lerner must answer about IRS scandal.  [Lois] Lerner, the former director of exempt organizations at the IRS, is perhaps the key figure in the IRS scandal.  Not only did she hold a crucial position, she was the official picked to apologize to the nation on May 10, 2013, for the IRS's improper handling of Tea Part tax exemption applications.  Her first time before Congress — just days after her admission and apology — Lois Lerner asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, but not before loudly declaring her innocence — an act that would never be permitted in criminal court, effectively waived her Fifth Amendment rights, and was disrespectful to the American people she wronged.  It's been 10 months of stonewalling.  Lois Lerner has since retired from the IRS with a full taxpayer funded pension.

Lerner pleads the Fifth — again.  Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS agency at the center of the Tea Party targeting controversy, refused to answer questions from congressional investigators on Wednesday [3/5/2014] for a second time.  Appearing before the House Oversight Committee, Lerner rebutted Republicans by citing her Fifth Amendment rights.

The IRS Is the Problem.  There are two competing models for reforming the Internal Revenue Service's oversight of the political activities of certain nonprofit organizations: [...] Neither program is sufficient, because neither reflects the reality behind the recent IRS scandal, which was not the result of murky rules or bureaucratic incompetence but rather of what gives every indication of being deliberate misuse of federal investigatory resources for partisan political ends.  That there have not been criminal charges in this matter is probably at least as much a reflection of the highly politicized Department of Justice under Eric Holder as it is of the facts of the case.

Democrats Want to turn 'Outrageous' IRS Abuse Into Official Policy.  Among the questions that remain unanswered in the IRS scandal that the Democrats are no longer interested in looking into:  Why did so many executive branch agencies descend on Catherine Engelbrecht, at the same time that the IRS was slow-dragging her True the Vote tax-exempt application?  How did that happen?  Did anyone in the White House coordinate that assault?

Foundry Exclusive: 8 Election Experts Slam IRS for Interfering with Campaign Finance.  Eight former members of the Federal Election Commission today [2/27/2014] accused the Internal Revenue Service of attempting to "interfere" with campaign finance regulations enacted by Congress, The Foundry has learned.  The former FEC commissioners signed a letter filed this afternoon [2/27/2014] as a public comment on the IRS's proposed new rules on so-called "candidate-related political activity" by nonprofit advocacy organizations qualified as tax-exempt under federal law.  Midnight is the deadline for public comment on the proposed rules, which critics say the IRS developed secretly and announced at Thanksgiving to silence some free speech — seven months after the IRS targeting scandal broke.

All the President's IRS Agents.  Few presidents understand the power of speech better than Barack Obama, and even fewer the power of denying it to others.  That's the context for understanding the White House's unprecedented co-option of the Internal Revenue Service to implement a political campaign to shut up its critics and its opponents.  Perhaps the biggest fiction of this past year was that the IRS's targeting of conservative groups has been confronted, addressed and fixed.  The opposite is true.  The White House has used the scandal as an excuse to expand and formalize the abuse.

Official's testimony reveals IRS planned crackdown rules in 2012.  The IRS's new proposal to crack down on nonprofits was in the works a year before the tea party targeting scandal broke, according to a Treasury Department official who told congressional investigators it was spurred by pressure from outside parties.  The revelation follows earlier testimony from former IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, who told investigators that they started "brainstorming" ways to crack down on nonprofits while under pressure from a senior Democratic senator who was "complaining bitterly to us" about the way groups were engaging in politics while organized as social welfare nonprofits.

Establishment Press Ignores Turley's 'Government Unto Himself' Warning on Obama's Executive Overreach.  The volume of significant news going unreported in the establishment press has gone from astonishing to surreal.  The best example of that, as intrepid NewsBusters posters have noted now for nine months, is the virtually complete blackout in the establishment press of developments in the IRS-conservative targeting scandal.

Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal.  The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there's been no "smoking gun" tying President Obama to the scandal.  This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power.  The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes.  It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to.

Dems say IRS vote is about Fox News.  The House voted Wednesday to delay a controversial IRS rule dealing with tax-exempt groups, an issue Democrats charged was being used only to generate coverage on Fox News.  The bill was approved in a 243-176 vote after a bitter debate in which both parties accused each other of using tax rules to game elections.  Fourteen Democrats voted with Republicans to support the bill, titled the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act.

IRS Warns: Obamacare Tax Must Be Paid with Tax Return.  President Obama's Internal Revenue Service today quietly released a series of Obamacare "Health Care Tax Tips" warning Americans that they must obtain "qualifying" health insurance — as defined by the federal government — or face a "shared responsibility payment" when filing their tax returns in 2015.  The term "shared responsibility payment" refers to the Obamacare individual mandate tax, one of at least seven tax hikes in the healthcare law that directly hit families making less than $250,000 per year.

Issa Recalls Lerner for Further Testimony on IRS Targeting.  In a move sure to reignite the IRS scandal that rocked the agency and the Obama administration last Spring, House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa is recalling disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner to a March 5 hearing, demanding that she resume her testimony before his panel.  In late May, Lerner delivered an opening statement to Issa's committee before invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  The panel later voted that, in making that statement, in which Lerner declared she had done nothing wrong, the former head of the IRS's Exempt Organizations division had waived her Fifth Amendment rights.

Here's why Lois Lerner could be the Webb Hubbell of the IRS scandal.  Those old enough to remember when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office will instantly recall Hubbell as Hillary Clinton's former law partner.  He went to jail after overbilling clients.  But Hubbell never talked after his conviction or while serving 21 months in a federal prison.  He didn't talk after two further indictments, one that was thrown out and another that was plea-bargained.  Like the aithful "good soldier" of the Mafia inner circle who refuses to squeal because he knows there will be a reward at the end of his sentence for his silence, Hubbell kept his mouth shut about Hillary's law firm dealings, Whitewater, Bill Clinton's infidelity, everything.

What Happens when Lois Lerner Returns to Testify Next Week?  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), has recalled IRS honcho Lois Lerner to testify on the agency's abuse of Tea Party and conservative groups. [...] Last time America saw Lerner was last May, when she raised her hand and was sworn in to testify, then declared her innocence and took the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) pointed out at the time that Lerner is not allowed to declare innocence and then take the Fifth.  The committee reserved the right to bring her back and compel her to testify.

Exclusive: Lois Lerner does about-face, will give Hill testimony on IRS scandal.  Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, a central figure in the IRS scandal, will appear before Congress on Wednesday after refusing to testify last year on the matter, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Sunday. Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told "Fox News Sunday" that Lerner's lawyers have indicated she will testify before his committee, after saying last week that she would not. "It's going to be a good, fact-finding hearing," he said. Issa said he didn't know why Lerner's lawyers changed their mind, but suggested Lerner testifying was "in her best interest," considering the recent evidence the committee had gathered.

7 questions for Darrell Issa to ask Lois Lerner at Wednesday's hearing.  California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has recalled embattled former IRS exempt organizations division head Lois Lerner to testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday [3/5/2014].  Lerner's apology for improperly scrutinizing and harassing conservative groups applying for non-profit status kicked off the IRS targeting scandal ten months ago, and Lerner has been stonewalling ever since (famously trying to invoke the Fifth Amendment the last time she testified but failing because she made a statement attesting to her innocence first).  Her lawyer said she intends to "continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights."  Since she already waived them, Issa better not allow that.

Lois Lerner's Attorney Has No Idea Why Darrell Issa Is Claiming She'll Testify.  House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning with some "late breaking news":  "[Lois Lerner's] attorney indicates that she now will testify," Issa said, referring to the chief witness in his investigation of the IRS' alleged targeting of conservative groups.  Lerner, who was the Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division during the supposed targeting, has thus far invoked the Fifth Amendment in front of Issa's committee.  "We believe the evidence we've gathered causes her, in her best interest, to be someone who should testify," Issa said.

IRS emails shed light on dispute between Lois Lerner, congressional investigators.  The release of the emails follows a bizarre public back-and-forth on Sunday [3/2/2014] that started when committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told "Fox News Sunday," that Lerner, a central figure in the targeting scandal, would testify, after pleading the Fifth Amendment last year.  Within minutes, Lerner lawyer William Taylor said he was still under the assumption his client would assert her constitutional right not to testify — a statement followed by committee spokesman Frederick Hill saying he had written proof that Lerner would testify Wednesday.

Don't Let the IRS Silence You.  There is a new Obama IRS campaign to kill the conservative movement with proposed regulations and paperwork.  You can do something about it.  Judicial Watch recently launched a new web initiative to allow conservatives and conservative organizations to voice their objections to new Obama regulations that would prevent them from carrying out their core missions in the months leading up to federal, state, and local elections.  Many organizations are taking actions — from Judicial Watch to, believe it or not, the ACLU — to stop this assault on free speech.

White House Vows to Kill Bill That Would Block New IRS 501(c)(4) Rules.  The White House threatened to veto a House bill that would block the Internal Revenue Service from issuing a rule that would narrow the definition of who qualifies for a 501(c)(4) exemption as a social welfare organization.  Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp's (R-Mich.) Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, which was in the Rules Committee on Tuesday evening [2/25/2014], would freeze the finalization of the rule for one year and restore the 501(c)(4) standards and definitions that were in place before conservative groups started to come under extra scrutiny in 2010.  Shortly after the Rules Committee meeting began, the Office of Management and Budget issued a statement warning that the administration "strongly opposes" the bill, which has 66 co-sponsors.

Republicans Recall Lois Lerner to Testify on targeting IRS.  Republicans on Capitol Hill are not giving up on getting testimony out of Lois Lerner, the disgraced IRS official at the center of last year's scandal over the agency's targeting of conservative groups for special review.  In a letter to Lerner's attorney on Tuesday [2/25/2014], House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa said he is recalling her to testify on March 5 on her role in the scandal.

Obama's Assault on the First Amendment.  Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, the IRS discriminated against conservative groups in investigating, delaying and denying the tax-exempt status many had applied for in order to do what similar organizations do on the left side of the political equation.  It was enough for Obama's operatives in the IRS to detect the use of words such as "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in a group's name for it to be subjected to this discrimination. [...] Last November, the IRS proposed a change to the tax regulations that would institutionalize this discrimination.

IRS Scandal Has Obama Fingerprints All Over It, Experts Say.  Experts agreed that the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative, pro-life, and evangelical groups in 2012 ties directly back to President Obama's campaign style before his presidency.  "The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama," Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, declared at The Heritage Foundation on Friday [2/21/2014].  Strassel argued that "this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents."

Not to Impeach is Racist.  The articles of impeachment in connection with Richard Nixon included the following in Article 2:  "He has, acting personally and through his subordinates 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 investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."  It would be difficult to differentiate between this Nixon impeachment article from one that could be drafted for Obama.

Unions vs. Democrats.  The Internal Revenue Service responded to the scandal over its targeting of conservative groups in 2011-12 by putting forth new rules that would suppress even more political speech. [...] On the question of free speech, this column sides with the ACLU, the SEIU, Nan Aron and Tom Steyer and against the Democratic politicians and the New York Times.  But the pols' anxiousness for a restrictive IRS has an additional troubling implication.  If Chuck Schumer and his colleagues think the IRS can help them win elections, as they seem to be implying, then it's reasonable to wonder how much the abuses of 2011-12 affected the outcome of the 2012 election.

Washington's Pack of Pretenders.  The charlatans at the Internal Revenue Service claim to be about helping Americans "understand and meet their tax responsibilities" and to "enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all."  Four decades ago, the agency's head directly refused to honor President Richard Nixon's request to audit 200 of his political enemies.  Barely a year after Obama's first inauguration, it became a political tool of his administration dedicated to stonewalling, harassing, and auditing liberty movement, voter integrity and social conservative organizations and their leaders.  Holder's FBI, after conducting a months-long non-investigation of the agency during which it apparently spoke with no targeted organizations, implausibly decided that no criminal activity had taken place.

IRS scandal merely tip of iceberg of agency's problems.  The Internal Revenue Service has been in some hot water lately for allegedly targeting political enemies.  In 2013, it was revealed that the federal tax agency systematically hassled and unfairly scrutinized nonprofit organizations applying for tax-exempt status, simply on the basis of their names or assumed political leanings.  The fact that most victims were organizations that had Tea Party- or conservative-sounding names was a big red flag of government-backed political harassment.

The IRS targets political speech again.  The Internal Revenue Service is used to being universally disliked every April 15.  But this year, the widespread denunciations have started early, and for good reason.  In November, the agency issued proposed new rules that are supposed to keep social welfare organizations from abusing their legal privileges by engaging in excessive electioneering.  The effort came in response to complaints from Democrats about a 2012 surge in political spending by such tax-exempt groups, by the conservative Koch brothers and others to influence elections.  The IRS wants to curb such efforts, and it doesn't display much concern about the likely effect on free speech.

Calling Lois Lerner.  The American people still need to hear from Lois Lerner.  That's a point that can't be made often enough.  Remember her?  She's the IRS official who gave a statement before Congress declaring herself innocent of any wrongdoing — and then promptly took the Fifth.

The IRS, the Democrats' cat's paw.  Lois Lerner, the government official at the center of the IRS scandal, took the fifth amendment in a high-profile congressional hearing, then quietly retired from the agency with a taxpayer-funded pension.  She hasn't been heard from since.  The Obama administration has gone into overdrive since the scandal broke to avoid any accountability, with the president famously telling Bill O'Reilly of Fox News only a few weeks ago that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

IRS scandal — time for a special counsel.  It's now clear that new, speech-restricting regulations proposed by the IRS are not separate from the larger targeting scheme — where the IRS singled out conservative groups for unconstitutional scrutiny — but instead were long contemplated as a permanent answer to conservative nonprofit's political activity.  Last week, we learned the IRS was planning new rules to restrict free speech even as the targeting scheme was in full-swing.  Recently-disclosed emails reveal that key IRS officials were drafting new rules "off-plan" so that they wouldn't be initially publicly-disclosed.

Rep. Dave Camp: 100 Percent of Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said Tuesday that the committee's investigation of the Internal Revenue Service found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt groups that were flagged and targeted with an audit were right-leaning.

Poof: A Scandal Disappears.  It requires terrific confidence in the passivity of the press to float the discredited "Cincinnati did it all" dodge since we know that IRS employees in that office were taking direction from Washington.  We further know that IRS offices in California, Oklahoma, Washington, D.C. and other places have been identified as singling out groups with "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names.  Obama's confidence in the press is not misplaced.  Despite juicy opportunities to delve into the story of government abusing its power, reporters have let the matter drop.

Dr. Ben Carson Blasts 'Gestapo' IRS Tactics.  Dr. Benjamin Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital who is considered a possible GOP contender for the 2016 GOP nomination, told Newsmax TV on Monday that he and his family have been personally targeted by the IRS in retribution for his frank critique of President Obama's policies at the February 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.

IRS Scandal Continues With More Lies.  President Obama is not the kind of President who takes responsibility for his failures.  Neither does he allow his people to take such responsibility.  If he did, Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius would have both been fired long ago.  Even with the distrust many of us feel toward the Obama administration, the IRS scandal goes deeper than we first believed.

America's Latest Heroine Fights Back.  We wrote here about the then-upcoming hearing on the Obama administration's IRS scandal before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  One of the witnesses at that hearing was Catherine Engelbrecht; she was a sensation.

IRS abuse target files formal ethics complaint against Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).  Catherine Engelbrecht of Houston, Texas, founded election integrity movement True the Vote.  She testified Thursday in the House Oversight and Government Reform Commitee's hearing into the IRS abuse of conservative and Tea Party groups.  The IRS denied True the Vote its tax-exempt status for about three years, only offering that status belatedly, after the 2012 election, and in exchange for Engelbrecht dropping her lawsuit against the agengy [sic].

IRS hearings: "This scandal is not over. The lying has not stopped.".  leta Mitchell, attorney for an assortment of Tea Party groups that received very special attention from Barack Obama's politicized Internal Revenue Service, lowered the boom on what she described as a "sham, non-existent" Justice Department investigation of the scandal during House Ways and Means Committee hearings on Thursday [2/6/2014].

New IRS Head Apologizes to Conservatives for Scandal Obama Doesn't Think Exists.  If there isn't a smidgen of corruption, why is Obama's new appointee apologizing?  That's a question nobody in the Obama lapdog media will be asking.

Testifying Attorney Blasts Obama's Claim There Was No Corruption at IRS.  During a congressional hearing into the Internal Revenue Services' admitted targeting of conservative groups prior to the 2012 election cycle, an attorney representing some of those groups severely chastised President Barack Obama for asserting during an interview with Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly that there was not a "smidgen" of corruption at that agency.  After citing a number of items of evidence which support the claim that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups, attorney Jay Sekulow said that the IRS scandal goes "as high as it gets."