Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Justice Department’s list of withheld Fast and Furious documents: 1,323 pages long

From intrepid journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the latest on the Obama administration’s operation to run guns to Mexican drug cartels in order to motivate stricter gun regulations here in the USA.

Excerpt:

For the first time, the Department of Justice has provided a detailed description of 15,662 Fast and Furious-related documents it is withholding from Congress, the public and the press under executive privilege exerted by President Obama.

The description comes in the form of a so-called Vaughn index ordered by a federal court in a lawsuit filed against the Justice Department by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The Justice Department waited to provide the index, due yesterday, until 8:34 p.m.

The number of withheld documents is so extensive, that the list describing them is 1,323 pages long.

[...]Among the withheld communications is a March 8, 2011 email from a Mexico-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) official less than one week after federal agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Fast and Furious in an interview with me for CBS News. The email is described as “discussing response to [Mexico].”

Another withheld email sent in the same time period is from then-White House official Kevin O’Reilly. Dated March 10, 2011, it was sent to more than a dozen federal officials and is described as, “discussing draft press statement.”

More withheld emails “forwarding and discussing news items” have Attorney General Holder’s name on them. One series of such exchanges is dated July 26, 2011, the same day I reported the revelation that ATF had shared information about Fast and Furious with the White House.

[...]Other withheld documents are concerning Freedom of Information (FOI) requests I made in May of 2011. It’s unclear as to why the president would exert executive privilege to keep from turning over documents discussing “which office will respond” to my FOI requests. The Justice Department never properly responded to my requests.

Please see below for more on what Fast and Furious was all about. The mid-term elections are coming up. Don’t let Democrats shake this off!

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Report: Kay Hagan and family got nearly $450,000 in taxpayer money

Democrat Senator Kay Hagan

Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Here’s the latest from Carolina Journal.

Excerpt:

From a report filed early Saturday by WRAL-TV news, we have confirmation that a cluster of businesses owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband and other family members collected even more subsidies from taxpayers than initially reported. While Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington has highlighted a stimulus grant totaling $250,644 that was paid to JDC Manufacturing, a real estate business co-owned by Hagan’s husband, Chip, and his brothers John and David, WRAL confirmed that JDC received an additional $137,000 in energy tax credits from the project. (Some of the relevant documents are here.)

[...]Add a second federal renewable energy grant of $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the ledger, and we learn that Hagan businesses soaked taxpayers for nearly $450,000 to pay for energy upgrades installed at JDC’s 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville.

[...]Team Hagan has chosen to hire Marc Elias, a high-powered political lawyer and Caitlin Legacki, acrisis-management specialist and former Hagan press secretary, to argue otherwise.

Now that the story is out, an Obama donor is blocking access to the Hagan stimulus records.

Excerpt:

After first agreeing to allow Carolina Journal to inspect the documents relating to a taxpayer-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture energy grant to a company owned by family members of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the USDA Rural Development office in Raleigh later said the matter was being handled in Washington — implying the USDA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

On Tuesday, CJ spoke by telephone with Delane Johnson, North Carolina’s rural development public information coordinator, who said she would treat CJ’s request for documents about the $50,000 renewable energy grant as a Freedom of Information Act request. By email, she said agency policy requires USDA to contact the grant recipient, JDC Manufacturing, before complying with the document request. She also indicated that she would have a response to CJ within 10 days.

By Wednesday, however, Johnson was much less cooperative. CJ went to the Raleigh office to meet Johnson and ask her additional questions about the process of reviewing the grant file. Upon arrival, CJ was told to take a seat outside Johnson’s office. Another employee went into the office, closed the door, and a few minutes later, informed CJ that Johnson would not be able to speak with him and that the matter was being handled in Washington.

Not only that, but the Washington Free Beacon also reported on a scandal with a judicial nominee.

Excerpt:

Just a week after Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) recommended a North Carolina judge to President Barack Obama for a seat in the U.S. District Court, the judge ruled in favor of a company partially owned by Hagan’s husband.

The senator’s husband, Charles T. “Chip” Hagan, was a managing member of Hydrodyne Industries LLC when it sued a regional water authority for drawing water out of a river that had one of its hydroelectric dams built on. The lawsuit sought millions of dollars in damages and was carried out by Chip Hagan’s legal firm.

Superior Court Judge Calvin E. Murphy ruled the case in favor of Hydrodyne, setting the table for the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to pay millions in damages to companies including Hydrodyne.

Murphy’s ruling was made on Oct. 23, 2009, just nine days after Sen. Hagan sent his name to Obama to be nominated for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina.

Previously, I blogged about her support for late-term abortion.

This is why we vote Republican, people. Because secular people don’t do morality much.

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The seven worst things Eric Holder did as attorney general

The list is from the Daily Signal.

The list:

  1. Gun smuggling
  2. Corrupting election process
  3. Failure to investigate IRS targeting of conservative groups
  4. Failure to take the threat of terrorism seriously
  5. Refusing to respect and defend the rule of law
  6. Allying with leftist groups to “sue and settle” with conservative groups
  7. Treated the oversight responsibility of Congress with contempt

I’ve written about the one that bothered me the most – the refusal to investigate the IRS. I just want to make clear how bad this one was.

Look:

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s legacy – or at least a big part of it – will be obstructing the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who set a low bar for the next attorney general.

“Whoever is going to be next, they have to be better than Eric Holder was,” Jordan told The Blaze on the day Holder announced he was retiring from his controversial tenure as head of the Justice Department.

Jordan is the chairman of the subcommittee for regulatory affairs for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in which he has probed the IRS targeting of tea party and conservative groups.

Primarily, he points to Holder naming DOJ attorney Barbara Bosserman, who contributed more than $6,000 to President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee, to run the investigation.

“It just shows the arrogance that is in this attorney general’s agency during his tenure,” Jordan said.

Every House Republican and 26 House Democrats voted for a resolution asking for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal. Holder ignored the resolution.

Not only that, but Jordan points out that Holder is stepping down in the middle of other unanswered questions, such as Operation Fast and Furious and Solyndra – matters that were not resolved but dropped out of focus.

Jordan said of the entire IRS scandal, “This is like a third rate, B actor crime drama.”

The reason, he is because of a predictable script. First, he said, Obama talks about shadowy conservative groups, then Democratic senators write letters to the IRS demanding an investigation. Once the IRS is caught for their targeting, they blame lower level employees. When that didn’t work, they blamed Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for being unfair.

“The last thing they do what everyone else does when they’re caught in a crime, they lose the evidence,” Jordan said, referring to the lost e-mails from Lois Lerner, the former head of the tax exempt organizations unit for the IRS.

This is the kind of administration we’ve had for the past 5+ years. It was Watergate every day in this administration. And it’s not going to stop unless we throw the out the crooks in the next election and put in moral people.

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Why is attorney general Eric Holder retiring now?

Here’s one  possible reason why Eric Holder is resigning ahead of the mid-term elections.

Excerpt:

U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates has denied a request from the Department of Justice to delay the release of a list of Operation Fast and Furious documents being protected under President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege.

The list, better known as a Vaughn index, was requested through a June 2012 FOIA filing by government watchdog Judicial Watch. When DOJ didn’t respond to the FOIA request in the time required by law, Judicial Watch sued in September 2012, seeking all documents DOJ and the White House are withholding from Congress under executive privilege claims. President Obama made the assertion on June 20, 2012 just moments before Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt. In July 2014, after two years of battling for information, Judge Bates ordered the Department of Justice to release the Vaughn Index by October 1. DOJ responded by asking for a month long delay in releasing the list with a deadline of November 3, just one day before the 2014-midterm elections. That request has been denied. A short delay was granted and DOJ must produce the Vaughn index by October 22.

[...]“The Obama administration failed to game the courts and now will have to account for its Fast and Furious lies. Two federal courts have now rejected Eric Holder’s election-related ploy to keep this information from the American people,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement in reaction to the ruling.

Even if Holder resigns now to avoid influencing the midterm elections, the contempt of Congress inquiry will go on.

Excerpt:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday he is resigning as soon as a replacement is found, though he and the Justice Department still face contempt ofCongress charges that will linger well after he officially gives up the office.

Analysts said Mr. Holder — the first sitting Cabinet official ever to face a contempt citation from Congress — will likely duck any legal punishment, though his department will soon be forced to begin turning over the documents he withheld, which sparked the initial fight. It’s just the latest in a series of stormy disputes that have defined his turbulent six-year tenure.

From declining to defend the Defense of Marriage Act to backing President Obama in a losing constitutional battle over presidential recess appointments and fighting — unsuccessfully, so far — to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Holder has been the spearhead for most of Mr. Obama’s major legal decisions.

[...]“Eric Holder is the most divisive U.S. attorney general in modern history,” said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, the California Republican who, as chairman of the House oversight committee, led the push to hold Mr. Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over documents detailing how the Justice Department handled the investigation into the botched Fast and Furious gunwalking operation.

It’s not a “gunwalking” operation, it’s a gun SMUGGLING operation. Our government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. Who would want to talk about that before mid-term elections? Obviously not Eric Holder.

UPDATE: The seven worst things Eric Holder did as attorney general.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

IRS auditing conservative news provider Breitbart.com

Yes, the same IRS that targeted Tea Party groups in order to help Obama win re-election.

Ted Cruz wrote a letter to the IRS about the audit, and you can read it here on the Breitbart web site.

Excerpt:

Dear Commissioner Koskinen:

I write to express deep concern over the recent announcement by Breitbart News that the Internal Revenue Service recently notified the Breitbart News Network, LLC that it would be subject to a far-reaching, burdensome, and open-ended audit.

As you know, the Breitbart News Network LLC is a conservative-leaning press outlet. It has editors and reporters who cover daily political news and regularly breaks stories that are critical of the Obama Administration’s policies. To conduct this audit, Breitbart News Network, LLC was asked to provide the IRS with all of its organizational documents, financial records, W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, and K-1s filed, personal income tax returns for each member of the company, payroll tax forms, information regarding properties and assets acquired by the company, bank statements, and array of other records documenting revenues, expenses, and depreciation costs.

This media audit, coupled with the recent proposal of 49 Senate Democrats to amend the Constitution to give Congress plenary power to regulate political speech, paints a disturbing picture of a coordinated assault on the First Amendment.

In another time, under another Administration, the decision to audit a conservative news organization might not have risen to a worrisome level of concern. However, given the IRS’s disturbing track record of illegally targeting conservative organizations-including the IRS recently paying a $50,000 settlement for having wrongfully leaked a conservative group’s confidential tax information-and the persistent refusal by the current Department of Justice to meaningfully investigate or prosecute those crimes, the decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC appears highly questionable.

For the IRS to behave like a partisan political organization, targeting media organizations whose views differ from the President’s, would represent a gross abuse of power. It would undermine the statutory mission and integrity of the IRS. And it would likely subject IRS employees to criminal prosecution.

The rest of the letter is Ted Cruz’s questioning of the IRS for their actions. It’s cases like this that make me want to abolish the entire IRS and go with a two-tier flat tax system with almost no deductions. Put the corrupt bureaucrats out of a job. That’s the only thing they will understand – the unemployment line.

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