Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

IRS reveals that it has lost e-mails of 5 more employees

Were any of these employees in on the IRS persecution of Tea Party groups prior to the 2012 election? Let’s see.

Leftist Associated Press reports.

The IRS says it has lost emails from five more workers who are part of congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status.

The tax agency said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings.

On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status.

The agency blamed computer crashes for the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said it found no evidence that anyone deliberately destroyed evidence.

What are the odds of all these employees suddenly losing their e-mails because of “computer crashes” at the same time? Zero.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Lois Lerner’s Blackberry deliberately destroyed after start of congressional probe

Barack Obama playing golf - again!

Barack Obama playing golf – again!

Story from Fox News.

Excerpt:

Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lois Lerner prepares to deliver an opening statement to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on alleged targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Reuters)

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.

“We had already talked to her. Our personal staff and Oversight Committee staff had sat down with Ms. Lerner and confronted her about information we were getting from conservative groups in the state of Ohio and around the country,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News.

“If you intentionally destroy evidence, that is a crime. If you make a statement in court saying the evidence is not available and it is, that is also a crime,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

The IRS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

News of the Blackberry’s destruction followed Monday’s statement by Judicial Watch that Justice Department attorneys said in a Friday phone call the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure continuity of government in event of a catastrophe, but retrieving the Lerner emails would simply be “too onerous.”

[…]Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents other conservative groups suing the IRS, cited a whistleblower who bolsters Judicial Watch’s interpretation.

“I received information from a former Department of Homeland Security official who had security clearances. He just retired in April,” Mitchell said. “He contacted me and he contacted Judicial Watch and some members of Congress and said there is backup material.”

The dueling versions are not likely to sit well with District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the IRS. “He gave the IRS not one, but two opportunities in court filings with him to tell him where they were,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “There was no mention of this backup system to the court at that time.”

According to Sidney Powell, author of “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice,” Sullivan is known to scold government lawyers who withhold evidence.

Powell said Sullivan appointed an independent counsel to investigate DOJ’s prosecution of now deceased Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska.Sullivan described the Stevens prosecution as “the worst case of misconduct he’d seen in 25 years.”

Sullivan also said, “When government does not meet its obligations to turn over evidence, the system falters.”

So, this is the most transparent administration ever, with “not even a smidgeon of corruption” as Obama said, with a straight face.

So I have some advice for American voters. Next time, let’s insist that a person has actually done a little work on what they claim to want to do, so we know that they are serious about it. Instead of just believing happy talk, let’s see the accomplishments, like we would when hiring for any job. If someone claims to be passionate and competent at something, like cleaning up corruption and improving transparency, then let’s ask them for some evidence that this has been a priority for them in the past. And that it’s something they’ve actually been able to do to a significant degree. We need someone competent. Not a clown or a stand-up comedian. He is not the entertainer-in-chief, he is the commander-in-chief.

Also, Newsbusters noticed that none of the mainstream media reported on this story – which is a bombshell of a story. Remember that when you are deciding where to get your news- the mainstream media doesn’t cover stories like this. It annoys me when I think of all the people in other countries who watch CNN who will never see this story or stories like it, yet they think they are being informed. Censoring stories like this is not good journalism, but if people don’t know what’s being left out…

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Filed under: News, , , ,

New e-mails: IRS official Lois Lerner called conservatives “a**holes” and “terrorists”

CNS News reports.

Full text:

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 letterto Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday.

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.”

Camp said he also has discovered that Lerner used her personal email to conduct official business,including confidential tax return information, and he once again urged the Justice Department to ramp up its investigation:

“While the Committee has not seen any evidence of a serious investigation by  your Department, it is my sincere hope that in light of this new, strong evidence that you immediately begin aggressively investigating this matter or appoint a special counsel.”

Camp warned that failure to do so “will only further erode public trust” in the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department.

Ways and Means is one of three congressional committees investigating the way the IRS, during Lerner’s tenure, handled groups seeking tax-exempt status. The IRS admits that conservative groups were singled out for inappropriate scrutiny and delay before the 2012 election.

But of course all the e-mails showing the direct intent to use government to persecute conservatives have been “lost”, as Newsbusters recalls:

The committee released a partial transcript of an interview it conducted last week with IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Tom Kane, who reported the computer problems. When asked how many others might be having this problem, Kane said it was “less than 20.”

The IRS has told the House that several more IRS workers have experienced a computer crash, including some who worked with former IRS official Lois Lerner. Among that number are a few who worked closely at the IRS division dealing with tax-exempt organizations, which Lerner headed. Lerner has since become the prime target of Republican investigators, although the GOP has been hindered by the supposed loss of her emails.

According to the committee, another IRS official who suffered computer problems is Justin Lowe, a technical adviser to the commissioner of Tax-Exempt and Government Entities.

Another is David Fish, an adviser to Lois Lerner. Andy Megosh was also named; he is a manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance.

Has the mainstream media done a good job of reporting on all this?

No:

The saga of Lois Lerner’s missing emails took a bunch of twists and turns this past week, but you wouldn’t know that if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. On July 21, it was reported that even more IRS officials had their hard drives crash on them, including employees who “routinely corresponded” with Lerner. What a coincidence! On that same day it was revealed that a top IRS official was uncertain if backup tapes of Lerner’s lost emails still existed. The next day the story changed again when it was reported that Lerner’s hard drive was only “scratched” and the data was recoverable.

Then on July 23 the head of the IRS testified that the back up tapes had finally been discovered but stressed he does not “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” So how many of these intriguing nuggets were reported on any of the network evening or morning shows last week?

Zero.

The last time the IRS story was mentioned on the Big Three nets was almost a week ago on the July 19 CBS This Morning. The last time ABC offered an IRS story was on the July 17 Good Morning America. And you have to go all the way back to last month (June 24 Today show) to find the last time NBC touched the scandal.

And the Lerner missing email story didn’t exactly heat up coverage of the IRS targeting controversy. Since the story first broke over a month ago on June 13 there have been a total of just 18 stories (CBS 10, NBC 5, ABC 3) on the IRS scandal through the morning of July 28.

I always find it a mystery when I go to the gym and see people watching something other than Fox News for news. Do they actually think that these mainstream leftist networks show news?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

IRS Lois Lerner pushed to have Republican senator Chuck Grassley audited

From the web site of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Full text:

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative individuals includes a sitting United States Senator.  According to emails reviewed by the Committee under its Section 6103 authority, which allows the Committee to review confidential taxpayer information, Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred for IRS examination.

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Camp.  “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.  We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal.  The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”

Background: 
While the Ways and Means Committee investigation into Lerner’s involvement in the potential Grassley examination is ongoing, documents show that Lerner received an invitation to a speaking event that was intended for Senator Grassley.  Instead of forwarding the invitation to Grassley’s office, Lerner immediately suggested to others in her office that the issue should be referred for examination.  The Committee was able to investigate this information through its authority under Section 6103 of the tax code.  A waiver was signed by Senator Grassley and his wife in order to make this information public.

And there is good news about the corruption at the IRS – the news is reaching the American public.

The Daily Signal reports:

Americans are running out of faith in the Internal Revenue Service.

Seventy-six percent believe that the “lost” Lois Lerner emails were deliberately destroyed, according to a Fox News poll. Only 12 percent believe the destruction resulted as an accident.

This skepticism crossed party lines. A whopping 90 percent of Republicans doubt the IRS’s most recent claims, as do 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats.

There remains desire for congressional action. Seventy-four percent feel that lawmakers should continue investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups “until someone is held accountable.”

Americans are also dubious about President Barack Obama’s claims that he first learned about the scandal through the media, with just 31 percent believing this to be true.

This poll surveyed 1,018 adults at random and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

And finally, this, which I posted previously, but it’s SO GOOD:

Now that’s effective cross-examination.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

IRS e-mail backups destroyed shortly after targeting of conservatives was discovered

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

The IRS canceled a contract with an email storage contractor weeks after Lois Lerner reported lost personal files and before other IRS officials had their hard drives crash as Tea Party-targeting investigations began.

Timing is everything, the saying goes, and sometimes the timing of events is also very curious, as in the case of the lost emails of Lerner and at least six other officials at the very same time the IRS canceled its contract to back up and preserve those emails as required by federal law.

So the IRS did at one time have back-ups of the e-mails. And they seem to have admitted it in Congressional Testimony:

Perhaps this is what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was referring to when in March testimony before the House Oversight Committee he assured Rep. Jason Chaffetz that the reason requested emails were difficult to provide was that IRS emails “get taken off and stored in servers.”

Later we would be told that the emails were lost forever and, as we noted, Koskinen was lying in March, when he said they were somewhere, or in June, when he said they were nowhere to be found. Let us ponder another possibility: that the emails were taken off and stored in Sonasoft servers, emails that would be deleted when the IRS contract for their storage ended. They were not lost, but, in effect, deliberately destroyed.

[…]Sonasoft’s fiscal 2011 contract with the IRS ended Aug. 31, 2011. Eight days later, and about a month after Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed, the IRS officially severed its relationship with Sonasoft.

Three months later, IRS official Nikole Flax, who visited the White House more than 30 times, had her computer crash with a similar loss of critical emails, something that afflicted at least half-a-dozen IRS officials in a chain of events that defies logic and the smell test.

You can kind of form a hypothesis of who ordered the hit on the conservative groups by seeing whose e-mails are being deleted and who they were talking to. If I had to bet on it, I’d say that the order to persecute the conservative groups came from the White House, perhaps from the community organizer Barack Obama himself.

George Will has a good column up in the leftist Washington Post about how the Republicans can respond to Obama’s decision to act outside the rule of law.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

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