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‘A Wing of the FEC’: Issa Says Lerner Was on Mission Against 501(c)(4)s After Citizens United

Says new IRS commissioner is “more interested in managing the political fallout than cooperating with Congress."

by
Bill Straub

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March 26, 2014 - 5:21 pm
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WASHINGTON – The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation of Internal Revenue Service practices shows the agency targeted conservative groups because of a political disagreement with a Supreme Court ruling holding that they don’t have to reveal the identity of their supporters.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said emails dispatched by Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS Division of Exempt Organization, a central figure in the controversy, reveal animosity toward the court’s findings in the case popularly known as Citizens United and that she and others endeavored to undermine the decision.

Issa in particular cited a July 10, 2012, email where Lerner asserted “perhaps the FEC will save the day,” expressing hope that the Federal Election Commission might somehow work its way around Citizens United.

That email, and others, provide “fundamental evidence” that Citizens United seems to be the reason for action by the IRS.

“One of the things that we’re finding is they’ve got a real problem with 501(c)(4)s not disclosing their donors,” Issa said. “They don’t want them to do what they do.”

Lerner, who invoked her rights under the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before the committee other than to assert she had done nothing wrong or illegal, knew that President Obama and officials within the Department of Treasury loathed Citizens United and therefore attempted to make the IRS “a wing of the FEC” even though she and others didn’t possess the legislative authority.

Issa’s comments came at the conclusion of a three-hour grilling directed at IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who the chairman accused of being “more interested in managing the political fallout than cooperating with Congress, or at least this committee.”

Koskinen, who took office in December, long after the events took place, rejected Issa’s claims by insisting that the IRS “has been making and continues to make every effort to be as transparent as possible and cooperate with the six ongoing investigations” reviewing the issue — four investigations being conducted by Congress, one by the Justice Department and one by the Treasury Department’s inspector general.

“Over the last eight months the IRS has devoted significant resources to this committee’s investigation and requests for information, as well as those of other Congressional committees – transmitting documents and facilitating interviews in an effort to provide complete facts about the determinations process,” Koskinen said. “More than 250 IRS employees have spent nearly 100,000 hours working directly on complying with the investigations, at a cost of nearly $8 million.”

To date, Koskinen said, the IRS has produced more than 690,000 pages of unredacted documents to congressional tax-writing committees that have authority over the agency and more than 420,000 pages of redacted documents to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

“In light of these document productions, I hope that the investigations can now be concluded in the very near future,” Koskinen said. “Once we have the resulting reports from these investigations, we can then take further corrective action where necessary.”

But committee Republicans indicated they are far from concluding the probe, noting that the IRS has failed to provide all of the material sought in a subpoena issued on Feb. 14. The panel is seeking all communications sent or received by Lerner and several other IRS officials from Jan. 1, 2009, to Aug. 2, 2013.

The chairman said the agency’s failure to cooperate is frustrating the committee’s investigation and raised the specter of holding the commissioner in contempt for non-compliance.

All of Lerner’s emails and documents during the designated four-year time period are necessary, Issa said, to fully determine the degree of her hostility toward the Citizens United ruling.

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Top Rated Comments   
Can't the NSA help get these emails?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
America is being run like a third world country by a third rate intellect.

The radical leftists have seized the reins of power and have turned America into a Bandana Republic.

Not only have they stripped freedoms, forced purchases of State goods and services, assaulted religious freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and turned the media into an arm of the totalitarian PARTY...they have made the law an Etch a Sketch blackboard. They shake it and whatever was written is erased and replaced.

The IRS was used as a political drone, fired at principled dissent.

Those who engaged in attacking our countrymen should hang. And those who are assisting them should hang as accessories to treason.

Build the gallows.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
OBAMA'S TRAIL OF TEARS

After the Supreme Court decided Worcester v. Georgia, Andrew Jackson supposedly said: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!". Later, Jackson got his revenge on the ruling -- and disgraced the country -- with the forced relocation of Indian tribes, which the Court had declared sovereign nations.

Similarly, President Obama hated the Citizens United ruling, which he thought would unduly benefit Republicans by allowing corporations to be involved in funding political campaigns. He went so far as to rebuke the Supreme Court publicly at his first inauguration and has said: "I can't think of anything more devastating to the public interest".

However, Obama made sure Citizens United would have no negative effect on his re-election. How? By having the IRS block conservative groups from becoming non-profit corporations and, thus, preventing those who donate from receiving a charitable tax deduction.

The 'tears' that come from obstructing free speech and circumventing the Supreme Court are easy to see -- especially when they are done to win an election. The 'trail' to the President disgracing his office is much harder to prove.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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The politicizing of the IRS is the most distressing outcome of the BHO presidency. That Koskinen would prove to be such a complicit hack further ruins the good name and credibility of all who work under him. Bravo to Jim Jordan: "What part of all don't you understand?" Hang tough, Congressmen. After November it will be easier to turn the screws on these criminals.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did they ask him why the approvals are still being held up?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds like they're making sure the investigation is expansive and time-consuming.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Lerner did nothing illegal, by her claim. This means that any answers she might give will not incriminate her. The 5th amendment allows a person to avoid self-incrimination, but it does not allow someone to remain silent about material that might incriminate another, so she cannot remain silent under the 5th unless she lied to Congress.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd start at the top and subpoena everyone of them. You won't have to go far down the chain until you'll find someone who values their career over loyalty to this Administration. I would also withhold 25% of the IRS operating funds until they comply with Congress's demands.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wanna get the e-mails???
Send a high school graduate with some computer experience in to do the job ... it'll only take a day or two.
Koskinen is giving the committee the middle-finger and basically insulting their intelligence; very disturbing stonewalling and it looks exactly like Holder tutored him.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
“More than 250 IRS employees have spent nearly 100,000 hours working directly on complying with the investigations, at a cost of nearly $8 million.”

Yeah? And just how many hours and how much $$$ did you spend on your immoral and illegal operation to deny constitutionally-protected speech to Dear Leader's political enemies?

You dirtbag pus-filled boil on the face of American government!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, putting on the green eye shade, 250 employees of the IRS spent 100,000 hours at a cost of $8m. Each of the 250 employees spent 400 hours working on this project that cost $8m. 400 hours out of usual 2,000 hours of work a year (50 weeks of 40 hours) meaning that these 250 employees averaged $160,000 per year in income. Hmmmm sounds like Obama hisself.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't the NSA help get these emails?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
America is being run like a third world country by a third rate intellect.

The radical leftists have seized the reins of power and have turned America into a Bandana Republic.

Not only have they stripped freedoms, forced purchases of State goods and services, assaulted religious freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and turned the media into an arm of the totalitarian PARTY...they have made the law an Etch a Sketch blackboard. They shake it and whatever was written is erased and replaced.

The IRS was used as a political drone, fired at principled dissent.

Those who engaged in attacking our countrymen should hang. And those who are assisting them should hang as accessories to treason.

Build the gallows.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
OBAMA'S TRAIL OF TEARS

After the Supreme Court decided Worcester v. Georgia, Andrew Jackson supposedly said: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!". Later, Jackson got his revenge on the ruling -- and disgraced the country -- with the forced relocation of Indian tribes, which the Court had declared sovereign nations.

Similarly, President Obama hated the Citizens United ruling, which he thought would unduly benefit Republicans by allowing corporations to be involved in funding political campaigns. He went so far as to rebuke the Supreme Court publicly at his first inauguration and has said: "I can't think of anything more devastating to the public interest".

However, Obama made sure Citizens United would have no negative effect on his re-election. How? By having the IRS block conservative groups from becoming non-profit corporations and, thus, preventing those who donate from receiving a charitable tax deduction.

The 'tears' that come from obstructing free speech and circumventing the Supreme Court are easy to see -- especially when they are done to win an election. The 'trail' to the President disgracing his office is much harder to prove.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one ever got a charitable deduction for contributing to a 501 c 4. You misunderstand how they work.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really Mike, contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductable for the contributors because those organizations do lobbying work and promote political candidates. It is contributions to the 501(c) (3) organizations like The Heritage Foundation, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross,etc. that are tax deductable contributions. Both types of organizations are income tax-exempt, non-profit organizations.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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