Another day, another chronicle of Democratic Party malfeasance. Enjoy:
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:
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.The communications at one point involved Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official whom Issa’s panel is poised to hold in contempt of Congress on Thursday for refusing to provide testimony about her involvement in targeting conservative groups.
“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” a statement from the Oversight panel reads.According to Issa, Cummings and his staff sought “copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates, or other entities,” from True the Vote.
Naturally, the honorable gentlemen denies the charges:
Cummings said the letter from Issa and others Republicans is “a desperate attempt to shift the focus on tomorrow’s contempt vote away from the serious Constitutional deficiencies in these proceedings.”
Did somebody say “contempt vote”? What kind of nefarious activity might occasion such a thing?
A House committee voted Wednesday 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.
“If we don’t stand up for the right of the American people, who else will?” committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said after the vote.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday plans to vote on the resolution below to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the panel. Lerner, who headed an IRS division that reviews tax-exemption applications, has twice invoked her Fifth Amendment right when asked to testify about the agency’s targeting of certain nonprofit advocacy groups for extra scrutiny based on their names and policy positions.
The outcome of the upcoming contempt vote is all but assured for the Republican-controlled committee, which already determined in a party-line vote last year that Lerner waived her right not to testify by declaring innocence before declining to answer questions at a June 2013 hearing.
And looky here! The same Honorable Gentleman is trying to cover for Ms. Lerner — you know, the Lois Lerner who was apparently angling for a job with Obama’s very own private army, Organizing for Action — with this particularly pathetic defense:
The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), has argued that Republicans cannot legally pursue contempt charges against the former IRS official because they did not explicitly overrule her Fifth Amendment assertion or clearly direct her to answer the committee’s questions.
Yeah, right. Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray explains over at National Review Online why a contempt citation for Ms. Lerner is so richly deserved:
Precisely because of the crucial role that nonprofit organizations play in American society, the IRS’s partisan abuse of power, singling out conservative tea-party organizations for particularly negative treatment, is a public scandal.
According to the public record, Ms. Lerner played a central role in perpetrating that scandal. From her IRS perch, she instructed colleagues that tea-party groups’ nonprofit applications were “a very dangerous matter,” and directed that such groups receive serious scrutiny. And she took the “tea party” label to be a “pejorative” — Samuel Adams and the other original Sons of Liberty notwithstanding.
The House Oversight Committee originally invited Ms. Lerner to testify in May 2013. She agreed to appear before the committee, but she also stated through counsel that she would invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The committee then subpoenaed her, to force her to testify as to what she knew and did in the IRS scandal. But again she refused to testify.
When Ms. Lerner appeared before the committee on May 22, 2013, she swore to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” and she voluntarily made an opening statement, but then she refused to answer the committee’s questions. The committee’s chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, put the hearing into recess and excused Ms. Lerner, subject to being recalled before the committee. The next month, the committee discussed Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify, and then approved a resolution finding that Ms. Lerner’s voluntary opening statement constituted a waiver of her Fifth Amendment privilege against the committee’s questions.
In February 2014, the committee called for her to return for the reconvened proceedings. Chairman Issa reminded her that if she refused yet again to testify, after the committee already had found her to have waived her Fifth Amendment privilege, then the committee could recommend that she be held in contempt.
And she will be. The Lerner case is the Democrats’ worst nightmare, revealing the depth and breadth of their politicization of the federal bureaucracy (thanks to the “civil service,” a wholly owned subsidiary of the party) and offering long-suffering Americans a real chance at the reform or even the outright abolition of everyone’s least favorite and most intrusive federal agency — given even more power under the ongoing disaster of Obamacare. You know, the one that openly agitates on behalf of the current administration —
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.
In another case, a worker at the tax agency’s customer help line urged taxpayers “to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name,” the Office of Special Counsel said in a statement. OSC said it is seeking “significant disciplinary action” against that employee. Another IRS employee in Kentucky has agreed to serve a 14-day suspension for blasting Republicans in a conversation with a taxpayer.
Proving once again that the fish rots from the head down, the Wall Street Journal sums up the importance of the Lerner case here:
The most troubling new evidence are documents showing that Ms. Lerner actively corresponded with liberal campaign-finance groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, which had asked the IRS to investigate if conservative groups including Crossroads GPS were violating their tax-exempt status. After personally meeting with the two liberal outfits, Ms. Lerner contacted the director of the Exempt Organizations Examinations Unit in Dallas to ask why Crossroads had not been audited…
Ms. Lerner says she did nothing wrong, and this week we met with her attorney, who told us she declined to testify only because the proceedings were bound to be unfair. But as a senior official in a public agency that wields the power to destroy, she had an obligation to explain what happened and why. We’d still like to hear her defense, but when Congress confronts a stonewalling Administration it has little choice but to tell the public what it has learned so voters can reach their own conclusions.
The question is: what will the House do when the Justice Department of Eric Holder — who’s already been found in contempt of Congress himself — refuses to take any action?
The former student radical got up in Rep. Louis Gohmert’s grille the other day after Gohmert mentioned the the AG’s own contempt citation:
“I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General,” Gohmert prodded, “but it is important that we have proper oversight.”
“You don’t want to go there, buddy!” Holder snarled in response. ”You don’t want to go there, OK? You should not assume that uh that is not a big deal to me. I think it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust, but never think that it was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”
This is the kind of belligerent defensiveness that has typified Holder’s appearances before the Congress. The man behind the shameful Marc Rich pardon that marred the end of the Clinton administration (please click on the link to Slate, to get an idea of Holder’s breathtaking corruption) should never have been nominated for the crucial post of AG — that, nearly alone, told you everything you needed to know about the character of the new Obama administration — nor should he have been confirmed by the Senate.
Rich was an active fugitive, a man who had used his money to evade the law, and presidents do not generally pardon people like that. What’s more, the Justice Department opposed the pardon—or would’ve, if it had known about it. But Holder and Quinn did an end-around, bringing the pardon to Clinton directly and avoiding any chance that Justice colleagues might give negative input. As the House Government Reform Committee report later put it, “Holder failed to inform the prosecutors under him that the Rich pardon was under consideration, despite the fact that he was aware of the pardon effort for almost two months before it was granted.”
Now, with Obama safely re-elected and well into his second term, the masks have slipped across the board, to reveal the true snarling heart of an administration whose sole purpose domestically is to hand out payback for all of Barack Hussein Obama’s grievances, whether real or imagined:
They’ve slipped because, in what now amounts to an openly gangster government (in Michael Barone’s famous phase), there will no penalties for anything, ever — not with the Democrats in firm control of most of the government and the mainstream media. As John Hayward notes in Human Events:
Congress has inconvenienced Holder a few times by obliging him to plod into a hearing chamber and testify that he doesn’t read his own mail and has no idea what the Justice Department is up to, but other than that, they haven’t affected his behavior in the slightest. Everyone knows there was no endgame beyond that contempt citation; the rest of Obama Justice is not going to prosecute Holder for anything, any more than Holder is going to prosecute anyone over the IRS scandal. We’re about to go through another ultimately meaningless contempt-of-Congress drama against IRS scandal superstar Lois Lerner – there’s a very good chance the vote will pass, and I assume she’ll get some sort of nastygram in the mail formally citing her for skulduggery, but that will be the end of it.
The people behind this political abuse of the IRS – one of the worst crimes ever perpetrated against the American people – always knew that would be the end of it.
Because thugs take care of their own. It’s what they do. It’s who they are.
You can find more evidences of Democrat corruption here and here, with ethics charges being bruited against former Black Panther and current congressman from the Chicago area, Bobby Rush; and the suspicious Medicare enrichment of a couple of doctors who just happen to be major Democratic Party donors and bundlers. The latter story is reported by, of all things, the New York Times:
Topping the list is Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, 59, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone. The doctor billed a bulk of his reimbursements for Lucentis, a medication used to treat macular degeneration made by a company that pays generous rebates to its doctors.
Dr. Melgen’s firm donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. The super PAC then spent $600,000 to help re-elect Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who is a close friend of Dr. Melgen’s. Last year, Mr. Menendez himself became a target of investigation after the senator intervened on behalf of Dr. Melgen with federal officials and took flights on his private jet.
Another physician, Dr. Asad Qamar, an interventional cardiologist in Ocala, Fla., has sent at least $250,000 in donations over the last decade to the political campaigns of President Obama and other prominent Democrats; he has become the target of scrutiny related to cardiovascular treatment centers he runs in Central Florida.
Dr. Qamar was paid more than $18 million in 2012, making him and Dr. Melgen by far the largest payment recipients nationwide, according to the data.
And so at last we come to the end (for today, at least) of the sorry spectacle. And what better place to conclude than with…
That’s right — Rev. Rat Fink has been a snitch and a weasel all along, according to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun website, which has also debunked Sharpton’s feeble denials. Nevertheless, who should be the guest of honor at an event attended both by Holder and New York City’s hard-Lefist mayor, Bill de Blasio, aka Warren Wilhelm, Jr., with Barry himself on the way tomorrow. You guessed it:
Two days after stunning new revelations about his role as an FBI informant, the Rev. Al Sharpton proved Wednesday that he can still draw a crowd – and the praise of powerful politicians. Mayor de Blasio hailed the civil rights activist as a “blessing,” and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke as well, as Sharpton opened a three-day convention of his National Action Network at a midtown hotel.
The White House said the new details about Sharpton’s cooperation with the FBI would not change President Obama’s plans to give the keynote speech at the gathering on Friday. “Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network have made significant contributions to civil rights efforts, and the president looks forward to appearing at the conference,” spokesman Jay Carney said.
In their appearances, Neither de Blasio nor Holder mentioned Monday’s story on The Smoking Gun website which provided stunning new details of how Sharpton helped the feds secretly record mobsters in the 1980s. “I am proud to stand with Rev Sharpton,” de Blasio said to thunderous applause. “Because to borrow a phrase from our youth: Reverend, you’re the real thing.”
The slogan of the National Action Network is “no justice, no peace.” It might be time for the Left to consider that this particular motto can cut both ways.
As I wrote in this space recently, it’s time to break out the RICO statute and break up the Democrats, for their own good and that of the nation. Our country needs an honest two-party system, not the current cozy racket shared by the donkeys and the establishment elephants. The next attorney general is going to have his hands full, which is why the Tea Party must gain control of the GOP, nominate a real reformer — and not a RINO squish or a family retread –and put an end to this farce. Not for all, perhaps, but at least once, just to show that they can.
Over to you, Andy McCarthy.