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HOUSE REPORT DEMONSTRATES WISDOM OF LOIS LERNERíS FIFTH AMENDMEN PLEA
Powerline Blog ^ | 3-11-2014 | Paul Mirengoff

Posted on 03/11/2014 4:47:08 PM PDT by smoothsailing

MARCH 11, 2014 BY PAUL MIRENGOFF

House report demonstrates wisdom of Lois Lerner’s Fifth Amendmen plea

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has released a scathing report on Lois Lerner’s involvement in the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative advocacy groups. Based on an extensive investigation that included a review of Lerner’s email traffic, the report shows that Lerner, in response to political pressure, willfully pushed the IRS to crack down on conservative nonprofit organizations.

According to the Committee report:

[D]ocuments show that Lerner and other senior officials contemplated concerns about the “hugely influential Koch brothers,” and that Lerner advised her IRS colleagues that her unit should “do a c4 project next year” focusing on existing organizations. Lerner even showed her recognition that such an effort would approach dangerous ground and would have to be engineered as not a “per se political project.”

Underscoring a political bias against the lawful activity of such groups, Lerner referenced the political pressure on the IRS to “fix the problem” of 501(c)(4) groups engaging in political speech at an event sponsored by Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Lerner not only proposed ways for the IRS to scrutinize groups with 501(c)(4) status, but also helped implement and manage hurdles that hindered and delayed the approval of groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. In early 2011, Lerner directed the manager of the IRS’s EO Technical Unit to subject Tea Party cases to a “multi-tier review” system. She characterized these Tea Party cases as “very dangerous,” and believed that the Chief Counsel’s office should “be in on” the review process.

Lerner was extensively involved in handling the Tea Party cases—from directing the review process to receiving periodic status updates. Other IRS employees would later testify that the level of scrutiny Lerner ordered for the Tea Party cases was unprecedented.

Defenders of the Obama IRS, such as lapdog Rep. Elijah Cummings, rely on the agency’s use of facially neutral criteria in clamping down on 501(c)(4)s. But the Committee report shows that this approach (which still resulted in far more scrutiny of conservative than liberal groups) was implemented after conservative groups had been targeted in order to cover the IRS’s tracks:

Eventually, Lerner became uncomfortable with the burgeoning number of conservative organizations facing immensely heightened scrutiny from a purportedly apolitical agency. Consistent with her past concerns that scrutiny could not be “per se political,” she ordered the implementation of a new screening method.

Without doing anything to inform applicants that they had been subject to inappropriate treatment, this sleight of hand added a level of deniability for the IRS that officials would eventually use to dismiss accusations of political motivations – she broadened the spectrum of groups that would be scrutinized going forward.

Lerner also lied to Congress about the change in approach.

When Congress asked Lerner about a shift in criteria, she flatly denied it along with allegations about disparate treatment.

The change in screening criteria did not produce a change in Lerner’s obsession with damaging the Tea Party, her willingness to circumvent the regulatory process, or her pride in performing these services for Democrats:

Even as the targeting continued, Lerner engaged in a surreptitious discussion about an “off-plan” effort to restrict the right of existing 501(c)(4) applicants to participate in the political process through new regulations made outside established protocols for disclosing new regulatory action.

E-mails obtained by the Committee show she and other seemingly like-minded IRS employees even discussed how, if an aggrieved Tea Party applicant were to file suit, the IRS might get the chance to showcase the scrutiny it had applied to conservative applicants.

IRS officials seemed to envision a potential lawsuit as an expedient vehicle for bypassing federal laws that protect the anonymity of applicants denied tax exempt status. Lerner surmised that Tea Party groups would indeed opt for litigation because, in her mind, they were “itching for a Constitutional challenge.”

(Emphasis added)

In sum:

[Lerner] was keenly aware of acute political pressure to crack down on conservative-leaning organizations. Not only did she seek to convey her agreement with this sentiment publicly, she went so far as to engage in a wholly inappropriate effort to circumvent federal prohibitions in order to publicize her efforts to crack down on a particular Tea Party applicant.

She created unprecedented roadblocks for Tea Party organizations, worked surreptitiously to advance new Obama Administration regulations that curtail the activities of existing 501(c)(4) organizations – all the while attempting to maintain an appearance that her efforts did not appear, in her own words, “per se political.”

The Fifth Amendment enables a witness to refuse to answer questions on the grounds that answering might tend to incriminate her. There can be little doubt that if Lerner were to answer Committee questions under oath, she would incriminate herself. And if she answered truthfully, she would also incriminate the administration she faithfully served.



TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/11/2014 4:47:08 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Pat Caddell is right. The gop wanted the IRS on the tea party groups just as bad as the democrats did.

There are several things about all this that grind my gears. First, Lerner has been with the IRS since Bush was President. But it’s obvious she is one left wing beeeatch.

Second, if the gop takes the congress and the white house we will hear that tired old refrain “Let’s just move forward.” No one will ever be prosecuted.


2 posted on 03/11/2014 4:57:06 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: VerySadAmerican
Even if we somehow can get the racist holder to prosecute there is no guarantee that odumby won't pardon them when he leaves office.
3 posted on 03/11/2014 5:04:22 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: VerySadAmerican

If I’m making money and have a political future than principles be damned. Any questions. We’re talking about human nature and relative morality.


4 posted on 03/11/2014 5:09:11 PM PDT by Track9 (hey Kalid.. kalid.. bang you're dead)
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To: smoothsailing

“Lerner was extensively involved in handling the Tea Party cases—from directing the review process to receiving periodic status updates. Other IRS employees would later testify that the level of scrutiny Lerner ordered for the Tea Party cases was unprecedented.”

The money quote. I’ve heard it before but I haven’t researched “other IRS employees” as to who they were and what they said.

UNPRECEDENTED!!!!!!


5 posted on 03/11/2014 5:10:56 PM PDT by saleman
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To: smoothsailing

Looks like she has an awful good reason to take the 5th but I believe she blew it when she made her statement.

Would love to see her cooling her heels in a federal slammer.


6 posted on 03/11/2014 5:14:32 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo

What surprised me today was the weak, almost non-existant response from Cummings. He put out a two sentence statement that was barely reported.

It’s as if the Dems have decided to go ahead and throw Lerner under the bus. It sorta reminds me of Susan McDougal in the Whitewater investigation.


7 posted on 03/11/2014 5:38:10 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: jimpick

Congress doesn’t need Holder.


8 posted on 03/11/2014 5:43:38 PM PDT by Ray76 (How modern liberals think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c)
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To: smoothsailing

The Dems are ignoring Lerner. The MSM is ignoring the story. The IRS story stays buried because the GOP will not engage the kenyan directly on it.


9 posted on 03/11/2014 5:44:32 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: smoothsailing

If that’s the case they must know she can’t finger anyone else and that may in fact be the case, she seemed to be the one carrying the ball on this.

Maybe the higher ups sat back and let her while making sure no one could connect her to them.


10 posted on 03/11/2014 5:45:57 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: VerySadAmerican

Further proof that the Republicans are every bit as much of our enemy as the Democrats are.


11 posted on 03/11/2014 5:46:06 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: jazusamo

Conservative groups had to wait months or more than a year to have their applications processed.

Meanwhile, Lerner granted the Barack H Obama Foundation 501(c)(3) status in just 34 days, retroactive 38 months - on a Sunday, June 26, 2011. The Barack H Obama Foundation is owned by Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama, a resident alien with documented ties to terrorist organizations.

This goes right to Obama.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/irs-stalled-conservative-groups-but-gave-speedy-approval-to-obama-foundation/2013/05/16/90c53e8a-be57-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_story.html

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-official-lerner-approved-exemption-for-obama-brothers-charity/

http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/obamas-brother-linked-to-muslim-brotherhood/


12 posted on 03/11/2014 5:50:45 PM PDT by Ray76 (How modern liberals think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c)
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To: Ray76

I agree but if she can’t connect anyone higher with proof she’s going to take the fall.


13 posted on 03/11/2014 5:54:41 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: Ray76

It’s not enough that Barack Obama’s half-brother is linked to terrorists, it’s not enough that he is given very favorable treatment by the IRS, it’s not enough that the IRS delays processing for conservative organizations, none if this is enough to shake the Republicans from their torpor.

We are under attack and the Republicans are oblivious.


14 posted on 03/11/2014 5:55:55 PM PDT by Ray76 (How modern liberals think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c)
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To: jazusamo; Ray76

Lois Lerner→ Malik Obama→ White House = BOOM!!!


15 posted on 03/11/2014 5:59:10 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing; Ray76
I SURE HOPE SO!!
16 posted on 03/11/2014 6:13:25 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: Ray76
Congress does need holder so it does not appear political. The media will jump all over how the republicans are being political because Holder is not prosecuting her. It plays right into how the media covers for the dems.

Technically you are right but the stupid people on the left will be lead around by the media.

17 posted on 03/11/2014 6:18:30 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: jimpick

You can’t let fear of criticism be the determining factor. Don’t play to not lose, play to win.


18 posted on 03/11/2014 6:21:41 PM PDT by Ray76 (How modern liberals think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c)
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To: smoothsailing

Lerner in orange jumpsuit or bust!


19 posted on 03/11/2014 6:23:05 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator ( 2+2 = V)
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To: Ray76
I am not playing to lose I want her strung up. I think it would be best to hold off till after we know she will not be pardoned by Odumby. She needs to do serious hard time to show that you cant not persecute those that you oppose political when you are in office.
20 posted on 03/11/2014 6:34:14 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: Ray76
I am not playing to lose I want her strung up. I think it would be best to hold off till after we know she will not be pardoned by Odumby. She needs to do serious hard time to show that you cant not persecute those that you oppose political when you are in office.
21 posted on 03/11/2014 6:34:15 PM PDT by jimpick
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To: jimpick

There is nothing wrong with Congress exercising their power to investigate and using the tools to enforce that power: subpoena, arrest, and imprisonment.


22 posted on 03/11/2014 6:41:57 PM PDT by Ray76 (How modern liberals think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c)
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To: jazusamo

LOCKER UP - THAT'LL LERNER!!!


23 posted on 03/11/2014 6:44:39 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

That’s a great image, I may dream about that tonight. LOL!


24 posted on 03/11/2014 6:51:39 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo

Sheesh, I hope you don’t, she be ugly!


25 posted on 03/11/2014 7:42:11 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

LOL! De bars, de bars...:-)


26 posted on 03/11/2014 7:50:48 PM PDT by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jimpick
I am not playing to lose I want her strung up. I think it would be best to hold off till after we know she will not be pardoned by Odumby. She needs to do serious hard time to show that you cant not persecute those that you oppose political when you are in office.

Yes, she'll be pardoned by Obama. Probably on his last day in office.

But he can't do sh*t to protect her from a civil suit over infringement of Constitutional rights. I'm wondering whether, given the increasing evidence that she was acting in a rogue capacity (at least that's where I think the fingers are going to start being pointed by the Dems) AND the fact that she's taken the Fifth, any sort of legal protection from personal lawsuits based on a person being a government official apply.

So the single best option here might not be a criminal case, but a civil one. Aimed at her, personally. Make her spend up any/all retirement savings defending herself ...
27 posted on 03/11/2014 7:52:17 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter
I am not a lawyer so I don't know all the ways she can be brought to pay for what she has done. That said, she will be used to show that the republicans are playing politics with this and made to be the scape goat by the media.

I have no illusions that she will be pardoned by Odumby for any criminal actions before he leaves office. As for civil actions I don't know.

The dems have no morals and don't care about right or wrong, just what is good for them and their buddies. That is why I feel she will be pardoned.

28 posted on 03/11/2014 8:10:18 PM PDT by jimpick
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