Skip to comments.The Silence of the Tax Lamb
Posted on 03/09/2014 8:05:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
Former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right Wednesday not to incriminate herself when she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the IRS targeting of tea party groups.
Oddly, the news media and Democratic leaders don't think it's a big deal when a federal official -- Lerner was the head of the unit that deals with tax-exempt organizations when she first invoked the Fifth last May -- won't answer questions about her actions as a federal official, but they are in a huff because the committee's chairman, Darrell Issa, abruptly called an end to the hearing and shut off the microphone.
Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings said he wanted to ask "a procedural question." Then, as Cummings instead engaged in a rant in defense of Lerner, Issa again shut off the mic. Within a minute, it was back on, and Cummings continued to rail against what he sees as a one-sided investigation.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi later tweeted that Issa's "decision to silence a fellow Member of Congress was outrageous & disrespectful." The Washington Post's Dana Milbank denounced Issa for falling below "today's low standard of civility in Congress."
Issa exhibited shoddy manners. Worse, he lacked the discipline to not be baited by the crafty Cummings. Thus, Issa handed the left an excuse to make him the issue when the Internal Revenue Service's practice of going after the tea party cries out for public scrutiny. Lerner's refusal to answer questions, though it is the exercise of a constitutional right, should make all House members squirm.
Just what was Lerner doing on the taxpayer dime that she doesn't want to share?
Lerner's silence is especially unsettling given that her attorney William Taylor III told reporters that she had given a full interview to the Department of Justice with no grant of immunity. Lerner's lawyers, he said, have confidence that prosecutors, unlike Issa, are open-minded. The thing is that also unlike Issa, the Department of Justice is in a position to prosecute people.
"It does strike me as a little odd," Rutgers law professor George Thomas III told The Wall Street Journal. "One explanation is the one given by her lawyer. The other, darker explanation is that she and her lawyer think the DOJ is not interested in a serious investigation of the IRS treatment of these tax-exempt groups."
Could it be that Lerner's lawyers do not fear the often-terrifying Justice Department precisely because President Barack Obama already signaled there is no cause for concern because the IRS story is a "phony scandal"?
Similarly, the president signaled his disdain for conservative nonprofits during the 2010 and 2012 election seasons. Lo and behold, the IRS started to put conservative tax-exempt organizations on the slow track and under a microscope.
Last year, Lerner admitted that after the IRS saw an uptick in applications for social welfare organizations in 2010, staff began screening for groups that used terms such as "Tea Party" and "Patriots." She even apologized. "That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, insensitive and inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said.
She also claimed that IRS staffers did not target tea party patriot types "because of any political bias. They did it because they were working together. This was a streamlined way for them to refer to the cases."
That is, it was convenient.
I do not believe that claim. I don't know many liberals who actually believe it, either. I do believe that if the Bush administration's IRS had targeted social welfare groups that used terms such as "anti-war" and "torture," the left would have wanted to investigate. They would have wanted to know whether the IRS policy had come from the White House. And they wouldn't have given a pass to officials who took the Fifth.
Milbank is put out that Issa "forced" Lerner to invoke her right against self-incrimination "no fewer than 10 times." Apparently, it would be the gentlemanly thing for Issa to allow Lerner to maintain a version of events that defies credulity without answering to the American public.
Ignorance is bliss.
Its a big deal if you’re the target and not the targeter. Trust me, IRS employees don’t lose any sleep over it at might if they completely destroy businesses, families, or make people commit suicide. It bothers them not one iota.
Very few believe it, but most don't care, because "they (we) deserve it." Whatever works for them is OK by them.
No federal employee should be allowed to not testify regarding her role as a federal employee, PERIOD.
is a condition of employment.
Don’t like the conditions? Don’t work for the feds, which is the taxpayer like me
Former IRS official Lois Lerner...
need to be in an orange jumpsuit for about 20 years.
This entire investigation is about silencing the people by the abuse of power. So, Nancy P. wants the ruling class to speak at will but the people that they are supposed to represent must be made to only listen.
“No federal employee should be allowed to not testify regarding her role as a federal employee, PERIOD.”
If it’s a criminal investigation I don’t think you could do that.
One thing you could do is make it known that the record will state that they were fired for refusing to answer questions about their job performance, and will face every monetary penalty for that action.
Sorry Lois, the House holds the purse strings and you are being fired for your actions. Your pension is now forfeited!
Former IRS official Lois Lerner...
need to be in an orange jumpsuit for about 20 years.”””
120 years-—with absolutely NO possibility of parole.
Can Congress subpoena the records of the interview with the DOJ? That should be interesting. Maybe BO can claim POTUS priviledge since he was involved in the actual interviews and coverup. Get the info and get it fast. Wasting time is playing into BO’s plans.
I agree completely with one addition. Get every record of everything she ever did, said, etc... for the IRS. Not just emails. Every report, approval etc... Then ask her questions. If she takes the fifth, she should be fired retroactively, pension rescinded and charged with conspiracy & contempt.
Every Gov’t employee has some type of retirement rules concerning discussing cases/actions taken. Lerner is not alleging that. She is picking and choosing her answers. Put a stop to it now.
What Issa did to Cummings is no different than what Harry Reid has been doing to the Republicans in the Senate for 5 years now.
Hey Lois, here’s a little advice for you:
If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.
No doubt many of them in their off hours count themselves “pillars of the community” perhaps leading prayers in church etc. I maintain that no one with a working conscience could willingly work for the IRS. To me it would be little different from being an enforcer for the mafia, the IRS job just means a better, steadier paycheck and far better benefits with little of the risk involved in the mafia job. I would hate myself if I worked for the IRS.
I would have mercy.....give her 120 years but offer parole after 119 years.
death...... there are no greater crimes than her’s
No mercy, no quarter. If she is alive, she will be relesed
> No doubt many of them in their off hours count themselves pillars of the community perhaps leading prayers in church etc.
More like invoking Satan while standing around a pentagram wearing black robes...
Those living in her neighborhood should shun her.
COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACY ON CAPITOL HILL
<><> Next day, dozens of lock-stepping members of the Congressional Black Caucus marched smartly into the chamber, as Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) proposed a resolution to condemn Chairman Issa (which failed to pass).
<><> Cummings smeared patriot Catherine Englebrecht earlier, as she testified WRT targeting harassment, <> a slew of vote-crazed Democrats fearful of losing their seats, used their legislative power to force the IRS to investigate conservative groups,
<><> (one of the Nixon Articles of Impeachment was the "threat" --not the actual use--of the IRS on political opponents)
<><> Cummings smeared Republicans and conservatives---he called Issa's hearing a one-sided investigation.
It's time to examine the sub-rosa activities of these divisive race-based Congressional caucuses ---- which patently exclude those who do not fit the caucus "profile). Preliminary evidence of Congressional caucuses aiding and abetting conspiracies and collusion are troubling.
Taxpayers demand to know how many tax money race-based caucuses receive? what they do w/ the monies? Reportedly each Congressional Black Caucus members geta a $10,000 stipend (that we know of) to fritter away.
CASE IN POINT The Congressional Hispanic Caucus was at the center of the billion dollar sub-prime debacle which damaged the US economy and forced tax-paid bailout billions.
SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE SCAMS--MASSIVE LATINO MORTGAGE FRAUD ON CAPITOL HILL: The Congressional Hispanic Institute, Inc, is an entity organized by then-Cong Joe Baca (Dim-Cali) in his capacity as head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Then-Cong Baca created "HOGAR" (Spanish for home) in 2003 to work with the mortgage industry, F/M, lenders, banks and latino community groups to increase mortgage lending to what savvy observers consider to be unqualified Latinos.
"HOGAR" colluded w/ Cong Baca in what was to become a massive bilking of taxpayers. Cong Baca calculatedly hyped the fact that the national Latino homeownership rate was 47%, compared with 68% for the overall population.
HOGAR was coached to call the figure "alarming," and to say "a concerted effort was required to ensure that by the end of the decade Latinos will share equally in the American Dream of home ownership."
HOGAR and Cong Baca conned the public, failing to note that most of the "dreamers" were illegals, citizens of Third World countries who had violated US borders.
Predictably, HOGAR colluded w/ co-conspirators which included:
(a) shaky mortgage companies that ran into big trouble;
(b) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both now under federal control after billions in taxpayer bailouts;
(c) Countrywide Financial Corp., sold to Bank of America Corp;
(d) Washington Mutual Inc., taken over by the US government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and,
(e) New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Corp, both now defunct, killed by defaulted subprime Latino mortgages.
HOGAR's ties to the subprime mortgage industry were substantial. Bribery and self-dealing were rampant:
<><> Companies that donated $150,000 to Cong Baca got the right to have their own research fellow who would conduct fraudulent studies, which were cunningly used by industry lobbyists to pump lending.
<><> Bribery and extortion in the form of $100,000 annual donations to Cong Baca, for which HOGAR provided phony news releases from Cong Baca's Hispanic Caucus promoting a lender's commercial products to the Latino market,
<><> The most shocking example of bribery well- substantitated by Hogar's literature..... HOGAR announced it worked with Freddie Mac on a self-serving two-year examination of Latino homeownership in 63 congressional districts.
The "study" found Hispanic ownership on the rise thanks to "new flexible mortgage loan products" that the industry was adopting at the urging of Cong Baca's collusive coterie.
<><> HOGAR conned lenders into even more lenient down-payment and underwriting standards.
<><> As the subprime debacle unfolded, HOGAR declined repeated requests for comment despite the economic havoc their activities precipitated.
The mortgage schemes demonstrated the criminal activities of border violators with multiple identities---perhaps violent, terrorist-connected foreigners---colluding and conspiring to defraud private companies and public entities. And mortgage racketeering enterprises which employed sub rosa finance and business practices to carry out deceptions and frauds.
The alleged ring of swindlers---a Congresman, individuals with multiple identities, banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers--might be charged with cheating the US govt, taxpayers and bank share holders out of hundreds of millions of dollars via an elaborate web of mortgage and bank frauds.
The mortgage Dreamers used multiple phony identities, fraudulent Social Security numbers, purchased from identity forgers in order to obtain govt-subsidized benefits.
L/E will find that individuals with multiple identities obtained fraudulent mortgages then flipped the houses at ever-higher prices to family member who then absconded to foreign countries, sticking banks (and taxpayers) with hundreds of millions in fraudulent mortgages.
BACKGROUND A Wall Street Journal investigative report related that, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council examination of the borrowing spree, uncovered financial schemes by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, all colluding in fraduent schemes to increase homeownership among Latinos with forged documents which enabled massive fraud.
This was not simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by avarice, greed, and Congressional enabling fraudulent practices. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%; Latinos with multiple fraudulent identities in low-paying jobs obtained subprime mortgages for prime properties---soaring to 169%.
(Research provided by Wall Street Journal. Some material excerpted from the NY Times).