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The IRS Scandal's Smoking Gun?
U.S. News & World Report ^ | 4-16-2014 | Peter Roff

Posted on 04/16/2014 7:50:49 PM PDT by smoothsailing

April 16, 2014

The IRS Scandal's Smoking Gun?

A suspicious email could confirm Lois Lerner's culpability in recent IRS abuses.

Peter Roff

The so-called “smoking gun” proving the Internal Revenue Service played politics with conservative groups seeking official non-profit, social welfare status over the last several years may finally have been found.

In a rash of documents provided under the Freedom of Information Act to Judicial Watch, a non-partisan public interest law group, is an April 2013 email written by David Fish, acting manager of IRS Exempt Organizations Technical Guidance and Quality Assurance and sent to, among others, former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. It was part of a thread discussing a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the potential for the abuse of the 501(c)(4) tax status by organizations intervening inappropriately or improperly in candidate elections.

Responding to a message “What can I say?” from Lerner, Fish responds, “Tell Ruth she needs to get on the stick and that the next election cycle is around the corner. This is obviously a wonderful idea (that’s why we suggested it). I think you told Greg all you can tell him, unless you want to tell him that we’re taking guidance plan suggestions.”

The email is dated April 15, 2013 – well after initial allegations that the IRS had “slow-walked” the applications of conservative groups had been made and, by the agency, denied.

The “Ruth” mentioned in the message refers to Ruth Madrigal, an official at the U.S. Treasury Department. The “Greg” mentioned in Fish’s message is apparently a San Francisco-based attorney named Gregory Colvin, who started this chain with an e-mail to Lerner and Madrigal letting them know he has just testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on the issue of whether officers of (c)(4) organizations who made false statements under penalty of perjury on tax returns “could be criminally prosecuted.”

The Obama administration has insisted from the beginning that conservative groups were not singled out and that electoral considerations did not factor into what clearly went on. They prefer to adhere to the fiction that anything untoward that occurred generated spontaneously in branch offices among low level staff and not at the direction of anyone in Washington.

The particular mention by Fish of the idea that “the next election cycle is around the corner” seems to any reasonable person to confirm or at least suggest higher-ups at the IRS including Lerner knew exactly what they were doing, had used their positions for partisan political purposes, and were continuing to do so even though the word about what they were doing had leaked out.

“The David Fish email proves the IRS originated and fed to Senate Democrats the idea of threatening conservatives with criminal prosecution for engaging in political speech – specifically with an eye towards the 2014 cycle. It’s the strongest proof yet that there should indeed be criminal prosecutions, not of conservatives but of the IRS bureaucrats who conspired to suppress them," said Phil Kerpen, the president of American Commitment and one who has followed this issue closely since it first become public knowledge.

Interestingly, sources close to the House Committee on Ways and Means, one of the congressional panels looking into the issue, is not at all certain the document containing the Fish email was given to the panel subsequent to a rather broad, comprehensive subpoena of the IRS.

There is also this message from Lerner, also made public as a result of the Judicial Watch FOIA. In it she writes, "As I mentioned yesterday – there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report that are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t fell so comfortable doing the stuff. ... So don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity."

It seems the agency, which seemed to be moving past the scandal under its new leadership, is now right back in the thick of things as a result of these two emails. Lerner’s not talking – and faces a congressional contempt citation and possible prosecution for failing to do so. She should come clean immediately; the American people have the right to know what went on.

It also appears congressional investigators need to refocus, to cast a wider net and make sure all the documents they asked for were actually turned over. If they weren’t, then it would seem reasonable to conclude a cover-up had in fact occurred and may be a bigger thing than the underlying crime.

Rather than slow down its efforts and wind them up, congressional committees investigating what the IRS actually did and finding what other federal agencies – if any – it worked with to subvert the constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and association need to go into high gear. The upcoming summer recess would be the perfect time to focus on it since there will be nothing else going on in town.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: irs

1 posted on 04/16/2014 7:50:49 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
Not a Smidgen... of Corruption.,,,,


2 posted on 04/16/2014 7:53:37 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: smoothsailing

Lois (slow) Learner smokes after?


3 posted on 04/16/2014 7:54:37 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: smoothsailing
Responding to a message “What can I say?” from Lerner, Fish responds, “Tell Ruth she needs to get on the stick and that the next election cycle is around the corner. This is obviously a wonderful idea (that’s why we suggested it). I think you told Greg all you can tell him, unless you want to tell him that we’re taking guidance plan suggestions.”

Is that crap from Fish not the most bureaucratic mumble jumble you've ever heard? Where do they learn to talk so much but say nothing?

"Taking guidance plan suggestions"? How many useless, overpaid federal employees do they have to create 'guidance plans'? How long does it take? What do they do with them? Where do they hold meetings? How much is spent on those?

All questions mostly asked in the private sector when some over-educated pinhead not far out of college makes a suggestion for 'guidance plans'.

4 posted on 04/16/2014 7:58:19 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Conseravtives are all that's left to defend the Constitution. Dems hate it, and Repubs don't care.)
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To: smoothsailing

To Obama, “transparent” is when a mom or dad have a sex change.


5 posted on 04/16/2014 8:08:37 PM PDT by Proud2BeRight
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To: MeshugeMikey

His smidgens are coming home to roost!

B^)
6 posted on 04/16/2014 8:11:26 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Proud2BeRight

HA! Good one!


7 posted on 04/16/2014 8:12:51 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

IN a BIG WAY!....a Pride of smidgens .a FLOCK.....a virtual CONGRESS of em!


8 posted on 04/16/2014 8:15:59 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: Fledermaus

You can’t translate that? I must have some bureaucratic blood in me.

Translation


“What can I say?” from Lerner — Don’t talk details.

Fish responds, “Tell Ruth she needs to get on the stick and that the next election cycle is around the corner. — We need to move now or we may lose this election.

This is obviously a wonderful idea (that’s why we suggested it). I think you told Greg all you can tell him, unless you want to tell him that we’re taking guidance plan suggestions.” — We will be well rewarded, but we need more plausible deniability and no upward links.


9 posted on 04/16/2014 8:17:17 PM PDT by Usagi_yo (Islamunism = Facism + Islam : Islamunist = someone that adheres to Islamunism.)
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To: smoothsailing

I predict Lois will have a tragic accident, sooner rather than later.


10 posted on 04/16/2014 8:20:42 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The best way to control opposition is to lead it ourselves." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)
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To: Fledermaus
Is that crap from Fish not the most bureaucratic mumble jumble you've ever heard? Where do they learn to talk so much but say nothing?

It's a core class in bureaucrat school. Jargon 101. They really do speak that way.

11 posted on 04/16/2014 8:26:38 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: smoothsailing

Put.Lerner.in.jail.

Inherent contempt. DO IT.


12 posted on 04/16/2014 8:29:15 PM PDT by Ray76 (Take over the GOP? You still beg! Forget them. Second Party Now.)
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To: smoothsailing
They hope it's the "smoking gun."

My bet: it's the first of many "smoking guns."

13 posted on 04/16/2014 8:36:17 PM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: MeshugeMikey
Interesting this is not just a Judicial Watch post, but from a US News and World Report article.

Perhaps this story might "get some legs".

14 posted on 04/16/2014 8:36:43 PM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement!)
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To: smoothsailing

BTTT


15 posted on 04/16/2014 8:38:07 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: smoothsailing

Must be nice to work in an organization for which “19 months from now” is the same as “just around the corner.”


16 posted on 04/16/2014 8:39:40 PM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: milagro

I pray it does! If it breaks on the so called mainstream...it will fo right to the top of the obama pile


17 posted on 04/16/2014 8:39:50 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: smoothsailing
US News & World Report?

[eyebrow raised]

18 posted on 04/16/2014 10:04:28 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: kiryandil
Mort Zuckerman has no love for Obama, at least over the last couple of years. He's watching the rest of the media soil their reputations trying to protect this blankety-blank and probably sees an opportunity to make his publication a standard bearer (of sorts). If so, I say more power to him. and, although people around here like to slag them, thanks to JW for bringing this whole thing to light.
19 posted on 04/16/2014 10:47:52 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason ("Journalism is dead. All news is suspect." - Noamie)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I predict Lois will have a tragic accident, sooner rather than later.

I take it she would be bumped out of Lois' lane.

20 posted on 04/16/2014 10:51:01 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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To: smoothsailing

we all want her in prison yet who thinks theres no executive pardon come Jan 2016? Start a trial today and she at most is inside a year in some minimum security facility.


21 posted on 04/16/2014 11:12:26 PM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: smoothsailing

It is becoming clear why Lerner took the 5th. She knows a whole bunch of stuff that should put her in jail.


22 posted on 04/17/2014 4:05:00 AM PDT by Senator_Blutarski
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To: Senator_Blutarski

She is protecting a whole bunch of people other than herself. People who have told her to shut up or bad things will happen to her.


23 posted on 04/17/2014 4:22:44 AM PDT by Texas resident (The democrat party is now the CPUSA)
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To: smoothsailing

The IRS scandal’s smoking gun is the exposure of the
adolescent, junior-high-school, pscyshotic treachery of the Democrat party.

IMHO


24 posted on 04/17/2014 5:29:03 AM PDT by ripley
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