Judicial Watch announced Monday that former IRS director Louis Lerner’s emails and records subject to FOIA requests and congressional inquiries after targeting Tea Party groups are missing.
Via Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems. Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents. Judicial Watch exposed various IRS’ record keeping problems:
- In June 2014, the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
- In July 2014 Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
- In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
- In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
Tom Fitton, Judicial watch president, response to ‘lost’ report, s:
This new report is shocking but not surprising. We have long battled the IRS in court over its obstruction in responding to FOIA requests about Obama era IRS abuses. It is a scandal that the Obama IRS did not tell Judicial Watch, the courts, or Congress about the loss of government records. Our attorneys will review this report to assess whether we should seek relief and accountability from the courts. In the meantime, President Trump should finally fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and direct the Justice Department to reopen its criminal inquiry into the Obama IRS abuses and cover-ups.
May 04, 2017 // 7:36pm
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that will allow churches and other religious organizations to become more active politically without risking their tax-exempt status.
The order relaxes IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organizations like churches from political speech and activities.
While the executive order signals a promise kept, fully repealing the Johnson amendment would require Congressional action.
Pastor Robert Jeffress told Martha MacCallum on “The Story” that Trump realizes the government needs to halt its “assault” on religious freedom.
- “We are primarily investigating Title 26, which is tax evasion and general fraud against the government,” Mosely also said, according to WFAA.
( Daily Caller ) Criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service raided the Grapevine, Texas offices of televangelist Benny Hinn on Wednesday afternoon.
Hinn is famous for his stadium-filling “Miracle Crusades.” At these revival-style events, held worldwide, Hinn claims to use special, supernatural power to heal people suffering from terminal diseases and various handicaps.
Several IRS and Postal Service agents participated in the Wednesday raid.
The investigators entered Hinn’s offices, then left with boxes — and boxes, and boxes — of documents. The investigators then placed the boxes on trucks at the scene.
Officials offered few details about the scope of the investigation, reports Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA.
“Today, we are here on official business,” IRS criminal investigations special agent Michael Moseley told the flock of reporters who gathered to watch the slow-moving raid.
“We are primarily investigating Title 26, which is tax evasion and general fraud against the government,” Mosely also said, according to WFAA.
“We are conducting a search warrant on the premises. Basically, that’s all I can tell you today,” Moseley added.
An unidentified federal employee told WFAA that the investigation into potentially illegal activities by Hinn had been extensive prior to Wednesday.
Via Varney and Co.:
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) went on with Stewart Varney on Thursday morning to discuss recent developments on Capitol Hill.
Roskam told Stewart House Republicans are planning of filing criminal charges against Lois Lerner.
Rep. Roskam: The Obama Administration was very lenient with the crimes that Lois Lerner committed. And those are strong words that I’m using but the House Ways and Means Committee voted out a criminal referral to the Department of Justice which was completely dismissed by the Department of Justice… We think that Lois Lerner did two things wrong. Number one, she denied people due process and equal protection of the law based on their political philosophy. We’re convinced that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that that’s true. And that’s a felony. Secondly, we suspect that she lied to the Inspecter General of the Treasury Department.
More than 30 lawmakers sent a letter to President Trump last week calling for Obama’s IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen to step down from his post before the end of his term, Fox News reported.
The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:
- Hundreds of conservative groups were targeted
- At least 5 pro-Israel groups
- Constitutional groups
- Groups that criticized Obama administration
- At least two pro-life groups
- An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
- A 180 year-old Baptist paper
- A Texas voting-rights group
- A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
- Conservative activists and businesses
- At least one conservative Hispanic group
- IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
- 10% of Tea Party donors were audited by the IRS
- And… 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative
SOURCE: BREAKING: House GOP to File Criminal Charges Against Lois Lerner in IRS Scandal (VIDEO) – Gateway Pundit
( Daily Mail ) The White House was left fuming Tuesday night as Rachel Maddow revealed that she had obtained Donald Trump’s tax returns, which he filed in conjunction with wife Melania.
In her MSNBC show, Maddow said that the 2005 document had been obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who received it from an unknown source in his mail box.
In response, an indignant White House told CNN: ‘You know you are desperate for ratings when you’re prepared to violate the law to push a story about tax returns from over a decade ago.’
The release concludes that ‘it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns,’ and fired off a parting shot about the ‘dishonest media.’
Johnston told Maddow that as he had not solicited the documents, neither he nor Maddow had done anything illegal.
Maddow added that the First Amendment protected her right to report on the documents, which were the first two pages of his 2005 1040 form.
The White House claimed that Trump paid $38 million on an income of $150 million that year, in addition to sales and excise taxes and employment taxes.
He made a total of $253 million, but wrote off $103 million in losses. Money came from the sale of two New York properties to the Chinese as well as a salary from The Apprentice, which had premiered the previous year.
NY TIMES NICHOLAS KRISTOF ASKING IRS AGENTS TO LEAK TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS, BLACK FEMALE TRUMP SUPPORTER WARNS PROSECUTION
Nicholas Kristof of New York Times is asking IRS agents to commit felony by leaking Trump’s tax returns :
But if you’re in IRS and have a certain president’s tax return that you’d like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eighth Ave, NY NY 10018.
A twitter response from Deplorable Esquire ( a black, female lawyer and Trump supporter) warns of prosecution of any leaker as well as the unhinged New York Times reporter:
@NickKristof As a govt lawyer, it will be my mission to prosecute whomever leaks IRS info to you. Then I’ll ruin you. Carry on.
( Fox News ) A New York Times writer tweeted an invitation for any IRS agent with access to “leak” President Trump’s unreleased tax returns to him for publication.
Responding to a remark by a Vox editor that “the IRS never leaks,” Nicholas Kristof tweeted, “But, if you’re in the IRS and have a certain president’s tax return that you’d like to leak…”
He listed the paper’s Times Square mailing address at the end of the tweet.