It is just about impossible to keep up with all of the Obama administration scandals, but the corruption of the Internal Revenue Service ranks near the top. Unfortunately, it has gone hand in hand with Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s corruption of the Department of Justice. The perversion of law enforcement agencies for political ends is starkly revealed by the fact that in 2010, as part of its effort to stem the Tea Party movement, the IRS gave the FBI disks containing more than 1.1 million pages of documents on Section 501 non-profits, so that the FBI could selectively prosecute conservative groups and donors.
The facts, as we know them so far, were laid out yesterday in a letter from Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan to John Koskinen, Commissioner of the IRS. The letter includes a series of emails that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has finally obtained, after more than a year of stonewalling by the Obama administration. The IRS originally told the House committee–falsely–that the disks contained only publicly available filings by the non-profit organizations. But the IRS later admitted that it had illegally transferred confidential taxpayer information to the FBI.
The IRS’s purpose was explicitly political. Sarah Ingram, Lois Lerner’s predecessor in charge of tax-exempt organizations at the IRS, wrote in a September 21, 2010 email, the subject of which was a favorable front-page story in the New York Times:
Thanks, as always, for the excellent support from Media. I do think it came out pretty well. The “secret donor” theme will continue–see Obama salvo today and Diane Reehm (sp).
The reference is to Diane Rehm, an NPR radio host. So the IRS, at its highest levels, was trying to advance the Democratic Party’s “secret donor” theme on the eve of the 2010 election, and breaking the law to do so. Could someone maybe go to jail one of these days?
Here is the Issa/Jordan letter in its entirety. You really should read it; hardly anyone will. It tells a sad story of government corruption and stonewalling, the hallmarks of the Obama administration. It also reminds us that there are Republicans in Washington who are doing great work, trying to sustain the rule of law under very difficult conditions. One more thought about that in a moment; first, the letter:
A final thought: I have spent my entire adult life in the world of litigation. It is not unusual for parties to lawsuits to stonewall, to obfuscate, sometimes even to lie, as the Obama administration did here, in order to prevent damaging facts from coming to light. Yet litigants rarely succeed in their stonewalling in the way the Obama administration has successfully stonewalled, time after time.
Why is that? The answer is simple: in a lawsuit, the discovery process is supervised by a judge or (in the federal system) a magistrate. A party that refuses to answer questions or produce documents on the basis of flimsy objections, as happened here–the objections quoted in the Issa/Jordan letter are laughable–will be ordered by the court to comply, and may have sanctions assessed against it. The problem that Congressional investigators face is that there is no judge. Legal process can be invoked, of course, as a last resort, as happens on rare occasions. But that takes years; no judge sits ready to rule on frivolous positions like those so often taken by the Obama administration. In the political realm, the only real judge is the electorate. So far, at least, that is not a reassuring thought.