And the most absurd Democrat is…

Featured image In an astute Wall Street Journal column almost exactly one year ago, my daughter Eliana named House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings “The IRS’s best friend in Congress.” And that was before Cummings’s moving tribute to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in last night’s hearing! In his column on last night’s hearing, Byron York names Cummings the best supporting actor. Having watched the hearing, I would say the competition for »

That Krazy Koskinen

Featured image I dutifully watched IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testify before the House Oversight Committee regarding the “lost” Lois Lerner emails last night. Koskinen’s specializes in audacity, Obama style. He serves as front man for the Democrats in the scandals that beset the IRS and he’s not giving an inch. In his capacity as front man, the audacity not only comes in handy, it is a bona fide occupational qualification. According to »

Turnaround specialist uninterested in turning IRS around

Featured image IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is known as a “turnaround specialist” who helped rescue failed or failing enterprises. Unfortunately, it is clear from Koskinen’s strident testimony before Congress that he has no intention of turning the IRS around. His intention, instead, is to stonewall. The only change Koskinen seemed interested in during his recent testimony is more funding for the IRS. Koskinen may have a background as a turnaround specialist, but »

The IRS scandals: An evidentiary note

Featured image Yesterday on FOX News Sunday Chris Wallace invited Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell and reptilian Democratic hack Julian Epstein to discuss the IRS scandals in the context of the “lost” IRS emails. More than one scandal inheres in the events, including Obama’s declaration of innocence regarding those involved; I therefore refer to the IRS scandals. The video of the FOX News Sunday segment is below and is worth a look if »

On the IRS Emails, the Plot Thickens

Featured image It has emerged over the last few days that at the time of Lois Lerner’s hard drive crash, the IRS had a contract with a company called Sonasoft (“Email archiving done right.”) Sonasoft promoted its relationship with the IRS in 2009: “If the IRS uses Sonasoft products to backup their servers why wouldn’t you choose them to protect your servers?” So why doesn’t that solve the problem of the missing »

Helton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour

Featured image IRS Commissioner John Koskinen turned in a memorable performance before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday morning. I wrote about it here. Koskinen looks like he was sent by central casting to front for the Democrats in the IRS scandals. Indeed, he reminds me of the character actor Percy Helton, whom you would have seen in dozens of movies and television shows if you are anywhere near my »

Was the IRS’s War on Conservatives the Result of Legal Ignorance?

Featured image Carl Levin is widely, and I think correctly, credited with inspiring the IRS to go after conservative non-profits. But Levin’s initiative may have been attributable (along with partisan animus, obviously) to his own failure to understand the applicable law. This March 2013 New York Times article is revealing. Written by Joe Nocera, it is a paean to Levin’s supposedly wonderful service in the Senate. But note how the article concludes: »

On the lost IRS emails

Featured image Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column yesterday took a look at the “lost” IRS emails. Strassel’s column is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall but easily accessible via Google. If you missed it, however, Walter Olson extracted this nugget: According to Strassel’s column today, the contents of Lois Lerner’s hard drive were wiped out by forces unknown “about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived,” that is to say, a letter »

Bill Henck: Inside the IRS, part 4

Featured image William Henck has worked inside the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. We posted his personal account, including his testimony to a retaliatory audit conducted by the IRS against him, this past February in “Inside the IRS.” We followed up with part 2 in May and part 3 earlier this month. When we posted the second of Bill’s two items in May, I »

On the Missing IRS Emails, Two Observations

Featured image As Scott noted earlier today, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House and Ways and Means Committee this morning. Koskinen was grilled about Lois Lerner’s lost emails, and was unapologetic. It is clear that the IRS made no systematic effort to retain emails beyond six months, and Koskinen testified that this is OK because emails are not necessarily “records.” Documents that are not “records” can be deleted at will. »

Ryan to IRS: “Nobody believes you”

Featured image IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House and Ways and Means Committee this morning. The committee has posted Koskinen’s opening statement online here. In his testimony, we learn that in IRS-world, agency emails are not considered records subject to preservation under otherwise applicable law. According to Koskinen, the agency’s “email system is not being used as an electronic record keeping system.” Koskinen added that “it should be remembered that »

Comey’s conundrum

Featured image I urge readers following the IRS scandals to review the sworn testimony of FBI Director James Comey in response to the questions posed to him by Rep. Darrell Issa before the House Judiciary Committee on June 11 (video below). Rep. Issa homed in on the transmission of 1.1 million 501(c)(4) documents in a database submitted to the FBI by ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in 2010. The database (I’ll refer to »

What Happened to the 1.1 Million Pages of Data on Nonprofits that IRS Gave the FBI? Comey Explains

Featured image We wrote here and here about the IRS’s transfer of 1.1 million pages of documents about 501(c)(4) organizations to the FBI in October 2010. We now know that the documents included confidential taxpayer information, which means that it was a criminal offense for Lois Lerner to transmit them to the FBI. Presumably this is one reason (not necessarily the only one) why Lerner sought refuge in the privilege against self-incrimination. »

Cleta Mitchell to the IRS: An update

Featured image Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell represents True the Vote, one of the groups illegally targeted by the IRS in the scandals that have exposed the agency as a partisan operation. True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht has been harassed by federal law enforcement authorities representing three different federal agencies. Last week’s disclosure of the “loss” of thousands of emails subject to production by the IRS in the litigation was the subject of »

Obama’s IRS Sent the FBI 1.1 Million Pages of Taxpayer Documents: An Update

Featured image As I wrote here, one of the Obama administration’s most appalling scandals has gone largely unremarked. In the Fall of 2010, as part of its effort to stem the conservative uprising that was occurring at that time, the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Lois Lerner and Sarah Ingram, sent the FBI 21 disks containing 1.1 million pages of taxpayer filings. The IRS’s purpose was to give the FBI »

Hillary does Fox

Featured image Hillary Clinton appeared on Fox News this evening, fielding questions for almost half an hour from Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren. Clinton’s demeanor was good throughout. She was friendly, receptive to the questions, and adroit in her answers without, for the most part, appearing too evasive. Clinton benefitted from the approach of the two questioners. Neither Baier nor Van Susteren was belligerent. And though both were as persistent as »

Lois Lerner’s emails — a former IRS IT specialist’s take

Featured image No objective lawyer who has been involved in “eDiscovery” — the discovery during litigation of emails and other electronic documents — will credit the Obama administration’s claim that, by accident, years of Lois Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. John explained why here. Moreover, as Bryan Preston at PJ Media reports, a former IRS IT specialist is equally skeptical. The individual in question worked on the IRS’s contract with Computer Sciences »