You may be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean the IRS isn’t out to get you.
Stay awake on Fridays if you want to follow the IRS targeting scandal.
First, via The Hill, IRS: Five more staffers lost emails:
The IRS told lawmakers Friday that five staffers connected to the agency’s Tea Party controversy besides Lois Lerner probably lost emails due to computer problems.
Those five staffers include officials key to the various investigations into the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups – including Judith Kindell, who was a senior adviser to Lerner, the former agency official at the center of the controversy….
Issa said Friday’s letter showed once more that the IRS wasn’t being straight with Congress, and pushed again for the Obama administration to appoint a special prosecutor.
“The so-called ‘most transparent administration in history’ has given Congress inconsistent information since the beginning of the targeting scandal,” Issa said. “The IRS’s ever-changing story is practically impossible to follow at this point, as they modify it each time to accommodate new facts.”
Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration is currently investigating the missing emails, while conservative groups are suing the IRS in federal court over Lerner’s emails as well.
As Lerner’s senior adviser, Kindell was a key figure in dealing with tax-exempt applications. In a February 2011 email, Lerner insisted that Kindell be looped in on Tea Party cases, calling them “very dangerous.”
Sharyl Atkisson reports that the IRS has not been straightforward as to missing emails, Missing emails: What is the IRS not telling Congress?:
In June, IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified he had no idea who tipped off Obama officials, much sooner than Congress, about missing IRS emails.
“Did you cause someone to find out at the White House, at Treasury, or your IG?” Representative Darrell Issa asked Koskinen on June 23rd.
“I did not,” answered Koskinen. “And if you have any evidence of that, I’d be happy to see it.”
“I asked a question,” said Issa.
“And i answered it,” replied Koskinen.
In a new development, we’ve learned it was IRS Commission John Koskinen’s own chief legal advisor at the IRS, Catherine Duval, who informed someone at the Treasury Department, who told someone at the White House that emails were missing, while Congress, which subpoenaed the documents, was left in the dark.
Duval disclosed that she was the source when she gave closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee before Congress’ summer break. The emails in question are from IRS manager Lois Lerner who’s implicated in the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups.
Duval acknowledged she told Treasury’s senior counsel there were “issues” finding emails.
“We are friends, we talk,” Duval testified. “I believe we talked about it in mid to late April.”
Second, via Judicial Watch, IRS Had “Secret Research Project” For Conservative Donor Lists:
On September 4, we released a new batch of IRS email documents revealing that under former IRS official Lois Lerner, the agency seems to acknowledge having needlessly solicited donor lists from non-profit political groups. According to a May 21, 2012, memo from the IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel: “such information was not needed across-the-board and not used in making the agency’s determination on exempt status.” Outrageously, it wasn’t until one year later, on May 10, 2013, that Lerner finally conceded that the requests for donor names were “not appropriate, not usual.” (These remarks by Lerner were staged and were the first IRS admission of its improper targeting of Obama’s perceived enemies.)
Not surprisingly, the new documents JW obtained also reveal that 75% of the groups from which the lists were solicited were apparently conservative, with only 5% being liberal. So, Lerner and her IRS collaborators knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the donor lists they had wrongly solicited would be filled with the names of those who had opposed the Obama policies.
These new smoking gun documents came in response to a court order from our October 2013 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)) filed against the IRS after the agency unlawfully refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May 2013. The emails are contained in the sixth batch of documents the IRS has been forced to produce in response to the Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit.
Stay awake on Fridays.