Saturday, June 28, 2014

IRS troubles just getting started ? June 28 , 2014 .....BREAKING: Meet Emmet Sullivan, IRS Judge Who Once Sicced a Special Prosecutor on DOJ Lerner, Holder, Obama: Are You Packing Your Bags?

New York Observer.....

BREAKING: Meet Emmet Sullivan, IRS Judge Who Once Sicced a Special Prosecutor on DOJ

Lerner, Holder, Obama: Are You Packing Your Bags?

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner takes the Fifth before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,  March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner takes the Fifth before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Americans are appalled over the false testimony of four consecutive IRS Commissioners, Lois Lerner’s countless acts of malfeasance, and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and specific individuals, among them Senator Grassley. The ultimate outrage came over the lame, intellectually insulting assertions that all of the most relevant emails have gone missing from multiple IRS computers at the same time.
Today, Judicial Watch found a federal judge who has the integrity and fortitude to seek Justice—and this isn’t his first whack at the Department of Justice either. Enter Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. Mark July 10 in RED on your calendars.
Now, “Internal Revenue Service officials will have to explain to a federal judge July 10 why the tax agency didn’t inform the court that Lois Lerner’s emails had been lost,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Earlier today, attorneys for Judicial Watch sought a courtroom status conference “as soon as possible to discuss the IRS’s failure to fulfill its duties to this court under the law, as well as other ramifications of this lawsuit.” It took Judge Sullivan just a few hours to grant the hearing.
Now the IRS will have to talk to Judge Sullivan about all this—and he has the power to do something about it.
Judge Sullivan is the judge who held federal prosecutors in contempt, dismissed an unjust indictment against a United States Senator, and publicly excoriated the Department of Justice. He also had the moral conviction, courage and gumption to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Justice Department and the individual prosecutors.
The IRS, the White House, and the DOJ have a lot of explaining to do (and some emails to locate). The Washington Examiner reports that “No mention was made in that production of the lost Lerner emails, even though the original Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed in May 2013 specifically sought them. Judicial Watch further noted that ‘although IRS had knowledge of the missing Lois Lerner emails and of the other IRS officials, it materially omitted any mention of the missing records’ in an April 30 status update on its document production.”
Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (public domain)
Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (public domain)
Emmet G. Sullivan, a graduate of Howard University and Howard Law who was appointed by President Clinton, is one of the heroes of my new book, Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice. Judge Sullivan ordered an independent investigation of the Department of Justice, which revealed its corrupted prosecution of United States Senator Ted Stevens.
In the book, I write, “An experienced trial judge, Sullivan was a distinguished man and widely held in high regard. He was no ordinary federal judge; he had worked hard all his life on several different courts and had been appointed by three presidents representing both political parties. . . . He had great respect for the rule of law and strived to apply it equally and fairly in all cases in his courtroom.”
In the Stevens case, Judge Sullivan publicly upbraided the government lawyers before an overflow courtroom, “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case. . . . When the government does not meet its obligations to turn over evidence, the system falters.”
Judge Sullivan was taking the extraordinary step of appointing a special prosecutor. He chose highly respected DC attorney Henry Schuelke III to investigate the prosecutors for possible criminal charges. The judge ordered the department to preserve all of its files, electronic correspondence—everything—and cooperate fully in the investigation, including providing Schuelke access to investigative files and all witnesses.
Yesterday, Lois Lerner’s troubles seemed so far away, goes the old song. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. . . .
Emmet G. Sullivan is one judge who knows a cover-up when he sees one.  He has seen this movie before. On July 10, someone should sell admission to the courtroom and set up concession booths outside.

Hot Air.......

Great news! IRS commissioner says you can now use the Lois Lerner excuse if audited


In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday evening, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen revealed that a number of taxpayers are confused by his agency’s conduct. Like the IRS, they would also like to claim that corrupted or lost data prevents them from complying with the tax collection agency’s requests with for several-year-old documents. Koskinen told Blitzer that what may come to be known as “The Lerner Defense” is and has been acceptable to the IRS.
During Thursday’s interview, an eager Twitter user submitted a question to Blitzer which he helpfully read on the air. “Why shouldn’t tax payers use the crashed hard drive excuse when undergoing an IRS audit?” the user asked.
“A number of them have already done that, and the question has been ‘Is there a dual standard?’” Koskinen observed.
“We, historically – if a taxpayer has lost electronic records – have said ‘If you have other indications and evidence of what went on, we’ll take that from you,’” Koskinen continued. “If you lose a document, it doesn’t mean you lose the argument.”
“We actually work with taxpayers to say, ‘We’ll look at other evidence,’ like the 24,000 emails [from Lois Lerner the IRS already submitted to congressional investigators],” the commissioner added.
He concluded by noting that the IRS “will support you” and “you won’t have any problem” if the average taxpayer undergoing an audit behaves in the precise same fashion that the IRS has over the course of the investigation into the admitted targeting of conservative groups.
You might want to hold onto those old tax filings before taking Mr. Koskinen at his word just yet. Something tells me “The Lerner Defense” won’t be as readily accepted by IRS investigators as the commissioner suggests.
Later in the interview, Koskinen appeared to backtrack on his insistence before a congressional committee that the IRS’s conduct did not merit him offering them an apology. Apparently, he determined that an apology to the American people was due:

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,” Koskinen said. “I apologize to anybody who ever had their applications held up needlessly. Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are. Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to. So it’s a serious matter.”

IRS spent $4.4 billion on IT over past five years


A nice catch by Mary Lou Byrd at the Free Beacon, and an instant rebuttal to claims that the destruction of e-mails related to the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS is a budget issue. When Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee haven’t busied themselves with obsequious apologies to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for the Republicans holding his agency accountable for abuse of power, they and other defenders of the IRS complained that the real lesson of the epidemic of hard-drive failures and data lossesis that the IRS really needs more money. According to government records, though, the IRS has spent more than $4 billion on information technology over the last five years:
The IRS under the Obama Administration has spent over $4 billion on contracts labeled under information technology and software despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifying this week that budgetary restraints prevented the agency from spending $10 million to save and store emails.
Koskinen said “declining budget resources” at the IRS caused the agency decided to reject spending the $10 million needed to ensure emails were properly secured.
A review of IRS spending by the Free Beacon shows the agency has spent a massive amount on what it labeled as IT/software and data processing contracts in the past five fiscal years. The official government’s spending website shows the IRS spent $4.4 billion during this time period.
That improves on the Bush administration funding for IRS’ IT efforts, but not by a huge percentage. Over eight years, the IRS spent $5.3 billion on IT during the Bush years, making for almost ten billion dollars spent over the last 13 years. That’s an average of $746 million a year over that period, and $880 million a year during the Obama administration. With that kind of money, it’s difficult to explain why the IRS could afford the kind of data storage that the federal government requires publicly-held corporations to use in Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well. And this data makes it very clear that budget resources were not “declining” at all at the IRS, at least not in the IT budget, despite what Koskinen claims.
That’s not the only questionable claim from the IRS commissioner, either. Last night, Koskinen appeared on CNN to tell Wolf Blitzer that he’s expecting an interim report from the Inspector General soon, and that losing e-mails isn’t the same as losing official records:
Ahem. Koskinen still hasn’t read the IRS manual, it seems, because it’s quite clear that it considers all e-mail messages as “official documents”:  (08-30-2012)
  1. Email messages are official documents and should reflect this perspective. Email communications can be offered as evidence in court and can be legally binding. Before sending an email, you must consider how it reflects on the Service’s image and take into account privacy, records management, and security factors.
And there’s also this at
  1. All federal employees and federal contractors are required by law to preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency. Records must be properly stored and preserved, available for retrieval and subject to appropriate approved disposition schedules.
  2. The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media. Emails are records when they are:
    • Created or received in the transaction of agency business
    • Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities, or
    • Valuable because of the information they contain
Maybe Koskinen should take the time to learn his own agency’s regulations, even beforelearning the law of spoliation. And perhaps Democrats should consider just how it looks to set themselves up as the chief defenders and apologists for the IRS and the painfully obvious arrogance coming from its chief bureaucrat. Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein reluctantly concurred with Mark Halperin on Morning Joe today that the optics of Democratic incuriosity about IRS abuse of power looks awful:
Democrats like having the IRS act as the speech police, but cheering for the IRS is a lot less prevalent among Americans outside the Beltway.