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DOJ to Lois Lerner "Let's See What We Can Do About Prosecuting Conservative Tax Exempt Groups"


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BREAKING: New Emails Show Lois Lerner Was in Contact With DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups

Katie Pavlich | Apr 16, 2014

According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for "lying" about political activity.

"I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ ... He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who "lied" on their 1024s --saying they weren't planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS," Lerner wrote in a May 8, 2013 email to former Nikole C. Flax, who was former-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller's chief of staff.

"I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?" Flax responded on May 9, 2013.

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After this email exchange, Lerner handed things off to Senior Technical Adviser and Attorney Nancy Marks, who was in charge of setting up a meeting with DOJ.

Just a few short days later on May 10, 2013, Lerner admitted and apologized for the inappropriate targeting of conservative tea party groups during an American Bar Association Conference after answering a planted question. Further according to Judicial Watch, "In an email to an aide responding to a request for information from a Washington Post reporter, Lerner admits that she “can’t confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum” who had been targeted by the IRS. She then adds that “The one with the names used were only know [sic] because they have been very loud in the press.”

In other words, only conservative groups were being looked at for criminal prosecution.

Last week news broke that Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings' staff was in contact with Lerner about the conservative group True the Vote, despite denying any contact occurred. In this specific instance of Lerner discussing possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt groups through DOJ, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse seems to have been the person to get the ball rolling.

On April 9, 2013 during a Senate Judiciary Hearing, just one month before the targeting scandal broke, Whitehouse asked witnesses from DOJ and the IRS why groups that had possibly "made false statements" about their political activities had not been prosecuted. On March 27, 2013, just days before the hearing took place, Lerner described the purpose for the hearing to IRS staff in an email.

"As I mentioned yesterday -- there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn't feel so comfortable doing the stuff," she wrote. "So, don't be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501©(4) orgs and political activity."

Lerner later acknowledged pursuing prosecutions of these groups would not fit well with the law.

“These new emails show that the day before she broke the news of the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner was talking to a top Obama Justice Department official about whether the DOJ could prosecute the very same organizations that the IRS had already improperly targeted,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The IRS emails show Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is now implicated and conflicted in the IRS scandal. No wonder we had to sue in federal court to get these documents.”

This post has been updated.

Editors note/correction: A previous version of this post stated and implied Lois Lerner contacted the DOJ about criminal prosecution when the emails state she in fact got a phone call from DOJ about the issue. While she was clearly in contact with DOJ about criminal prosecution for tax exempt groups, DOJ initiated the contact in this specific instance. Emails also show Lerner and Flax responded to both recommendations by Senator Whitehouse and DOJ to look into criminal prosecution. The headline to this post has also been updated.

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Stamping out, crushing political opponents is a top priority for the Obama Administration. "The Most Transparent Administration Ever!"

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The noose tightens. Better duck Obama, the "smidgens" are coming home to roost.

Bet you won't hear anything about this on any other news than FOX.

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True the Vote Attorney: IRS Did The Bidding of Democrats Who Demanded Conservatives Be Silenced

Katie Pavlich

Apr 15, 2014

Last night, True the Vote Attorney Cleta Mitchell appeared on The Kelly File to discuss recent revelations that Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings was in contact with the IRS about the organization. True the Vote and its founder Catherine Engelbrecht were targeted after applying for tax exempt status and received nearly identical questions about the organization from Cummings and the IRS on separate occasions. You can read the back story on that here.

New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings' staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.

During her appearance, Mitchell reminded viewers that it isn't just Elijah Cummings who put conservative groups on the radar screen for IRS targeting, but a handful of Democrats who didn't like what these groups were doing in opposition to big government policies.

"Lois Lerner and the top brass at the IRS came to see its role as somehow the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party and Democratic members of Congress and the White House and they began to carry out these activities to pursue conservative groups because these politicians were demanding it," Mitchell said. "All of these people, Lois Lerner, all of them, they have civil service protection and the only difference between what happened in Watergate when Richard Nixon asked the IRS to go after his political enemies was when Richard Nixon asked, they refused. When these Democratic politicians said, 'Go do something about these conservative groups because they're challenging us and we don't like what they're saying about us,' the IRS took it upon itself to do their bidding to try and silence these groups."

As Mitchell mentioned above, True the Vote filed an ethics complaint in February against Cummings and has since bolstered that request with new revelations he was in contact with Lois Lerner about the organization.

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I LMAO when Congressman Issa shut off Cumming's mike in a hearing. Maybe he should have let him continue his rant.

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Hang on - first post in this thread. So, you are saying that a group who files to be tax exempt and then turns around and does political activities instead, an action which is against the federal code, should NOT be prosecuted? Read the email in the first post again, Lerner clearly states that the DOJ reached out to her, not the other way around.

I understand the Lerner hate, I really do, but it's not out of bounds for the IRS to work with the DOJ to prosecute someone if they are committing tax fraud.

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crickets

Bush. Cheney. Haliburton....

Racist.

but it's not out of bounds for the IRS to work with the DOJ to prosecute someone if they are committing tax fraud.

And incredibly, none WERE proscecuted, yet all which were TARGETED were ...

C'mon... you know the answer to this one. It's easy.

They all were ... what ?

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Hang on - first post in this thread. So, you are saying that a group who files to be tax exempt and then turns around and does political activities instead, an action which is against the federal code, should NOT be prosecuted? Read the email in the first post again, Lerner clearly states that the DOJ reached out to her, not the other way around.

I understand the Lerner hate, I really do, but it's not out of bounds for the IRS to work with the DOJ to prosecute someone if they are committing tax fraud.

That's why the thread is titled the way it is. But if you think the request from the DOJ was not political you should think again. Lerner isn't talking to cover for who? Holder thinks politics before he thinks justice.
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Hang on - first post in this thread. So, you are saying that a group who files to be tax exempt and then turns around and does political activities instead, an action which is against the federal code, should NOT be prosecuted? Read the email in the first post again, Lerner clearly states that the DOJ reached out to her, not the other way around.

I understand the Lerner hate, I really do, but it's not out of bounds for the IRS to work with the DOJ to prosecute someone if they are committing tax fraud.

That's why the thread is titled the way it is. But if you think the request from the DOJ was not political you should think again. Lerner isn't talking to cover for who? Holder thinks politics before he thinks justice.

Let us also not forget that it is a crime for the IRS to share personal information about individual tax payers with other agencies in the federal govt. Lerner shared that kind of information with the, FEC, Federal Election Committee and the DOJ. Unless I am mistaken this is why the House Oversight Committee is mulling over filing criminal charges against her. Give it up, she's a partisan crook and its as obvious as the day is long.

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Say the hyper partisans.

Vue, can you find that law for me? I have a hard time believing that 1.)the entities are considered "individual" tax payers, and 2.) that it is illegal if it is within the scope of an investigation, and all of the agencies you named would have jurisdiction in a case involving a criminal investigation (DOJ) regarding tax exempt organizations (IRS) participating against the law in election matters (FEC).

Whether that investigation was justified is not something I have any argument against. I'm just saying this particular batch of emails is nothing more than the GOP standing in an echo chamber and hearing what they want to hear.

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Say the hyper partisans.

Vue, can you find that law for me? I have a hard time believing that 1.)the entities are considered "individual" tax payers, and 2.) that it is illegal if it is within the scope of an investigation, and all of the agencies you named would have jurisdiction in a case involving a criminal investigation (DOJ) regarding tax exempt organizations (IRS) participating against the law in election matters (FEC).

Whether that investigation was justified is not something I have any argument against. I'm just saying this particular batch of emails is nothing more than the GOP standing in an echo chamber and hearing what they want to hear.

You're mistaken about that. There was NO investigation...there was a targeting of conservative groups that Lois Lerner herself characterized as "dangerous". The question is "dangerous" to whom? If the RS had not done such a yeoman's job of stonewalling this investigation and Lois Lerner come correct and not asserted her 5th amendment privilege twice after giving a testimony, in which she claimed she had done nothing wrong, this would already be over. Now the IRS says it will take years to come up with Lois Lerner's emails. How stupid do they think the rest of the world is?

I am amazed that you're discounting the merit of this investigation when there is so much evidence that substantiates every single bit of it. Apparently, you're fine with the culture of lies this administration has evolved into and the discounting everything the "enemies of the left" find that exposes it. The woman is going to prison...mark it down! She broke federal law and she will not be able to hide from that reality much longer. if I was Eric Holder I'd be getting my excuses of racism ready because he is implicated in this up to his neck too!

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Is it possible that the real problem here is the power of the IRS and, that the nature of the tax code lends itself to certain loose interpretations. Assuming the conjecture is all true, this wouldn't be the first time the IRS has been used as a political weapon. God only knows how many people have been audited for purely political reasons. Why don't we fix the system and remove the opportunity for anyone to skirt the law or abuse their power?

Are we too distracted, or motivated. by the partisan political implications to actually fix the real problem? Would you be willing to let everyone involved walk away free and clear if the real problem was fixed? Which is more important, politics or government? I have heard a lot of political statements from the left and right but, I have yet to hear one congressman suggest fixing the system so that the IRS could not be used as a political tool.

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Is it possible that the real problem here is the power of the IRS and, that the nature of the tax code lends itself to certain loose interpretations. Assuming the conjecture is all true, this wouldn't be the first time the IRS has been used as a political weapon. God only knows how many people have been audited for purely political reasons. Why don't we fix the system and remove the opportunity for anyone to skirt the law or abuse their power?

Are we too distracted, or motivated. by the partisan political implications to actually fix the real problem? Would you be willing to let everyone involved walk away free and clear if the real problem was fixed? Which is more important, politics or government? I have heard a lot of political statements from the left and right but, I have yet to hear one congressman suggest fixing the system so that the IRS could not be used as a political tool.

I don't know what difference it makes what I'd be willing to do. The political element was initiated by the IRS which is not supposed to be a politicized agency. True enough this is not a landmark case with regard to it being the first time but this is a country that has laws. Actually, I dont think the investigation is being politicized by the right nearly as much as it is by the left. After all, Elijah Cummings in all his manufactured righteous indignation about the proceedings was actually involved in acquiring information from Lois Lerner about True the Vote a Tea Party group. Obviously, the investigation was "a witch hunt" in his world. Funny how it works that way, isn't it?

There is no system that is fool proof from corruption. However, when corruption is identified, it is a waste of time asking questions about how do we fix the system. Corruption is corruption and needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am amazed that when a republican on the committee speaks it is always portrayed as political expediency but, when a democrat speaks, its heeded as if they're speaking from a higher authority. Ask Eric Holder to explain upholding the law....or not...for purely political reasons. He and Obama are the masters at that.

It all boils down to...."punishing our enemies and rewarding our friends" ....Barrack H Obama

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The pansy-ass liberals would be whining like the babies they are if the shoe was on the other foot. This BS needs to be stopped and those guilty need to be put in prison. America is supposed to be run by the rule of law and Obama et al are thrashing that. And if the GOP gets control of the power they need to know that their ass's will be in prison if they do likewise.

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Say the hyper partisans.

Vue, can you find that law for me? I have a hard time believing that 1.)the entities are considered "individual" tax payers, and 2.) that it is illegal if it is within the scope of an investigation, and all of the agencies you named would have jurisdiction in a case involving a criminal investigation (DOJ) regarding tax exempt organizations (IRS) participating against the law in election matters (FEC).

Whether that investigation was justified is not something I have any argument against. I'm just saying this particular batch of emails is nothing more than the GOP standing in an echo chamber and hearing what they want to hear.

You're mistaken about that. There was NO investigation...there was a targeting of conservative groups that Lois Lerner herself characterized as "dangerous". The question is "dangerous" to whom? If the RS had not done such a yeoman's job of stonewalling this investigation and Lois Lerner come correct and not asserted her 5th amendment privilege twice after giving a testimony, in which she claimed she had done nothing wrong, this would already be over. Now the IRS says it will take years to come up with Lois Lerner's emails. How stupid do they think the rest of the world is?

I am amazed that you're discounting the merit of this investigation when there is so much evidence that substantiates every single bit of it. Apparently, you're fine with the culture of lies this administration has evolved into and the discounting everything the "enemies of the left" find that exposes it. The woman is going to prison...mark it down! She broke federal law and she will not be able to hide from that reality much longer. if I was Eric Holder I'd be getting my excuses of racism ready because he is implicated in this up to his neck too!

It's weird, because I don't see any slam dunk evidence, especially if she can't be compelled to testify. I am going to chalk it up to different colored glasses. Nothing wrong with that, happens with almost everything.

Btw, just so I am clear: when I said hyper partisan earlier it was totally meant as friendly ribbing. I hope nobody took offense.

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Smoke=Fire. It's a no brainer. People don't plead the fifth because they're honest. They do it not to self incriminate.

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Smoke=Fire. It's a no brainer. People don't plead the fifth because they're honest. They do it not to self incriminate.

So we were guilty of paying Cam, then? I mean...smoke, fire, you do the math.

Also, pleading the fifth can't be used against you in court...because, you know, the constitution. The fifth amendment says you cannot be forced to testify against yourself - it says nothing about guilt or innocence, just that if the testimony could be used against you (even if you are innocent), you have the right to remain silent.

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Smoke=Fire. It's a no brainer. People don't plead the fifth because they're honest. They do it not to self incriminate.

So we were guilty of paying Cam, then? I mean...smoke, fire, you do the math.

Also, pleading the fifth can't be used against you in court...because, you know, the constitution. The fifth amendment says you cannot be forced to testify against yourself - it says nothing about guilt or innocence, just that if the testimony could be used against you (even if you are innocent), you have the right to remain silent.

All that may be true but what you are not admitting is that Lois Lerner gave a testimony of her innocence. Prior to asserting her 5th amendment rights the 1st time she stated that "she had done nothing wrong and had broken no laws." By virtue of that statement she, in effect, waived her right to plea the 5th.

I liked Trey Goudy's(former federal prosecutor)reasoning wherein he opines that after she testified to her innocence she waived her 5th amendment rights because that is like a bank robber saying "I am innocent but I refuse to answer questions as to why my fingerprints are all over the that safe." Thats is not how the 5th amendment provision is designed to work. Besides if she had done nothing wrong and had broken no laws there would be no need to take the 5th. Now, Im sure you'll counter with some tortured logic, to the effect, that has nothing to do with it but, the bottom line is..she waived her right to plea the 5th when she presented her testimony of her innocence.

BTW, you also statw you dont see any smoking gun evidence that implicates her guilt. Its definitely there, look a little closer.

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So the irs shouldn't care if groups lie about their status-- got it. The lack of critical thinking displayed in this thread is very sad.

So the the Citizens of the US should not be concerned when the IRS goes after only one group, no matter what that group is?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Black Civil Rights Groups lying, you are okay with that?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Morris Dees & the SPLC, you are okay with that?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Liberal Networks, PACs, or Websites, you are okay with that?

Or are you just okay with WHO they are targeting this time?

What Nixon did was illegal. If the IRS, NSA, & CIA (hacking Congressional PCs) is doing what they are claimed to be doing now, it should be stopped because it is illegal, not let to go on because it temporarily benefits you politically.

You are right tho, The lack of critical thinking displayed in this thread IS VERY SAD.

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So the irs shouldn't care if groups lie about their status-- got it. The lack of critical thinking displayed in this thread is very sad.

So the the Citizens of the US should not be concerned when the IRS goes after only one group, no matter what that group is?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Black Civil Rights Groups lying, you are okay with that?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Morris Dees & the SPLC, you are okay with that?

If the IRS starts targeting "only" Liberal Networks, PACs, or Websites, you are okay with that?

Or are you just okay with WHO they are targeting this time?

What Nixon did was illegal. If the IRS, NSA, & CIA (hacking Congressional PCs) is doing what they are claimed to be doing now, it should be stopped because it is illegal, not let to go on because it temporarily benefits you politically.

You are right tho, The lack of critical thinking displayed in this thread IS VERY SAD.

Actually, for those reasons, everyone should be concerned about getting to the bottom of this. Targeting citizens because of their political affiliation is plainly wrong regardless of which side of the political spectrum is being targeted. However, if previous administrations chose to ignore similar wrong doing thats their prerogative.

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Smoke=Fire. It's a no brainer. People don't plead the fifth because they're honest. They do it not to self incriminate.

Simple concept, huh. Seems like some people are trying to equate taking the 5th with actual innocence. All that means is she can't be compelled to implicate herself; that is where the legal system comes in. No difference in her pleading the 5th and an axe murderer lawyer-ing up.
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Smoke=Fire. It's a no brainer. People don't plead the fifth because they're honest. They do it not to self incriminate.

Simple concept, huh. Seems like some people are trying to equate taking the 5th with actual innocence. All that means is she can't be compelled to implicate herself; that is where the legal system comes in. No difference in her pleading the 5th and an axe murderer lawyer-ing up.

Incrimination does not necessarily spring from guilt, though. If there is circumstantial evidence that, regardless of guilt or innocence, would give the APPEARANCE of guilt, you are protected against being forced to testify.

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