Thursday, October 26, 2017

Judicial Watch: FBI Investigation Documents of IRS Scandal

This is from Judicial Watch:

Reveal Top Washington IRS Officials Knew About Targeting of “Tea Party” Groups Two Years Before Disclosing it to Congress and Public
FBI interview with IRS senior official reveals: “he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations”
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 294 pages of new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “302” documents revealing that top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew that the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference.  The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”
The FBI documents also reveal that IRS officials stated that the agency was targeting conservative groups because of their ideology and political affiliation in the summer of 2011. According to one senior tax law specialist, “The case seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way … [Redacted] said he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations.” And IRS senior official Nancy Marks, appointed by Miller to conduct an internal investigation stated, “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.”
Judicial Watch obtained the new documents through a federal court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-01239)).
According to the FBI documents, Paz and others were informed in the late spring and summer of 2011 that Cincinnati agents were using “BOLO” (Be On the Look Out) briefing guides that instructed them to be “looking at cases using the Tea Party term.” The IRS failed to reveal such targeting until the ABA conference in May 2013:
She read how the case was screened and it was not because of the organization’s activity. The case seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way.… She wanted to alert the managers about the way the cases were being pulled…. [Redacted] said he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations.… [Redacted] then went to tell [Redacted] said he would follow up on the issue and would let HOLLY PAZ know this was possibly occurring. This occurred in the mid to late March or April 2011 timeframe.
The cases were labeled as Tea Party cases. The screening sheets said the two cases were pulled because of the names and political affiliations.
  • The FBI reports that in its interview with an unidentified IRS Technical Advisor who reported directly to Lerner:
[Redacted] attended a meeting in the summer of 2011. She was not invited, but she was talking to LERNER about something else in the office when LERNER mentioned that it would be interesting for her to attend … Only people from Washington, D.C. were in the room, to include HOLLY PAZ … At the meeting, it was disclosed that one of the ways Cincinnati was looking for cases was using the “Tea Party” term. They were calling the body of cases involving political activity “Tea Party” cases. The concern was that the IRS had put a label on the cases that would be problematic.
In his meeting concerning the briefing in mid-June [2011] [Redacted] met with EOT and EOG [Exempt Organizations Group] staffs and PAZ…. They showed PAZ the briefing paper and the use of the Tea Party term. PAZ was the highest ranking person at the meeting.… Somebody said they may not want to use Tea Party as a labeling term. [Redacted] had recognized they may not want to use the term Tea Party when they were doing the briefing paper, but his plan was to raise the issue with PAZ at the briefing. He does not recall PAZ’s reaction.
According to a ten-page section of the documents containing the FBI interviews with IRS Senior Technical Advisor Nancy Marks, in the spring of 2012, Miller asked Marks to “look into how these 501 (c)(4) cases were being handled and find out what the problems were.” After investigations in Washington and Cincinnati, Marks reported the following to Miller in May 2012 according to the FBI:
It was not until much later that MARKS saw information that [Redacted] was only looking for Tea Party cases…. The BOLO [Be on the Lookout] showed that at various points the criteria called for “Tea Party” name, and then later the ideology…. She told him [Miller, on May 3, 2012] that Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity. When MARKS told MILLER this, he threw his pencil across the room and said, “Oh shit.”
The FBI documents also reveal that the FBI investigated why Holly Paz, the IRS Acting Director of Rulings and Agreements in 2011, sat in on numerous of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) interviews with lower level IRS employees and if her presence improperly influenced the employees’ responses to investigators’ questions.  The documents repeatedly state, “Other than the auditors, the only person present during the [Redacted] interview was HOLLY PAZ.”
The documents contain two separate lengthy FBI interviews with Lois Lerner, the first in June 2013 and the second in October 2013. Both interviews came after Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination before the House Oversight Committee in May 2013. By answering questions under oath in her FBI interviews, Lerner seemed to undermine her earlier Fifth Amendment-based refusal to testify to Congress, since witnesses generally cannot invoke the right in one instance and not another. The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to testify.
And the FBI 302 documents also contain an interview in which Miller reveals that former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman very likely misled Congress in his March 22, 2012, testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee when he said, “There is absolutely no targeting.”  According to the FBI report on the Miller interview, “In February or March, MILLER talked to SHULMAN about the development letters.”  The “development letters” were letters sent by the IRS primarily to targeted conservative groups seeking what the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) later termed “inappropriate” information about websites and donors.
“These new smoking-gun documents show Obama FBI and Justice Department had plenty of evidence suggesting illegal targeting, perjury, and obstruction of justice,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Both the FBI and Justice Department collaborated with the Lois Lerner and the IRS to try to prosecute and jail Barack Obama’s political opponents.  These FBI documents show the resulting compromised investigation looked the other way when it came to Obama’s IRS criminality.”

Lois Lerner got off scott free.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Thursday, October 26, 2017.  Look what they've accomplished -- making War Criminal Bully Boy Bush popular.  May they suffer accordingly.

Starting with this:

AFGHANISTAN: 149,000 deaths 700,000 displaced 2.7 million refugees IRAQ: 268,000 deaths 2.9 million displaced 1.9 million refugees

Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres.

When you needed support from the world as you tried to leave your closet, the world responded with love.

You repaid them by bringing on a War Criminal like Bully Boy Bush, by using your talk show to normalize him.  Shame on you.

Iraq is ripped apart but you got to hee-haw and bray like a donkey seated next to Bully Boy Bush.

You shamed yourself.

You disgraced yourself.

And so many others rush to do the same.

The inability of the Democratic Party to draw a line between right and wrong is part of the reason that more and more voters stay away from the polls.

The ongoing Iraq War is a crime.

And those who minimize it or 'set it aside' are accessories to the crime.

Take another selfie, Ellen, and consider it your mugshot.

And get a crowd around you of all the other sorry asses who sell out ethics and beliefs to grind up against War Criminal Bully Boy Bush.

Moving on to another fake ass, THE NEW YORK TIMES, the editorial board recently noticed that the country is engaged in never-ending wars.

Late to the party, as usual, the paper rushed in to advocate for a draft and so much more.  Bill Van Auken (WSWS) called them out:

“The idea that Americans could be inured to war and all its horrors is chilling,” the Times editors bemoan.
Who do they think they’re kidding? Does the newspaper’s editorial page editor James Bennet (a man with the closest ties to the US state, with a brother who is a right-wing Democratic senator from Colorado and a father who was a top State Department official who headed the Agency for International Development (AID), a frequent conduit for CIA operations) think that the Times’ readership is plagued by collective amnesia?
The “newspaper of record” has done everything in its power to “inure” the American public to war and, whenever possible, to conceal from it the real extent of its horrors—at least when the bloodshed is the handiwork of the Pentagon.
The Times editorial board has played a critical role in selling every US war of aggression for the past 25 years. Its most infamous role was played in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when its senior correspondent Judith Miller conspired with the government to promote and embellish upon the lies about “weapons of mass destruction,” and its ineffable foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman brazenly embraced a “war of choice,” justifying it in the name of democracy, human rights and oil. Once the Times got the war it sought, it systematically obscured its real human costs, which included the estimated loss of a million Iraqi lives.

Rivaling THE TIMES for most brazen, a column in THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER entitled "Iraq may have just turned the corner from chaos to stability."

Another turned corner?

Michael Rubin's the neocon still trying to con the American people.

They conned for so long that all they really have is the over used "turned corner."

The "turned corner" that's always led back to the same place.

You know things are bad in Iraq when the people who cheered the war on from the beginning start insisting "turned corner."

How's that "turned corner" looking in Iraq?

Because I think most of us are seeing chaos and, as Leon Panetta pointed out, looks like it's moving to the brink of civil war.

Top news

Link to headline article

Big KDP commander Waheed Bakozi was killed today near Faysh Khabour north Nineveh (Video of the funeral).

Iraqi PM Abadi heads to Iran. On the agenda: Kurdish separatism and the role of Shia militias in Iraq

Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed PMF are shelling Peshmerga positions from Zummar, North West of Mosul. Now advancing.

STATEMENT: As of 1200hrs, Peshmerga repelled an four-pronged attack by ISF/PMF in NW Mosul. Shelling continues using heavy artillery.

Replying to 
It has destabilized some of the country’s safest areas, displaced over 150,000 individuals and created dangerous security vacuums.
Replying to 
We condemn Iraq’s military aggression in the strongest terms. Intl community must denounce Iraq’s reckless behavior in the last two weeks.
Replying to 
This is a blatant violation of the Iraqi Constitution which forbids the use of the army to settle political disputes.
Replying to 
Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed PMF continue to use U.S. weapons to attack Peshmerga positions, incl Humvees, APCs and Badger vehicles.

A neocon sees another 'turned corner' -- the rest of the world, not so much.

The KRG's envoy to the US Tweeted:

Mr President - Iran-backed militias are attacking peshmerga right now. When will the US say enough?

And US House Rep Trent Franks Tweeted:

It is unconscionable for the United States to continue standing idly by while Iranian proxies in Iraq assault our Kurdish allies.

20-year-old Alex Missildine was killed while serving in Iraq.  Yesterday's snapshot resulted in a few drive-bys insisting that Missildine's body had been returned and that any memorial took place then.

First, I applaud your brave courage and firm insistence that you are always right.  Were you not so sure of yourself, you might try to check something out first.

I didn't lie nor was I wrong.  (I can be wrong and often am, I wasn't this time.)  A memorial service was held for him yesterday at Robert E. Lee high school in Tyler, Texas -- as I stated in the snapshot.

There was no news coverage of it online so I didn't link to any.

How do I know about the memorial?

From East Texas community members, some of whom wrote a piece for HILDA'S MIX this week -- remember what Keesha says, "This is a private conversation in a public sphere" -- what you see at this website, is only one piece of a dialogue between a very large community.

For the drive-bys, this is from Louanna Campbell's piece published today by THE TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH:

As the sun came up over Robert E. Lee High School on Wednesday, senior Karl Hall stood solemnly in the school's courtyard holding a wooden flag case made by one of his classmates. 
He was joined by about 150 students and faculty in the cold morning air as they gathered to honor the service and sacrifice of Army Spc. Alexander Missildine, a 2015 Lee graduate who died earlier this month in the line of duty. 
Jared Cockrum played taps on his trumpet as a detail of U.S. Army soldiers unfurled and folded a flag before Hall, who organized the short student-led memorial service. Hall then placed the flag case on top of the Army memorial wall at the bottom of the school's flag pole. 
"Alex was a friend of mine," Cockrum said. "I met him when I was a freshman. He was my section leader in band. I wanted to show my thanks for his service and his family."

And here is KLTV -- Tyler's ABC affiliate -- reporting on the memorial service:

Memorial service held at Robert E. Lee for alum, Alexander Missildine

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, LATINO USA and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq