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Old 05-22-2013, 02:10 PM  
Comrade Crapski Comrade Crapski is offline
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IRS's own internal probe ended in May 2012, six months before election Read more: ht

Tempers flared in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, with members on both sides of the aisle castigating the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups with special scrutiny, and then hiding the practice from Congress.

Rep. Darrel Issa, the committee's chairman, said that the committee learned just yesterday that the IRS completed its own investigation a year before a Treasury Department Inspector General report was completed.

But despite the IRS recognizing in May 2012 that its employees were treating right-wing groups differently from other organizations, Issa said, IRS personnel withheld those conclusions from legislators.

'Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,' Issa said. 'While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General's report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 - May 3 of 2012 - and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later.'

U.S. Treasury Inspector-General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service Lois Lerner and U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin (left to right) appeared before the House Oversight Committee, but Lerner refused to answer questions
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa tried to get answers out of Lois Lerner, but she pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa tried to get answers out of Lois Lerner, but she pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions. Issa slammed the IRS for targeting conservatives, and said his committee would continue to investigate 'until we know that the IRS is fixed'

'American people were misled' Rep Issa slams IRS

'Think about it,' he continued: 'For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation.'

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin testified that he was unaware of that IRS investigation until he read other officials prepared testimony just a few days ago.

Lois Lerner, the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS, made a brief opening statement recounting the recent history of the agency's scandal. Her attorney told the committee on Tuesday in a letter that she would refuse to answer questions by invoking her protections under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

'I have not done anything wrong,' she said. 'I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.'


Issa dismissed Lerner from the hearing, over objections from South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who insisted that she should be forced to answer questions since she had 'waived her right' to refuse 'by issuing an opening statement.'

'She ought to stay and answer questions,' Gowdy said, to sudden applause from some in the audience gallery.

Issa then kept Lerner in the hearing room, asking her if she would answer any questions at all.

'I will not answer any questions or testify today,' she replied.

Issa then asked if she would answer questions about her previous testimony before Congress.

'i decline to answer that question, for reasons I have already given.'

Lerner was dismissed a second time and left the hearing room with her lawyer, but not before Issa cautioned that she could be recalled and forced to testify in the future if committee attorneys determined that she had forfeited her Fifth Amendment rights by making an opening statement.
It's unclear if Lerner will be forced to testify at a later date. One Republican said she should be required to face cross-examination as though she were in federal court

It's unclear if Lerner will be forced to testify at a later date. One Republican said she should be required to face cross-examination as though she were in federal court
Protesters in Washington, DC on Tuesday carried hand-made signs with political messages, including one that wouldn't be family friendly if it were spelled out

Protesters in Washington, DC on Tuesday carried hand-made signs with political messages, including one that wouldn't be family friendly if it were spelled out

One top Democrat breathed fire, warning that prosecutions could result.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch said that if witnesses stonewalled the committee there would be legal consequences.

'If you refuse to answer,' Lynch said, 'you will leave us no choice but to ask for a special counsel or the appointment of a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this.'

'I hope that’s not the approach of the IRS going forward,'he added. 'Because there will be hell to pay.'



Lynch later castigated Douglas Shulman, the former IRS Commissioner who ran the agency while its abuses were going on, for failing to tell Congress the truth about what his agency had already concluded in the investigation that ended in May 2012.

Shulman testified in March 2012, two months earlier that there was 'absolutely' no special targeting of conservative groups going on.

'At no time, to the best of my memory, was I ever given the impression that these [IRS employees] were only [looking closely] at conservative groups' Shulman told Lynch on Wednesday.

'You misled Congress. Make no question about it,” Lynch snapped back.

'You did nothing. You abdicated your responsibility.'

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, linked the tea party scandal with the implementation of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

'This administration, this agency, the very agency charged with enforcing Obamacare,' Jordan said in an opening statement, 'systematically targeted groups that came into existence because they opposed Obamacare - and they started the targeting the very month, March 2010, that Obamacare came into law - expects us to believe it is the work of ‘two rogue agents.'

The Obama administration, Jordan reminded those in the hearing room, also 'told us and told the American people that the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi was the work - was caused by a video.

'The people don’t buy it,' he said. 'The American people get it. They just want this administration to give them the truth. And that’s why this hearing is so important.'


Wolin also disclosed that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew got a heads-up in March - a month before White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler - that an Inspector General report would soon be issued. That notification, he said, came from the Inspector General himself.

'On March 15, 2013, Mr. George had a short introductory meeting with Secretary Lew,' Wolin's prepared remarks read.

Florida Republican Rep. John Mica explained in his remarks why the IRS scandal may have overtaken the other two public-perception challenges that the Obama administration faces, whose being the 2012 Benghazi terror attack and the Justice Department's spying on reporters.

His tax-paying constituents, Mica said, find that it resonates especially well with them.

'I don’t think I've ever seen any investigation or review by this committee or subject that has so riveted and shocked the American people,' Mica said.

'I went home last weekend and almost to a person everyone asked me about this.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2U3PRevJN
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
Comrade Crapski Comrade Crapski is offline
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mods can you delete this thread or lock it? thanks.

Sorry 'bout the double post
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