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Oversight Chairman Says IRS Is "Dilatory, "Obstructionist;" Subpoenas IRS Commissioner To Testify, Bring Documentation...

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)---- investigatio...
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)---- investigations coming for obama (Photo credit: SS&SS)

The Chairman of the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa,  says the IRS is "Dilatory," (causing delays) and "Obstructionist."  Issa said in a letter to the IRS Commissioner:

"...The failure of you and your predecessors to take timely steps to prevent the loss or destruction of electronic records may impair the effort to fully understand how and why the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative applicants for tax-exempt status. This revelation is merely the most recent in a series of actions that have delayed the Committee's investigation. Due to the IRS's continued dilatory and obstructionist actions, I am issuing the enclosed subpoena compelling your testimony at a hearing of the Committee..."

Issa's response came on the heels of the IRS's notification to Congress that a key figure in the Oversight Committee's investigation of the political targeting of conservatives by the IRS, Lois Lerner, had "lost" emails pertinent to the investigation because of a computer glitch.  Said Issa:

"...I was astounded and disappointed to learn on Friday that the Internal Revenue Service has lost a substantial portion of e-emails sent or received by former IRS official Lois Lerner from January 2009 to April 2011. For over a year, the [Oversight] Committee has sought all of Ms. Lerner's e-mails from the IRS. Because of the IRS's obstruction, I have issued two subpoenas compelling the production of documents, including all of Ms. Lerner's e-mails from the applicable period..."

Issa reminds the IRS Commissioner:

"...Indeed, you testified--under oath--during a Committee hearing in March 2014 that you would produce all of Ms. Lerner's e-mails subpoenaed by the Committee...By the IRS's admission, an unknown number of federal records were permanently lost or destroyed when Ms. Lerner's computer crashed in mid-2011...Congress passed the Federal Records Act (FRA) to preserve key documents--such as those that were stored on Lerner's hard drive--for production to congressional investigators and other stakeholders, including historians and FOIA requesters. The FRA requires agencies to make and preserve records of agency decisions, policies, and essential transactions, and to take steps to safeguard against the loss of agency records..."

According to Issa "...The Federal Records Act places the burden on the 'head of each federal agency' to 'establish safeguards against the removal or loss' of federal records.

Issa tells the IRS Commissioner:

"...Clearly, former Commissioner Douglas Shulman did not do so.  The Federal Records Act also requires the IRS Commissioner to notify the Archivist of the United States if there is reason to suspect that the records in question were unlawfully destroyed.  It is not clear whether former Commissioner Shulman or any of his successors, including you, have taken that step with respect to the documents stored on Ms. Lerner's hard drive..."

Issa's language in the letter clearly describes the possibility of willful deception and disguise by the IRS, and/or, at best, flagrant incompetence when he states:

"...By failing to establish a recordkeeping system that could have withstood the failure of Lerner's hard drive, Commissiner Shulman also failed to comply with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, and the IRS's own internal regulations. OMB requires federal agencies to maintain electronic records, including e-mails, in an enterprise-wide managemen system.  Clearly, IRS did not.  The contents of Ms. Lerner's hard drive apparently were not backed up anywhere.  Furthermore, IRS's own Standards for Managing Electronic Mail Records require that 'IRS' offices will not store the official recordkeeping copy of e-mail messages that are federal records ONLY on the electronic mail system...'  IRS's internal guidelines also required 'IRS offices that maintain their e-mail records electronically [to] move or copy them to a separate electronic recordkeeping system...'  IRS did not do so with respect to Lerner's hard drive..."

On tuesday, Chairman Issa also subpoenaed the IRS Commissioner for documents related to the email loss, "...Lerner's hard drive and electronic devices, as well as documents connected to the IRS's response to Congress..." According to a statement from the Ovesight Committee Issa told the IRS Commissioner:

"...After a year of beating down efforts by the Obama Administration and its allies to obstruct an investigation into targeting, the IRS now says it lost perhaps the most critical evidence...When Commissioner Koskinen testified before the Committee in February, he made no mention of this.  It was only earlier this month, during an interview with a Justice Department official, that the Oversight Committee learned about the existence of subpoenaed 2010 Lerner e-mails that the IRS had not produced.  While this apparently forced the IRS to cough up an admission, we still do not have answers about how and why the IRS tried to deceive Congress about these missing e-mails. This subpoena seeks those answers..."

The statement details the requested items:

  •         All back-up tapes, external drives, thumb drives, or other storage media the IRS used to capture, archive, back up, or otherwise record e-mails sent or received by Lois Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
  •         All hard drives, external drives, thumb drives, and computers Lois G. Lerner used from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
  •         All electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
  •         All electronic files, including, but not limited to, .pst files, relating to the IRS e-mail account Lois G. Lerner used from January 1, 2009, to September 23, 2013.
  •         All documents and communications that Lois G. Lerner printed and/or stored for Federal Records Act compliance purposes from January 1, 2009 to September 23, 2013.
  •         All documents and communications referring or relating to the production to any congressional committee or Member of Congress of e-mail communications sent or received by Lois G. Lerner from January 1, 2009, to August 2, 2013.
  •         All documents and communications referring or relating to the creation of “Enclosure 3” from the June 13, 2014 letter from Leonard Oursler to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, entitled “Description of IRS Email Collection and Production” (enclosed herein).
  •         All documents and communications between or among IRS employees and employees of any Executive Branch entity referring or relating to the IRS’s production of documents to Congress from May 10, 2013, to the present.
  •         All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on August 2, 2013.
  •         All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen on February 14, 2014.

Issa in his letter to Koskinen said:

"...I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the Committee's investigation on the IRS targeting.  For too long, the IRS has promised to produce requested--and, later, subpoenaed--documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.  Despite your empty promises and broken commitments to cooperation, the IRS still insists on flouting Constitutional congressional oversight..."

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Comment by Chalice on July 1, 2014 at 3:24am

I know, Dennis... I wonder that too.  It is pretty sad that 4 members of the Supreme Court want to force Americans to participate in murder.

Still, the truth is we make the changes one vote at a time and where ever we are and as we are called.  Not doing so is like being awake but refusing to get out of bed.

These abuses of power may be the thing that does wake up those who are still snoring.

Comment by Dennis Bartlett on June 22, 2014 at 4:00pm

The IRS is just one of the programs that needs to go by the wayside . DHS , TSA , DOE and many more need to go . By the way Huckabee has been calling for this a long time with many others talking about it . Taxation without representation will remain as both parties love to use it .

When Ben Franklin said " When you give up your FREEDOM for safety you deserve neither " . The FBI did a pretty good job in keeping us safe but with these other agencies Ocrap has gotten his private army on the march . 

How on earth are "we" going to change things ? With 70% of the public uninformed there is no way this fact will change . With the major news corporations on the side of communism the people will remain ignorant .

With all the loopholes the rich still remain the voice of reason . 

The waking up is not happening and I see that on a personal level with well over a hundred people in our group going door to door with exactly the message you talk about . Once the door is closed the flyers go into the file to fill the garbage dumps . 

Name recognition is King and with the Republican Central Committees along with their counterparts we still take orders from their puppets . Most have no idea how these groups play and where they receive they're orders .

Executive orders are being used for everything and were not designed for that purpose and the R's don't want to tread on it because it will eventually be their turn to use them . These are exactly what takes our freedoms away and these "trivial" issues will never be addressed . 

Comment by Chalice on June 22, 2014 at 8:28am

I heard Huckebee call for abolishment of the IRS.  

Both parties do play us, and thankfully more and more Americans are waking up.    I still say, get to the ballot box and start knocking on doors if you REALLY want to see change.

Comment by Dennis Bartlett on June 22, 2014 at 6:04am

This is just another carrot being tossed out for the serfs . If anyone believes this crap they are behind the eight ball , again . 

When will people understand that it is the good cop bad cop scenario once more . The R's have had the purse for how long ? This could have stopped long ago .

There is so much on this administration not abiding to the Constitution "impeachment" should have been prosecuted long ago but they will not . Just the latest mess on our border(s) . The President has but a few things charged to him and one is securing our border yet he has opened it for anyone to come across with total disregard for what is now just a piece of paper . G.W. Bush said it was just goddamned piece of paper. That is a serious breech of the Constitution for which it is impeachable . He was just as guilty as Ocrap .

How many years have both parties played us for fools ? Ever since the Constitution was constructed .The British knew they couldn't beat us in a war but they knew they could beat us financially . How long have "they" played us one against the other ? It's taken many years of legislation unbeknownst to us to get our country to this point and it will continue regardless of who is in power . 

Apathy is the drug that the politicians feed on and we have that in spades . Over 70% of the people are uninformed and don't care because they haven't been smashed in the mouth yet and when they are it will be way too late and I believe it is too late now . Just keep thinking the R's will make things right and we will lose everything or at least what we have left .

Comment by Mona CAllender on June 21, 2014 at 11:44pm
This just talk. Give the IRS this message. "since you not prove your innocence than you are guilty". Which is exactly what they would say to a tax payer who cannot prove their innocence. No more talk arrest them. Lerner and the commissioner. Or stop funding the IRS until they produce the documents. Pretty simple if you ask me.
Comment by Chalice on June 21, 2014 at 10:33pm

This is FANTASTIC!  Thank you for posting it!

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