The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Lois & Robert

Much to the chagrin of Barack Obama and his Democrat supporters, the IRS scandal will not go away. Sure the mainstream media is studiously disinterested and in some cases, obstructionist, and the Democrats are perfectly willing to allow the weaponization of federal agency, as long as the weapons are pointed at their opponents—for now.

Today, Lois Lerner is scheduled to testify once again before a Congressional Committee, but there are conflicting reports that the senior IRS office will or will not continue to plead the fifth. It's odd that she would do that since the president has told us that there's "not a smidgen of corruption" involved in this scandal—not a smidgen! It appears that Lerner and her lawyers think otherwise.

Commenter "J. Motes" at the Legal Insurrection blog makes an interesting comment about Lerner and the Fifth:
Lois Lerner IS government, and in her capacity as a government official she violated the rights of Americans. The Congressional hearings into IRS harassment of conservative groups are supposed to be seeking information about government violations of the inalienable rights of its citizens.

When a government official, Lerner in this case, is questioned about what she did in her official role against the American people, how can she hide behind the Fifth Amendment right that protects citizens from government abuse? She is the abuser the Founders warned us about.

Whether Lois Lerner is an innocent or a guilty party invoking the Fifth Amendment is not a relevant question at all. She IS the massive power of the government who was railroading the rights of innocent Americans. I don’t believe that any government official should be able to twist out of having to account for violating the rights of the American people by claiming to be an innocent party who is entitled to Fifth Amendment protection. The Bill of Rights, including the Fifth Amendment, belongs to us, not to government, and it protects private citizens from government apparatchiks like Lois Lerner and her fellow tyrants. How dare she lay claim to OUR right as a means of protecting government (herself) from being held accountable for violating our rights?
Of course, Lerner is still a citizen and still entitled to constitutional protections. But it is ironic indeed that Lerner purposely (and more probably, criminally) abrogated the rights of other Americans and then invokes her right to protect herself from criminal prosecution under the fifth amendment. More importantly, she invokes those rights to protect those as yet unnamed people in the administration or close supporters of it who encouraged or commanded her to weaponize the IRS.

In my view, Lerner should be given immunity, forced to testify and name names, places, and events. If she lies or "can't recall" she should be cited for contempt of congress and/or perjury and jailed. Of course, there is a danger in granting immunity. Once granted, Lerner could simply fall on the sword, allowing higher-ups to skate away.

In a fascinating analysis of who may have been behind this travesty J. Christian Adams suggests that White House counsel, Robert Bauer, may have been the architect. Adams writes:
Robert Bauer had the motive to direct IRS policy against Tea Party groups. He is a longtime opponent of First Amendment freedoms and an advocate of government-speech regulation. He also can’t stand the work the Tea Party is conducting to monitor and eradicate voter fraud, work the Republican Party and national campaigns have utterly failed to perform.

During the 2008 election, while representing the Obama campaign, Bauer sent a threatening letter to the Justice Department demanding criminal investigations of people who had the audacity to speak about voter fraud. Bauer even singled out Sarah Palin in the letter. Anyone who “developed or disseminated” information about voter fraud, to Bauer, deserved the heavy boot of a criminal investigation.
Adams details the motive, the means and the opportunity for criminal wrong-doing. Read the whole thing.

The Nixonesque nature of this scandal continues to fascinate. The only real difference between this and the Watergate scandal is that the media is actively working to suppress any meaningful investigation, rather than working to uncover wrong-doing and government abuse, as they did with a vengeance during Watergate. But independent writers like Adams have replaced Obama's trained media hamsters, and we may yet get the the bottom of this scandal. God help this president and the Democrats if that actually occurs.

UPDATE (5 March 2014)

Lerner's testimony has been postponed but the claim is she will still appear. In the meantime, Jay Sekulo suggests a number of pertinent question that learn should answer. Among them:
1. What Did You Know and When Did You Know It?
- Were you or others at the IRS aware of the president’s statements?
- Did you or others at the IRS take any action in response to these statements?
- At any point did you or anyone else at the IRS communicate with White House officials regarding Tea Party 501(c)(4) applications?

2. Did You Know About the Politically-Driven Call to Investigate Conservatives?
- Were you or others at the IRS aware of these demands?
- Did you or others at the IRS take any action in response to these demands?
- At any point did you or anyone else at the IRS communicate with Democrat Senators or their staffs regarding 501(c)(4) applications?

3. Who Else is Involved?
- What did you mean when you called the “Tea Party matter” “dangerous” and when you asked whether the FEC would “save the day”?
- Do you believe it is the role of the IRS to limit the free speech rights of American citizens as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States?
- In your apology, you indicated that you knew the questions the IRS was asking Tea Party groups were inappropriate. Why did you continue to send letters well after you claim you knew the IRS’s actions were wrong?

4. Why Were Only Conservatives Targeted & Confidential Documents Leaked?
- Why were only conservative non-profits flagged for audits?
- When did you become aware of the leak of confidential documents to left-leaning media outlets, who leaked the documents, and what – if anything – did you do about it?
- Please describe all of your contacts with any other federal agency regarding any nonprofit organization.
In reality, the mainstream media should have been asking these questions—in the form of journalist investigations—for the past 10 months. But Obama's trained media hamsters don't want to get any answers that might damage their annointed one—even if criminal wrong-doing has taken place.

UPDATE (2/5/14):
The Obama administration succeeds in keeping the stonewall strong. Lois Lerner did appear today, and again took the Fifth. That's a government official who doesn't want to testify because she might incriminate herself. But no worries, Obama tells us there's not a "smidgen of corruption" in this scandal. Not a smidgen. Disgusting.