January 14, 2014

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't plan to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service's heightened scrutiny of conservative groups..."

"... law-enforcement officials said, a move that likely will only intensify debate over the politically charged scandal."
The officials said investigators didn't find the kind of political bias or "enemy hunting" that would amount to a violation of criminal law. Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn't understand, according to the law-enforcement officials....

With this year's midterm elections heating up, the FBI's decision will feed both parties' stories about why—or whether—the IRS scandal mattered. ...

86 comments:

Unknown said...

Just move along ... nothing to see here ... oh, look, a big traffic jam on a bridge!

Mark said...

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

dix said...

Wait, wasn't there a 'disparate impact' on conservatives?

Matthew Sablan said...

I can't say I'm surprised, but I feel kind of sad that this just means I have to view everything the FBI does now under the same lens that I view the IRS. Is the FBI actually ACTING like the FBI, or is it just acting the political interests of the Party?

Tank said...

Who Whom.

End of story.

virgil xenophon said...

I'm absolutely shocked, SHOCKED!!

Fen said...

When I'm POTUS, all departments of the Executive Branch will turnover. All federal employees will be released, and may not reapply for a state or federal position for a period of 8 years.

RecChief said...

no kiddin'. and I echo what Matthew Sablan said.

Birkel said...

Conservatives need to file civil rights lawsuits against the Executive Branch, the IRS and the individuals involved. Discovery is needed. Pull all the E-mails and get detail-oriented lawyers with personal financial interests on the case.

Lawfare needs to be fought diligently on both sides! And Jay Sukulow cannot be the only lawyer willing to fight these cases.

Mark said...

Matthew, the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, which reports to Eric Holder. Doesn't that answer your question?

tim in vermont said...

Once Lois Lerner took the 5th, there was nothing anybody could do anyway. There is no scandal here. If there was, I am sure Eric Holder would be all over it.

Hagar said...

The FBI protects its own interests.

And if the FBI did file charges, Holder's office would not prosecute, so they might as well forget it and hope it will all go away.

Ann Althouse said...

"Once Lois Lerner took the 5th, there was nothing anybody could do anyway."

Give her immunity and get us the info.

I don't so much care about prosecuting anyone, which can amount to scapegoating. What I want is all the information so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it.

AustinRoth said...

This is like Bizarro Queen of Hearts.

campy said...

What I want is all the information so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it.

We already know who deserves it. But he's too AWESOME!!! to punish.

traditionalguy said...

It is chilling to be reminded again and again that our government is at war with us. And the Private Property owning middle class people are the only target of the entire Federal War Machine. The balance of powers is frozen into an unbalanced position.

CWJ said...

All of the above.

I'm very demoralized. The executive branch acts with seemingly no restraint to cover its ass, further its agendas, and smear its political enemies.

The heavy breathing and pearl clutching over Republican "Imperial Presidencies" pales in comparison to the in your face actions of this administration.

Perhaps for me the most demoralizing aspect is how easily nay willingly the career bureaucrats could be bent to their will.

Fen said...

This attitude of "we'll just stonewall until you get tired of asking" seems to have become part of the culture. From the Executive Branch to the DMW to the guy who repairs your roof.

I'm not sure if people are mimicking behavior they see rolemodeled by the White House, or the reverse.

damikesc said...

So, Republicans don't move to gut funding of the IRS for what reason?

It's not like the agency is popular. Since this action isn't criminal, then CLEARLY, they need far less money to minimize the havoc they can cause.

wenbrobar said...

Our federal government is a laughing stock, they are so corrupt. Yet the media is focused on a traffic jam, like it is the worst thing going on???

Makes me sad.

jacksonjay said...


Looks like Garage was right, no scandal!

Hagar said...

What I want is all the information so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it.

Which is why you are not going to get it; not from this Justice Dept., anyway!

Ann Althouse said...

"Which is why you are not going to get it; not from this Justice Dept., anyway!"

That too is a basis for criticism. I'm not naive about that, I'm just rejecting the assertion, above, that "Once Lois Lerner took the 5th, there was nothing anybody could do anyway."

Pogo is Dead said...

"...so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it."

Reason #3126 Why Althouse should not have voted for Obama.

We warned you. This damage cannot be undone. The nation is finished. Lawlessness is increasing. Corruption is escalating.
The entropy to a nation of Detroits is upon us.

By 2008 it was already underway, but that election immamentized the left eschaton.

So here we are. Complaining won't do squat. Blog posts are meaningless. It's just noise.

Unknown said...

Is there another country to which one would consider moving?

jacksonjay said...

Advice from two days ago:

2. The wrongness is similar to some wrongness you need to be able to criticize Obama about, notably the IRS scandal. Don't lose the footing you need for that fight.

Eric said...

Nothing to see here. Besides, we need the resources for the GW Bridge investigation.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, an Obama political appointee, answered "I don't recall" 80 times in response to House Oversight Committee questions as to "whether he discussed with Treasury Department officials regulatory guidance for 501(c)(4) entities engaged in political activities, and whether he discussed with them the inspector general’s report that blew the lid off of the targeting scandal in mid May."

garage mahal said...

Looks like Garage was right, no scandal!

There is. It's a giant money laundering scheme the IRS allows to continue.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

No one has mentioned that the Justice Dept official overseeing the investigation as contributed 1,000$ to Obama's campaign.

Whatever happened to "an appearance of impropriety? "

And shockingly no one even mentions it. We haveslud a long way down.

Basil said...

The interesting question for me is why teh Speaker of the House refuses to convene a select committee to investigate this and the FBI's investigation of it. Seems almost like he is in favor of the quashing of the Tea Party. How could that be so?

Pogo is Dead said...

The Obama Admin Motto, and Hillary's next administration guiding principle:

(Say it with me:)
What Difference – At This Point- Does It Make?™

Should be set to a gospel tune, and sung reverently while she takes the oath.

Matthew Sablan said...

I hadn't heard about the donations.

If the official gave politically, then the official should be recused.

Skipper said...

Don't they have to investigate first?

Pogo is Dead said...

"...then the official should be recused."
You have missed the point.
This is what corruption is.

"Don't they have to investigate first?
Verdict first, trail later (maybe).

Fen said...

"Is there another country to which one would consider moving?"

Texas. The wife and I are already making plans to ditch the house for a loss and move back.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There is. It's a giant money laundering scheme the IRS allows to continue."

-- Big money donors were unaffected by IRS targeting. What was impacted were smaller, non-established, new organizations. Labor unions, PACs, and campaign committees weren't hit at all. All the areas where "giant money laundering scheme" might apply are in no way related to the IRS asking a five-man operation of people making less than $40k/year if they pray regularly.

Fen said...

There is ZERO respect for House investigative cmmtes. You're going to call me up to testify? I will thumb my nose and say fuck you. What are you going to do about it? Whine on CNN? The UN has more teeth.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
I don't so much care about prosecuting anyone, which can amount to scapegoating. What I want is all the information so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it."

Jesus that's pathetic.

Bob Boyd said...

Advisory to travelers: The situation in the west continues to deteriorate. As the regime struggles to remain in power, the President has vowed to crack down on dissidents in the beleaguered states.

Michael said...

Lefties seem not to know the difference between money laundering (see Colorado:dope sales) and campaign finance restrictions.

The FBI could have made this announcement the day after it was discovered that the IRS had been involved in political retribution/silencing of speech.

garage mahal said...

-- Big money donors were unaffected by IRS targeting. What was impacted were smaller, non-established, new organizations

If they wanted to nefariously squelch conservative political activity, why would they go after small, insignificant players?

MadisonMan said...

Everything is political.

I suppose it's always been this way, but now it's more obvious to me.

And Obama thinks I shouldn't be cynical.

Andy Freeman said...

> If they wanted to nefariously squelch conservative political activity, why would they go after small, insignificant players?

(1) Because small can become big.
(2) Because small is easy.
(3) Because there are no big conservative political organizations. (Crossroads is big, but not conservative. Likewise the US Chamber of Commerce.)
(4) Because small can be effective too.

Of course, Garage wouldn't ask that question if small liberal organizations had been handled this way.

Fen said...

If they wanted to nefariously squelch conservative political activity, why would they go after small, insignificant players?

For the same reason that Big Business lobbies for laws to hamstring startups. They don't want competition.

Illuninati said...

The entire Democrat party is corrupt. Chicago Politics has become national.

Birkel said...

What we have here is a classic case of disparate treatment under the law. Democrats used to pretend to care about such things.

We also have violations of the First Amendment on multiple fronts: free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association. Democrats used to pretend to care about such things.

Now Democrats understand that they are closer to true political power than ever before. And people like garage mahal are fine with exercising raw Will to Power over others.

And Democrats have forgotten to pretend that they care about principles any more.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If they wanted to nefariously squelch conservative political activity, why would they go after small, insignificant players?"

-- Because they could, primarily. They managed to chill free speech for hundreds of people.

jacksonjay said...



The DOJ attorney in charge of the IRS "scandal" investigation is Barbara Bosserman.

Quote from WaPo: "Bosserman has donated a combined $6,750 to President Obama’s election campaigns and the Democratic National Committee since 2004, with the vast majority of the contributions coming during the last two presidential election cycles, according to federal campaign-finance records."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/01/09/obama-political-donor-leading-justice-departments-irs-investigation/

garage mahal said...

Since 2010, 178 organizations were approved for tax exempt status.

122 conservative
48 liberal/non conservative
6 unknown

Chilling.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Since 2010, 178 organizations were approved for tax exempt status.

122 conservative
48 liberal/non conservative
6 unknown

Chilling."

Source?

Loren said...

It's good to know your conclusion, before you start the investigation, that way you don't ask any wrong or uncomfortable questions and learn something that might not support the "proper" conclusion.

garage mahal said...

And Obama thinks I shouldn't be cynical.

You need to be more analytical.

Link

Also, non conservative applications were also set aside for further review. They looked for "progressive," "occupy," "Israel," "Medical Marijuana," "Occupied Territory Advocacy," "Healthcare legislation," "Paying National Debt," "Green Energy Organizations," among other keywords.

jacksonjay said...

Maybe this NPR story will shed some light on the numbers Garage cited.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/07/30/207080580/report-irs-scrutiny-worse-for-conservatives

104 conservative groups targeted / 46% approved

7 progressive groups targeted / 100% approved

Fen said...

Garage: You need to be more analytical.

You first: 178 organizations were approved for tax exempt status.

Fallacy. Doesn't matter how many were *approved*, the reason for a lesser number of liberal groups could simply be because there was no need, ie 90+ % of liberal groups ALREADY HAD tax exempt status.

The sad thing here is that you're smarter than this, you already know what I've said is true. Sadder still that you think you can float this BS without being called on it.

garage mahal said...

So, Obama targeted Russ Feingold's group....to make it look like he wasn't only targeting conservative groups?

Sorry, you've been duped yet again. Rich powerful donors made a lot of noise to try and keep their money laundering/influence peddling scheme active. And it worked. Why so many people are such suckers for phony scandals when the real scandal is hitting them in the face I'll never figure out.

mccullough said...

Congress can subpoena Lois Lerner again and give her immunity for her testimony. That should be their first move. The more "I don't remembers" she gives, the better.

jacksonjay said...

Mr Garage:

Your numbers don't make any sense!

298 applications for tax-exempt status

176 applications approved

Obviously, 122 applications NOT approved

Quote from your source:

Of the 176 organizations the IRS has approved, Tax Analysts counted 46 that had either "Tea Party," "patriots," or "9-12 project" in their name. The table released by the IRS indicated that 136 of all approved organizations were awarded 501(c)(4) status, 39 received 501(c)(3) status, and one was granted 501(c)(6) status.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Once Lois Lerner took the 5th, there was nothing anybody could do anyway."

Give her immunity and get us the info.

I don't so much care about prosecuting anyone, which can amount to scapegoating. What I want is all the information so we can wreak political punishment on whoever deserves it.


The Party will never allow that to happen. There is no more rule of law. The law is what ever the Party decides it is.
Our Constitution is a quaint document that no longer applies.
ConLaw is now about teaching history.

Martinkh said...

Yet another female Obamabot obstructiong justice, this time a donor and liberal activist.

Not one Tea Party group was interviewed.

Hagar said...

They did go after donors with nitpicking "audits" from their own agency, the IRS, and also alerted other agencies, such as OSHA, the NLRB, and even Customs to harass, and if possible, penalize, GOP donors.

Birkel said...

My comment is that groups were discriminated against in abrogation of the Constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

And garage mahal's retort is that other people also suffered unconstitutional behavior from the government and that means there's no scandal?

Let's be completely clear:
garage mahal has chosen a team. He roots for the team no matter how underhanded, dishonest or illegal the team acts. All that remains is the Will to Power. No principles. No standards. The team and power, over all.

Dr Weevil said...

garage mahal writes:
"Also, non conservative applications were also set aside for further review. They looked for 'progressive,' 'occupy,' 'Israel,' 'Medical Marijuana,' 'Occupied Territory Advocacy,' 'Healthcare legislation,' 'Paying National Debt,' 'Green Energy Organizations,' among other keywords."

Does it even occur to him to ask what happened next? Is it possible that groups with those words in their names were fast-tracked and rubber-stamped? Well, except for the ones with "Israel" in their name: were the pro-Israel ones dumped in the molasses tank while the anti-Israel ones were rubberstamped?

garage mahal either doesn't know, or doesn't care.

jacksonjay said...


Franklin Graham
Christine O'Donnell
Dr. Ben Carson
Cancer patient Bill Elliot

and other have been audited by IRS in recent years. As Glenn Harlan Reynolds always says:

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

garage mahal said...

Let's be completely clear:
garage mahal has chosen a team. He roots for the team no matter how underhanded, dishonest or illegal the team acts.


A conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory. Well done!

They should all be shut down, liberal or conservative. I've said this all along.

tim in vermont said...

Althouse, just to set the record straight, I was indulging in a bit of sarcasm when I made the statement. I think they have found that she has already waived her fifth amendment rights by making supposedly exculpatory testimony, then taking the fifth when questioning got tougher.

The Godfather said...

If what the IRS did was not illegal, it should be. We need some new laws. The House should pass some serious laws to prevent IRS from "targeting" non-profit groups. Let the Senators decide whether they want to be known as protectors of the IRS. Move fast. There's an election this year.

And Ann: We know who needs political retribution.

Crimso said...

"Why so many people are such suckers for phony scandals when the real scandal is hitting them in the face I'll never figure out."

And yet, you still have to explain why the IRS volunteered an apology for improperly targeting tea party organizations. Why would they apologize for perpetrating a "phony" scandal? They had done nothing wrong and knew it, correct? Do you routinely use a planted question as an opportunity to volunteer an apology for something you have not done?

Pianoman said...

"There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."

garage mahal said...

And yet, you still have to explain why the IRS volunteered an apology for improperly targeting tea party organizations

In a nutshell, because the liberal media was howling 24/7 about the poor Tea Party being "targeted", and Democrats are complete fucking wimps and it was easier to apologize and move on.

Every single application for tax exempt status should be targeted. Or better yet, thrown in the garbage.

Mike said...

Garage, let me address your phrase, money laundering. You do know that Liberal campaign donations and gifts to 501C-3 groups dwarf conservative money in politics, don't you? The entire labor movement is a "money laundering" scheme to supply Democrats with funding. Nine out of ten dollar5s donated to affect policy on "Climate Change" is money given to and by Liberal groups like the Tides Foundation, Ford Foundation and Sierra Club.

With the media, academia, Hollywood, Wall Street and non-profits all overwhelmingly supporting Liberal Denocrat Socialists it is a wonder that ANY Conservative EVER wins. But we do, simply on the strength of one simple truth: people crave freedom.

jacksonjay said...


And, of course, Lois took the 5th and retired because of the liberal media!

And, of course, NOW is the time for the IRS to propose new rules for these groups! Very convenient, don't you think?

Matthew Sablan said...

"In a nutshell, because the liberal media was howling 24/7 about the poor Tea Party being "targeted""

-- Actually, the media was kind of slow on the uptake. It wasn't until apologies were forthcoming and Obama himself said the IRS's activities were unforgivable that the media really started to tear into the IRS.

jacksonjay said...


New rules:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101229716

Crimso said...

"Actually, the media was kind of slow on the uptake. It wasn't until apologies were forthcoming and Obama himself said the IRS's activities were unforgivable that the media really started to tear into the IRS."

I've noticed how many people I know who are inclined to side with the Adminstration on this who have no idea how this story broke (and are caught flat-footed when I ask the question I asked garage). It's almost as though their preferred news sources ignored it until they simply couldn't anymore.

garage mahal said...

You do know that Liberal campaign donations and gifts to 501C-3 groups dwarf conservative money in politics, don't you?

The 501(c)(4) groups are the big hitters. But it doesn't matter either way.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Matthew Sablan said... I hadn't heard about the donations.

If the official gave politically, then the official should be recused.

1/14/14, 9:27 AM


Of course she contributed and of course she did not nor was forced to recuse herself because they are rubbing the peoples' noses in the fact the admin and media have no intention of playing by the old estsblished rules and they want to make damn sure you know it.

Humperdink said...

Inching closer to complete lawlessness in our fair country.

Two things surprise me. 1) The Dems think the serfs will continue to put up with this behavior without serious recriminations. Not sure when, how or how serious, but I think we will see it.

And 2) The Dems think the White House is theirs in perpetuity.

geokstr said...

Garage:

The key is that of the hundreds of conservative groups that applied for 501 status, none, as in zero, zilch, nada, were approved prior to the 2012 election, despite some applying as early as 2009/10. This was quite deliberate. A study by researchers at Harvard (which gives instant credibility, right, garage?) shows that this could have reduced Republican turnout by as much as 5-8 million voters, and Obama won by 5 million.

Many of the groups denied were from swing states, where a swing of a mere several hundred thousand votes and we're looking at Pres Romney today.

IRS/Tea Party study

The entire purpose of the IRS harassment was to weaken and disrupt the Tea Parties' effect on the 2012 election.

Mission accomplished, garage. I'm sure you're proud of yourself and your party. You've made Lee Atwater and Nixon look like choir boys.

Brian said...

On the federal level, I thought it was a US Attorney who decides whether or not to file charges. FBI officers are merely the investigators. Something fishy about this story.

Fen said...

"Mission accomplished, garage. I'm sure you're proud of yourself and your party. You've made Lee Atwater and Nixon look like choir boys"

Maybe you're new here, but appealing to Garage's sense of shame is a wasted effort. He has none.

geokstr said...

Fen:

Nope. Been coming here for many years but am usually commented out after Breitbart, PJM and Instapundit and all their links. Each of them has their own garages/Ingas, and for some strange reason, only one troll shows up on each post. It's almost as if they get an assignment each morning, like, you go infect this one, and you go infect that one, etc.

You're correct, none of them has a sense of shame, because none of them has a conscience, morals, ethics, or principles to base a sense of shame on. But there are lots of lurkers on every site, and the statements of the trolls must be refuted, with links if possible, so they don't fall for their talking points.

Kirk Parker said...

No kiddin', and I echo what Fen said.

Well, except for that wimpy '8 years' part. I figure a lifetime ban ought to be enough.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"I don't so much care about prosecuting anyone, which can amount to scapegoating. "

Good grief! Talk about perverse incentives!!!! Do they ever talk about that in law school, or is that left to the grubby Economics Department.

No no a thousand times no! Go through the IRS, the FBI, and the other departments with fire and sword ("and this time use REAL fire", as Jerry Pournelle likes to say), so that for decades if not centuries after no "public servant" will dare to venture beyond even-handed and respectful treatment of the betters.

No, Lerner and her ilk deserve to sit in a jail cell for years, then be sex-predator-list-quality pariahs when they get out.

Kirk Parker said...

Unknown,

"Is there another country to which one would consider moving?"

Sure! Mars.

Unfortunately, quite a ways from being ready yet. (Yeah, we've been wasting time...)