October 23, 2015

"The Justice Department notified members of Congress that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups."

"There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter."
The probe found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime. We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution," Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in the letter. "We also found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice. Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges."

100 comments:

Lexington Green said...

Obama's DOJ surprises nobody with this finding. As expected.

Once written, twice... said...

Yeaaa! FU hillbillies!!!

Scott said...

This legitimizes the use of the IRS as a political tool for any administration that happens to be in power at the time. And thus, the sham of a nonpartisan bureaucracy vaporizes.

Original Mike said...

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

tim in vermont said...

Fox says hens only felt victimized.

campy said...

"This legitimizes the use of the IRS as a political tool for any administration that happens to be in power at the time."

Since the democrats will own the presidency forever, this is perfectly okay.

traditionalguy said...

The Mafia protects its own soldiers.

But tell me again how Paul Ryan needs to play softball and trust the criminal racketeers that run wild inside their own personal IRS behind a smokescreen of standard operating methods and zero accountability.

Original Mike said...

"This legitimizes the use of the IRS as a political tool for any administration that happens to be in power at the time. And thus, the sham of a nonpartisan bureaucracy vaporizes."

The only option left is to get rid of the IRS.

n.n said...

Setting the Rules of Politics. I hope the Democrats know what they are doing, but since the adoption of a pro-choice doctrine, they probably do not care.

eric said...

More ammo for GOP Presidential candidates.

Seriously, announce today that to use the IRS as the Obama administration did is not criminal, and therefore, if elected, you too will use the IRS in the same way.

Scott said...

I think the backlash is going to be monster huge. That could be a good thing.

averagejoe said...

So I guess they couldn't recover the emails on all those IRS hard drives that suddenly simultaneously crashed after the congressional subpoena. What a surprise that Obama's politicized DOJ couldn't find any wrongdoing with Obama's politicized IRS. I guess that means everything is hunky-dory- It's not as if democrat leaders like the president and the presidential contender have openly spoken of their partisan bias and declared that millions of Americans are their "enemies", or shown a willingness to abuse government resources like the IRS to harass their political rivals or anything like that.

Todd said...

Right! There was targeting but it was not political!

If only [I don't know, let us say] black groups were subject to this, would that same letter have come out after 2 years of stonewalling, I mean investigating AND no charges filed?

I thinks not...

traditionalguy said...

The word is "Lawlessness."

The American governmental powers once contained in a Covenant founding document are now held by Obama inside a totally lawless zone.

Maybe Sharia Experts or the UN General Assembly can vote to come in and rescue us.

Nonapod said...

This administration is truly evil.

hombre said...

Well, now that the Obama DOJ has unexpectedly exonerated IRS partisans of criminal wrongdoing by citing mismanagement and incompetence, we can expect a sweeping reorganization, including firings, to prevent any recurrence of the accidental political discrimination. Bwahahaha!

BTW, as a former career prosecutor, I find it particularly surprising to see the claim that career prosecutors "found no evidence of (criminal conduct)." Such a statement is virtually always false in any investigation based on probable cause - without which basis an investigation is unethical. One would only expect to see the term used by a political hack covering for a boss who presaged the result of the investigation by saying, "There isn't a smidgen of evidence ...."

phantommut said...
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phantommut said...

At some point the Left will notice we've become the worlds largest Banana Republic and they'll all wonder how we got there.

Todd said...

It seems that the left is teaching daily lessons on how to ignore the law and the resulting lack of consequences, that the rule of law means "diddly swat". They should really, really hope that the right does not take this lesson to heart. The results would be quite "chaotic" for the left. I don't suspect that the chaos would last too long though as the left does not believe in at least one amendment that is held dear [and exercised actively] by the right...

Gusty Winds said...

#republicanlivesmatter

BDNYC said...
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BDNYC said...

I expect a similar statement from the DOJ after the FBI completes its investigation into Hillary's illicit server.

SayAahh said...

Et Tu Hillary

MRG said...

"institutional inertia"

Part of the culture. The rule, not the exception. What do want us to do -- prosecute everyone?

David Begley said...

Only appropriate that Lois skates after HRC's performance last night.

Carly's three page tax code would get rid of the need for the Lerners of the world.

The tax code is how DC exercises power.

Levi Starks said...

Wouldn't poor management have resulted in a rough parity in the number of left leaning groups targeted?

Rusty said...

"There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter."


Of course there won't.
Justice is for democrats.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Bush as president, Obama as president -- it doesn't make much difference. Bureaucrats run the federal government. Most of the bureaucrats in Washington think like Democrats.

The book "The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government" by Michael Lofgren comes out in January. From the description at Penguin Random House:

"Mike Lofgren is back with a book perfectly pitched for the frenzied circus of the primaries. His argument this time is that for all of the backstabbing and money grubbing of the campaign season, the politicians we elect have as little ability to shift policy as Communist party apparatchiks.

"Welcome to Mike Lofgren’s Washington, D.C. -- a "This Town," where the political theater that is endlessly tweeted and blogged about has nothing to do with actual decision making. The real work gets done behind the scenes by invisible bureaucrats working for the vast web of agencies that actually dictate our foreign policy, defense posture, and security decisions. Have you ever wondered why Obama’s policies look so much like Bush’s? Seek no further: Hillary v. Jeb is just window dressing. Actual power lies in the Deep State, Washington’s shadowy power elite, in the pockets of corporate interests and dependent on the moguls of Silicon Valley, whose data-collecting systems enable the U.S. government to spy on our every move, swipe, and click.

"Drawing on insider knowledge gleaned in his three decades on the Hill, Lofgren offers a provocative wake-up call to Americans and urges them to fight to reinstate the basic premise of the Constitution."

Link:
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/317654/the-deep-state-by-mike-lofgren/

- DEC (Jungle Trader)

Original Mike said...

"Carly's three page tax code would get rid of the need for the Lerners of the world. The tax code is how DC exercises power."

THIS is what the Repubs should run with. Let the Dems defend the IRS.

Original Mike said...

"Wouldn't poor management have resulted in a rough parity in the number of left leaning groups targeted?"

Yes.

Fen said...

Term limits for all Federal Employees.

The incompetence and corruption has become systemic.

Doesn't matter who controls congress or the executive branch, the leftist bureaucrats are dug in and no longer serve the people.

David Begley said...

Traditionalguy.

Spot on that the Obama regime is lawless.

Obama's greatest legacy is how he has destroyed the Rule of Law in this country.

Obeying the law is now for saps and those not well connected.

Drinks tonight in Georgetown.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Levi Starks,

Yes, that's the question. Why the extra scrutiny for entities with hyper-suspect words like "patriot" or "constitution" in their names? (/snark).

The fact is that more liberal groups (I think one) than conservative groups (I think none) were actually prosecuted under this scheme, but vastly more conservative groups were harassed. And by "harassed," I mean made to give up their finances, as well as things that are illegal to demand, like donor lists. They were under constant surveillance for a couple of years. And then it was announced that there was nothing wrong. Just after the election cycle, as I recall it.

The founder of True the Vote recounts being hit not just by the IRS (two separate audits), but by OSHA and the BATF, all in a short period. That's not coincidence.

Rumpletweezer said...

I bet they were drinking and laughing their asses off while they were writing that.

Christopher said...

The biggest threat facing this nation right now has nothing to do with foreign powers, the economy, or the environment. The biggest threat is the constant and blatant disregard that this administration has shown for the rule of law.

They suppress political opposition, they ignore basic immigration law, they launched a war in Libya without congressional authorization, they selectively refused to enforce their own laws in Obamacare due to potential electoral fallout, etc.

This refusal to enforce laws or punish their allies sends a signal to the opposition that they are no longer protected, that the law will be used as a weapon against them should their opponents gain power. This creates a fear that eats away at the very foundation of civil society over time as the opposition will eventually just refuse to comply through choice.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yeah, what a surprise.

Now, after this, is there anyone still delusional enough to believe that Hillary will be indicted?

Static Ping said...

@Bay Area Guy: Yes, I could believe she will still be indicted if she outlives her usefulness. When Rule of Law breaks down, laws do not apply to you until they do.

Matt said...

Sure, I'll believe that this report was thorough and completely unbiased. In exchange, I expect Democrats to believe the following, which were also studied thoroughly: (1) if the votes in Florida were recounted in the way Gore wanted, Bush still would have won; (2) the only person who did anything wrong in the Valerie Plame affair was Scooter Libby - he lied to investigators; (3) enhanced interrogation techniques are legal; (4) no one lied about the intelligence leading up to the Iraq War; and (5) Bush could not have stopped 9/11. Deal?

Bob Ellison said...

Pretty good timing from the DOJ.

Hagar said...

The "targeting" was only a part of it. There were also the multiple audits of Republican donors, sharing taxpayer information with other agencies and even groups ouside the government, etc. And it was all one way - directed at Republicans.

This is truly the Chicago way.

James Pawlak said...

Somehow I recall "Violation Of Civil Rights Under Color Of Law"--Which was the case in the IRS's misconduct/

MadisonMan said...

This way Obama doesn't have to pardon them all when he leaves office.

Mark said...

Another republican conspiracy goes into the trashbin where it belongs.

furious_a said...

This is my SHOCKED face :-|

Steve Uhr said...

Career prosecutors, not political hacks, concluded no criminal conduct. I'm sure they would have rather found criminal wrongdoing.

But of course the Althouse commentators know better

David said...

No evidence? That's ridiculous.

Sounds like DOJ does not know the difference between evidence and proof. They did not think it was proof, in their objective unbiased but massively intimidated opinion.

Careers were in danger, and not the careers of the suspects.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There were also the multiple audits of Republican donors, sharing taxpayer information with other agencies and even groups ouside the government"

-- That was illegal. This is ridiculous that absolutely NOTHING is going to happen to people who clearly broke the law. But, hey, being on team blue has advantages.

EMD said...

Is it Friday? Of course it's fucking Friday.

Bob Ellison said...

Leftists assume everything is political. Work it out from that presumption:

* The IRS and DOJ are of course political institutions.

* Every grant of non-profit status is a political decision.

* This DOJ declaration that there's no there there in the IRS scandal is just an admission of what we all knew to be true: leftists control the executive right now, so of course Lerner and her folks slide on by.

Silly rightists! Rules are for kids!

Hagar said...

"We're government, so what are you gonna do about it, hey!"
Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!

Original Mike said...

Mark said: "Another republican conspiracy goes into the trashbin where it belongs."

Please answer Levi's 3:04pm question.

Dr Weevil said...
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Dr Weevil said...
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Dr Weevil said...

It seems to me that it would be more accurate to write "There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency [in the next fifteen months]." Unless, of course, the various statutes of limitations on every one of their alleged crimes runs out before January 20, 2017. Do they? A law professor's site should be able to tell us.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bad management somehow managed to target the Right. Just bad luck, fellows, bad luck.

Honestly, though? Fuuuuuuuuuuck you guys. Fuck respect for government institutions, fuck the Schoolhouse Rock ideal of citizenship.

I'm not a Leftist. The Government hates me? Fine, it's mutual.

New movement: Tax The IRS. Encourage everyone to work their returns to pay $20 less than they otherwise would have. You assholes wanna use our Gov against us, fine, let's start defunding your asses. Greece, here we come.

furious_a said...

Will the Statute of Limitations extend into the next Administration?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Too bad there aren't some legislators with the power to subpoena the parties in question, grant them immunity (whether they want it or not) and compel their testimony, isn't it? I mean, it's not like withholding immunity will impair the DOJ prosecutions that we now are certain won't come. Oh well, Stupid Party.

Dr Weevil said...

I wonder how many on the left who write like Steve Uhr ("Career prosecutors, not political hacks, concluded no criminal conduct", etc.) and Mark ("Another republican conspiracy goes into the trashbin where it belongs") actually think like Once Bitten by the Stupidity Tick ("FU hillbillies!!!") but are clever enough not to write down what they think where anyone can read it.

Michael K said...

"the sham of a nonpartisan bureaucracy vaporizes."

Yes and this makes it all the more important for Hillary to win next year. All in for the next "election."

Original Mike said...

Mark?

MadisonMan said...

"Wouldn't poor management have resulted in a rough parity in the number of left leaning groups targeted?"

No, that would be sloppy management.

CWJ said...

Wow, just Wow.

Big Mike said...

The DOJ closed this investigation the day before they started it.

Michael K said...

I wonder if a class action civil suit could get going?

Rusty said...

Just another banana republic

CWJ said...

Mark wrote -

"Another republican conspiracy goes into the trashbin where it belongs."

Pray tell, which Republicans outed this targeting in the first place. Wasn't it Lerner herself getting out in front of the IG's forthcoming report?

Larry J said...

When asked what type of government the Constitution established, Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Under Obama, we're a banana republic. And to think, Democrats are cheering this. Turnabout is fair play and the precedent is now established. Payback will be a bitch, bitches.

Anonymous said...

Locked and loaded!! Living in a lawless country...I feel the need to protect myself.... We live in an upside down, lawless land. We are turning into a third world country right in front of our eyes...Thanks Obama....You are useless and will always be known as the worst lying lawless president ever....George W has NOTHING on you!!!

Steve Uhr said...

Mr. Weevil -- it may be difficult for you to wrap your mind around, but some people are able to focus on uncovering the truth and put politics aside. As for me, I could not care less what they decided. I'm happy either way :)

dbp said...
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dbp said...

Friday afternoon news dump: Isn't that alone proof, as if more were needed, of guilty intent?

Don't worry, if a Republican takes the White House, the press will suddenly discover their long lost respect for the rule of law.

hombre said...

"Wouldn't poor management have resulted in a rough parity in the number of left leaning groups targeted."

Good question from Levi.

We know that there was probable cause to believe a criminal act may have occurred. That is, the disparate numbers plus the inordinate delays in the processing of conservative groups' applications. We know this as a result of reported testimony by victims before congressional panels, FOIA disclosures by IRS, results of congressional investigations and admissions by IRS personnel.

Criminal conduct normally requires the coincidence of an act and criminal intent these things in the paragraph above constitute the "acts." Next prosecutors look for evidence of intent. Absent a confession, intent is inferrable from the circumstances.

Here, we have statements made by Lerner demonstrating ill will towards the victims, the disparities and delays discriminating against conservative organizations, false statements made by IRS officials regarding the availability of relevant emails and other evidence, the recalcitrance itself of IRS personnel to provide subpoenaed material all of which are circumstantial evidence of criminal intent. Additionally, a properly conducted investigation would have included determining the voter registration and political activities - Hatch Act notwithstanding - of any suspects, offers of immunity, etc., etc.

Given that the nature and number of the disparities Levi noted are likely prima facie evidence of a crime, whether or not the circumstantial evidence warrants a finding of criminal intent is a question of fact that should probably be left to a jury, given that the integrity of the IRS is at issue. I.e.: Were the acts intentional for the purpose of damaging the victims, or were they not?

Under no circumstances would any respectable professional prosecutor offer no more than a cheesy letter saying in essence: "Regardless of the considerable evidence in the public domain to the contrary, we concur with our boss, President Obama, that there is "not a smidgen of evidence" that a crime has been committed by his friends and allies at the IRS.

Dr Weevil said...

Steve Hurh seems to assume I was talking about him when I asked about those who write like him and think like Once Bitten. He needs to read more carefully. I did not allege that he was one such himself, but his insulting reply suggests that he is.

hombre said...

Correction of run on sentence, paragraph 2 at 5:16: Criminal conduct normally requires the coincidence of an act and criminal intent. (T)hese things in the paragraph above constitute the "acts." Next prosecutors look for evidence of intent. Absent a confession, intent is inferrable from the circumstances.

Jupiter said...

"Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges."

Experienced career prosecutors, huh? Care to name one of them? Would he, she or xe like to stand up and take a round of applause? I am trying to think of where someone would get experience prosecuting the IRS. How many former IRS employees do you suppose are currently rotting in federal prison, paying their debt to society for their abuses?

Once written, twice... said...

You hillbillies better stockpile your guns. After we elect Hillary, we will never allow a Republican president again.

John said...

Quell surprise.

PB said...

isn't a civil rights violation a criminal act?

I'm not surprised. The DOJ is not going to charge someone for doing what Obama wanted.

Just wait until Hillary is president. She'll make Barack look like a petty thief.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"This way Obama doesn't have to pardon them all when he leaves office."

Hopefully that's the case. There was no way Bark's DOJ was going to pursue this. But if they're not pardoned (and why would they be if they're innocent?) then presumably they can be prosecuted down the road. Lerner & Co. are going to be looking over their shoulders for a long time.

Michael K said...

"You hillbillies better stockpile your guns. After we elect Hillary, we will never allow a Republican president again."

Oh, we have. Yes, we have.

Molon Labe,

Qwinn said...

I used to think that Democrats had become so arrogant that they assumed that until they admitted doing something wrong, we couldn't hold them responsible. Their admitting guilt, no matter how large the mountains of evidence accumulated, was really the only "smoking gun" they would permit.

It's gone so far beyond that. They now believe they *can* admit they did something wrong (e.g. Lerner *starting* this whole thing by admitting a small portion of what they'd actually done, which itself should have been sufficient to get her summarily fired if not jailed), and they think we still can't hold them responsible. The sad thing is, with a Democrat in office, they're right.

You know what I think? They're trolling us as hard as they can, violating every law as brazenly and openly as possible, DARING us to come to the conclusion that violence is the only remaining option. Deliberately attempting to goad us into revolution/civil war as the only recourse. And as soon as it starts, they'll be ready to open the gulags again.

Rick Caird said...

After reading "Three Felonies a Day", it is clear the prosecution is always optional. There is always something to prosecute. Hence, they simply did not want to prosecute Lerner, probably because of the blowback.

JSF said...

Yeat's "Second Coming," seems appropriate here.

With no basis for the Rule of Law other Who Rules, I say the Republican activists can do anything. Nothing is out of bounds for 2016.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

Drago said...

Once written, twice: "You hillbillies better stockpile your guns. After we elect Hillary, we will never allow a Republican president again"

We are all well aware of what leftists do once they accrue sufficient power.

Douglas said...

If a Republican is elected president in 2016, the first thing (s)he should do is instruct the AG to appoint a special counsel to investigate Lerner and all the rest of them. With special prosecutors, the process is the punishment, plus there's always the possibility of an indictment or two.

Tank said...

Don't forget, Obama is a nice guy.

Rusty said...

Blogger Once written, twice... said...
You hillbillies better stockpile your guns. After we elect Hillary, we will never allow a Republican president again.

Whyever would we want to do that, comrade?

Rusty said...

Blogger Once written, twice... said...
You hillbillies better stockpile your guns. After we elect Hillary, we will never allow a Republ......."

What's disturbing is that this doesn't bother you at all.

Quaestor said...

If Lois Lerner was guilty only of mismanagement, which is not a crime, then why did she invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering question before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee? Since she has been effectively immunized by the DoJ, then shouldn't she be recalled and compelled to testify?

Once written, twice... said...

The gulags are being built for you crackers as I write this. Bu-by!

richard mcenroe said...

This DOJ is everything Democrats accused Nixon's DOJ and Reagan's DOJ and Bush's DOJ of being... and that Clinton's and Obama's ARE. It is a wholly politicized animal and now that the proglodytes have established this precedent they better pray to whatever God they don't recognize because we have finally learned the lesson they tried so hard to teach us by projection and now example.

LTMG said...

If the IRS was a publicly traded company, the SEC would be pounding down the door assisted by a FBI search and seizure team, and Lerner would be handcuffed for the internationally televised perp walk.

Fen said...

Once written, twice: "You hillbillies - "

I'm having fun studying this guy, wondering why he attacks with ethnic slurs. I think its shame. Self-loathing.

Unknown said...

What about the secret donor lists that were leaked?

Hello?

Matthew Sablan said...

"What about the secret donor lists that were leaked?"

-- Accidents happen. It is just a fluke that, yet again, all the accidents happened to target and stifle one political group over another at a ridiculous rate. Just like those dealerships. Just like Gibson Guitars. You know how flukes are.

Nichevo said...

Ann, do you expect unjust laws and the administration of laws to continue forever?

jr565 said...

What party is Kadzik affiliated with. Who did he vote for last time around?

jr565 said...

So here's Kadzik's donation record of 2008:

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/peter-kadzik.asp?cycle=08

He works at Obamas's Justice Dept and donated 8,800 to reelecting Obama. Maybe, just maybe, he's not seeing something because he has an inherent bias? Lets consider the possibility.

jr565 said...

My bad. The 8,800 didn't all go to Obama. But they did all go to democrats.
Prior his donations toe Obama fund, he was also supporter of Hillary Clinton for president and Henry Waxman. NOthing wrong with any of that as far as it goes. But he is clearly a dyed in the wool democrat.
The charge is democratic operatives deliberately targeted tea partiers for political reasons. Is this guy then the guy who would say Lerner was in fact targeting Tea Partiers deliberately?

jr565 said...

eric wrote:
Seriously, announce today that to use the IRS as the Obama administration did is not criminal, and therefore, if elected, you too will use the IRS in the same way.

Good for goose good for gander. Make them live by their own rules. etc etc.