Patterico's Pontifications

5/17/2013

Lanny Davis: White House Counsel Knew?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Lanny Davis:

I’ve been told today by several reporters that President Obama’s White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, knew for several days — perhaps weeks —that some Internal Revenue Service officials were engaging in political targeting of conservative groups, and that she did not tell the president as soon as she knew even partial reports about the story.

With all due respect to someone who has impeccable legal credentials, if she did have such foreknowledge and didn’t inform the president immediately, I respectfully suggest Ms. Ruemmler is in the wrong job and that she should resign.

Doesn’t this steady stream of revelations suggest a scheme to inoculate Obama?

Friday afternoon is just around the corner . . .

In the meantime, we have hearings. Those will be terribly revealing I’m sure.

72 Responses to “Lanny Davis: White House Counsel Knew?”

  1. You know that things are bad when the president is out there saying “Hey, let’s talk about the scourge of sexual assaults in the military,” in an attempt to deflect from all of the scandals that lead back to him personally.

    Icy (76748a)

  2. Lanny said targeting? He’s way off the reservation.

    In an exchange with Republican representative Kevin Brady, Miller said, “I’m going to take exception to the concept of targeting, because it’s a loaded term,” and one that “describes something that didn’t exist here.”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/348628/irs-head-targeting-loaded-word-eliana-johnson

    This type of in-your-face denial is pure, unadulterated progressive self-righteousness.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  3. “I don’t know. I can’t remember, I’ve answered those questions truthfully.”

    Bull. Shit.

    Kevin P. (1df29c)

  4. As uaual the media stories about the IRS transgressions miss an important point. If the Obama admin is willing to use the IRS or the EPA to punish or reward based on support or opposition why wouldn’t they be willing to reward their supporters in Big Media with some “looking the other way” on tax issues. Media support for the Dems might be as simple as being allowed to cheat on your taxes.

    glenn (647d76)

  5. Yep, Stevie “Guitar” Miller – who was going to retire next month but resigned to give the appearance that heads are rolling said his previous testimony was “incorrect but not untruthful”. I’ll believe these peeps – either side of the aisle – are serious when just one of ‘em introduces a flat tax bill.

    Colonel Haiku (eacb1f)

  6. These episodes are carrying the idea of plausible deniability to new levels. “Don’t tell mom and dad” has somehow morphed into “don’t tell the president”. Oh yeah, I momentarily forgot, “inoculating” the top guy is the Chicago way.

    elissa (2fda5f)

  7. The question that should be asked is when did Valerie Jarrett know and when did she decide that Barack could be told? She runs the administration. He is in charge of golf and speeches.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  8. Implausible deniability.

    Icy (76748a)

  9. It could also be a scheme to do something with the IRS around Obama. There are other Democrats. Some of whom may have concerns that Obama doesn’t have.

    The targets were not the big 501c4′s They were small ones maybe in swing states.

    6. The question that should be asked is when did Valerie Jarrett know and when did she decide that Barack could be told?

    Something like that is possible.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  10. There’s a whole lot wrong with the IRS. Like not caring about people getting tax refunds in otehr people’s names. Obama can’t want that.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  11. The White House Counsel knew in April according to all reports. Focus on the words Obama actually uses. He is very careful. He just says he didn’t know about the IG’s report. Does that mean the the timing, the contents or something else.

    He doesn’t deny knowledge of the investigation or the involvement of anybody else at the White House.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. why are piggy piggy propaganda sluts telling Lanny Davis stuff they’re not telling us

    nobody tells me anything except Lanny Davis?

    are you serious

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  13. You should stop trying to tie this to Obama. It is obvious he had nothing to do with it. Why would a good patriotic man like Obama illegally use the IRS to punish his political opponents in the lead up to his reelection? That just doesn’t make sense. There is nothing he has done so far, and nothing he has done in the past that would lead me to believe he is anything other than a good patriotic man trying to do what he thinks is best for this country.

    Timothy (ba4ed3)

  14. Poor Obama. Apparently, a small but dedicated crew of anti-revolutionary wreckers were whispering lies into his ears all along.

    Joe Djugashvilli, call your office.

    mojo (8096f2)

  15. Timothy – Why do you use so many different IP addresses?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. @ Timothy,

    You should stop trying to tie this to Obama.

    I don’t believe anyone needs to “try” to tie this to Obama – he is the President of the United States, so by default, this is tied to him every which way but Sunday.

    Unless, of course, you are so partisan it would be natural for you to ignore the dominoes that have, and continue to neatly fall into undeniable place. If so, then that just makes you a commenter whose blind devotion results in a serious lack of integrity. So by all accounts, it would then would be logical for you to defend the president and attempt to get the attention off of our Commander in Chief.

    Dana (292dcf)

  17. Over at powerLine they have a picture of jay carney with the caption, “At no time did the Obama administration know what the Obama administration was doing”.

    Except they did.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  18. Dana – it is an interesting concept – being our Incommunicado-in-Chief …

    Alasdair (867c8a)

  19. It’s brave new world, Alasdair. Definitions have no real meaning and meaning is something fluid, subject to the immediate need, pull of the tides or fullness of the moon.

    Try to keep up, man!

    Dana (292dcf)

  20. How can Americans be sure the same IRS that’s so complicit in efforts to punish the Obama Administration’s political opponents with intrusive audits, inappropriate information demands, and long delays for tax-exempt status won’t resort to similar underhanded tactics to deny or delay access to lifesaving healthcare to Obama’s critics?

    ropelight (b703fa)

  21. Racists

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. I think we can be sure, ropelight. Sure they will.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  23. Sammy:

    There’s a whole lot wrong with the IRS. Like not caring about people getting tax refunds in otehr people’s names. Obama can’t want that.

    Oh, but he does want it. It’s called the Earned Income Credit.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. I agree Obama is responsible and I believe he not only knew what the IRS was doing, he wanted and planned it. If so, it would be good if the hearings implicated Obama so people like Timothy would know who he really is.

    But if that doesn’t happen, it would still be beneficial to the system if high-level, long-term IRS employees are implicated and publicly demoted or resign. That might wake up a few federal civil service workers to think twice before doing something like this.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  25. DRJ – Any idea what behavior it is permissible to terminate a federal civil servant for if it does not rise to the level of a criminal prosecution?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. We may not know what Obama wants, but we do know that he’s willing to use the institutions of government to silence those who oppose him.

    ropelight (b703fa)

  27. It’s probably a lot tougher for Dems to stash cronies at Fannie and Freddie for payola these days.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. I suspect Lanny Davis is sticking up for Hillary and preparing the 2016 battle space.

    Patricia (be0117)

  29. Timothy, do you know how to work TURBO TAX?

    Gus (694db4)

  30. Dana (et al.), Timothy is being sarcastic. He’s actually making fun of the statement Patterico made back when Obama was elected. But the shtick is getting old.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  31. Call me an incurable optimist but I just don’t see hundreds of Liberals taking a fall for the Dog without fragments of Truth breaking out.

    They will all demand to be paid, and will shop their goods.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  32. “I suspect Lanny Davis is sticking up for Hillary and preparing the 2016 battle space.”

    Patricia – Davis is part of the Clinton inner circle but he’s been tarred by his role in Fast and Furious.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. I wonder if those senior IRS officials will go to jail for the President.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  34. You can save time like did by just stopping reading after “I’ve been told today by several reporters…”

    Wow, reporters finally do some investigative reporting, only to uncover the fact that Obama is blameless! Whew, I’m certainly reassured.

    Ray Van Dune (8f5752)

  35. I’d wonder if it weren’t a signal flare to WH insiders.

    “Your azzes are rare just now, keep a wary tongue in your heads if you want to keep them unincinerated.”

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  36. We certainly need better customer service from the IRS. My recent experience has been horrible.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. The IRS needs to be audited.

    Elephant Stone (65a34b)

  38. thanks for this post, I admire your work, cheers! :)

    BobbyG (a92fe2)

  39. NBC News’ Lisa Myers via the Weekly Standard:

    Report: IRS Deliberately Chose Not to Fess Up to Scandal Before Election

    “[I]f this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  40. New York Times:

    The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  41. Pass the popcorn, please.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. Of course, Barack could have given Miss. Ruemmler a 30 minute dissertation on the IRS scandal had she actually mentioned it to him. Perhaps she didn’t bring it up because she is wise enough to KNOW that this scandal, like all others involving the Regime was discussed with and OKAYED by Barry up front.

    Doug Book (8e8bdf)

  43. For those that missed #19′s comment

    How can Americans be sure the same IRS that’s so complicit in efforts to punish the Obama Administration’s political opponents with intrusive audits, inappropriate information demands, and long delays for tax-exempt status won’t resort to similar underhanded tactics to deny or delay access to lifesaving healthcare to Obama’s critics?

    Comment by ropelight (b703fa) — 5/17/2013 @ 11:32 am

    See #19 above

    Joe (debac0)

  44. #4 Maybe it should be Steve “The Joker” Miller.

    Charlie Davis (35738e)

  45. “For fellowship? And when we die, and you are sent to heaven while I am consigned to hell, will you come with me? For fellowship?”

    mojo (8096f2)

  46. Wow, a quote from A Man For All Seasons. That made my day

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  47. Tie it to Obama? It wasn’t done to get Romney elected.

    The IRS stonewalled 501(c)(4) applications to hinder the Tea Party movement, in order to win an election. That’s criminal.

    The Democrats cheated to win an election, by illegally harassing their political opponents using the organs of the Federal Government.

    That’s impeachable.

    SPQR (768505)

  48. They kept it from him for one of two reasons:
    Plausible Deniability;
    or, his complete intellectual ability to comprehend what was going on around him.

    Given the choices, I select Yes!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  49. Oops ….inability…

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  50. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 5/17/2013 @ 2:44 pm

    It would certainly fall under what the Founders would think are High Crimes.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  51. 49. That’s the spirit!

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  52. When the sheriff stops my wife for 13 over and she says she didn’t know the speed limit it matters not at all to the citation or the fine.

    I really don’ know why “I don’t know” should prevent anyone from assigning responsibility and thereby an infraction of the law mandating incarceration and penalties.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  53. When the sheriff stops my wife for 13 over and she says she didn’t know the speed limit it matters not at all to the citation or the fine.

    I really don’ know why “I don’t know” should prevent anyone from assigning responsibility and thereby an infraction of the law mandating incarceration and penalties.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  54. Put Dingy Harry Reid under oath (or any other Dem mucky/operative) and ask him if his lies related to Romney not paying income taxes for 10 years had any relation to the IRS acting as a tool for the Democrat Party.

    Colonel Haiku (d3b5c4)

  55. and put Miss Demeanor hillary clinton under too… just on general principles.

    Colonel Haiku (d3b5c4)

  56. 41. Of course, Barack could have given Miss. Ruemmler a 30 minute dissertation on the IRS scandal had she actually mentioned it to him. Perhaps she didn’t bring it up because she is wise enough to KNOW that this scandal, like all others involving the Regime was discussed with and OKAYED by Barry up front.

    Comment by Doug Book (8e8bdf) — 5/17/2013 @ 1:42 pm

    According to the Office of Personnel Management bonuses over $25K have to go to the President for approval. Sarah Hall Ingram who was in charge of the tax exempt division during the time when conservatives were targeted received bonuses over $25K in 2010, 2011, and 2012. According to the OPM one of the key factors in approving these bonuses is that whoever is nominated to receive them must not have been involved in any activity that would embarrass the President.

    We know for a fact that senior officials of the IRS was aware of what she was doing in 2011 and senior officials in the Treasury Dept. knew in 2012. Yet they recommended her for bonuses of over $25K even with that knowledge. And Obama approved them.

    Clearly everyone knew that harassing and intimidating conservative groups are not activities that embarrass this President. Hence her bonuses and promotion to head the division in charge of Obamacare.

    Andy McCarthy was on Megyn Kelly the other day when Obama dodged the question about when he or others in the WH knew of the IRS targeting of his declared political enemies. And as numerous people have pointed out he didn’t answer that question but instead chose to say when he and his staff knew of the contents of the IG report.

    Andy observed that was an implied admission. As far as he was concerned that was as good as admitting that people in his WH if not Obama himself knew of the IRS targeting earlier than he claims. From the way he carefully worded his answer and with this information from Lanny Davis clearly he knew his counsel knew.

    There is just no way he didn’t know about this when the Republicans were holding hearings and IRS and Treasury officials lied to them that this targeting that was in fact going on wasn’t. The IRS only became concerned over this when reports about the IRS harassing conservative groups started to get into the MFM.

    This President who gets all his information about what his administration is or may be up to from the MFM missed that?

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  57. I’ve decided Mickey Kaus is right and this is an elaborate ruse to divert conservatives and the media from covering immigration reform. The White House knew these stories would come out eventually so they might as well take the hit now. If it makes it easier to get immigration reform, so much the better.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  58. I don’t dispute that all these scandals hitting at once may be a diversionary tactic of some sort. But how on earth does this make it easier to get immigration reform passed????

    elissa (2fda5f)

  59. I’m inclined to think that if there is some grand design by the one and co it is perhaps that having held off all of the bad news until after the 2012 election, get it out now ASAP and have it burned out a bit by the 2014 election.

    But I’m not going to try to hard to get inside their brains to understand their thinking.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  60. It makes it easier because there is no coverage of what’s happening in the Senate, so (1) there is no pressure on the Gang of Eight Republicans in the Senate to vote for the conservative amendments that would have made this better legislation; and (2) it will come out of the Senate Committee with bipartisan momentum that will be hard to stop.

    That leaves the House. It may seem like a solid bulwark but, with the exception of representatives from very red districts, it’s hard for individual representatives to stand up to pressure from the interest groups, the media, and the White House. That’s even more true if the people who would normally be calling and writing their Congressional representatives are too busy to call and write.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  61. It allows Republicans (e.g., Rubio) to appear to be tough on 0bama, while leaving the back door unlocked, elissa.

    Colonel Haiku (d3b5c4)

  62. roobs needs to pull the plug on his sordid backroom dark of night immigration schemes

    it’s not cute and it’s not amusing

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  63. Also, if the GOP won’t give Obama what he wants he’ll accuse them of politicizing his clearly political response to Benghazi both when they requested security and then when they needed aid followed by his clearly political talking points, and of politicizing his politicized IRS, and politicizing his DoJ’s revenge seizure of the AP’s phone records because they stole his political thunder by printing the story about the CIA operation in Yemen thwarting a bombing one day before he could make political hay of that operation by announcing it himself like the OBL killing.

    Also he’ll accuse them of being fevered fanatical partisans desperately seeking the approval of Rush Limbaugh instead of compromising with such a clearly non-partisan centrist such as his own exalted self and doing what he tells them instead.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  64. i welcomed a debate on immigration policy but these arrogant senatewhores don’t want a debate

    they just want to pass it so we can find out what’s in it

    and then Team R thinks all the lil hispanical people will love them more than frioles

    dream on, deluded old white men, dream on

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  65. 61. I believe Christie has moved ahead of Roobs on my list of hopefuls.

    I don’t get down to that region of ‘my list’ often so its a bit of a WAG.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  66. Of course, they had to know, now the question is who knew this tidbit;

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/18/191634/counter-terrorism-leak-compromised.html#.UZhWvsqXT4g

    narciso (3fec35)

  67. WASHINGTON — The unauthorized disclosure of a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen last year compromised an exceedingly rare and valuable espionage achievement: an informant who had earned the trust of hardened terrorists, according to U.S. officials.

    His information was said to have led to the U.S. drone strike that killed a senior al-Qaida leader, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Quso, on May 6, 2012. U.S. officials say Quso had helped direct the terrorist attack on the Cole, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, in a Yemeni harbor in October 2000. The suicide bombing killed 17 U.S. sailors and nearly sank the warship.

    The informant, reportedly a British subject of Saudi birth, also had convinced members of al-Qaida’s feared Yemeni affiliate that he wanted to blow up a U.S. passenger jet. He was trained and outfitted with the latest version of an underwear bomb designed to pass metal detectors and other airport safeguards, officials say.

    Read more here:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/18/191634/counter-terrorism-leak-compromised.html#.UZhWvsqXT4g#storylink=cpy

    This was a sting operation! Which the Adminsitration wanted to protray – or ratehr Prince Bandar wanted to portray – as something independently discovered. I said last year the bomb was designed by the Saudis.

    Prince Bandar no doubt insisted the leaker be found, and the Administration went overboard violating all its guidelines. Bandar probably threatened to stop all co-operation. he also pretended the plot was real and existed independently of Saudi intelligence.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  68. Saudi intelligence officials also were dismayed, U.S. officials said

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/18/191634/counter-terrorism-leak-compromised.html#.UZhWvsqXT4g#storylink=cpy

    Youy can say that again. The official story is they could have used him to infiltrate Al Qaeda but the disclosure blew his cover. Except that teh Ap was told the story was going to be revealed by teh white house.

    Maybe without the disclosure that there was an informant.

    Except I think Prince Banmdar knows far more – probably inflitarted Al Qaeda long ago – if there is an Al Qaeda in Yemen – and the whole thing was concocted to win the loyalty and gratitude of the United States, just like the IUraqi polot to assassinate George Bush the Elder in 1993.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  69. No it was designed by a Syrian doctor, Prince Bandar hadn’t even taken office by the time, another fellow graduate of Cranwell, ran the GID

    narciso (3fec35)

  70. I think Bandar at that time was Saudi National Security Adviser, which gives him a big role. He was in charge of the response to the Arab Spring.

    Something helped get him the job as chief of intelligence

    I think maybe we have here a general Saudi policy: Threats to cut off co-operation have been done before, sometimes to protect important Saudis from prosecution.

    I am not speaking of the actual designer. I know some technical person did it. What I say is, he did at Saudi instructions.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  71. Comment by Colonel Haiku (d3b5c4) — 5/17/2013 @ 5:48 pm

    I’d like to “put her under” whatever it is that’s on top of Jimmy Hoffa.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  72. AQAP is top heavy with natives from the Kingdom, from the Ghamdi, and Al Harbi clans, another fellow Rubbaish, also a former Gitmo detainee.

    narciso (3fec35)


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