Patterico's Pontifications

6/25/2014

Add GOP Senator Grassley To Lerner’s List

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:13 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Thanks to commenter OldSarg for alerting us that the Ways and Means Committee is investigating Lois Lerner’s involvement in targeting Senator Grassley:

Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative individuals includes a sitting United States Senator. According to emails reviewed by the Committee under its Section 6103 authority, which allows the Committee to review confidential taxpayer information, Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred for IRS examination.

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Camp. “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights. We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal. The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”

Here is the background information:

While the Ways and Means Committee investigation into Lerner’s involvement in the potential Grassley examination is ongoing, documents show that Lerner received an invitation to a speaking event that was intended for Senator Grassley. Instead of forwarding the invitation to Grassley’s office, Lerner immediately suggested to others in her office that the issue should be referred for examination. The Committee was able to investigate this information through its authority under Section 6103 of the tax code. A waiver was signed by Senator Grassley and his wife in order to make this information public.

Time to once again be reminded of what the President told us about the IRS… not even a smidgen of corruption…

–Dana

UPDATE: Allahpundit has an interesting analysis on the Lerner-Grassley news.

In other words, both Grassley and Lerner were invited to the same tax event, but somehow Grassley’s invite ended up in Lerner’s envelope. That’s how she knew he’d been invited. And because Grassley’s wife was included on the invite, Lerner jumped to the conclusion that the event organizers were offering to “inappropriately” pay for his wife. What’s wrong with her raising the alarm about that? Well, (a) there was no reason yet to think Grassley had accepted the invitation. She wanted to “examine” the guy on the mere possibility that he would. And (b) per her e-mail exchange with her deputy on this, she seems … not to understand the law at all. It falls to the deputy to explain to her that it’s not illegal for event organizers to pay for his wife so long as he reports the income on his 1040. In other words, not only did she assume without knowing that Grassley and his wife would attend, she assumed without knowing that they’d end up lying about it on their next tax return.

29 Responses to “Add GOP Senator Grassley To Lerner’s List”

  1. does this count as a smidgen?

    or just another Rethglican false crisis… i can’t keep the talking points straight anymore.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. Everything they accused Bush of doing, they’re doing.

    I suppose they think that since they accused Bush and he wasn’t convicted, they won’t be, even though
    they’re getting caught! The sad thing is that they probably won’t be, not even in the court of public opinion.

    (I was so tempted to misspell public.)

    htom (412a17)

  3. Time for impeachment proceedings against Koskinen, and a felony Contempt Citation for Lerner.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  4. redc1c4,

    As with one’s sex, “smidgen” can be anything you want or need it to be at any given moment.

    But I think the rule for us is, Don’t Be So Judgey!

    Dana (fe2228)

  5. I’ve updated post with the president’s assurance to us that there is not even a smidgen of corruption in the IRS…

    Dana (fe2228)

  6. #5 that’s because you’re raycis…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  7. Everything they accused Nixon of trying, they’re actually doing.

    FTFY

    someguy (84ecc5)

  8. someguy — Well, there is that, too.

    htom (412a17)

  9. I’ve added Allahpundit’s analysis to the post.

    Dana (fe2228)

  10. This is all coincidental.
    Or something.
    I’m sure we’ll find out that it was bipartisan, and that Lois was also targeting Iowa Democrat Senator Tom Harkin.

    Can we just get back to discussing income inequality ? And extra large sodas ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  11. Everybody is SHOCKED, SHOCKED! to find that a machine tool operation out of Chicago, with ex-slum lordette Val Jarret in charge, is acting like, well, the Chicago machine.

    Funny.

    mojo (00b01f)

  12. Does the IRS have any counterparts to Nidal Hasan working within its midst? If so, and since the IRS is full of liberal employees, and since they’re likely into feel-good political correctness up the wazoo, and, at the same time, since they love scroungebags like Obama (or his former Secretary of the Treasury), I wholeheartedly welcome the IRS to try to find and hire as many Nidal Hasans as possible — to encourage them, enable them, soothe them — and I recommend the IRS not raise an eyebrow until it’s too late.

    Hell, yea, if it’s good enough for the US military (vis-a-vie Fort Hood), it’s good enough for the IRS.

    Mark (fdb0fc)

  13. You’re losing it, aren’t you Mark?

    elissa (0b3bcd)

  14. What’s funny is all of my progressive pals on Facebook and Twitter are pretty silent about this.

    I think that the “let’s change party affiliation” game is a good one.

    Unless the media wants to be upfront that it is perfectly okay to push such gangster tactics against the Right.

    But again, our ahistorical society forgets the lesson that Robespierre learned as the blade fell: the rules you put into place to be used against your enemies can be used against you.

    Falling blades are not partisan.

    Simon Jester (f2ee78)

  15. Simon Jester (f2ee78) — 6/25/2014 @ 7:24 pm

    Indeed. Once the lawlessness and chaos is unleashed it is difficult to control.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  16. Sadly, my students do not know very much about history. That is the way that things like the “Comité de Salut Public” happen. Santayana wept.

    Simon Jester (f2ee78)

  17. To reiterate: the MSM is “all in” on Obama. They are not going to allow The First Black President to “fail.” End of story.

    As long as he doesn’t start channeling Ben Carson or Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams, there is LITERALLY NOTHING that Obama can do to force the MSM to turn against him. Obama and his minions know this, and are acting accordingly.

    Whitey Nisson (253e9e)

  18. Well, the most interesting question, of course is, how did this invitation wind up at the IRS?

    Do we know it was a tax event? The name of this organization was redacted, but do people know by now?

    Senator Grassley was Ranking Minority member of the Senate Finance Committee and also
    the Taxation, IRS Oversight and Long-Term Growth subcommittee, according to his biography, but not according to the list of subcommittee members. (!?)

    He was also on the Joint Committee on Taxation, and 3rd Republican on the Judiciary Committee. (source: 2010 Almanac of American Politics)

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  19. It would be a departure for Lois Lerner to make Senator Grassley the target, because her targets otherwise were on the fringes of politics. All of this looks like an attempt to strangle things that could become a problem (for causes or people she sided with) in its cradle.

    And it actually looks more like her target was the organization that was going to pay the travel costs for his wife, and not Senator Grassley.

    There is a sentence that starts “Either way” and is then redacted, but it seems to be going in the direction of saying that “either way” – if they issued him a 1099 or they didn’t – there’d be no case against the organization.

    The organization apparently invited both Senator Grassley and his wife and offered to pay airplane tickets for both of them.

    Since his wife wasn’t being invited for herself, and since Senator Grassley was being asked to do something for the organization (like speak) this could be construed as income for Senator Grassley, but his own ticket would simply be reimbursement of expenses and not taxable.

    If this was the idea, Lois Lerner was virtually sure this would not be categorized as income by anybody.

    As I said it looks like the organization was the target because she gets an answer that:

    1) Senator Grassley hadn’t actually accepted this invitation yet, so nothing had happened.

    2) And if something happened, if the organization sent Senator Grassley a 1099 form there would no problem.

    3) They’d have to until the 1099 was either issued or not issued.

    4) And in any case, 1099 or no 1099, the responsibility for paying taxes would be that of Senator Grassley. (not his wife, by the way, because although she was the beneficiary, her ticket was not income to her, but to her husband!!)

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  20. well it’s different when you go after someone like Salvi, who was ridiculed for daring to challenge Durbin, and going after Grassley, that’s like the Oversight chair in ‘Enemy of the State’

    narciso (3fec35)

  21. Well, the most interesting question, of course is, how did this invitation wind up at the IRS?

    Seriously? Whoever was stuffing the envelopes switched them, that’s all. Happens often enough.

    Do we know it was a tax event?

    What other kind of event would be inviting both Lerner and Grassley to speak?

    It would be a departure for Lois Lerner to make Senator Grassley the target, because her targets otherwise were on the fringes of politics.

    If she thought she saw a big fish suddenly swim within her grasp, why on earth wouldn’t she jump at the chance to catch it? Boy would that make her career, if she landed a senator! But you’re right that from the text of the email it seems more likely that she meant for the organization to be audited, not the senator.

    The organization apparently invited both Senator Grassley and his wife and offered to pay airplane tickets for both of them.

    Airplane tickets?! Where did you dig that one up, Sammy? Where has there been any mention of airplane tickets? What makes you think the event wasn’t in DC, where you’d expect such an event to be held?

    4) And in any case, 1099 or no 1099, the responsibility for paying taxes would be that of Senator Grassley. (not his wife, by the way, because although she was the beneficiary, her ticket was not income to her, but to her husband!!)

    Um, or they file jointly. Did that not occur to you?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  22. Obama lies with impunity. He’s a dysfunctional, emotionally disturbed, narcissist. Obama says shyte that any rational human would LAUGH AT out of hand. Yet libtards, hug tight the plausibility of the lies this ASS HAT speaks. Obama is a low level CON MAN. LIBTARDS are low level intellects. They believe that which makes their lives EASY STREET.

    Gus (70b624)

  23. In related IRS scandal news, here’s an interesting post that’s up at PJmedia.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/23/how-did-an-irs-official-know-with-certainty-that-the-obama-campaign-would-continue-one-of-its-attacks/

    Townhall’s Katie Pavlich has published an intriguing email recently released by the House Oversight committee. Here it is.

    …In the email, IRS tax-exempt official Sarah Hall Ingram tells her cohorts, including Lois Lerner, about a coordinated media campaign against the Citizens United decision. Ingram praises that campaign, and demonstrates foreknowledge of what is to come.

    In the email, Ingram says “The ‘secret donor’ theme will continue — see Obama salvo and today’s Diane Reehm (sp).”

    Ingram doesn’t hint anything less than certainty that an Obama campaign theme will continue forward into the future. Which it did — President Obama attacked the Citizens United decision in the days after this email. Ingram calls the president’s coming actions a “salvo,” which proved to be uncannily accurate.

    …How did Sarah Hall Ingram, not a political officer but an official at the Internal Revenue Service in a politically sensitive position, know with certainty that Obama would continue hammering on this theme?

    Good question, no? Oh, maybe this is how she knew.

    She made 165 visits there [to the WH] during the IRS targeting period.

    Steve57 (334088)

  24. Apparently if you’re not a big enough fish, no one cares;

    http://watchdog.org/156447/kelly-rindfleisch-conservatives-john-doe/

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. 19. It would be a departure for Lois Lerner to make Senator Grassley the target, because her targets otherwise were on the fringes of politics. All of this looks like an attempt to strangle things that could become a problem (for causes or people she sided with) in its cradle…

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5) — 6/25/2014 @ 9:15 pm

    No, narciso touches on it; it would just be a continuation of how she abused her position as a legal counsel for he FEC.

    Steve57 (334088)

  26. SF: Well, the most interesting question, of course is, how did this invitation wind up at the IRS?

    Milhouse (b95258) — 6/25/2014 @ 9:47 pm

    Seriously? Whoever was stuffing the envelopes switched them, that’s all. Happens often enough.

    What is the probability that just those two would be switched? How many people were invited? Are they near each other in the alphabet or address? (Both Washington DC zip codes, maybe)

    Now if some invitations were switched, maybe there are several that would have been of interest to Lois Lerner, so we raise the probability a little bit.

    As I said, this is the most interesting question. Was this an accident, or on purpose?

    I don’t know.

    I don’t know any way to evaluate the probabilities. But I am not assuming it was an accident.

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  27. By they way, the two invitations weren’t switched. Lois Lerner received her own invitation AND that of Senator Grassley. Grassley received nothing. The Lois Lerner invitation by the way was not sent to her, but somebody else at the IRS.

    BTW, they never passed on the invitation to Senator Grassley.

    SF: It would be a departure for Lois Lerner to make Senator Grassley the target, because her targets otherwise were on the fringes of politics.

    If she thought she saw a big fish suddenly swim within her grasp, why on earth wouldn’t she jump at the chance to catch it? Boy would that make her career, if she landed a senator! But you’re right that from the text of the email it seems more likely that she meant for the organization to be audited, not the senator.

    Going after somebody really important could backfire, and that wouldn’t be likely to handicap such a person or organization enough to really do anything.

    Lois Lerner apparently wanted to know if instead of passing along the invitation to Senator Grassley they should do an audit of the organization.

    Now an honest IRS employee who thought there was a possible tax problem would have sent a letter to the organization something saying I appear to have also received somebody else’s invitation by mistake, and by the way, there’s a possible tax pitfall here you should be wary of, and not use this as an excuse for an audit on the “ignorance of the a law is no excuse” theory.

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  28. SF @ 19. It would be a departure for Lois Lerner to make Senator Grassley the target, because her targets otherwise were on the fringes of politics. All of this looks like an attempt to strangle things that could become a problem (for causes or people she sided with) in its cradle…

    25. Steve57 (334088) — 6/26/2014 @ 5:48 am

    <i. No, narciso touches on it; it would just be a continuation of how she abused her position as a legal counsel for he FEC.

    She went after small fry there too. When she went after Al Salvi in 1996 when he ran for U.s. Senator from Illinois vs Dick Durbin, in the ele3ction in which Durbin was first elected to the U.S. Senate she attempted to make Salvi promise not to run for federal office ever again. That’s strangling somebody’s career in its cradle. Salvi, by the way, never did run again.

    SF: Do we know it was a tax event?

    Milhouse: What other kind of event would be inviting both Lerner and Grassley to speak?

    Maybe something I haven’t figured out. And was it Lois Lerner or somebody else at the IRS who was invited? This is not clear to me.

    SF: The organization apparently invited both Senator Grassley and his wife and offered to pay airplane tickets for both of them.

    Milhouse: Airplane tickets?! Where did you dig that one up, Sammy? Where has there been any mention of airplane tickets? What makes you think the event wasn’t in DC, where you’d expect such an event to be held?

    Because they have been saying tickets, and it said “pay for his wife”.

    They wouldn’t be likely to use a bus or a train to travel somewhere.

    Admission tickets, you mean? I don’t see how that could be a tax issue. And besides, giving free admission to anyone is not “paying for” them. There has to be a third organization involved for there to be an issue of “paying” for his wife.

    SF: 4) And in any case, 1099 or no 1099, the responsibility for paying taxes would be that of Senator Grassley. (not his wife, by the way, because although she was the beneficiary, her ticket was not income to her, but to her husband!!)

    Um, or they file jointly. Did that not occur to you

    Yes, it did, but it would be primarily his obligation to include it in his income. They probably do file jointly, but Matthew L. Giuliano mentioned specifically Grassley, meaning the Senator. .

    Of course if she signs a Joint tax return, she’s responsible for what’s on it, and not on it, too. but still, it would be his income and not hers

    Sammy Finkelman (9257c5)

  29. What is the probability that just those two would be switched?

    The same as for any two. What makes you think there was anything special about these two?

    Now if some invitations were switched, maybe there are several that would have been of interest to Lois Lerner, so we raise the probability a little bit.

    The probability of what? There’s nothing significant about the switch. It just happened. Nobody intended to entrap Lerner in an attempt to misuse her position. Her invitation could have been switched with anyone’s. Or Grassley’s could have been switched with anyone’s. You’re seeing mystery where there just isn’t any.

    I don’t know any way to evaluate the probabilities. But I am not assuming it was an accident.

    Why on earth not? Such mistakes happen all the time. Why not here?

    By they way, the two invitations weren’t switched. Lois Lerner received her own invitation AND that of Senator Grassley. Grassley received nothing.

    Where did you read that? Lerner’s email says she assumes Grassley got her invitation.

    BTW, they never passed on the invitation to Senator Grassley.

    Again, where did you read this?

    Admission tickets, you mean? I don’t see how that could be a tax issue.

    Sure there is. The value of whatever is received is reportable as income. If there was a meal, the value of that.

    Milhouse (b95258)


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