Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2014

Reinforcing The Need For A Special Prosecutor

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s certainly a good thing for this administration that there is a press from which they are able to learn of critical information concerning national scandals they are directly involved in, otherwise, they might never know…

In response to Rep. Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla.) questioning during a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on the DOJ’s response to the IRS targeting of conservative groups, Deputy Attorney General James Cole explained how the Justice Department learned of two years of missing IRS emails:

Rep. DeSantis: “Mr. Cole, we learned in Congress on June 13th, 2014 that two years-worth of Lois Lerner’s emails were missing—the IRS would not produce those. When did the Justice Department learn of that fact?”

Deputy Attorney General James Cole: “I think we learned about it after that from the press accounts that were in the paper following the IRS’ notification to the Congress.”

–Dana

26 Responses to “Reinforcing The Need For A Special Prosecutor”

  1. Obama’s administration is a collection of secretive control freaks. Everything is carefully stage managed to puff up Obama. Any statement that they learned about an issue from media accounts is a bald-faced lie.

    David (099e1f)

  2. the DOJ is even more corrupt than the IRS

    and that’s saying quite a lot

    the odds of this cesspool called american government somehow contriving the appointment of an honest trustworthy special prosecutor with even a minimal amount of integrity are

    long

    really really long

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. The missing e-mails and the hard disk crash don’t really have too much to do with each
    other. It was only a possibility that copies of unarchived emails could have been on her hard disk.

    This whole business about the hard drive being the crucial reasson the e-mails were lost is part of an IRS attempt to mislead. There was no guarantee that Lois Lerner would have put copies of deleted e-mails on her hard drive. They would have been there only if she wanted them to be.

    What everybody learned on June 13, 2014 was the nature of the entire IRS email preservation syste,.
    (there is a possibility it got worse after mid-2011, by the way, when a contract was cancelled>

    The Weekly Standard had a pretty good (although a little bit off the mark) parody about this in its July 14, 2014 issue.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/smash-and-burn_796061.html

    Their actual e-mail policy is almost as ridiculous as this.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  4. 1. Well, the thing is, many federal agencies have similar e-mail archiving policies.

    It’s up to the person in whose account the e-mail is in to decide what is a federal record.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  5. Sammy,

    It’s clearly defined:

    If your e-mail’s a federal record, you’re supposed to print it and add it to the file. What’s a “federal record”? The same section defines it, and does so broadly: Any e-mail “created or received in the transaction of agency business” qualifies, which means, in theory, any message sent or received by Lois Lerner about scrutinizing tea-party groups should have been printed by her at some point and the hard copy sent for storage in the relevant file.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  6. It’s defined, but in a vague way.

    any message sent or received by Lois Lerner about scrutinizing tea-party groups should have been printed by her at some point and the hard copy sent for storage in the relevant file.

    This sounds like it could be only maybe messages internal to IRS, or to or from a person or entity concerning their own case. A message from an outside group asking for somebody to be audited is probably not “created or received in the transaction of agency business” and therefore probably not a federal record.

    But my main point was it was up to Lois Lerner herself to evaluate the e-mail messages.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  7. Apply that birthday paradox which Aphrael brought up yesterday to the probability that the hard drives of seven people Congress considers people of interest in the targeting investigation failed out of all IRS employees and you understand why nobody should believe this shameless excuse.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. Absolutely, daley.

    But be reassured:

    Deputy Attorney General James Cole on Thursday defended the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of the IRS, saying “no politics” were involved in its probe, which has been expanded to include missing e-mails from the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner.

    “While I know you are frustrated by the fact that I cannot at this time disclose any specifics about the investigation,” Cole told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee, “I do pledge to you that when our investigation is completed, we will provide Congress with detailed information about the facts we uncovered and the conclusions we reached in this matter.”

    Okay then.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  9. Dana – I am greatly assured. The DOJ investigation is so incredibly thorough they have still not interviewed major entities which were victims of the targeting scheme such as True the Vote. Probably scheduled for 2017 or 2018.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  10. Quick summary of Cole testimony:
    There are certain things that should have been expected of IRS managers; there are certain things that are expected of DoJ investigators; neither dept has lived up to those expectations except in the negative; how dare Congress expect that we will follow the law as written by you.

    I think that pretty well sums it up, except to say, I am shocked that to complete his testimony, Mr. Cole did not – as he was leaving – give the cmte the finger (though he did metaphorically in his testimony).
    (Cong. DeSantis was sharp, and on point)

    askeptic (efcf22)

  11. Dana (4dbf62) — 7/17/2014 @ 10:00 am

    Please stop confusing Sammy with facts.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  12. Shorter Cole – That is not smoke you see coming out of those smoking guns, that is water vapor.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  13. James Cole – We don’t consider that an obstruction, we consider that a speed bump.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. I would expect an appearance by DAG Cole next on “Dancing With The Stars” where he will do a stunning recreation of one of the tap-dancing routines of The Nicholas Brothers partnered with John Koskinen.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  15. askeptic – Would that conflict with Koskinen’s role on Hollywood Squares where he has taken over Charles Nelson Reilly’s cube?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. He’s a multi-tasker – he can lie out of both sides of his mouth simultaneously.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  17. Here’s an off-topic item for all youse prune-pickers in Kaliforniyah, on how well we’re doing.
    As most of us “on the street” realize, it ain’t well; and now it’s starting to sink in to the dense cranial matter found in Sacramento.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  18. Sammy… did you ever consider that the archive system could’ve come down with a BAD case of TB???

    Colonel Haiku (404b97)

  19. NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Hell of an investigation, eh?

    mojo (00b01f)

  21. Like a blind pig. Just can’t find that acorn.

    Glenn (647d76)

  22. This sounds like it could be only maybe messages internal to IRS, or to or from a person or entity concerning their own case. A message from an outside group asking for somebody to be audited is probably not “created or received in the transaction of agency business” and therefore probably not a federal record.

    How do you reckon that? Why do you think the outside group is writing to Lois Lerner, and not to the New York Times or their Auntie Gert? How do they even know Lois Lerner? It’s obvious that they’re writing to her in her capacity at the IRS. They’re asking her to do something in that capacity. So how is that not “in the transaction of agency business”?

    Milhouse (b95258)

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  24. This sounds like it could be only maybe messages internal to IRS, or to or from a person or entity concerning their own case. A message from an outside group asking for somebody to be audited is probably not “created or received in the transaction of agency business” and therefore probably not a federal record. 22. Milhouse (b95258) — 7/17/2014 @ 11:44 pm

    How do you reckon that? Why do you think the outside group is writing to Lois Lerner, and not to the New York Times or their Auntie Gert? How do they even know Lois Lerner?

    Somebody told them her e-mail address, or they have a long-standing relationship. Lois Lerner may be in some directory of high level federal employees.

    It’s obvious that they’re writing to her in her capacity at the IRS. They’re asking her to do something in that capacity. So how is that not “in the transaction of agency business”?

    Because it is not agency business, it’s proposed agency business. These people writing have no legal connection to what happens.

    So it is not agency business. It’s an ex parte discussion of what maybe should be agency business. Or at least Lois Lerner could say so.

    Similarly, an offer of abribe is not agency business. It’s illegal, but not agency business.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  25. No, Sammy. Other than spam, mailing lists, lolcats, etc., all email in or out of her account is either personal business or agency business. And the distinction is simple: if the person is writing to her in her capacity as Lois Lerner, and if she were to move on to a different job they’d still be writing to her, then it’s personal business; if they’re writing to her in her capacity as “someone at the IRS”, and if she were at a different job they’d be writing to her replacement, then it’s agency business.

    Milhouse (b95258)

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