The IRS‘ battle against holdout tea party groups is heating up again, after the tax agency promised it would begin processing their long-delayed applications, but sent a new round of prodding questions demanding still more information.
More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public.
Still, the move to release the information has inflamed an already tense class action legal battle between the IRS and tea party groups who feel the agency is still targeting them more than three years after it promised to cease.
He said the questions asked by the IRS show the agency has not ceased the intrusive questioning that landed it in trouble in the first place back in 2013.
“The IRS‘ conscious decision to attach this Section 6103-protected request to a public filing makes it even harder to believe that the IRS can treat TPTP and similar groups fairly and neutrally. This is, and will continue to be, a core focus of our litigation in the coming weeks,” he said.
Both the IRS and officials at the Justice Department, which is acting as the tax agency’s lawyer, declined to comment, citing the ongoing legal battle.
But the tax agency said in court papers that Mr. Greim has been misleading the court, and said the documents were designed to prove that the IRS has been dealing fairly with the TPTP. The IRS said the information it requested focuses on the tea party group’s activities and whether they would be illegal for a tax-exempt group to engage in.
“It is more of the same: spurious attacks on the IRS and mischaracterizations of the facts,” the Justice Department said in its briefs.
The IRS admitted in 2013 that it singled tea party groups out for intrusive scrutiny, including crossing lines by asking questions about the groups’ associations, meetings and even members’ reading habits. Some groups received multiple letters, each time further delaying their applications.
After being dinged by its inspector general, the agency promised it would stop asking inappropriate questions, and insisted it canceled the use of secret targeting lists to single out groups.
But a federal appeals court this summer ruled that as long as some groups are still stuck in the backlog, the IRS is still conducting illegal targeting.
The tax agency, which had been blocking processing, claiming it couldn’t do anything while the court cases were proceeding, quickly kicked into gear and announced they would process the three remaining cases.
In a letter last week to the TPTP, the IRS fired off a new set of questions — the fourth inquiry the group has received since it applied for nonprofit status in 2012. In the new questions, IRS agent Jerry Fierro said he looked over the group’s website and spotted potential trouble spots, including “rallies, parades, educational workshops, speaking events, voter registration drives, fund raisers and straw polls.”
The IRS says those activities could squelch a group’s application.
Mr. Greim, the lawyer for the TPTP, said in making its letter public, the IRS was showing how aggressive its tactics are toward tea party groups. He said the agency, which has held up the TPTP’s application for 41 months, only gave the organization 30 days to respond, and said if the questions aren’t all answered, it could derail the application again.
“The IRS‘ conscious decision to attach this Section 6103-protected request to a public filing makes it even harder to believe that the IRS can treat TPTP and similar groups fairly and neutrally,” Mr. Greim said.
Section 6013 of the tax code prohibits sharing of information from taxpayers’ returns.
Tax experts said the IRS letter is likely considered protected information, but they said the IRS is probably on safe legal ground because the law allows for information to be filed if the taxpayer is a party in a lawsuit and the filing directly relates to an issue in the case.
In addition to the TPTP, two other tea party groups that were targeted by the IRS are still awaiting approval. Unite in Action, a Michigan-based group, applied in 2010, and the Albuquerque Tea Party applied nearly seven years ago, in December 2009.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the other two groups, said they have not received a new set of questions similar to the list sent to the TPTP. But he said he’s been prodding theIRS for a final decision.
“We again demanded that they review their applications and process them in a fair and expeditious manner,” he said in a statement.
Over the weekend the New York Times broke the story about Trump taking over $900 million in business losses in the mid-90s and may have used the IRS loss carryover rule to avoid paying taxes in subsequent years, possibly 20 years. The practice is completely legal, but that didn’t stop Hillary’s attacks.
However, it turns out that Hillary did the EXACT SAME THING with her taxes, yet she, and her liberal media puppets, attack Trump for it? The hypocrisy is thick with this one.
Zero Hedge reports,
Well this is a little awkward. With the leaked 1995 Trump tax returns ‘scandal’ focused on the billionaire’s yuuge “net operating loss” and how it might have ‘legally’ enabled him to pay no taxes for years, we now discover none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton utilized a $700,000 “loss” to avoid paying some taxes in 2015.
The Clinton Campaign was quick to jump on the leaked Trump tax filing with Robby Mook tweeting…
And Hillary following up, adding Trump “apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.”
Hillary Clinton’s legal use of U.S tax laws are the exact same as Trump’s, it’s just on a smaller scale.
It’s very clear that Hillary is simply trying to attack Trump with hypocritical claims while keeping America in the dark about her own actions.
Point is, Trump broke no laws whatsoever with how he took the losses on his taxes.
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Robert Gehl writes that Harry Reid really is disgusting.
Remember when he lied on the floor of the Senate about Mitt Romney’s taxes?
Again, he lied on the floor of the Senate.
Yeah, not only is he not sorry about that, but he thinks it’s one of the greatest things he’s ever done. Here’s what he told The Washington Post:
People bring that up, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Why? Because I knew what he had done was not be transparent and forthright about his taxes and to this day he hasn’t released his tax returns. … Did I want to do that? No. I had the information, I tried to get somebody else to do it. I tried to get somebody in the Obama ‘reelect,’ I tried to get one of the senators, I tried to get one of the outside groups, but nobody would do it. So I did it. And with that, like everything, I think in life, here’s something I learned from my father, if you’re going to do something, don’t do it half-assed, don’t play around. With the Mitt Romney stuff, I didn’t play around…
Again, as the Post notes: Reid is LYING. He’s WRONG. Romney released plenty of information proving he paid his taxes. Reid knows this. There is no line that Reid wouldn’t cross. Don’t believe me? Ask him.
Is there a line he wouldn’t cross when it comes to political warfare?
“I don’t know what that line would be,” [Reid] said.
And folks, he’s about to do it again.
Reid Tweeted Wednesday morning that Trump should “prove” he’s not “mooching off the American taxpayer,” whatever that means.
Tuesday morning, he took to the Senate floor to slander the GOP Presidential candidate.
“He was born with an inheritance but lost his daddy’s wealth,” the Nevada Democrat said. “That is why Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns… Trump is faking his net worth because he doesn’t want us to know that he’s not a good businessman, that he’s not as rich as he would have us believe.”
“He doesn’t crack the list of major real estate players in New York City, let alone the country,” Reid went on. “In lieu of real business sense, Trump resorts to scams like Trump University… Trump University is under investigation in the New York attorney general’s office. He’s the defendant in other class-action lawsuits. Why? Because he cheated people.”
Reid continued, calling Trump a “flim-flammer” (again, whatever that means) and accusing him of using his charity to run other scams, The Washington Examiner reports.
“In 2009, Trump asked the Charles Evans Foundation for a donation to his charity, to the Trump Foundation,” Reid said. “Donald Trump took that money and gave it to the Palm Beach Police Foundation … when the Palm Beach Police Foundation wanted to use Trump’s South Florida Resort to honor him for this gift that he gave —remember the gift was from somebody else, but he claimed credit for it — Trump charged them for the event.”
Will the American people fall for more lies from Harry Reid? We’ll see.
Agencies include EPA, IRS, HHS and more…
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
The Obama administration from the top down managed to operate around the eyes of the public often by using pseudonyms when communicating with one another online.
Although President Barack Obama previously claimed to CBS he only found out about Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server through news reports, Politico reported Friday that an FBI news dump shows he communicated with Clinton on her private server using a fake name.
The idea of using a fake name to communicate through e-mail is not an unusual one to Obama administration appointees. Clinton and even her daughter Chelsea obscured their names when communicating with one another. Chelsea went by the alias “Diane Reynolds” when talking to her mother over e-mail the night of the attack in Benghazi.
According to CBS News, Clinton, instead of using her formal state.gov email address, used the email HRod17@clintonemail.com or would sign off as “Gert” or “Gertie” to her friend Betsy Ebeling in Chicago. Another e-mail address she used was firstname.lastname@example.org.
A “Richard Windsor” appeared to be an official at the EPA. The individual had an official epa.gov e-mail address, but it was later discovered through FOIA requests and public records that Windsor.Richard@epa.gov not only did not exist, but the e-mail address belonged to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
“I don’t know any other agency that does this,” said Anne Weismann, chief counsel of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which called upon the EPA’s inspector general to investigate the matter in 2012.
It did not stop at just the EPA. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, among other appointees, used secret e-mail accounts to conduct business, the Associated Press reported.
In June 2013, the AP asked for HHS’s unpublished secret email accounts from the agency, which the department initially resisted.
“The Health and Human Services Department initially turned over to the AP the email addresses for roughly 240 appointees — except none of the email accounts for Sebelius, even one for her already published on its website. After the AP objected, it turned over three of Sebelius’ email addresses, including a secret one. It asked the AP not to publish the address, which it said she used to conduct day-to-day business at the department,” the AP reported. “Most of the 240 political appointees at HHS appeared to be using only public government accounts.”
Eventually, the AP published Sebelius’s secret email — KGS2(at)hhs.gov — “over the government’s objections because the secretary is a high-ranking civil servant who oversees not only major agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but also the implementation of Obama’s signature health care law. Her public email address is Kathleen.Sebelius(at)hhs.gov.”
The AP notes that “at least two other senior HHS officials — including Donald Berwick, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Gary Cohen, a deputy administrator in charge of implementing health insurance reform — also had secret government email addresses.”
The Internal Revenue Service disclosed last year that Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative organizations controversy, also had a private e-mail account she may have used for government business.
Lerner’s second e-mail, discovered by the D.C. watchdog group Judicial Watch, is registered to the name “Toby Miles.”
“It is simply astonishing that years after this scandal erupted we are learning about an account Lois Lerner used that evidently hadn’t been searched,” Tom Fitton said in a statement to The Washington Times.
The use of a non-public pseudonym for e-mail communication within a government agency was done by address for Seth D. Harris when he was the acting labor secretary.
Did anybody at the Justice Department hold administration officials accountable for the use of such alternate emails? Unfortunately, the task would have been difficult for Attorney General Eric Holder who had two secret aliases — Lew Alcindor and Kareem Abdul Jabar, — to communicate through email at DOJ.
Money first donated to Clinton Family Foundation disbursed to Clinton Foundation, Georgetown University, Hippy USA
Joe Schoffstall | Free Beacon – SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
Nearly 60 percent of the charitable giving last year by Hillary Clinton’s family charity wound up at the Clinton Foundation, according to tax returns obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Clinton Family Foundation is the charitable vehicle used by the Clintons. It is a separate entity than that of the much larger Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (the Clinton Foundation). Once the Clintons’ charitable money is placed in the Clinton Family Foundation, they then cut checks to numerous charities.
According to a review of the Clinton Family Foundation’s 2015 Form 990 provided to the Free Beaconby the assistant of Clinton’s tax lawyer, the Clintons disbursed $2,630,500 to charities last year from the family foundation. These donations include $30,000 to Yale University, $50,000 to Georgetown University, $20,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society, and $25,000 to Hippy USA, among others.
However, a majority of the funds from the Clinton Family Foundation ended up at the Clinton Foundation. Of the $2.6 million in charitable giving the Clintons made last year, $1.5 million, or 57 percent of all of the Clinton’s charitable donations, was funneled to the Clinton Foundation.
The Clintons gave $1,042,000 to charity in 2015, Hillary Clinton’s most recent income tax return shows. Of this amount, $1 million—or 96 percent—went to the Clinton Family Foundation.
The Clintons gave $3.7 million in charitable contributions in 2014 with $1.8 million (48 percent) of that amount being kicked to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton initially wrote off millions of dollars on her income tax returns that ultimately ended up at the Clinton Foundation after being passed through the smaller Clinton Family Foundation.
The largest contribution every year since 2007 from the Clinton Family Foundation has gone to the Clinton Foundation, the Free Beacon previously reported.
Between 2007 and 2015, the Clintons have dished out $16,001,450 in total to charity. Of that amount, $15,769,000 went to the Clinton Family Foundation. From the family foundation, $5,812,000 was then funneled to the Clinton Foundation as of 2015—or 36 percent of all the total charitable giving since 2007 marked by the Clintons on their income tax returns.
The Clinton Family Foundation’s 2015 Form 990 was marked as completed on May 6, 2016. Howard Topaz, a New York-based partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells who completed the form, told theFree Beacon that he submitted it to the IRS around this time. However, it does not appear to be publicly available as of now.
Clinton’s campaign did not return a request for comment on the amount that was kicked from the Clinton Family Foundation to the Clinton Foundation by press time.
BY MATT PALUMBO
It was news too good to be true: House Republicans planning on impeaching IRS commissioner John Koskinen. The man has been accused of obstructing justice and congressional investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups. House Republicans introduced a measure to impeach Koskinen in October 2015 for the aforementioned charges, and were expected to finally hold an impeachment vote. Republican Congressional leadershave advocated against forcing a vote on impeaching Koskinen despite his many misdeeds, and it looks like they just got their way.
Via Fox News
House Republicans reached an agreement late Wednesday to avoid a potentially divisive floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The deal scraps the vote on the so-called “privileged” impeachment resolution that had been expected to take place Thursday. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee will consider Koskinen’s impeachment, with the IRS boss expected to testify sometime next week.
The agreement makes it unlikely that any vote by the full House to impeach Koskinen will happen until after the November election, if at all. House Republican leadership had balked on moving forward on impeachment proceedings during an election season, arguing that an impeachment vote risked irritating voters. Others said Koskinen deserved a full House Judiciary Committee probe before embarking on the seldom-used impeachment process.
Yes – their reasoning was that holding impeachment hearings against a man who heads the second least popular government agency after the Veteran’s Administration would irritate voters.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which used a procedural maneuver to force a floor vote earlier this week, celebrated the development as a victory.
“This hearing will give every American the opportunity to hear John Koskinen answer under oath why he misled Congress, allowed evidence pertinent to an investigation to be destroyed, and defied Congressional subpoenas and preservation orders,” the caucus said in a statement. “It will also remove any lingering excuses for those who have been hesitant to proceed with this course of action.”
But the deal came only after conservatives predicted that their impeachment resolution was going to get sidelined by Democratic and Republican opposition Thursday. Even if the House was able to send the resolution to the Senate, Democrats there have enough votes to prevent Republicans from removing Koskinen from office.
The House needs only a simple majority vote to impeach a federal official, the equivalent of an indictment. The Senate then holds a trial and needs a two-thirds majority to find the official guilty and remove him or her from office.
No appointed official of the executive branch has been impeached in 140 years, so it would be a rarity if Koskinen were to be impeached. Who knows, maybe he’ll rattle off a whole list of new lies when he testifies next week and give his critics more fuel for impeachment.