Democratic Senator Sought DOJ and IRS Prosecutions of Conservatives
It wasn’t just Obama’s Internal Revenue Service that sought to suppress
conservative voices in order to help him retain the presidency in 2012. We learned further of a dangerous enterprise involving a key Democratic Senator and the Obama Justice Department from 72 pages of
Justice documents we released this week. They reveal email
conversations between Department of Justice officials and the staff of
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) regarding the criminal prosecution of Tea
Party and other conservative groups for fanciful violation of IRS
conversations were in preparation for a briefing by Justice Department
officials for Sen. Whitehouse’s staff and for a Senate Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing on April 9, 2013. One
internal agency email exchange indicates Sen. Whitehouse’s interest in seeking criminal prosecution of groups targeted by the IRS:
From: Erb, William (OLA) Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 4:54 PM To:
Raman, Mythill (CRM) [REDACTED] (CRM);Wroblewski, Jonathan (CRM);
Hulser, Raymond (CRM); Smith, Jack (CRM); Burton, Faith (OLA);
Levine, Doug (OLA); Suleiman, Daniel (CRM); Lenerz, Daniel J. (CRM);
Shatz, Eileen M. (TAX); OBrien, Paul (CRM); [REDACTED] (CRM);
[REDACTED] (CRM); Cimino, Ronald A. (TAX) Cc: Buretta, John (CRM): Agrast, Mark D. (OLA); [REDACTED] (CRM)
Subject: RE: New Whitehouse question regarding Campaign Finance Investigation and Prosecution Importance: High
All: New question from Sen. Whitehouse. Sen. Whitehouse is likely to ask
AAAG Raman whether the Department of Justice is too deferential to IRS
in deciding to prosecute 501(c) organizations that make fraudulent
statements regarding their political activities in their IRS filings.
Sen. Whitehouse is curious why, for example, if a 501(c) tax
organization files were leaked, and they clearly showed that make false
statements, why the Department of Justice wouldn’t prosecute the case by
itself and not wait for the IRS. Looping in the Tax Division who also
can help CRIM come up with a quick response. Thanks, Bill.
We uncovered the documents through a federal court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-01239)).
Later, at the Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, Sen. Whitehouse asked why the Department of Justice wasn’t prosecuting political groups on its own, independently of the IRS.
“I would urge that the Department and the Service get together and
rethink whether in these two specific areas, which I think bear little
resemblance to traditional tax violations and are in fact very
plain-vanilla criminal cases, whether or not that deference to the IRS
is actually serving the public interest at this point, or whether the
Department could not proceed to … put together a criminal case showing a
fairly straightforward false statement or a fairly [straightforward]
shell corporation disclosure violation.”
The newly released emails show that following the hearing, at the
request of Justice Department lawyers, Sen. Whitehouse’s staff sent over
examples of the organizations Whitehouse had in mind for prosecution.
They included American Future Fund, Crossroads GPS, Americans for
Responsible Leadership, Freedom Path, American is Not Stupid, Inc.,
RightChange.com II, and A Better America Now. All of these are
conservative organizations. The new emails also show collaboration
in the Department of Justice with officials in the IRS in preparing for the hearing. The IRS sent a draft of its planned testimony for the hearing to the Justice Department. Judicial Watch previously exposed a plan
by the Obama IRS and Justice Department prosecutors to pursue criminal
charges against the very Tea Party and anti-Obama groups that the IRS
was targeting. We uncovered two years ago how Lerner described the
impetus for the left-wing prosecution effort in 2013 email to top IRS staff:
As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the
FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they
are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks
think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel
at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform.
This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would
make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.
So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity
But in an email sent a few minutes earlier, Lerner acknowledged prosecutions would evidently be at odds with the law:
there was a false statement or fraud regarding an [sic] description of
an alleged political expenditure that doesn’t say vote for or vote
against is not realistic under current law. Everyone is looking for a
magic bullet or scapegoat — there isn’t one. The law in this area is
The Obama administration prosecution effort seemingly ended with the exposure of the IRS targeting in a May 2013 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). IRS official Lois Lerner did not reveal the targeting until just before the report’s release, in response to a planted question
at an American Bar Association conference. What’s
going on here is obvious: an abuse of power by Democrats in Congress,
who wanted to intimidate and possibly jail Obama’s political opponents
to help secure Obama’s reelection. Americans should know that the courts
have recently concluded that the Obama IRS abuses haven’t stopped –
even as we approach another presidential election. A 2013 study
by scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and the John F.
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University found that, “had the
Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010,
and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010,
they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 – 8.5 million
votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.” Will the IRS help the Left steal another election in 2016?
Days Before 9/11 DHS Secretary Says Islam is Religion of Peace, ISIS Isn’t Islamic How
should a senior national security official commemorate the
15th anniversary of 9/11, an act of war carried out by radical Muslims?
One would think our government leaders would avoid consorting with
Islamic terrorist front groups on 9/11. Our Corruption Chronicles
blog has an astonishing story about Jeh Johnson, the man at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security:
before the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history
Obama’s Homeland Security secretary became the highest ranking
government official—and first sitting cabinet member—to highlight a
convention held annually by a radical Muslim group with extremist
The Indiana-based nonprofit is called Islamic Society of North America
(ISNA) and it was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas and Al Qaeda.
ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in a huge case involving an
Islamic charity (Holy Land Foundation) that provided support to a
foreign terrorist organization, mainly Hamas. ISNA
conferences often feature contentious speakers, including renowned
Islamists and advocates of terrorism. Among them is Imam Warth Deen
Umar, who referred to the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs that were secretly
admired by Muslims and has called for violent jihad. At one ISNA
convention Umar portrayed the Holocaust as punishment of Jews for being
“serially disobedient to Allah,” according to a research conglomerate
recognized as the world’s most comprehensive data center on radical
Islamic terrorist groups.
The nonprofit, Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), published a disturbing report on
ISNA that documents its radical ideology and conference speakers
throughout the years that include “some of the world famous Islamists
and advocates of Jihad.”
About a week before the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Obama deployed
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to ISNA’s annual powwow in
Chicago. The appearance likely amounted to a slap in the face to many
Americans, especially survivors of the 2001 attacks. Johnson’s speech lasted
about 22 minutes and he basically said ISIS/ISIL isn’t Islamic, that
Islam is a religion of peace and that Islamophobia is the same as
In a press release announcing
the appearance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) writes that
Johnson will discuss the Obama administration’s “continued commitment to
build bridges to Muslim American communities, and encourage Muslim
Americans—particularly youth—to continue to fully participate in
Johnson didn’t exactly receive a warm reception and was booed
repeatedly, especially as he exited the stage. He told the crowd that a
group of terrorists is attempting to hijack their religion and that he
and Obama “refuse to bend to the political pressure to call terrorism
Islamic extremism.” He
went on to say that “we know that ISIL, though it claims the banner of
Islam, occupies no part of your religion, a religion founded on peace.”
Then Johnson proceeded to compare the discrimination and vilification
suffered by Muslims to the plight of African Americans, in particular to
“tar you with a broad brush of suspicion.”
Johnson proclaimed that the bullying and physical attacks experienced by
Muslims nationwide are familiar to him as a black man. “I look out at
this room of American Muslims and I see myself,” he said, adding that
theirs is a similar struggle to the one his African American ancestors
fought to win acceptance in the U.S.
Even with this craven apology, the Islamic supremacists booed him. As I said, an astonishing story.
Top State Officials Raised Questions about Clinton Emails Three Years Ago In
her attempts to hide her government email from the American people,
Hillary Clinton had a willing co-conspirator in the Obama State
Department she once ran.
This week we released 113 pages of
State Department documents, revealing that in early August 2013 top
State Department officials raised questions about Secretary Clinton’s
emails and the number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
seeking information about them. According to the newly obtained emails, in August 2013 State officials were aware of 17 FOIA
requests relating to requests for Clinton correspondence, including
four that “specifically mention Emails or Email accounts.” Despite the
large number of FOIA requests and growing concern among top agency
officials, the State Department did not formally request that the former
secretary of state produce the emails on the clintonemail.com server until October 2014. Included
among the 17 FOIA requests was a Judicial Watch lawsuit seeking records
pertaining to possible conflicts of interest between the actions taken
by Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and Bill Clinton’s activities.
produced 276 pages of internal State Department records revealing that within two days of the deadly terrorist attack on Benghazi, Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf,
the president of Libya’s National Congress, asked to participate in a
Clinton Global Initiative function and “meet President Clinton.” Those
records showed Hillary Clinton’s staff coordinated with the Clinton
Foundation’s staff to have her thank Clinton Global Initiative project
sponsors for their “commitments” during a Foundation speech on September
25, 2009. The lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of State (No. 1:13-cv-00772)) was filed on May 28, 2013. In a 2014 joint expose with the Washington Examiner
Judicial Watch’s Chief Investigative Reporter Micah Morrison reported:
President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his
wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether
the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton
Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released … in an
ongoing Freedom of Information Act case, State Department officials
charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object
to a single one.
The new State Department documents were obtained by Judicial Watch under court order
in a March 2016, FOIA lawsuit against the agency for all records “about
the processing of a December 2012 FOIA request filed by Citizens for
Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [CREW]” (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State(No. 1:16-cv-00574)). In December 2012, CREW filed a FOIA request
with the Department of State for “records sufficient to show the number
of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham
Clinton.” In May 2013, the agency responded that “no records responsive to
your request were located.” Earlier this year, the State Department
Office of Inspector General concluded that the “no records response”
sent in response to this request was “inaccurate and incomplete.” According to the
by early August 2013 top State Department officials raised questions
about FOIA requests seeking information related to the Clinton emails:
From: Grafeld, Margaret P Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:47 AM To: Walter, Sheryl; Hackett, John Subject: Fw: IPS significant FOIA Report
… Finally, John, you mentioned yesterday requests for Secretary Clinton’s emails; may I get copies, pls and thx.
Margaret Grafeld was the deputy assistant secretary for global information services. Sheryl Walter
was the State Department director, office of information programs and services/global information services. John Hackett was the deputy director, office of information programs and services.
From: Walter, Sheryl L Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:51 AM To: Hermesman, Geoffrey F [and others] Subject: FW: IPS Significant FOIA Report … Geoff, can you get a copy of all requests related to Clinton’s emails? [Geoffrey Hermesman was a State Department program analyst.
] From: Hermesman, Geoffrey F Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 12:54 PM To: Sheryl Walter [and others] Subject: RE: IPS significant FOIA Report
A search of the F2 database identified 17 FOIA cases that contain
Clinton in the subject line and can be further construed as requests for
correspondence between the Secretary and other individuals and/or
organizations. Of these, four specifically mention Emails or Email
accounts. From: Finnegan, Karen M Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 4:10 PM To: Walter, Sheryl L [and others] Subject: RE: IPS Significant FOIA Report Sheryl:
To follow-up on my early response, Cristina is handling the Judicial
Watch case, CA No. 2013-772 (DDC) (J. Kollar-Kotelly), that seeks access
to all communications (including e-mail) between the Department and
President Clinton and/or his foundation regarding clearing his speeches
Karen Finnegan was division chief of the State Department’s freedom of information program.
Last month, Judicial Watch released 10 pages of
Department records that included an email sent by State Department
spokesman Brock Johnson alerting Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s
then-chief of staff, that a “significant” Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) requests had been made for records showing the number of email
accounts used by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
These new emails suggest that the Obama State Department knew about the
Clinton email problem at least three years but covered it up. What
happened in 2013 to cause the sudden interest in Clinton emails at the
Obama State Department? Why are we only finding out about this interest
now? Any criminal investigation of the Clinton email scandal must
include officials in the Obama administration.
It’s Official! Clean House is New York Times Bestseller!
I am pleased to report that my new Judicial Watch book, Clean House: Exposing our Government’s Secrets and Lies, has debuted at #11 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction List and is already #18 on the Times
“Combined Print and E-Book Best Sellers.” And is now officially a national bestseller. Also this week, USA Today, Publishers Weekly,
The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post all list the book among the top best-selling hardcover non-fiction books in the country! Please remember your purchase of Clean House
will help JW directly and serve as your educational “field guide” to DC
government corruption. The book will become your go-to source on the
IRS scandal, Benghazi, the immigration crisis and, of course, the
Clinton email scandal. You can find the book here.
Help us keep the momentum going for yet another week on the national bestseller lists.
Until next week...
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