Archive for the ‘Internal Revenue Service’ category

The Intimidation Game, Cont’d

September 17, 2017

The Intimidation Game, Cont’d, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, September 17, 2017

Paul Mirengoff covered the Department of Justice’s September 8 reiteration of its decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner. Paul noted the absence of a rejoinder to the stated conclusion that the department lacked sufficient evidence to bring a case against Lerner. I hate cliches, but the more things change…

John Koskinen remains Commissioner of the IRS. Only last month Kim Strassel noted that the IRS is still toying with conservative nonprofits. Kim wrote that “Trump’s Justice Department has inexplicably continued to defend the IRS’s misdeeds under President Obama,” of which Kim herself covered many.

At the heart of Kim’s book The Intimidation Game lies a narrative account of the voluminous IRS wrongdoing during the Obama administration (chapters 7-11 and 21). It is chilling.

An unsigned editorial in the current issue of the Weekly Standard laments “The unaccountable IRS.” It does not cite evidence supporting the proposition that Lerner is guilty of criminal wrongdoing. However, it does restate the issues raised by the status quo while and take up themes that have occupied us over the years:

To understand the pragmatic realities of federal governance in the 21st century, one must recognize the existence of a fourth branch of government: the administrative state. We have some two million federal bureaucrats with extraconstitutional legislative powers. Not only do they write the reams of regulations that order our lives, they have the authority to enforce them capriciously. And thanks to absurd civil service protections, it is exceedingly difficult to hold them accountable for abuses of power, even when Congress demands it.

Of course, you can’t censure federal bureaucrats for their crimes if you don’t even try. On September 8, Donald Trump’s Justice Department announced it would not be reopening an investigation into the conduct of Lois Lerner, the IRS official responsible for targeting and harassing conservative groups in the 2010 and 2012 elections. That investigation had ended in 2015, when Barack Obama’s Justice Department stated it would not be charging Lerner or anyone else at the IRS because it “found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Lerner herself admitted “absolutely inappropriate” targeting had taken place but blamed it on “front-line people.” Soon after, she pleaded the Fifth in testimony to a congressional committee and was placed on administrative leave by the IRS. Emails later confirmed Lerner had a strong personal bias against conservatives (she called them “crazies” and “a—holes”), and there was an extensive and credible series of accusations that she harassed conservative groups when she worked for the Federal Election Commission in the 1990s. If all this doesn’t suggest motive and criminality, it’s still an outrage that Lerner, whose leave was never revoked, eventually retired from the IRS with a full and generous pension.

President Obama declared on national television during the height of the scandal that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the agency. That’s laughable….

The intimidation game will be resumed unless something is done. The Standard editorial raises the question what is to be done. Concerned readers will want to check out the whole thing here.

Weekly Update: It’s amateur hour at State

September 16, 2017

Weekly Update: It’s amateur hour at State, Judicial Watch, September 15, 2017

(The second part of the article deals with the failure of the Department of Justice to prosecute former IRS head Lois Lerner. I have not corrected typos in the article because my internet keeps going down and I want to get this posted promptly.– DM)

Clinton Emails Reveal Additional Mishandling of Classified Information

We continue to accumulate details of the communications abuses in the Hillary Clinton State Department, but after you read the following report pause and consider the big picture. For four years the inner workings of her department were porous to prying eyes. Is it just a coincidence that Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic efforts so often failed?

This week we released 1,617 new pages of documents revealing numerous additional examples of classified information being transmitted through the unsecure, non-state.gov account of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, as well as many instances of Hillary Clinton donors receiving special favors from the State Department.

The documents included 97 email exchanges with Clinton not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 627emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.

The emails are the 20th production of documents obtained in response to a court order in a May 5, 2015, lawsuit we filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). We sued after State failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”

On September 11, 2009, the highly sensitive name and email address of the person giving the classified Presidential Daily Brief was included in an email forwarded to Abedin’s unsecure email account by State Department official Dan Fogerty. The State Department produced many more Clinton and Abedin unsecured emails that were classified:

  • On April 16, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account classified informationabout an unknown subject.
  • On June 18, 2009, Abedin sent classified informationsummarizing a June 18, 2009, “Middle East Breakfast” meeting between various senators, representatives and State Department officials, at which Deputy Secretary Jack Lew and George Mitchell briefed the congressmen with “an update on our discussions with the [Middle East] parties.”
  • On June 23, 2009, U.S. diplomat Martin Indyk, who had his security clearance suspendedin 2000 for “possible sloppiness” in the handling of classified information, sent a memo containing classified information to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The memo, written for Clinton, pertained to Indyk’s discussions with top Israeli officials:

Could I ask you to review the memo below that I wrote yesterday on my return from Israel?  If you think it worthwhile, I’d be very grateful if you showed it to HRC (I have already shared it with Mitchell and Feltman). A confrontation with Bibi appears imminent.  I’ve never been one to shy away from that, as she may know.  But it has to be done carefully, and that doesn’t appear to be happening.  And I’m concerned that she will be tarred with the same brush if this leads to a bad end.  So I think she needs to make sure that the friction is productive.  I’ve made some suggestions at the end of the memo

  • On August 1, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified informationfrom State Department official Richard Verma to her unsecure email account. The email from Senator Russ Feingold was sent to Hillary Clinton regarding her upcoming Africa trip.
  • On August 4, 2009, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent classified informationabout discussions with Kuwaiti officials to Abedin’s unsecure email account. Feltman noted that the Kuwaitis felt a lunch they had with Obama was “chilly.” The discussions concerned Guantanamo as well as Kuwait’s treatment of detainees.
  • On Sept 20, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified informationto her unsecure email account. The email was from State Department official Esther Brimmer and concerned foreign leaders’ discussions regarding a UNESCO leadership appointment.
  • On November 1, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Rick Olson sent classified informationto Abedin’s unsecure email account. The email shows that Olsen was traveling with Hillary in the Middle East, and Abedin asked him to “work on a list of everything covered in the mbz [presumably Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi] meeting for Hillary.” Olson asks: “do you want it on this system (I can sanitize), or on the other system.” She replies: “This system easier. We are staying without class[ified] computers. Thx.”
  • On December 1, 2009, Abedin sent classified informationabout foreign military contributions to the Afghanistan war effort to her unsecure email account. The email originated with State official Sean Misko who wrote to Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan that he first “accidentally” sent it on the “high side” (secure) but was resending.
  • On December 25, 2009, Abedin sent to her unsecure email account classified informationprepared by Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone concerning the Afghan elections.
  • On December 26, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual sent a memo to Clinton, which was found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained extensive classified information involving U.S. and Mexican counter-drug operations in Mexico.
  • On March 22, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationabout a telephone conversation between President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
  • On April 13, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationfrom Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman regarding diplomatic discussions with the foreign ministers of Algeria and Morocco.
  • On May 24, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationabout the minutes of a State Department senior staff meeting regarding State Department officials’ meetings in Uganda.
  • Among Abedin’s unsecure email records is a document that is simply titled “NOTE” with the date September 12, 2010. The contents are entirely redacted as classified.
  • On January 28, 2011, Abedin sent Clinton an unsecure email containing classified informationrelating to a briefing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave.
  • On March 21, 2012, Clinton received a memo from State Department officials Joseph Yun and Derek Mitchell marked “Sensitive But Unclassified” and sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained classified informationabout elections in Burma.
  • Jake Sullivan emailed to Hillary’s unsecure email account classified informationin which Sullivan discussed the content of conversations with UK Prime Minister Gordon regarding “the situation” in Northern Ireland. The date of this email is not included on the document.
  • On April 8, 2012, Abedin sent classified informationto her unsecure email regarding a call sheet and an “Action Memo” for Clinton relating to a call with Malawi President Joyce Banda. On April 9, 2012, confidential assistant Monica Hanley again forwarded the classified information to Clinton’s unsecure email account.

Other emails contain sensitive information that was sent via Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email servers.

  • On August 18, 2009, Hanley provided Abedin with laptop and fob (a physical device that provides a login code) logins and passwordsto log onto a laptop, as well as a secure State Department website at https://one.state.gov. Included were a PIN number and instructions on how to access her email from the secure State Department website. Abedin forwarded this information to her unsecure account.

(The FBI interviewed Hanley in its probe of Clinton’s email practices, and State’s Diplomatic Security staff reprimanded her after she left classified material behind in a Moscow hotel room. Hanley was the staffer tasked with finding BlackBerry phones for Clinton to use.)

  • On August 19, 2009, Hanley asked Abedin to call her and provide Abedin’s computer passwordso that she could download a UN document for Cheryl Mills from Abedin’s computer. Instead of calling Hanley, Abedin apparently provided the computer password in her unsecure reply email, saying, “Its [redacted].”
  • On April 17, 2009, Clinton aide Lona Valmoro emailed Clinton’s sensitive daily schedulefor April 18 to various Clinton Foundation officials, including Doug Band, Terry Krinvic and Justin Cooper. She also forwarded Clinton’s daily schedule for July 16 to numerous Clinton Foundation officials. She did the same thing on September 8, 2009. She did so again on January 10, January 14 and April 11, 2010.
  • The details of Hillary’s arrivalon November 18, 2009, in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, for the inauguration of President Karzai, were found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. Included were precise times of landing at Kabul Airport, the occupants of her vehicle, arrival and departure times at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and meeting times with U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The new documents show that Clinton donors frequently requested and received special favors from the State Department that were connected to the Clinton Foundation.

  • On July 14, 2009, Gordon Griffin, a XL Keystone lobbyist,sent an email to Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band, asking if Band could get him into a Council on Foreign Relations dinner at which Clinton was speaking. Band forwarded the email to Abedin, saying, “Can u get him in?” Abedin replied: “Yes will get him in.” Band was a top aide to President Bill Clinton and co-founder of Teneo. Griffin was a major donor to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential
  • On July 16, 2009, Zachary Schwartz asked Band for help getting visas to travel to Cuba for a film production crew from Shangri La Entertainment. Band forwarded the requestto Abedin, telling her, “Please call zach asap on this. [Redacted.] Important.” Abedin responded, “I’ll call zach when we land in India.” Abedin concludes with “Enjoy. Cuba is complicated. Am sure you aren’t surprised to hear that.” Schwartz worked for Steve Bing, a mega-donor to the Clintons and owner of Shangri La Entertainment. Bing has reportedly donated $10-25 million to the Clinton Foundation and paid Bill Clinton personally $2.5 million a year to be an adviser to a green construction company Bing owned.
  • On September 11, 2009, Terrence Duffy, chairman of futures brokerage firm CME Group, a donor to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton to arrange “government appointments” for him in Singapore and Hong Kong. Clinton, using her HDR22@clintonmail.comaddress, forwarded the request to Abedin, “fyi.” Abedin responded to Duffy’s email, saying she would “follow up” with Duffy’s secretary, Joyce. Duffy gave $4,600 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign; CME Group paid Hillary $225,000 for a speaking fee and has donated between $5,001 and 10,000 to the Clinton Foundation.Abedin, using her huma@clintonmail.com address, later told Joyce, “Would like to get some more information and details so we can try to help.” Further along in the exchange, Joyce responds “We would also like some help in arranging meetings with some key govt officials in both locations, such as the Prime Minister of Singapore, and would appreciate any help you may be able to provide.”

On September 29, 2009, Abedin followed up with Duffy, telling him that “we are happy to assist with any and all meetings” and that she had “discussed you and your trip with our assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs,” suggesting that Duffy write the assistant secretary, Kurt Campbell. Duffy replied, “Thank you very much. I did connect with Kurt Campbell today.”

  • On May 5, 2010, major Clinton Global Initiative member, Clinton Foundation donor and real estate developer Eddie Trump forwarded to “Dougie” Band a request for assistancefrom Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner to get the Russian American Foundation involved in a State Department program. Band forwarded the request to Abedin, saying, “Can we get this done/mtg set.” As Judicial Watch previously reported, the State Department doled out more than $260,000 to the Russian American Foundation for “public diplomacy.”
  • Major Clinton donor Bal Das, a New York financier who reportedly raised $300,000for Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, asked Abedin on November 11, 2009 if Hillary Clinton could address the Japan Society at its annual conference in 2010. Clinton did speak to the Japan Society’s annual conference in 2011.

The emails also provide insight on the inner workings of the Clinton State Department, in particular her engagement with her staff.

  • In a May 19, 2009, “Global Press Conference” memo, Clinton was given in advance the “proposed questions” of four of the seven foreign reporters. Examples include: “What is the Obama administration’s view of Australian PM Rudd’s proposal to form an Asia-Pacific Community” and “Why can’t American drones not find, detect and destroy the insurgency supply line?”
  • In a document entitled “HRC Pakistan Notes” prepared for Clinton by her staff, Clinton apparently had to be reminded about all her trips to Pakistan and of “stories that you have told/remember.” Her reminder instructions include: “You loved Faisal mosque, and it was especially meaningful to have CVC [Chelsea] with you.” And: “Your first Pakistani friend was in College. She introduced you to Pakistani food and clothes.” And: “You have had lots of Pakistani and Pakistani American friends over the years. From Chicago to California to Washington, DC, you have friends all over the country. They know how much you love Pakistani food …”
  • On February 12, 2010, Case Button, a Clinton speechwriter, asked Abedin if her mother, a professor at Dar Al Hekma, a women’s university in Saudi Arabia where Clinton held a town hall meeting,would be willing to give him advice on talking points he was preparing for Clinton. Abedin responded, “Talk to my mom for sure. She will have good points for you.” After reviewing Hillary’s draft remarks, Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, (a controversial Islamist activist), offered some advice: “Do not use the political terms such as ‘democracy/elections/freedom.’ Do not use the term ‘empowerment of women’ instead say ‘enabling women’ Do not even mention driving for women! Don’t sound sympathetic to ‘women’s plight’ or be ‘patronizing’ as other visitors have done and made the students extremely annoyed. They rightly consider these as in-house issues …” No references to these issues appear in Clinton’s speech.

Abedin’s involvement in a major appointment at the State Department is controversial given that Abedin’s mother was an Islamist activist.

  • On July 24, 2009, Cheryl Mills forwarded to Abedin a CV for someone being considered for the position of Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It had been sent to Mills from State Department recruiter Margaret Carpenter. Rather than forwarding the resume on to Clinton for her approval, Abedin simply responds to Mills: “I’m a hundred percent fine with him.”

Abedin also offered her opinion to Clinton on administration leaders: On January 21, 2011, while on a trip to Mexico, Abedin emailed Hillary that, “Biden is a disaster here.”

  • On February 20, 2012, Clinton expresses outrage over an apparent wardrobe miscommunication for a meeting in Mexico and sent an emailto Abedin with the subject line “I’m venting.” Clinton admonished:

So, here I sit in the meeting surrounded by ever other person dressed in a white shirt provided by the Mexicans. Patricia is not wearing the exact style that all others are but her own white shirt. But, since no one ever told me about this, and instead assumed I didn’t need to know, I had no idea about any of this until I just walked into the large meeting in front of the entire press corps and I’m wearing a green top. So, what’s my answer when asked why I think I’m different than all my colleagues and why I’m dissing our hosts? I am sick of people deciding what I should know rather than giving me the info so I can make a decision. This really annoys me and I told Monica [Hanley] I just didn’t understand.

These emails show ‘what happened’ was that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin obviously violated laws about the handling of classified information and turned the State Department into a pay for play tool for the corrupt Clinton Foundation. The clear and mounting evidence of pay for play and mishandling of classified information warrant a serious criminal investigation by an independent Trump Justice Department.
To read more about Huma Abedin’s emails, click here.

 

 

The IRS Scandal Is Still a Scandal

In a baffling move, President Trump’s Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

When we learned of this, I issued this statement:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Let’s review the history.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report, which said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The documents revealed that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Our litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems. Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In July 2014Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testifiedto the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admitin a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contemptof court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

While Washington spins in circles trying to find election rigging on the part of Donald Trump, it closes its eyes to genuine election skullduggery.

IRS Corruption Fuels Billions in Fraudulent Payments to Illegal Aliens

April 17, 2016

IRS Corruption Fuels Billions in Fraudulent Payments to Illegal Aliens, Breitbart, Tom Tancredo, April 16, 2016

GettyImages-57134468-640x480Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images

I am sorry to report that the IRS practice described in this recent FORBES headline is not new. It’s an old story that continues to shock most — but not all — Americans:

            “IRS admits it encourages illegals to steal Social Security numbers”

Imagine my surprise when I found a pile of IRS 1040 tax returns among the tons of trash at a “lay-up site” used by illegal border jumpers near the Mexican border west of Douglas, Arizona. There are dozens of such places where the thousands of border invaders change clothes, discard trash and wait to be taken by their “coyote” to their pick-up location for moving on to Phoenix or El Paso or Houston.

The IRS 1040 forms were filled out and had been used. Hey, who says illegal aliens don’t pay taxes?

I collected the 1040 forms and we noticed all had claimed Earned Income Tax Credits and all also had claimed around nine deductions for children. The average refund was around $4,000. It occurred to me only much later that the American taxpayer may be funding the coyote’s $1,500 fees for smuggling poor Mexicans, Salvadorans — and Iraqis and Vietnamese — across our southwest border.

When I sent the 1040 forms to the Social Security Administration and the IRS, I was told that the practice described in the FORBES article was the one being followed in dealing with these returns. I tried to amend the appropriations bills for the IRS to be the practice, but I got nowhere. My Republican colleagues didn’t want to hear about it and were ticked at me for bringing it up.

Illegal aliens use “the system” to report income and also gain every possible “refund” the tax law — and IRS collusion — allows. Who can blame them when the welcome sign is in bright green neon letters?

This FORBES headline should not shock anyone. The IRS collusion with illegal alien tax fraud is not a secret. Over the past decade, there have been regular news stories exposing tax fraud by illegal aliens– and IRS indifference to the scandal.

The shocking thing is that the FORBES headline is not an exaggeration. The IRS knows illegal aliens are using stolen Social Security numbers and is glad they are doing it. But that is only the tip of the iceberg called illegal alien tax fraud.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen made the revelation in congressional testimony this past week, but no one was really shocked. The IRS wants illegal aliens working illegally to file tax returns and pay taxes on their illegal earnings like everyone else. So, the government figures it is a smart thing to make it easy for them to do so. The government doesn’t care whether the Social Security number used is stolen or not, it’s the tax filing itself that is important to the IRS.

  • When asked why the agency has a policy to ignore notifications from the Social Security Administration that a number does not match the name used on the tax filing, the agency replies, literally, “That’s not our job.”
  • The IRS deliberately and unapologetically avoids telling you when your SSN is being used unlawfully by another person — or ten or twenty other people.
  • Efforts in Congress to fix that problem are criticized as “racist.”

But as I said, that IRS scandal is only the beginning of the story of tax fraud by millions of illegal aliens. Millions of illegal workers are filing tax forms not to pay their taxes but to claim and then receive refundable tax credits– that is, cash refunds– and those cash payments run into the billions annually.

It’s politically correct in Washington, DC, to say that illegal aliens are willing, even anxious, to “pay their fair share of taxes.” It’s part of the mythology of the noble “undocumented worker” seeking the American dream. Even the Republican National Committee believes it.

This week the RNC sent a fundraising letter to a few million prospective donors using the tired gimmick of a “poll” on critical issues. One question asked voters if they support legalization for illegal aliens if they meet a number of tests, one of them being “paying back taxes.” We all know illegal aliens are anxious to do that to prove they have earned the right to stay here and contribute to the economy.

The problem is they already have a way to pay back taxes if they want to do it, but millions are doing just the opposite. Millions of illegal aliens are collecting refundable tax credits– that is, cash — by filing fraudulent claims. And the IRS doesn’t care.

An April 2012 investigative report by an Indiana television station found numerous cases of tax fraud in the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credits programs.

  • Four illegal alien tax filers had used the same address and claimed a total of 20 children for refundable tax credits of up to $1,000 for each child. Only one child actually lived at the address, and the other 19 lived in Mexico and had never even visited the United States.
  • That aspect of the fraud is in fact not really illegal: the child you claim on the tax form does not have to live in the United States. the child can be living with Aunt Rosa in Peru or Grandpa Felix in Algeria.
  • The IRS response to the fraudulent payments? They refused to comment or to confirm any investigation and refused to meet with reporters to answer questions.

IRS refusal to act on documented fraud by illegal aliens is legendary. For a decade the agency’s own Inspector General has complained of inaction by agency managers.

  • According to reports of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), millions of illegal aliens are filing tax forms in order to claim refundable tax credits and receive billions in tax dollars — even if they have never paid one dollar in federal income taxes.
  • Illegal aliens are accessing not only the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Additional Child Tax Credit ACTC) to the tune of billions annually.
  • And according to testimony of the Treasury Department’s Inspector General, the IRS has refused to take steps to curtail illegal aliens cashing in on these programs.

You may be thinking that the government surely would take action if the tax fraud is costing the Treasury millions of dollars. It’s fraud on a small scale, right? Nope. It’s costing billions, not millions.

While I was in Congress back in 2007, I tried to blow the whistle on this IRS partnership with schemes costing taxpayers billions.

  • A brave IRS employee in one of the agency’s Western regional offices called my office and met with my staff clandestinely at a restaurant in the capital of one of our southwestern states. He offered concrete, credible information and internal reports that showed there was a huge problem– and that it was being ignored by agency management.
  • His regional office team had studied a random sample of Child Tax Credit claims by tax filers using “ITIN” numbers– tax ID numbers given lawfully to persons who do not qualify for Social Security numbers but are employed and need to file tax returns.
  • Their sample revealed a high rate of fraud which suggested widespread fraud involving hundreds of millions of dollars. But he and his regional colleagues could get no action from headquarters to investigate it further.

Can you guess who blocked any congressional action to demand the IRS investigate illegal alien abuse of these “refundable tax credit” programs? The Congressional Hispanic Caucus threatened massive protests against “discriminatory practices” if the IRS pursued the issue.

At that time, Democrats were in the majority in the House and the Senate and thus controlled the committees, so no investigation was ever conducted. But did Republicans undertake to clean up the mess when they gained the majority in the 2010 election? No.

There is no evidence the problem of tax fraud by illegal aliens is something the IRS cares about.

  • A December 2014 report by Watchdog.org revealed that an IRS audit documented a 24 percent error rate in claims made under the EITC — a loss of $14.2 billion in unlawful tax refunds in the year 2012.
  • A similar audit of the Additional Child Tax Credit program in 2012 revealed erroneous payments in the range of 25 percent to 31 percent.
  • But did the audits result in corrective actions? No.

Adding all of the fraud rates together from three separate refundable tax credit programs suggests total tax fraud in the realm of several billion dollars. Of course, not all of the fraud is by illegal aliens. But the lack of IRS interest in curtailing illegal alien abuse of these tax credit programs tells us the problem will only get worse in the years ahead.

Let’s add the shameful, willful taxpayer-funded philanthropy toward illegal workers to the many reasons why IRS Commissioner Koskinen should be impeached and a new management team put into the agency to conduct a thorough house cleaning.

What are the odds of that happening under President Hillary Clinton? Or President John Kasich?

The wrong side of Z Street

June 20, 2015

The wrong side of Z Street, Power LineScott Johnson, June 19, 2015

[W]hile Z STREET’s application for tax exempt status was pending, the IRS did indeed create a special category of review for organizations seeking such status, if they were engaged in what the IRS called “occupied territory advocacy.”

**************

The pro-Israel group Z Street had its application for tax-exempt status held up at the IRS. When founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus asked why, she was told that IRS auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention and that Z Street’s application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review. Not to put too fine a point on the legal issues, this isn’t kosher. It’s illegal.

Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in the rosy dawn of the Age of Obama; the lawsuit has failed to get beyond the IRS’s motion for dismissal. The Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman wrote about the lawsuit here last year when the DC District Court denied the IRS motion to dismiss the case. Z Street’s Lori Marcus wrote about it here. John wrote about it in 2013 in the post “The other IRS scandal.”

The legal positions asserted by the IRS are ludicrous. Indeed, they are a pretext to preclude discovery until President Obama and the malefactors serving his pleasure have moved on. The case is a sidebar to the political corruption of the IRS that remains one of the great untold stories of the Age of Obama.

The IRS appealed the denial of its motion to dismiss to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month a panel of three DC Circuit judges heard the IRS appeal. The hearing did not go well for the IRS. Indeed, it was an exercise in righteous humiliation of the Department of Justice. The Wall Street Journal took a look at the hearing in the reported editorial “The IRS goes to court” (accessible here via Google).

Working with unusual swiftness, the DC Circuit handed down its opinion today. The court unanimously rejected the arguments advanced by the IRS. The court’s opinion is accessible online here.

Z Street is now free to pursue its claim and conduct discovery. Z Street comments:

Z STREET looks forward to the discovery phase of litigation in which it will seek to learn the nature and origin of the “Israel Special Policy” which the IRS applied to Z STREET’s tax exemption application. Z STREET will seek to learn how such a policy was created, who created it, who approved it, to whom it was applied, as well as all other information regarding this policy.

A series of IRS documents called “Be On the LookOut” lists, which were released by Congress in June, 2013, pursuant to the TIGTA investigation, have already established that, as Z STREET alleges, while Z STREET’s application for tax exempt status was pending, the IRS did indeed create a special category of review for organizations seeking such status, if they were engaged in what the IRS called “occupied territory advocacy.”

Z STREET looks forward to using the discovery process to learn more about the precise nature, origin and effect of this policy, which the DC Circuit has now made clear is a violation of essential Constitutional rights.

Perhaps some day there will be a day of reckoning and perhaps some day someone will take note of the array of wrongs committed by the IRS on behalf of the Obama administration.