White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer did a tour of the sunday shows to try and calm everyone down about this whole IRS targeting Tea Party groups scandal. He was the one tasked with assuring the masses that the White House knew nothing, that things will change in the future, and that heads will roll. On Fox News Sunday, Pfeiffer promised the administration would make sure “everyone who did anything wrong here is held accountable” before the dust settles. The IRS's next goal is to “fix the problem, make sure it never happens again and restore the public trust,” Pfeiffer said. …
Continue reading here:
Dan Pfeiffer Explains the IRS Scandal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is feeling the sort of heat that targeted taxpayers feel from the tax agency. It's the sense that a powerful someone is breathing down your neck.
Money tangle: The IRS and its tea party tempest
Well . AL HUNT, HOST, BLOOMBERG NEWS: We’re going to get to larger economic questions in a little bit, but first the IRS, which reports to Treasury. When were you first notified that IRS agents were targeting conservative groups like the Tea Party? JACK LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY, U.S. GOVERNMENT: Al, I learned the substance of this report last Friday when it became a matter of public knowledge. Before that, in mid March, I had had a conversation, just a getting-to-know-you conversation, with the inspector general right after I started, and he went through a number of items that were matters they were working on. And the topic of a project on the 501c3 issue was one of the things he briefed me was ongoing. I didn’t know any of the details of it until last Friday. When I learned about it — from the moment I learned about it, I was outraged. The Secretary of the Treasury, as a citizen, it is a matter of the highest priority that the IRS be beyond suspicion in terms of its (inaudible). HUNT: Did Tim Geithner or Neal Wolin or the general counsel know about it before him? LEW: I think that there was — the heads-up that I got was something that was a matter of public knowledge. It was posted on the IG’s website in the Fall of 2012. I believe that other is typically the practice that an inspector general notify the agencies when matters are opened. I was not aware of any details. My deputy was not aware of any details until it became a matter of public knowledge. J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, today told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4, and deputy Treasury secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.” While the inspector general’s report was still ongoing, anyone at the highest level of the Treasury Department could see that the IG had been investigating the topic for several months. And yet no one in the entire Treasury Department felt the president should be notified?
Read the original here:
Lew: IRS Investigation Was on Inspector General Web Site in Fall 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are ready to question the ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service as Congress holds its first hearing on the tougher scrutiny the IRS gave tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.
Here is the original post:
House committee to grill ousted IRS chief
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-controlled House panel moved Thursday to protect the Department of Homeland Security from the big cuts facing other domestic agencies under the party’s budget slashing plan.
The rest is here:
House bill protects homeland security budget
Because no Scandal Week would be complete without some good, old-fashioned tilting at the windmill of Obamacare, the House today voted (again) to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now, it's time for the Senate to ignore the bill, passed more-or-less down the party line at 229-195, until the House GOP decides to try again. Which, of course, they've promised to do.
(Photo: Shutterstock.com) The revelation that several weeks worth of Associated Press reporters’ and editors’ phone records were obtained in a federal investigation regarding a leak has outraged many in the media sphere, but an Oregon attorney as a message for them: you’re not the only ones. “As much as I sympathize with the media … it’s kind of ‘welcome to the party guys,’” Kevin Sali, an attorney at Angeli Law, told TheBlaze in a phone interview Thursday. “We’re seeing outrage now because it’s the media, but this sort of thing happens to people across the country everyday.” But what would such records reveal? As you can imagine, records reveal phone numbers called as well as date and duration. Sali said it would look very similar to what you would see on your own monthly statement. What investigators are looking for are specific numbers, how often certain calls might be made, and sometimes certain timeframes in which communications are being had. It all depends on the case. Atlanta-based Constitutional Attorney Page Pate said such information can also be used as leverage. “If you have stuff I don’t want you to have, it makes me more likely to do what you want me to do,” Pate said, explaining how investigators could let suspects know they had already obtained their phone records. Pate also said that in addition to incoming and outgoing calls, cellphone records would include text messages as well. Although content of the message would not likely be provided, the number associated with the conversation, when the conversation was held, and its duration would be recorded. “These days, a toll request gets you more than 20 years ago, or five years ago,” he said. Government investigators, following the appropriate guidelines, are legally able to obtain such phone records. Sali said he believes the breadth of the government’s “immense power” allowing it to obtain these records is what has some upset. Pate said that some of the protocols that should have been followed to allow the government to subpoena the AP records do not appear to have been followed properly. “Initially, I was amazed at how unprecedented and invasive this request was,” Pate told TheBlaze. Not only were records for more than 20 AP phone lines obtained, but personal phones as well. Pate noted how there is a provision in the Attorney’s Manual that requires the media be offered the opportunity to comply before a subpoena is issued. In the AP’s case, that doesn’t seem to have happened. Pate acknowledged there is a provision that would allow the news organization to remain in the dark regarding its records being sought, but it would only occur if telling them would “pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.” “But that’s just the point of it,” Pate said. “We don’t know because no one has provided documents.” He said no reasoning has been provided to show how the investigation could be harmed if someone at the AP — not even those whose specific records were being sought — knew these subpoenas were coming. Pate also noted the lack of documentation regarding Attorney General Eric Holder being recused. Here’s more from TheBlaze’s report of Holder’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday: “On what date did you recuse yourself?” [Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL)] asked. “I’m not sure, I think it was towards the beginning of the matter,” Holder responded. “Isn’t that sort of an unacceptable procedure? The statue says that the attorney general shall approve the subpoena. There was no memorandum, no email — when you recused yourself, was it in writing, was it orally? Did you tell someone, did you alert the White House?” Bachus probed. “I would’ve told the deputy attorney general,” Holder replied, though he said there would be no record of it in writing. Holder also said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure how often he had approved subpoena requests for phone records of the media, but noted he took them “very seriously.” Holder, since he recused himself of the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest, said he did not sign off on the subpoena request for AP phone records. Attorney General Eric Holder is questioned about the Justice Department secretly obtaining two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press, during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. (Associated Press) In his experience with such cases, government investigators usually seek phone records for about half of their investigations, even if it doesn’t intend to use the information, Pate told TheBlaze. Going forward, Pate said he first hopes the Justice Department will “not be so sloppy in the way they follow their own requirements.” He continued, adding that he thinks the department needs to make sure that it actually follows guidelines that have long been in place. “If you’re going to approve a subpoena like this, go through the process and have documents available …for whomever wants to review” it later, Pate said. And while this would be helpful for news organizations, there is no requirement that private individuals or businesses whose phone records are being requested be notified or negotiated with for voluntary compliance prior. Pate said it would be nice to see the same protection rights for news media provided to individuals and businesses as well. – Related: (Updated) ‘Stunner’: Congressman Claims AP Phone Scandal Involved House of Reps. ‘Cloakroom’ This Supercut of Eric Holder Claiming Ignorance During Wednesday’s Hearing Is Pretty Incredible Obama Asks Congress to Pass a New Press Shield Law Follow Liz Klimas on Twitter Read more stories from TheBlaze Baby Dies After Man Allegedly Tricks Girlfriend Into Taking an Abortion Pill Obama Dodges Big Question on IRS Scandal Joe Scarborough Blows Up at David Axelrod Over DOJ/AP Records: ‘Save That for Somebody Else That’s Going to Buy Into That’ Incredible: Official in Charge of IRS Office Responsible for Conservative Targeting Now Heads Agency’s Obamacare Office Confused by Obama’s Incredibly Brief IRS Statement? Here’s Krauthammer’s Take
See the original post:
What Phone Records Can Actually Reveal
President Obama will address the investigation into the IRS's targeting of “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups (among others) in an early evening statement at the White House. The administration has seemed to take the IRS scandal relatively seriously this week: after Tuesday night's release of a Treasury watchdog report on the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, the president responded in a statement. …
See more here:
Watch Obama on IRS: Change Is Coming