What Actually Needs To Be Investigated

This story is from March, but has been pretty much ignored in the press. Larry Klayman posted an article at Newsmax on March 5, 2017.

There are some interesting charges made in the article:

The newest revelations that the Obama administration wiretapped, that is “bugged” President Trump and all of his men, in the lead up to and after the November 8, 2016, elections are not surprising. In this regard, for over 2 years the highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly investigating the “harvesting” of highly confidential information including financial records of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, over 156 judges, prominent businessmen like Donald Trump, and public activists like me.

In this regard, a whistleblower named Dennis Montgomery, a former NSA/CIA contractor, came forward to FBI Director Comey with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of largely classified information, under grants of use and derivative use immunity, which I obtained for him with the U.S Attorney for the District of Columbia. Later, Montgomery, who suffers from a potentially fatal brain aneurism, testified under oath, for over 2-and-a-half hours before FBI Special Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett in a secure room at the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C. The testimony was under oath and videotaped and I have reminded the FBI recently to preserve this evidence.

…Legally speaking, my cases against the intelligence agencies also encompass the illegal surveillance of President Trump and his men, as what apparently occurred shows a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that at trial would raise a strong evidentiary inference that this illegal behavior continues to occur. Our so called government, represented by dishonest Obama-loyal attorneys in the corrupted Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department, continues to maintain that they cannot for national security reasons confirm or deny the mass surveillance against me or anyone else.

I have asked Judge Leon to enter a permanent injunction against Obama and his political hacks at the NSA and CIA, many of whom are still there and are bent on destroying the Trump presidency and attempting to blackmail prominent Americans, like me, who might challenge the destructive socialist/pro-Muslim agenda of the Obama-Clinton-Soros left.

I am not aware of the current status of this case. If anyone can update me, I would appreciate it. However, the charge that the deep state has been collecting information on Washington leaders is not a surprise. Does anyone remember the more than 300 FBI files that were mysteriously obtained by the Clinton Administration? It is time to drain the swamp. I also think that if our leaders would simply be honest and ask for our forgiveness about past mistakes that they are covering up, we might (I said might) be able to move forward. If your actions are already out there and you have acknowledged your mistakes, you can’t be blackmailed!

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Fox News is reporting today that the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington D.C. are planning on filing a lawsuit against President Trump alleging that foreign payments to his businesses violate the Constitution. The lawsuit is based on the fact that people from foreign countries stay at or use his hotel facilities around the world. Where were these people when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was funding millions in foreign cash into the Clinton Foundation?

The article reports:

The Justice Department on Friday argued that the plaintiffs in that lawsuit lack the legal standing to sue because they cannot allege enough harm caused by Trump’s businesses. Justice Department lawyers also contended that Trump hotel revenue is not an improper payment under the Constitution.

This is another attempt by the deep state to prevent the Trump Administration from pursuing its agenda. Americans have a choice–they can continue to listen to a media that wants President Trump and his agenda to be destroyed or they can do their own research and fight for the freedoms we all enjoy.

I Guess It Depends On Whose Ox Is Being Gored

I have to admit that I have somewhat mixed emotions about watching the Clintons squirm as new information about the email investigation comes out. Although Hillary Clinton is the only person responsible for the mess she is in, the mess beautifully reflects the ethics of the Democratic party and the Justice Department in recent elections. The difference is that after the election, if Hillary Clinton loses, the charges won’t go away. Handling classified information is a serious responsibility. People who have positions that require a security clearance are investigated thoroughly and educated on the handling procedures for classified information. Whether this was done in the case of Hillary Clinton remains a question.

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the email investigation.

He reminded us:

The prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens — found to be without merit and, indeed, abusive by a federal judge — influenced the Senator’s election (he lost a close one). Comey’s statement this summer that Hillary Clinton would not be charged was viewed, correctly, as influencing the election. (I didn’t hear anyone complain that Comey announced that decision, though there were complaints about the decision he announced, as well as his lengthy summary of the evidence). Comey’s decision to investigate Clinton in the first place also had the potential to influence the election.

Paul Mirengoff also reminded us that the claim that the letter to Congress stating that the investigation was being reopened was against Justice Department policy is not entirely true:

“Comey’s decision contrary to policy,” shrieked the lead headline in today’s Washington Post (paper edition; online headline is similar). But what policy did Comey violate?

At the very end of their article Post writers Sari Horowitz, Tom Hamburger and Ellen Nakashima cite a 2012 Justice Department memo by Eric Holder. It states that employees “must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the Department’s reputation for fairness, neutrality, and nonpartisanship.” If anything, it seems to me that Comey has been too sensitive about playing the Clinton investigation down the middle, giving something to both sides in the election.

Holder’s memo went on to say that if an employee faces “a question regarding the timing of charges or overt investigative steps near the time of a primary or general election,” he should contact the department’s public integrity section “for further guidance.” Comey reportedly did seek guidance from top Justice Department officials (I’m not sure about the public integrity section). As one Justice Department official told the Post, “Director Comey understood our position; he heard it from Justice leadership.”

This is the same Justice Department that began its term by dropping the voter intimidation  charges against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia. Frankly, I find tall people with billy clubs intimidating, evidently the Justice Department didn’t see it that way.

Remember the video?

The Justice Department dismissed the charges against the New Black Panthers, which later resulted in various lawsuits charging that political appointees in the Obama Administration interfered with the handling of the case.

The Justice Department under President Obama has been political. I don’t know how easily that can be fixed. I do know that if Hillary Clinton is elected, it will get worse. If Donald Trump is elected, considering the way some Republicans have treated him, he will not really have an allegiance to either political party. That would be a good thing. There might be some serious house cleaning in Washington.

Huh?

As a blogger, I follow the news closely. I see a lot of things I don’t understand, but sometimes I am just amazed at how the media spins the events around us.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are running for President., He is an extremely successful businessman, and she is a former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. There is no doubt that she has had more political experience than he has, but much of that political experience has involved failure rather than success.There are scandals swirling around both candidates–hers relating to pay-for-play while Secretary of State, lying to Congress, lying to the American people, defending her husband when his actions were despicable, etc. His scandals involve locker-room talk, divorces, probably more illegally recorded remarks to come.

I went looking for the turnover rate in Trump businesses, thinking that might give me some insight as to how Donald Trump runs things. I did find information about Trump Towers in New York City. One of the anonymous reviews by employees listed the following as a negative, “Longevity – it is an issue for anyone looking to advance with the company since most dept heads have been there for many years and have no intention of leaving.” Evidently (at least at Trump Towers in New York) the turnover rate is low. I think that is something that needs to be mentioned while the Clinton campaign attempts to convince the American voters that Donald Trump is a horrible monster not fit to lead a Boy Scout Troop.

I am having a hard time understanding why a private conversation (horrible as it was and probably more to come) is given the same weight as failed foreign policy, corruption, stonewalling federal investigations, intimidating women her husband has sexually assaulted, etc. It just doesn’t make sense to me. If the conversations we heard are an illustration of character, how is that character any worse than the character of his opponent. In one case we have talk, in the other case we have actions. They are not equal.

In watching this unfold, we need to look underneath what is happening at the core of the matter. Donald Trump is a serious threat to the status quo. The cozy little Washington establishment currently composed of both Democrats and Republicans is becoming unglued at the idea of someone coming in and changing the rules. Currently we don’t have a working Constitution–we have whatever President Obama says. The Justice Department was corrupted from the beginning (illustrated by the New Black Panthers case). The undermining of the Police was there from the beginning (the comment ‘police acted stupidly’ paved the way for charges of racism in later years). There are currently some serious questions about the politicization of the FBI, and we all remember the politicization of the IRS. We the little people in America know that we need to go back to equal justice under the law. We also understand that under President Hillary Clinton that will never happen. At least under President Donald Trump it might.

Regardless of how abhorrent Donald Trump’s comments were, and how abhorrent any future illegally taped comments are, they are comments–not proven actions. Meanwhile, we have a list of deplorable actions taken over the years by Hillary Clinton, along with the failure of her policies as Secretary of State. Why are we talking about illegally taped comments?

The History Behind The Decision Not To Charge Hillary Clinton With Mishandling Classified Information

We are at a critical point in America–we have lost the concept of equal justice under the law. However, we did not get here overnight, and the characters involved are simply acting in ways they have acted in the past. It is time to clean house in Washington and see if we can replace the current elites with people who love America more than they love their own personal advancement.

World Net Daily posted an article yesterday that gives an amazing amount of insight into how Washington works and the characters involved in the latest Clinton scandal. I would strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will try to summarize the article below.

The article reports:

In 2004, Comey (James Comey, FBI Director), then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack.
…Curiously, Berger, Lynch and Cheryl Mills all worked as partners in the Washington law firm Hogan & Hartson, which prepared tax returns for the Clintons and did patent work for a software firm that played a role in the private email server Hillary Clinton used when she was secretary of state.

…After Attorney General John Aschroft recused himself in the Valerie Plame affair in 2004, Comey appointed as special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who ended up convicting “Scooter” Libby, a top aide to then Vice President Dick Cheney, of perjury and obstruction of justice. The charge was based on the accusations of Plame and her former ambassador husband, Joe Wilson – both partisan supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton – that Libby outed her as a CIA agent.

New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s 2015 memoir strongly suggests Fitzgerald improperly manipulated testimony and withheld crucial evidence in obtaining a conviction against Libby in his 2007 trial.

…When Dukakis was defeated, Berger returned to Hogan & Hartson until he became foreign policy adviser for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992.

On March 28, WND reported Lynch was a litigation partner for eight years at Hogan & Hartson, from March 2002 through April 2010.

Mills also worked at Hogan & Hartson, for two years, starting in 1990, before she joined then President-elect Bill Clinton’s transition team, on her way to securing a position as White House deputy counsel in the Clinton administration.

According to documents Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign made public in 2008, Hogan & Hartson’s New York-based partner Howard Topaz was the tax lawyer who filed income tax returns for Bill and Hillary Clinton beginning in 2004.

In addition, Hogan & Hartson in Virginia filed a patent trademark request on May 19, 2004, for Denver-based MX Logic Inc., the computer software firm that developed the email encryption system used to manage Clinton’s private email server beginning in July 2013. A tech expert has observed that employees of MX Logic could have had access to all the emails that went through her account.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated Lynch for the first of her two terms as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she held until she joined Hogan & Hartson in March 2002 to become a partner in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

I’m sure you get the picture. Washington needs a major housecleaning. Our justice system is seriously compromised and needs to be cleaned up and staffed with people who believe in equal justice under the law. I suspect our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

 

 

In What World Does This Make Sense?

I celebrate the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison today. Jonathan Pollard, 61, was given a life sentence thirty years ago for selling American intelligence secrets to Israel. He has been released and will spend at least the next five years on parole. He sentence seems a little harsh, as we spy on our allies all the time. Spying on allies seems to be a normal mode of operation. Contrast this thirty-year sentence with the recent sentence of Jared Fogle, former spokesman for Subway sandwich shops. Mr. Fogle has been sentence to 15 years for child pornography and sex with a minor.

Yahoo News posted a story about Jonathan Pollard yesterday.

The story includes the following:

Both the Justice Department and Pollard’s lawyers have so far declined to discuss his parole conditions, but one longtime supporter, Rabbi Pesach Lerner of New York, told a radio interviewer this month that Pollard would have to abide by a curfew and wear a GPS unit to track his movements.

He has also been ordered to stay off the Internet, Lerner said, which could complicate his ability to hold a job.

“We’re concerned that maybe they are trying to set him up so they can say he broke his parole and send him back,” Lerner told Nachum Segal, who hosts a program on Jewish affairs on WFMU in New Jersey. “They’re keeping the reins on him very tightly.”

This man was never a threat to national security. There is no reason to believe that he will become a threat. It is obscene that he was kept in prison so long and that excessive restrictions are being put on him after his release. I wish the Obama Administration was as diligent about tracking the terrorists they release from Guantanamo.

Is It Time For The IRS To Go?

On Tuesday the Civitas Institute posted an article on its website about one example of recent IRS abuses in civil forfeiture cases. This particular case involved a small businessman in the town of Fairmont, N.C. Lyndon McLellan owns and operates a local convenience store in Fairmont. Last summer, his entire business bank account, totaling $107,702.66, was seized by the Internal Revenue Service.

The article reports:

Here’s how it works. Generally, any person who receives more than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction or a series of related transactions must complete a “Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.” Transactions are only considered “related” if they occur within a 24-hour period or if the recipient knows, or has reason to know, that each is one of a series of connected transactions. The idea is that large cash transactions might tend to have a criminal purpose, so the IRS requires recipients of such cash to declare their non-criminal purpose. This is not the rule that McLellan allegedly broke, because he received money in amounts that were less than $10,000 at a time and therefore was not required to report anything.

Instead, the IRS is alleging that Mr. McLellan did something called “structuring.” This is where cash transactions are structured in such a way as to avoid the $10,000 reporting requirement. The law exists because, once the IRS instituted the requirement, criminals could have easily structured cash payments in increments of $9,999 to fly under the radar.

However, Mr. McLellan’s case demonstrates a fundamental problem. Intended to catch criminals, the law ensnares small-business owners who are not trying to avoid reporting requirements, but are either simply trying to avoid burdensome paperwork or have no idea the structuring rule exists. This is why the IRS and Justice Department recently announced that they would cease using “structuring” as a reason to go after small business owners who are not suspected of crimes. So why is McLellan still having to fight for his hard-earned money?

First, the new rules were announced after Mr. McLellan’s assets were seized, and no provision was made for their mandatory retroactive application. Therefore, the announcement did not require any action on his case by anyone at the federal level.

I have done numerous stories on civil forfeiture in the past. If you put ‘civil forfeiture’ in the search engine on this website, you can see that this illegal seizure of property has gone on for some time.

The story at Civitas further reports:

Second, the federal prosecutor involved, Steve West, has declined to dismiss Mr. McLellan’s case. To be clear, he does have the power to drop the charges. Just this past December, federal prosecutors in Iowa dropped the charges against small-business owner Carole Hinders in a similar case. However, West has told McLellan’s attorney he needs to either resolve or litigate his case, and that no amount of publicity will lead to its dismissal. This despite the fact that  Congress and the IRS commissioner have specifically said his case fails to follow new federal forfeiture policies.

West’s idea of “resolving” the case would be for McLellan to enter into a settlement with the IRS in which he loses only half of his money – almost $60,000! It took McLellan over 13 years to earn this sum, and he is not giving it up without a fight.

This is no way to treat small business owners.

Meanwhile, the IRS and Justice Department recently announced that they would cease using “structuring” as a reason to go after small business owners who are not suspected of crimes. New Mexico has passed a law abolishing civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture has been used as nothing more than a tool to take assets from innocent people. Everyone who has been involved in this practice needs to be kicked out of office as soon as possible.

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Keep Digging To Find The Truth

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that the Internal Revenue Service‘s Inspector General is conducting a criminal investigation into the disappearance of Lois Lerner’s emails.

The article reports:

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

Unfortunately, the Inspector General is still having problems getting the information he needs to pursue the case.

The article reports:

Rep. Gerald Connolly, Virginia Democrat, said Mr. George is refusing to turn documents over to him, prompting a heated reply.

“You’re not entitled to certain documents,” Mr. George said.

“Oh really? We’ll see about that, won’t we,” Mr. Connolly replied, saying that he questioned whether Mr. George could be trusted if he’s refusing to provide documents, yet is in charge of an investigation into whether the IRS stonewalled document requests.

The hearing was the latest chapter in the complex investigation into the IRS’s targeting of tea party groups for special scrutiny.

Several congressional committees are still probing the matter, and both the inspector general and the Justice Department are conducting criminal investigations.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for the results of the Justice Department investigation.

 

An Example Of What Happens When A Terrorist Is Tried In A Civilian Court

On Tuesday, Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online about the release of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri from an American prison. Al-Marri was in a federal prison after being convicted of terrorism.

The article reports:

Al-Marri is an al-Qaeda operative who was planted as a “sleeper” in the United States by Khalid Sheikh Mohamed to await instructions on carrying out a second wave of attacks after the 9/11 atrocities – against water reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. military academies, and other targets. The Justice Department quietly sprung him on Friday so he could return to his native Qatar, a country the administration regards as a crucial counterterrorism ally . . . and a country that is notorious for providing material support to jihadists.

Al-Marri served six years for plotting terror attacks against Americans. I am sure America soldiers (or American civilians if he crosses our southern border illegally) will meet al-Marri again. Our Justice Department is not protecting us from a convicted terrorist.

The article explains how this all happened:

Prior Justice Department practice required prosecutors to charge the most severe, readily provable offense. And in 1996, to ensure that this practice would result in sentences of death or life imprisonment for terrorists, Congress — with significant encouragement from the Clinton Justice Department (in its pre-Holder days) — overhauled federal counterterrorism law.

…In stark departure from prior Justice Department practice, Holder permitted al-Marri to plead guilty to providing material support for terrorism. The material-support offense is generally reserved for non-terrorist sympathizers who facilitate the jihad but are unlikely to carry out atrocities themselves. It is a significantly less serious charge than the crimes — the acts of war — that Marri had actually committed, such as full-fledged membership in the al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill Americans, as well as conspiracies to use weapons of mass destruction.

Because of Holder’s abandonment of past DOJ practice, al-Marri was looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years. Had the Justice Department filed appropriate charges and taken the case to trial, the 43-year-old al-Marri would have been looking at a life sentence.

At the time of his conviction, al-Marri admitted that he was doing research into cyanide compounds as part of his terrorist training. He also admitted that an almanac recovered in his residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States, consistent with al-Qaeda planning for the use of cyanide gases. This man was not simply providing material support for terrorists–he was planning on being one.

The article concludes:

Reading the Obama Justice Department’s signals, Judge Michael M. Mihm sentenced al-Marri to a mere eight years’ imprisonment. I thus predicted that he would be released “in six years or so.” That’s what happened. He’s back in Qatar, with plenty of jihad left in him.

Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story. Now that he is free, this man could do some serious damage to American soldiers and American civilians.

Preserving The Integrity Of Our Elections

There have been some real questions as to the integrity of American elections as of late. Many private organizations who have examined voter rolls have found thousands of people in some areas who are registered to vote but who are not legal voters.

Judicial Watch has been one of the groups working to restore integrity to our elections. In a recent newsletter, Judicial Watch cited a Pew Report published in 2012 that stating:

“nearly 2 million dead people are still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date. The alarming figures were published recently in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.”

Texas has been fighting a battle to keep its elections honest. Fox News is reporting today that the Supreme Court has allowed Texas to enforce its new voter identification law in the coming election.

The article reports:

In a rare weekend announcement, a majority of the high court’s justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit Texas from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo ID to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.

The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold.

The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.

Quite frankly, I don’t believe the judge’s numbers. We live in a world where identification is required for almost everything. If you are collecting Social Security, you needed identification to sign up, so the elderly population would have the necessary identification. If you are collecting government assistance, you needed identification to sign up, so poor people would have the necessary identification. If you have ever boarded an airplane, cashed a check, bought alcohol or cigarettes, rented a video, entered any federal building, visited a doctor, picked up a prescription, or entered a hospital, you have had to show identification. Most Americans have done at least one of those things at one time or another.

We need honest elections. I cannot figure out why there are people in our government who are refusing to acknowledge that fact.

Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

I am glad to see Eric Holder leave the Obama Administration. Although he is not the first Attorney General to have politicized the office, he certainly took that politicization to a new level. Unfortunately, his replacement will probably be more of the same.

The Daily Signal posted an article listing the various controversies surrounding Eric Holder during his time in office. They are listed in no particular order. This is my summary of the list:

1. Attempting to bring the 9/11 plotters to a civilian trial in New York City. Eventually he was forced to bow to public pressure and the trials were moved to Guantanamo.

2. Operation Fast and Furious.

3. Refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) despite being charged as Attorney General to uphold the law of the land.

4. Eric Holder is the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents relating to Fast and Furious.

5. Targeting journalists. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder seized a broad array of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

6. Operation Choke Point, originally established to stop consumer fraud is being used to target gun shops and pawn shops that sell guns.

7. Stonewalling in the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service‘s targeting of conservative groups.

8. Intervention in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

9. Blocking Inspectors General from accessing documents related to Congressional investigations.

The article concludes:

Often cited among Holder’s controversies are his targeting of journalists and federal whistleblowers. Last year, it was revealed that the Justice Department had labeled Fox News reporters James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in one leak investigation and had seized phone records of Associated Press reporters in another.

More than two dozen news organizations signed a letter of objection, prompting Holder to modify Justice Department policies. Additionally, Holder has refused to answer questions first posed by a U.S. senator in July 2013 regarding the unauthorized, remote intrusions of my computers.

Holder also leaves the Justice Department in the middle of its investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative and tea party groups. The Justice Department has faced conflict-of-interest allegations because at the same time it is supposed to be independently investigating the IRS, it is also defending the IRS in civil litigation. Holder has said that his agency is impartially investigating the IRS and that no politics are at play.

It became obvious that Eric Holder was not going to dispense justice in an even-handed manner when he dropped the voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia. The video that went viral on Facebook clearly showed the Panthers intimidating voters, but the Holder Justice Department dismissed the charges. Eric Holder has also used the Justice Department to attack laws that would ensure less fraud in American elections. I am not sad to see him leave. My only regret is that he will be replaced by someone equally politically corrupt.

Why Has It Taken So Long For The Public To Learn This?

Fox News is reporting today that the IRS emails that Lois Lerner claimed to have lost may exist on back-up computers. Politico posted a story at the end of July that summarizes the timeline on this whole scandal.

Politico reports:

Backgrounder recap: It all started in May 2013, when ex-IRS tax-exempt chief Lois Lerner acknowledged the agency inappropriately used loaded key words like “tea party” to scrutinize applicants seeking tax breaks. A critical inspector general report followed, Lerner and others stepped down, and here we are, dozens of congressional hearings later.

Although the Justice Department, FBI and Treasury inspector general for tax administration are all probing the matter, it could be awhile before they issue final reports on how and why the ex-IRS official at the heart of the scandal lost two years’ worth of emails, the latest wrinkle in the controversy.

When the Ways and Means Committee began investigating the IRS scandal, they requested Lois Lerner’s emails. In June the Committee was told the emails were missing and that the IRS had been aware of that fact since February.

I hate to be cynical (although sometimes it is necessary), but do you think that the IRS and the Justice Department have had enough time to sanitize those emails and delete anything that might be incriminating? I strongly suspect that when the emails are released, there will be nothing even remotely problematic for the IRS. The emails will be strangely innocent.

Were it not for the efforts of Judicial Watch using the Freedom of Information Act, the IRS and Justice Department would not even have to take the time to clean up the emails. At least Judicial Watch is forcing the IRS to spend some time covering their tracks.

Is Bad Judgement Illegal?

CBN News posted a story today about the federal corruption charges against Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. This is a federal case brought by the federal Department of Justice because no laws in Virginia were broken.

The article reports:

The McDonnells have been charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts, vacations and personal loans from Jonnie Williams, a former business executive, in exchange for promoting his products.

***The major question is whether McDonnell actually broke the law. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, offered his insight on the case on The 700 Club, August 12.

There is no law in Virginia barring political figures from accepting gifts. I think there should be some sort of a limit on gifts to politicians, but since that is not the law in Virginia, no law was broken. The federal charge is that there was quid pro quo for the gifts.

I can’t help but wonder if the Justice Department would have brought this case if they hadn’t seen McDonnell as an up-and-coming Republican. Although I think that the governor exercised poor judgement in accepting the gifts, and I think the law should be changed, the fact is that he did not break the law. I fear that this is another example of the Justice Department being used as a political tool under the Obama Administration.

How To Avoid Finding The Truth

This is a recording of Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of True The Vote, being interviewed on a radio station about the investigation into IRS targeting of conservative organizations. The recording is posted at YouTube.

The bottom line in what Ms. Engelbrecht is saying is that neither the FBI or the Justice Department has interviewed her or anyone from True the Vote about the fact that they were targeted by the IRS. It might be a good idea to remember that when President Nixon tried to use the IRS against his enemies, the IRS told him to go pound sand. Unfortunately the organization has forgotten that its first responsibility is to the citizens of America–not the politicians.

The only people making progress in the investigation of the IRS are True the Vote and Judicial Watch. That is a sad commentary on our government.

The Quiet Government War Against Guns

According to a Breitbart.com article posted on January 8, 2014, Operation Choke Point is an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009.

Breitbart reports:

It (Operation Choke Point) also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation’s banks and related financial institutions.

In an article posted yesterday, the Daily Caller describes Operation Choke Point as follows:

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, the story at the Daily Caller was about a Massachusetts gun shop owner who was denied a loan from TD Bank because he owned a gun shop.

This is the story:

Mark Cohen, who owns Powderhorn Outfitters, a Hyannis, Mass. gun retailer, said that his longtime bank, TD Bank, refused to extend a line of credit because of the business he is in.

Cohen explained what happened in an interview with The Daily Caller on Friday.

“This year I went to apply for a line of credit, and the bank manager came by the store,” said Cohen, adding that he’s known the bank manager for over 20 years.

“Mark, I apologize,” she said, according to Cohen, “your credit history is great, but the bank is turning you down because you sell guns.”

Cohen told his friend and lender that he would have no choice but to close his accounts with the bank since they couldn’t provide the services his company needs.

…Cohen believes that TD Bank didn’t want to do business with his gun store because of a government initiative called Operation Choke Point.

TD Bank has since tried to make amends, but Mr. Cohen has said that he will no longer do business with them. There is no law against legally selling guns, and there is no indication or charge that Mr. Cohen was doing anything illegal. We currently have an out-of-control federal government. We have November 2014 and November 2016 to shut it down. If we elect people who will continue in the direction we are going, we deserve what we get.

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Holding Government Officials Accountable

On Thursday, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) showing the likelihood of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you gave money to a Tea Party group. Basically, one in ten Tea Party donors were audited compared to a rate of slightly more than one in a hundred for the general population. Obviously, there is a problem here. Congress has been trying to find out who ordered the audit of Tea Party donors and who is responsible for using the IRS as a political weapon. The investigation has been stonewalled by the White House and the Justice Department every step of the way. Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about the latest episode in this saga.

The article reports:

David O’Neil, whose job atop the DOJ’s criminal division puts him in charge of public corruption prosecutions, told Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan that he also doesn’t know how many prosecutors are assigned to the case, or how many attorneys from his division are working on it.

Asked to identify the lead agent in the Lerner investigation, O’Neil would only answer, ‘I’m sure that we can provide that information to you.’

Maybe I’m just naive, but it would seem to me that the person in charge of the investigation might have some idea as to how many people are working on the investigation. Has he every bothered to count his emails? Does he actually get any emails?  Note that this story was reported in a British paper–I haven’t seen the report in the mainstream American press.

The article further reports:

I oversee the public integrity section,’ O’Neil said during a House Oversight subcommittee hearing, adding that ‘yes,’ he is involved in the case.

He claimed there are ‘numerous career federal prosecutors that are on that investigation.’

But when Jordan asked him how many are in that group, complaining that he has ‘been trying to get this answer now for 11 months,’ O’Neill conceded, ‘I can’t tell you that answer sitting here today.’

O’Neill also suggested that the Department of Justice is unlikely to appoint a special counsel.

‘No,’ he said. ‘A special counsel is not warranted.’

When the House found Lerner in contempt, it referred her to Attorney General Holder for prosecution, prompting an aide to a Texas Republican to call it ‘the slime probing the slime.’

The female staffer told MailOnline that ‘if Holder ever opens the Lerner file ore than once, I’ll strip naked on the National Mall and sing the president’s favorite Al Green song.’

I don’t think the staffer is in any danger of having to make good on that promise.
It is sad that partisan politics has become more important than the integrity of public officials.

 

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What IRS Scandal?

CBN News is reporting today that the Justice Department has refused to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal.

The article reports:

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz had requested that the Justice Department assign a non-partisan special counsel to the case, rather than relying on the Obama administration to investigate itself.

But Obama DOJ appointee Peter J. Kadzik recently wrote to Cruz, telling him a special counsel was unnecessary.

Kadzik said  that a special counsel is only “appointed when an investigation or prosecution by the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest…such that the public interest would be served by such an appointment.”

After the scandal broke, the Obama administration appointed a major Obama campaign donor to investigate the IRS instead of an independent prosecutor.

The article concludes:

The American Center for Law & Justice agreed, saying the Justice Department’s decision not to appoint an independent prosecutor “contributes to a troubling and growing pattern of obstruction.”

“An independent prosecutor – with no political agenda – is truly needed to uncover the origin and depth of this unconstitutional targeting scheme. By rejecting this request, the Justice Department puts politics ahead of the rule of law,” Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, said.

“Sadly, in the discretion of the attorney general, Eric Holder has chosen to reject the bipartisan tradition of the Department of Justice of putting rule of law above political allegiance,” Cruz also said.

Unfortunately we currently have no justice in the Obama Justice Department.

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The Unjust Justice Department Strikes Again

Integrity should not be a partisan issue, but unfortunately in the Eric Holder Justice Department it is. Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that the Justice Department has blocked a full investigation concerning corruption charges against Senate Democrat Harry Reid and Senate Republican Mike Lee.

The article reports:

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.

Please follow the link to the article to see the details of the charges and the lack of cooperation from the Justice Department.

It does neither political party good to have corrupt people remain in office and not be held accountable for their misdeeds. It would behoove the Justice Department to move forward with both of these investigations and either convict or clear the air.

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Things That Happen In An Election Year

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that seven Senate Democrats voted with the Republicans to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile voluntarily took up the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, after Black Panther member Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The article reminds us that these votes were not about principle, they are about politics:

A senior aide to one of the senators who voted against the nominee said several senators’ offices were “very angry” at the White House for moving ahead with the nomination even though it could leave Democrats who are facing tough reelection races vulnerable to attack ads.

…Reid had spoken in defense of Adegbile and initially voted in favor but later switched his vote to no, making him the eighth Democrat to vote against the nominee. But Reid did so only to reserve his right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again. Later Wednesday, aides couldn’t say whether that will happen.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department has become very politicized. Had the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile been allowed to proceed, the Justice Department would have become even more political. In the beginning of the Obama Administration, the direction of the Justice Department became clear when the New Black Panthers were not prosecuted for voter intimidation. In the past, the Justice Department has not been a political arm of the President’s political party. Hopefully, when we are free of the Obama Administration in 2016, the Justice Department will go back to being an impartial judge of the laws of America. We can probably expect the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to appear again after the 2014 mid-term elections.

 

 

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Seems As If Everyone In The Executive Department Has A Pen And A Phone

CNS News reported today that Attorney General Eric Holder is about to take aim at laws that do not allow convicted felons to vote. Wonderful. Three days ago Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Justice Department will recognize same-sex marriages in all legal matters, even in states that forbid it. What he is saying is that the Justice Department will overrule the votes of the people in the states that do not allow same-sex marriage.

The article reports:

Holder said state laws that bar felons from voting are “not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive” because they perpetuate the “stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals,” increasing the likelihood that they will commit future crimes.

Such “outdated” laws have a “disparate impact on minority communities,” he said, suggesting that this is, at heart, a civil rights issue.

Of the 5.8 million Americans who cannot vote because of current or previous felony convictions, 2.2 million are black, Holder noted.

These people are not allowed to vote because they are convicted felons. They are not guilty of misdemeanors–they are convicted felons. They are not being denied the right to vote because of anything but their conviction. They could be pink with purple stripes, and if they had not committed a felony, they would be allowed to vote. This is about committing a crime–this is not about race. Hopefully the Attorney General will not try to make it about race, although the last sentence quoted might be an indication that he plans to.

I would not be opposed to allowing a convicted felon vote after he had been out of prison for twenty years or so and if he had stayed out of trouble during that time. However, I am opposed to simply allowing all convicted felons to vote after they have been released from prison. I would also see this decision made by Congress rather than just done by the Justice Department with the stroke of a pen.

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.

 

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Crony Capitalism At Work

It is not news that the Obama Administration practices Crony Capitalism, but sometimes it is news to see how far the Administration will go to destroy a business or industry they have decided they do not like.

Breitbart.com posted a story today about the Obama Administration’s war on the private lending industry: third party payment processors (“TPPPs”), payday lenders, and online lenders. The war, referred to in the Administration as ‘Operation Choke Point,’ is designed to destroy these three industries.

The article at Breitbart.com explains:

According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal initiative now known as ‘Operation Choke Point’ is an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009. It also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation’s banks and related financial institutions.

…The members of Congress warned Holder and Gruenberg that these actions were undertaken by their respective agencies without statutory authority. “Your actions to ‘choke off’ short-term lenders by changing the structure of the financial system are outside your congressional mandate,” they wrote. “With the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress acknowledged the need for short-term credit products and did not try to limit online lender’s or storefront operators’ ability to offer such products.”

The article goes on to explain some of the efforts by Congress to obtain information on the program and to fulfill their constitutional responsibility of oversight. Generally speaking, they have been blocked at every turn.

The article concludes:

The Obama administration, by treating Congress with disdain and failing to provide evidence of the statutory authority for its actions, is signaling that it has no intention of stopping. Up next for the administration is the expansion of the tactics used in ‘Operation Choke Point’ to a whole host of industries the Obama administration does not like and has identified for targeting, including manufacturers of guns and ammunition.

When will we get our real constitutional government back?

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Good News In America

CBN News posted a story today about the recent rescue of 150 children and the arrest of 150 pimps involved in human trafficking. The rescues and arrests took place in 76 American cities.

The article reports:

The Justice Department says nearly 450,000 children run away from home each year and that one-third of teens living on the street will be pulled toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Astoundingly, some are recruited right out of foster care facilities.

The graph below is from the Human Trafficking Statistics Report in 2012:

Human trafficking is a major problem around the world. America is not exempt from this problem. Part of the problem is related to the breakdown of families in America. Children need a stable home environment, and often that is something they don’t have. They can be lured into trafficking through promises of lucrative modeling careers and other wonderful-sounding promises. We need to educated our children about the dangers of looking for short cuts to financial success.

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Destroying Our Own Foundations

Last week Breitbart.com posted an article about the Justice Department‘s decision to defund two you programs because of references to God.

The article reports:

Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, LA, told Fox News that Obama‘s Justice Office of Civil Rights de-funded the Young Marines chapter and another youth program over mentions of religion. In the case of the Young Marine program, chartered in 1965, the funding was cut off because the group features an oath that mentions “God.” In the other case, it was because a program for at-risk youth featured a voluntary, student-led prayer session as one of its activities.

Doesn’t the U. S. Congress have a chaplain? Why in the world is this worth the time and energy of the Civil Rights office?

The article quotes Representative John Fleming (R-LA) :

“There is a very wide effort coming out of the administration that seeks to stamp out freedom of expressions – particularly religion and especially freedom of Christian expression,” Fleming said. “They are willing to throw the youth overboard and remove the funding just in the name of making this an atheist, agnostic, secular organization.”

“They (DOJ) don’t want anything to have any sort of religious support – even down to prayer,” Fleming said. “It’s sad and it’s inconsistent with the intentions of the framers of the Constitution.”

We need to elect people who understand the U. S. Constitution and the history of America so that they can appoint people to various government positions who share their knowledge and views.

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About That Transparency Thing…

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the Department of Justice’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests. The article points out that the Department of Justice has not challenged a single instance of a federal agency withholding records from Freedom of Information (FOIA) requesters since 2009.

The article reports:

The audit (a government-wide audit performed by the National Security Archive in December) prompted a letter to the justice Department from Issa and Cummings.

“Given OIP’s role in in implementing compliance with FOIA, the committee seeks information about a number of issues including what many term as outdated FOIA regulations, exorbitant and possibly illegal fee assessments, FOIA backlogs, the excessive use and abuse of exemptions, and dispute resolution services,” Issa and Cummings wrote in February.

The Justice Department did not respond to oversight’s letter for four months.

The National Security Archive sought the information through a FOIA request in March, but the Justice Department told the NSA the records were exempt from disclosure.

“The fact that this document was blocked from release using a b(5) exemption is a good example of why the DOJ isn’t meeting the president’s instruction on FOIA,” National Security Archive FOIA coordinator Nate Jones told the Free Beacon.

Issa and Cummings wrote to the department again on Monday, saying Justice’s failure to respond “extremely disappointing.”

The Washington Free Beacon has previously reported that the number of FOIA requests has greatly increased during the Obama Administration.

The article further reports:

An August 2012 Washington Post analysis found that early freedom of information progress by the Obama administration “stalled and, in the case of most departments, reversed in direction.”

The number of FOIA requests denied in full due to exemptions rose more than 10 percent last year, to 25,636 from 22,834 the previous year, according to the Post’s analysis.

This really does not sound like transparency to me.

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