Walker, Jindal: IRS case needs a special prosecutor

posted at 2:41 pm on May 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It may not be the only case, or even the most pressing case, in need of an independent investigation, but there’s little doubt the targeting of White House opponents by the IRS needs a lot more sunlight than the Obama administration has thus far provided.  Republican Governors Association chair Bobby Jindal and vice-chair Scott Walker demanded a special prosecutor to start an investigation of the expanding scandal:

 Two Republican governors are urging President Barack Obama to appoint aspecial prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s admission that it targetedconservative political groups.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker call the allegations “Big Brother come to life.”

They want a special prosecutor to find out if any laws were broken and say Obama should fire any IRS employees responsible for the situation.

Under normal circumstances, I’d recoil at the suggestion.  Special prosecutors are a great idea in theory, but usually terrible in practice.  Theoretically, the investigation owes nothing to anyone and can probe everywhere without fear of retribution — and that’s pretty much been true. However, it also means that special prosecutors can turn into loose cannons that lose sight of their original portfolio and start looking for any reason to justify their existence … and that’s also pretty much been true of special prosecutors in high-profile cases.

If the Department of Justice operates normally, any investigations into corruption should take place there, where accountability in both legal and political terms apply.  Unfortunately, the DoJ under Eric Holder isn’t operating normally.  It just conducted a broad raid on the records of more than 100 Associated Press reporters in an attempt to identify sources and intimidate the nation’s largest wire service.  That secret raid should also be investigated, and probably needs a special prosecutor even more urgently than the IRS scandal.

Meanwhile, ABC News provides a list of the most outrageous and weird demands made by the IRS of conservative groups seeking legitimate tax exemption for their work.  The whole list should be reviewed, but a few really deserve special mention:

  •  “Please provide copies of all your current web pages, including your Blog posts. Please provide copies of all of your newsletters, bulletins, flyers, newsletters or any other media or literature you have disseminated to your members or others. Please provide copies of stories and articles that have been published about you.”

First, can anyone imagine an IRS agent actually reading through all of the requested material?  It’s absurd. (How can anyone provide with any certainty all of the “stories and articles that have been published about you”?) This was clearly an obstructionist demand designed to frustrate and block conservatives from organizing effectively and legally.

Here’s another in the same vein:

  • “Do your issue-related advocacy communications compare to the positions of candidates or slates of candidates on these issues with your positions? Provide copies of these communications. What percentage do these constitute of your issue-related advocacy communications?”

Do conservative political positions correspond to the positions of conservative candidates?  Not as often as we’d like perhaps, but, er …. duhIs the IRS position that only those organizations whose positions aren’t taken by any candidates at all are eligible for tax exemption?  If so, maybe they’d like to explain the exemption for Organizing for America.

There’s also this ambiguity, emphasis mine:

  • “Apart from your responses to the preceding, estimate the percentage of your time and what percentage of your resources you will devote to activities in the 2012 election cycle, in which you will explicitly or implicitly support or oppose a candidate, candidates or slates of candidates, for public office.”

Define “implicitly.” Does this again mean having mainstream political positions is a disqualifier for tax-exempt status?    On the other hand, sometimes the questions got uncomfortably specific:

  • “Provide details regarding your relationship with Justin Binik-Thomas.” (a Cincinnati-area Tea-Party activist)

Subtext: Justin Binik-Thomas is an unperson, and we’re watching both him and you. 

This may be many things, but liberty it ain’t. We may need a whole passel of prosecutors when this is over.

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Ken Starr: “Someone rang?”

nonpartisan on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Consult Sen Ted Cruz on the selection of a special prosecutor…I’m sure he knows a solid guy or two.

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

This administration needs a team of special prosecutors.

hillsoftx on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

AP might want to humbly get in on this action, as would those companies extorted by Sibelius and, as you say, the targets of the host of other tyrannies large and small perpetrated by the progressive mafia.

MTF on May 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

You know all of this is gonna overshadow the important work of the………..

Jobs Commission !

FlaMurph on May 14, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Phewwww… serious stuff is crashing down all around this regime.

Spectacular.

petefrt on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Don’t worry. Obama told us we don’t need to be concerned with tyranny.

/sarc

gwelf on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

IRS was providing confidential information to Soros-Sandler funded Propublica which illegally provided the data to Journolistas to use against these opposition conservative groups in the media during an election.

Who were Sen. Harry Reid’s sources on Romney’s Tax Returns?

This is probably even worse then we now know…The Iceberg that sunk the Titanic didn’t seem so bad until…Y’know

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Special prostitutor? Hasn’t the Secret Service done enough?

NoDonkey on May 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Isn’t it amazing that the big government that progressives assure is serves the people and is the only thing all of us do together and is the best and only source of community we have is turned into a weapon against political opponents as often as possible.

gwelf on May 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Two Republican governors are urging President Barack Obama to appoint aspecial prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s admission that it targetedconservative political groups

The above statement is a joke, right??

They can “urge” all they want….you think this man is going
to Listen to anyone who is a Republican in the entire Country??

Where the F*ck have these people been the last 5 years??

ToddPA on May 14, 2013 at 2:51 PM

“Have you ever breathed the same air as a Conservative”?
–IRS

WhatSlushfund on May 14, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Don’t worry. Obama told us we don’t need to be concerned with tyranny

He was right. We don’t need to be concerned at all. Just leave it all up to him to take care of all our concerns with tyranny.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Someone call Kathy Issa. Darrell isn’t going to be home for dinner.

blammm on May 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Not necessary. Obama says he’ll investigate.

crrr6 on May 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Soooo…..how about the Husseins ‘ party tomorrow ?
Still on I believe :O

burrata on May 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Oh brother, have y’all been listening to Rush on the irs mess? Wow just wow. This is not going away soon it seems?
L

letget on May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

The media covered for Obama so long and so hard that he got cocky and overreached too many times for even the media to cover up.

This train wreck has been a long time coming, but I think it was always inevitable.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Don’t worry. Obama told us we don’t need to be concerned with tyranny

 
He was right. We don’t need to be concerned at all. Just leave it all up to him to take care of all our concerns with tyranny.
 
hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

 
These idiots can’t even figure out how to buy health insurance. Why would they worry about something like this?
 
- President Barack H. Obama

rogerb on May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Ken Starr: “Someone rang?”

nonpartisan on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Does iddie biddums need a Kleenex?

Here.

Now, blow.

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Luv Scott Walker.

He has the political instincts of a shark.

Most of the GOP Ruling Class has the political instincts of a guppy.

Bruno Strozek on May 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Now, blow.

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

That’s probably his day job.

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I’ve had that same line from “I Claudius” ringing in my ears as well. Problem is that he was followed by Nero. Interesting times indeed.

James Moriarty on May 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

For those who are surprised by this systemic power shame on you! As said from the beginning, this admin is incompetent and corrupt.

rjoco1 on May 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

The fraud in the white house detests America’s way of life and has unleashed the levers of federal power to systematically destroy it! The alphabet agencies he uses all operate alike: IRS, DOJ, OSHA, EPA, FBI, ADA,HHS, have become the enemy of the average American Citizen! Impeachment would be too good for him! Obamacare will be the final straw in the totalitarian takeover of the U.S. by the communists and muslims in power! We must resist!

Marco on May 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Don’t worry. Obama told us we don’t need to be concerned with tyranny.
/sarc

gwelf on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

That’s exactly what Idi Amin said too…before he showed his true colors as a cannibal !!

burrata on May 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Reid says IRS was doing God’s work by outing conservative orgs.

petefrt on May 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

“Has anyone put anything into your luggage without your knowledge?”

Tenwheeler on May 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Or else what?

Beyond House led investigations the Rs have little leverage unless some Dem Senators defect.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Hey you stole my saying from I Claudius…thats ok, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I’ve been using this since the election last year.

neyney on May 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Can’t wait for the perp walks.

InterestedObserver on May 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

“We may need a whole passel of prosecutors when this is over.” – that’s exactly what I thought…well, maybe not passel, it was more like a lot.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

“The most transparent administration in history”

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Reid says IRS was doing God’s work by outing conservative orgs.

He may be right…..of course that begs the question, to which God is Dingy referring, the god of Big Gov or the god in the WH? Could be either or both.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 3:10 PM

“The most transparent administration in history”

Actually the motives are quite transparent if one is paying attention.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

MATT DRUDGE MATT DRUDGE ‏@DRUDGE

Would nation have the courage to remove its first black president IF proved he is corrupt?

….

Very sad day IF the fire jumps the control line and IRS abuse is linked to Obama re-election campaign…

petefrt on May 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

The media covered for Obama so long and so hard that he got cocky and overreached too many times for even the media to cover up.

This train wreck has been a long time coming, but I think it was always inevitable.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

The media can cover for him indefinitely. The problem for Obama is that he went after the AP. The media may decide to throw him under the bus as a result. They made him and they can probably unmake him.

Doomberg on May 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

The media covered for Obama so long and so hard that he got cocky and overreached too many times for even the media to cover up.
This train wreck has been a long time coming, but I think it was always inevitable.
There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I thought so, too; I just figured they’d manage to hold it off until Obama was out of office.

Shadow on May 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Don’t worry. Obama told us we don’t need to be concerned with tyranny.

Gosh, he was so precient! However did he know all this would come crashing down on his administration?

also a huge /

Bob's Kid on May 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

If you examine Form 1024, the application for a 501(c)4 organization, the request for brochures, literature, etc., is a standard question. Perhaps you should review the Form? Absurdity is a common practice at the IRS that is not reserved for Conservatives alone.

njolsson on May 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

njolsson on May 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Thanks for the concern.

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Meanwhile, ABC News provides a list of the most outrageous and weird demands made by the IRS of conservative groups seeking legitimate tax exemption for their work.

I want to know where these questions and info demands came from.

Who proposed them? Who reviewed them? Who approved them?

Prying that info out if the IRS will require subpoenas and persistence in boring through bureaucratic obstructions and pealing back the bureaucratic layers.

That is, unless some IRS whistle-blowers come forward. What are the odds of that happening? Anyone working there knows the IRS can find a way to (legally) dog them until after they die and their estate is settled. Like a mob informer they would have to change their identity and go into witness protection.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Obama case needs a special prosecutor. Let’s address the disease rather than the symptoms.

VorDaj on May 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Some of us have been pointing out it seems awfully coincidental that so many high profile scandals are breaking at the same time.

From HA FP story:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/348280/question-launched-irs-scandal-planted

It struck me as odd that IRS official Lori Lerner would suddenly offer a mea culpa ex nihilo — on the sensitive subject of the agency’s targeting of political enemies — off the cuff while she was speaking at a tax conference organized by the American Bar Association. When she was asked about that during a telephone call on Friday, she said only that she was asked a question and answered it.
But there is a bit more to it than that.

The question at the ABA conference came from Washington-based tax lawyer Celia Roady, a lobbyist in the firm of Morgan Lewis. Roady is certainly well-versed in the issue at hand: She was named to the influential Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2010 by Douglas Shulman, at that time commissioner of the IRS. Lerner is the director for tax-exempt organizations at the IRS. Roady was serving on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities while tea-party groups and other conservative organizations were being targeted by the IRS. Not exactly a question out of the blue — Capitol Hill sources described the question as “planted” and say the IRS has informally admitted as much.

Neither Roady nor the IRS responded to requests for comment on this issue.

wyntre9 on May 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

When treating a disease, you always want to go to the source and eliminate it or else it will just keep generating more illnesses.

VorDaj on May 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Would nation have the courage to remove its first black president IF proved he is corrupt?

There will be no “proof” and there is no way he will be removed. even if “proof” is discovered, which is unlikely, they will deny there is any “proof”.

People ought to get that possibility out of their heads. Comrade O will serve out his term.

The most we can hope for is to cripple his ability to do more harm from now through 2016. And hopefully pick up seats in the House and Senate in 2014.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Obama is the main cancer tumor, all the rest are just spin offs from it. It must be excised before the whole body is riddled with cancer.

VorDaj on May 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Please provide copies of all of your newsletters, bulletins, flyers, newsletters or any other media or literature…

Don’t forget the newsletters!

Do your issue-related advocacy communications compare to the positions of candidates or slates of candidates on these issues with your positions?

That’s tortured sentence structure, to say the least. And isn’t the only answer “Yes”? Seems like any communication would “compare” to every candidate’s positions. Whether they are alike or completely opposite, they “compare”.

Sheesh, what moron wrote these questions?

KS Rex on May 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

“Please provide copies of stories and articles that have been published about you.”

The IRS was just trying to save the liberals at Pro Publica from having to do their own Google searches on these Tea Party groups.

wren on May 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Rudy Giuliani

He’s an expert at ruining the day of organized crime having government connections.

viking01 on May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

The most we can hope for is to cripple his ability to do more harm from now through 2016. And hopefully pick up seats in the House and Senate in 2014.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

And cement his eternal legacy as the most corrupt, duplicitous, incompetent president evah!

KS Rex on May 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Where are all the state AG’s suing the feds on behalf of their constituents. I know there’s at least one IL tea party group targeted by the IRS. Ms. Madigan, are you awake?

Nutstuyu on May 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The most we can hope for is to cripple his ability to do more harm from now through 2016. And hopefully pick up seats in the House and Senate in 2014.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Which means we all need make sure we have strong Republican/Conservative candidates identified and ready to run for the House and the Senate in 2014.

It takes time to ramp up a campaign, raise money, recruit volunteers, write stump speeches, set up campaign infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.

Republican candidates need to learn to start their campaigns earlier! Like NOW would be a good time to be working on 2014!

wren on May 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Ken Starr: “Someone rang?”

nonpartisan on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Does iddie biddums need a Kleenex?

Here.

Now, blow [up into thousands of tiny pieces].

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

FIFY.

Nutstuyu on May 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Who were Sen. Harry Reid’s sources on Romney’s Tax Returns?

workingclass artist

The voices in his head. He was lying….there were no sources. Having said that, I’m all for him being given the Scooter Libby treatment in order to get to the bottom of this IRS scandal.

xblade on May 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Follow the leak of Governor Romney’s IRS information to Dingy Harry. That’s a criminal conspiracy to affect a US presidential election. It’s by far the most serious aspect of this criminal IRS scandal.

slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Need to add EPA, FCC, FEC, HHS, and DOJ targeting conservatives to the special prosecutors tasking. And just as importantly, NOT targeting others.

barnone on May 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

This administration needs a team an army of special prosecutors.

hillsoftx on May 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

(Corrected flagrant understatement)

landlines on May 14, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Need to add EPA, FCC, FEC, HHS, and DOJ targeting conservatives to the special prosecutors tasking. And just as importantly, NOT targeting others.

barnone on May 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Don’t forget the TSA thugs.

slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Given all the scandals this week, a gaggle of special prosecutors are needed. Rid us of this tyrant and his ilk.

Philly on May 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Jindal wants answers?
Meh.

When a female member of his staff was brutally beaten by leftists a few years back he didn’t have much interest in getting to the bottom of it.

Needs to get his own house in order to be believable on this.

whatcat on May 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM