Lanny Davis: Did WH counsel know IRS was targeting conservatives?

posted at 8:41 am on May 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

If it’s true, it would be the first time anyone has linked the issue in any way to the White House.  Lanny Davis writes in The Hill today that he’s heard White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler knew for “several weeks” without informing Barack Obama, and she needs to resign … if his sources are correct.

So who are his sources?  Hmmmm:

I’ve been told today by several reporters that President Obama’s White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, knew for several days — perhaps weeks —that some Internal Revenue Service officials were engaging in political targeting of conservative groups, and that she did not tell the president as soon as she knew even partial reports about the story.

With all due respect to someone who has impeccable legal credentials, if she did have such foreknowledge and didn’t inform the president immediately, I respectfully suggest Ms. Ruemmler is in the wrong job and that she should resign.

The White House counsel to the president, one of the two or three most important positions on the White House staff, must be more than a great lawyer, which Ms. Ruemmler reportedly is. The White House counsel must also have a sensitive political and media ear — in other words, must be a first-rate crisis manager who understands the fundamental need to get the president out in front of the facts, and not be reactive or overly legalistic in determining crisis management strategy.

If Ms. Ruemmler did know about this IRS story and didn’t inform the president immediately, then, respectfully, that must mean she didn’t appreciate fully the mammoth legal and political implications for the U.S. government as well as the American people of a story involving IRS officials abusing power and possibly violating criminal laws.

The story itself would be huge — making a connection earlier than the IG report’s first leak, which came from Lois Lerner herself at the IRS.  Don’t forget that Obama yesterday parsed his response very carefully when it came to knowing about the targeting at the IRS.  He would only say that he first became aware of the IG report last Friday; he left open the question of when he first knew about the targeting.

If Ruemmler knew about it earlier than that, it becomes a much bigger problem for Obama.  First, just as with the IRS chief counsel’s briefing on the matter in August 2011, it’s almost impossible to believe that the lawyers wouldn’t immediately tell their bosses what was going on, unless they had good reason to believe their bosses already knew about it.  If Obama found out a few weeks before the IG report came out, why didn’t he act then to clean house at the IRS?  And it then also prompts the Watergate-ish question: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

For that matter, what did the White House press know, and when did they know it?  Davis is wondering about that, too:

It is also hard to understand why some people in the media who apparently knew about this foreknowledge by the White House counsel and her failure to tell the president missed this story and its significance.

Maybe they didn’t miss the significance.  Perhaps they only decided to use it when the administration’s attack on the Associated Press became widely known, and they realized that this White House isn’t a friend of the media.  That AP scandal has wide-ranging ramifications, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing a whole lot of revelations over the next few weeks.


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It is also hard to understand why some people in the media who apparently knew about this foreknowledge by the White House counsel and her failure to tell the president missed this story and its significance.

Really? It’s hard to understand? I’ll give you a little hint. November 6, 2012. That’s why they didn’t report on this story.

Doughboy on May 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Guess what, she knew and told Barky about it a while ago. This is eventually going to get out and the Dog Eating Tool is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Bishop on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

….. she did not tell the president as soon as she knew even partial reports about the story.

Right.

And pigs can fly.

fogw on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Testiciles….vice…rotate clockwise.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Lanny Davis writes in The Hill today that he’s heard White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler knew for “several weeks” without informing Barack Obama

Why would she need to inform him of something he already knew about?

NotCoach on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

A former special counsel for President Clinton, twisting the knife into the current administration? Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

This won’t stick to the president
-msdnc talking heads

She’s no Oliver Babbish is she Lawrence O’Donnell

cmsinaz on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Nobody in the White House reads the NYT?

Maybe the NYT should be running DC… oh wait, nevermind.

mjbrooks3 on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

The ladies get a pass. Love the photo of “Ms Ingram” on Drudge. Sandra Fluke in 20 years.

I’m sure he’ll find some dude who works under the WH counsel to can instead.

Marcus on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Captain Louis Renault comes to mind…..

Tenwheeler on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Someone else issues the orders for the wrongdoing, but once there’s a whiff of getting caught, the Consigliere discretely tells the boss immediately. C’mon, we’ve all seen how this works in the gangster movies.

forest on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I do-both.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Why would she need to inform him of something he already knew about ordered to happen?

NotCoach on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Maybe?

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

This won’t stick to the president
-msdnc talking heads

Did you watch the replay of Donny Douche?
Not only won’t it stick, this IRS thing is a “goldmine for Obama” because it brings Michelle Bachmann to the front again. (hey we’re talking DD logic here)

Marcus on May 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

So, the woman that was in charge of the tax exempt office is now in charge of enforcing O’Scare..

When…And I mean when…
Conservatives and patriots are targeted by her again..

Will Obama be surprised?

Electrongod on May 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Obama knew.

If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be scrambling so hard now to recover lost ground.

Liam on May 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

A vast left-wing conspiracy to keep him ignorant and impotent.

NotCoach on May 17, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Indeed Marcus

cmsinaz on May 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

We already have quotes from Schumer, Baucus, etc. encouraging the IRS to target conservs—the IRS acquiesces—AND NOW EVERYONE IS EFFIN SURPRISED? Goodness.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

and that she did not tell the president as soon as she knew even partial reports about the story.

As if, in the hive, you need to tell everyone what you’re doing. And as if one needs to check with the higher ups on what is or is not proper protocol.

This is merely an attempt to insulate Barky from any responsibility. Not only did he know, he approved.

Cleombrotus on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

If that is not bad enough the agents targeting conservative and like minded groups were applying for tax exempt status themselves….

It is coming across the wire right now…

Tilly on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I do-both.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

This. ^

bigmacdaddy on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Marcus
Just listened to O’Donnell protecting dear leader… he’s not allowed to know

Wtf?

cmsinaz on May 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I question the timing of all these scandals. they are being pushed at a time when there is no major bills in Congress besides immigration after the defeat of Obama’[s gun control push. the POTUS has nothing to lose at this point and would like these stories of “past” wrongdoing out in the public eye now when we are furthest from an election. Obama and the dems would not want these scandals appearring on the frontpage a month before the congressional elections. The speed and depth and number of these scandals being reported question if the Obama admin is clearing the deck so he can go for the Congress next year without any “scandals” derailing him. the GOP has been given a gift and should drag these hearings and scandals out for as logn as it takesand to do that they need to send the criminals to court then the court cases can last anothe ryear or so and people can go to jail.

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Well, to many people that I know personally he is regarded as a Messiah…. their Cultural and Spiritual leader. The bringer of Utopia, if it wasn’t for that racist, hateful GOP. Still going strong after 5 years. This is what they believe.

visions on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

It is also hard to understand why some people in the media who apparently knew about this foreknowledge by the White House counsel and her failure to tell the president missed this story and its significance.

Yeah, right.

bgibbs1000 on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

If any member of the WH staff knew…and did not,or failed to, inform the President…in a sane time, there’d be swift and immediate consequences.

But, with Obama…fire an IRS appointee who was not involved, and was to be cut lose in less than a month, anyway?

But, the larger question…what does Obama know? About Benghazi, IRS, the D0J illegally tapping phones over at AP, the Solyndra scandal, and a lot more. Is he that stupid? Or is he that easily distracted? Or is he a willing participant?

Stupid? Or criminally derelict?

I am looking forward to Ben and Jerry’s coming out with a new flavor…Obama on the label…a delicate mix of cinnamon imperials, peaches and mint…when you see “Impeachmint” in your local freezer…hell has frozen and sanity has returned to these once United States.

coldwarrior on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Davis is a devoted Clintonista. Why would he refrain from ripping Øbama unless he has not found credible proof that Ø knew before he implied that he knew?

ExpressoBold on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM

No special prosecutor and no impeachment means “no controlling legal authority”. A complicit media means no long term political consequences. I’d say this has all been timed pretty well, in between elections, and that Ms. Ruemmler is better at crisis management than Lanny Davis gives her credit for.

Fenris on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM

the only reason she wouldn’t have told Obama is because he already knew.

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM

I want a freezer full of “Impeachmint”!

Tilly on May 17, 2013 at 8:53 AM

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Yep.

coldwarrior on May 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I have confidence in Kathryn
- dear leader

cmsinaz on May 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Where is Valerie Jarrett in all this? She’s never mentioned. Although there’s probably no meeting, no memo, no phone call linking Obama directly to any thing, I’m betting everything is run through her.

Obama is like Pauly in Good Fellas. He has Jarrett running around getting information from the office holders and relaying it back to Obama. Obama then communicates through her. All the while, nothing’s on paper, on video, etc. I’ll bet a ton of business gets done between Obama and Jarrett at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

the GOP has been given a gift and should drag these hearings and scandals out for as logn as it takesand to do that they need to send the criminals to court then the court cases can last anothe ryear or so and people can go to jail.

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Watergate, start to resignation day, was 2 years. Oversight Comm easily will drag this out now that 3 scandals are in play.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM

The ladies get a pass. Love the photo of “Ms Ingram” on Drudge. Sandra Fluke in 20 years.

I’m sure he’ll find some dude who works under the WH counsel to can instead.

Marcus on May 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

My thoughts exactly:

Hillary Clinton
Susan Rice
Victoria Nuland
Lois Lerner
Holly Paz
Ms. Ingram
Kathryn Ruemmler

Before this is over we can add Stephanie Cutter and Valerie Jarrett to the list.

monalisa on May 17, 2013 at 8:58 AM

That AP scandal has wide-ranging ramifications, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing a whole lot of revelations over the next few weeks.

I hold out limited hope on this. As I have said before, on a scale of 1 to 10, I put the AP/DoJ scandal at a 5, at worst. But, if it gets the press to turn a critical eye and a critical pen on this President, then I’m happy it’s come to light.

Chris of Rights on May 17, 2013 at 8:59 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Obama has an average intelligence, below average work ethic, perpetual sneer and no soul. He sets the agenda and lets others do the brainwork, filling in the details and negotiating. He surrounds himself with toadies and apparatchiks who have no regard for the Constitution and the rule of law. Chicago is proud of its adopted son.

There’s your third option.

Fenris on May 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM

How often does this administration just come out and say, “Look at the horrific activity we’ve been doing!”

This could have been covered up easily. Why did it come out just now?

Here is my theory:
This scandal will have no direct ties to the WH on paper. Some people will be fired, the media will gain a little credibility in finally covering one of the scandals, and in the end the media will say “We cover the real scandals, like like that Bengazi thing.”

Bengazi leads to both Hilary and Obama with a PAPER TRAIL. There is some very damaging things written down that The Party doesn’t want known. They are even willing to put out this IRS thing volentarily at a perfect time to take the small hit to cover up the big hit.

Stop all business in DC until a special prosecutor is assigned to Bengazi.

GardenGnome on May 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Of course she knew, because she probably helped craft the program with the Dog Taster off the books.

That’s how it probably worked.

If you’re going to be a serial violator of the Hatch Act, you can’t leave a paper trail.

victor82 on May 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Watergate, start to resignation day, was 2 years. Oversight Comm easily will drag this out now that 3 scandals are in play.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM

depends on the outcome of midterms. If for some reason the dems when the House all of these will get whitewashed and quickly forgotten. if the American people want justice and punishment for the criminals they better make sure the GOP retains control fo the House and give them control of the Senate in 2014

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Maybe the NYT should be running DC… oh wait, nevermind.

I think you’ve got that reversed.

drunyan8315 on May 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

The motive is always what catches the thief. Did the IRS employees have a motive. Maybe but not much of one. Did a tea pary member drive over their dog? Do they just hate people like the tea party?

Did Obama’s people have a motive. Stay in power. Keep the Tea party from spoiling Obama’s reelection… Yes and a huge one at that.

I bet on the motive. This goes all the way to Obama’s inner circle.

aniptofar on May 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Watergate, start to resignation day, was 2 years. Oversight Comm easily will drag this out now that 3 scandals are in play.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM

At the risk of making Holder seem sympathetic, I think they should lay off him for a while. The IRS thing, I think, is huge–whether it has Obama’s hands on it or not. It’s got liberal hands all over it. It has the Obamacare angle too.

Also, even Bob Woodward was on Morning Joe today sternly cautioning the other liberals who were crowing that Benghazi is a GOP witchhunt that the WH and State still have many, many questions to answer on this and that it’s not going away soon.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

If you’re going to be a serial violator of the Hatch Act, you can’t leave a paper trail.

victor82 on May 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

kind of strange that Obama would amend the Hatch ACt last year isn’t it?

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Camp is going global on the IRS. Good. The GOP is not limiting this to a handful of people in Cincinnati. I think it will be impossible for the Dems to dance around this as in the Benghazi hearings.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The most significant change to the Hatch Act in S.2170 is that it expands the range penalties for Hatch Act violations by federal employees, including lessening their severity. Currently, if the MSPB finds a Hatch Act violation, it must remove the offender unless the MSPB unanimously votes not to terminate, in which case the only alternate penalty available is an unpaid suspension of 30 days or more. S.2170 expands the MSPB’s disciplinary options to include lesser penalties such as demotion, suspensions less than 30 days and reprimands. However, S.2170 also allows the MSPB to impose more severe penalties in addition to removal, including 5 year debarment from federal employment and a $1000 fine-penalties similar to those which can currently be imposed against offenders committing Prohibited Personnel Practices. Senate Report 112-211 states that the MSPB should consider aggravating and mitigating factors similar to the MSPB’s non-Hatch Act cases, indicating Congress’ intent that the MSPB’s Douglas factors apply to Hatch Act cases.

Another provision of S.2170 reduces the Hatch Act coverage of state and local government employees. Special Counsel Lerner had requested that this provision be repealed entirely, but Congress instead limited coverage to state and local government employees whose salary is completely paid by federal funds.

Finally, S.2170 makes several changes relevant to Hatch Act coverage in the D.C. area. First, S.2170 moves District employees into the less restrictive rules for state and local government employees (most District employees had been previously treated as federal employees). Second, S.2170 allows federal employees to assist in partisan election campaigns for the D.C. government. Under current statute, federal employees may participate in partisan campaigns in certain state and local jurisdictions near D.C. or where most voters are federal employees–but not in the District itself (an artifact of pre-Home Rule days).

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Did WH counsel know IRS was targeting conservatives?

Of course not. Career bureaucrats always stick their necks out and anonymously break the law to help elected officials. Obama just has over-zealous friends who do these things without any prompting whatsoever.

RadClown on May 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

…it’s almost impossible to believe that the lawyers wouldn’t immediately tell their bosses what was going on

Disagree, at least in the Obama admin, where he seemingly doesn’t want to know any of this stuff. He prefers to be a random bystander, unless it makes him look good. He seems incurious about everything else. Partly because those types of pesky issues get in the way of partying, campaigning, golf, having fun, traveling, and more campaigning. As someone wrote “Obama likes to BE president. He doesn’t like to DO president.”

William Teach on May 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Zero and Jarrett planned and executed this. They did it in such a hamhanded way that it will comeback to them. Remember, even the teflon Don went down in the end.

And Zero ain’t that smart. He just thinks he is.

dogsoldier on May 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Testiciles….vice…rotate clockwise.

hillsoftx on May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Why clockwise? You know he’s left-handed…

Racist. :o)

BlaxPac on May 17, 2013 at 9:13 AM

they realized that this White House isn’t a friend of the media

Why should Barry be afraid of his whores?

GarandFan on May 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I was sure I heard Krauthammer, last night on the O’Reilly, say that someone in the WH knew about the IRS issue on April 22. And then that person surely would have told the president. That is why Obummer parsed he words so carefully at yesterday’s presser.

esr1951 on May 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Lanny Davis: Did WH counsel know IRS was targeting conservatives?

First thought? Of course they did. In fact, I have no reason to believe they didn’t know about it. Think about this, who has the most to gain from all this mess? The lowly IRS employee? Not hardly. It was the people who got bonuses, and the people who had a stake in it. The politicians. Does the president have a hand in it? Of course he does, either directly or indirectly, he’s involved. Someone decided it was the right thing to do for the president or the democratic party. Not the right thing for themselves.

scalleywag on May 17, 2013 at 9:20 AM

First, just as with the IRS chief counsel’s briefing on the matter in August 2011, it’s almost impossible to believe that the lawyers wouldn’t immediately tell their bosses…

What’s interesting is that IRS managers apparently knew years ago, and the situation didn’t make it up the chain to Obummer. That seems highly unlikely and, therefore, ought to receive some more focus. Obummer had to have known — the practice was obviously an integral part of the dems’ midterm strategy.

KS Rex on May 17, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I respectfully suggest Ms. Ruemmler is in the wrong job and that she should resign.

This is hilarious!!

VibrioCocci on May 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Lanny Davis? Anybody else looking for a squirrel?

yesiamapirate on May 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Lanny’s one of the more decent Dems remaining (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

But even so, I think I smell a Clinton behind this somehow.

petefrt on May 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Tilly on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

And the IRS problem is the one that is going to be the trip up. With the AP fiasco, the IRS story won’t get bumped – its new, they can maintain that Benghazi all along has been an issue of correcting our mistakes, not a coverup (fact – its both). They can cover the IRS story freshly and spend time in twisting the knife in the president for failing to understand he was to share power with them – the elite opinion makers. Dumb mistake by Holder.

This won’t end well for Obama. Either he has so many paths to him covered that he can realistically claim he didn’t know – which I do not believe but that is what the trail will say – so that he is viewed as an uninformed buffoon. Or the trail does point to him and Harry Reid gets to make a walk to the WH in 18 months to suggest Obama needs to resign ala Nixon. We will see which one applies.

In either case – the House will not flip – in fact the GOP will gain seats as Sanford’s win shows. And I would imagine there is a 50/50 chance the GOP gains control of the senate.

I also imagine Obama will not get another SC justice spot even if someone retires. It will get blocked in the Senate. He is the proverbial lame duck. His super PAC just got schooled by the NRA. Think congressional democrats noticed that?

Zomcon JEM on May 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM

The media is finally asking Obama the tough questions:

“What should we let the LoFos know, and when should we let them know it?”

drunyan8315 on May 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM

During his Press Conference yesterday, Obama was asked directly if the WH knew about the IRS targeting conservative organizations. He didn’t answer the question. Instead, he said he did not know about the IG report until it was leaded to the press. That wasn’t the question. The question was if the WH knew about the targeting. He still hasn’t answered that question. Since he dodged it, I would assume that, yes the WH did know about the targeting. We really don’t care about when he found out the contents of the IG report. We want to know if you, or your minions, ordered the targeting, either directly or implicitly.

GAlpha10 on May 17, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I’ll bet a ton of business gets done between Obama and Jarrett at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

And “after hours”. IYKWIMAITYD.

GAlpha10 on May 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I’ve never seen such a strong, solid display of loyalty and willingness to destroy ones career and public image for our dear leader to remain spotless as what is unfolding in front of us these days. These low level types and even the higher ups must all be carrying get outta jail free cards. Oblamo must have been printing them at the same presses that print our currency.

Kissmygrits on May 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I wonder if we are now seeing the Clinton and Obama camps at war and fighting via proxy as to which scandal will dominate the news?

Obama will have to throw Hillary under the bus to save himself on Benghazi. However, if the IRS scandal dominates the news Hillary can mostly escape the fallout from Benghazi.

Of course I think the IRS issue is bigger at this point – using the IRS against the domestic political opposition is clearly impeachable.

18-1 on May 17, 2013 at 9:37 AM

But, the larger question…what does Obama know? About Benghazi, IRS, the D0J illegally tapping phones over at AP, the Solyndra scandal, and a lot more. Is he that stupid? Or is he that easily distracted? Or is he a willing participant?

Of course Obama knew. This administration rots from the top.

More to the point though, Bush got blamed for the actions of everyone associated with the government when he was president – remember Abu Ghraib was an out of control NCO in Iraq and yet Bush still got the blame.

Stop talking about what Obama knew or did not know. He is the president, these scandals are his fault. “The Obama administration” was targeting the opposition via the IRS, sat back and let Americans die in Benghazi, and tapped the AP.

Don’t play the game of trying to prove Obama knew.

18-1 on May 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM

So Zero is an ignorant bumbling imbecile or a lying crook?

I don’t see a third option.

BigWyo on May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

3) Both.

Why do I have to do everything around here.

Bishop on May 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I question the timing of all these scandals. they are being pushed at a time when there is no major bills in Congress besides immigration after the defeat of Obama’[s gun control push. the POTUS has nothing to lose at this point and would like these stories of “past” wrongdoing out in the public eye now when we are furthest from an election…

unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Yup. By 2014, all the scandals will be a 2013 footnote, “What I did on my summer vacation, by Congress.”

It’s the scandal version of Cloward-Piven. Throw it all out there. Overwhelm the media and the electorate. These people are evil.

Fallon on May 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Did anyone else wonder where the Tea Party went the last few years? This would help explain that.

Paul-Cincy on May 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM

God only knows what kind of dirt that White House Press Corps Stenographers Group has on this Administration. If Lanny Davis has gotten wind of this, it means at least somebody in the press knows.

But when you have network correspondents who are married to White House Press Secretaries and other senior White House and Administration officials, what can we really expect? Would Claire Shipman really spill the beans on her husband or on anyone else that might cost her husband his job?

rockmom on May 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM

“NO ONE gets in to see teh ONE, not NOBODY, not no how.”

Fallon on May 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

I’ve been told today by several reporters that President Obama’s White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler…

What?

Is this how things work now? Now reporters who have been leaked info leak it to someone like Davis to report, rather than report it themselves?

It is also hard to understand why some people in the media who apparently knew about this foreknowledge by the White House counsel and her failure to tell the president missed this story and its significance.

Does anyone really think that people who are by nature and are extremely nosy, super-curious, hyper-suspicious, and ultra-skeptical did not think this was significant?

That they suddenly underwent a personality change and became incurious and trusting?

More likely, considering their bias, they did not want to report it, for several reasons. That’s very easy to understand.

farsighted on May 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I wonder if we are now seeing the Clinton and Obama camps at war and fighting via proxy as to which scandal will dominate the news?

Obama will have to throw Hillary under the bus to save himself on Benghazi. However, if the IRS scandal dominates the news Hillary can mostly escape the fallout from Benghazi.

18-1 on May 17, 2013 at 9:37 AM

That’s what I’m wondering also. We all know Lanny’s a Clinton loyalist. Lanny’s link to the WH has the smell of Clinton on it.

My fondest hope is the Clintons and Obama war against each other, each to save his/her own skin. That will bring a tsunami of leaks.

petefrt on May 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Lanny Davis: Did WH counsel know IRS was targeting conservatives?

…do Bears sh!t in the woods?

KOOLAID2 on May 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Lanny’s one of the more decent Dems remaining (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

But even so, I think I smell a Clinton behind this somehow.

petefrt on May 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Focusing on the IRS scandal means not focusing on the Benghazi scandal.

The IRS scandal (and, for that matter, the AP bugging scandal) can’t directly affect Hillary’s 2016 hopes. Benghazi can.

So if there has to be a scandal involving the White House, if you’re the Clinton people, better it be the IRS than the Libyan intelligence failures. If what Davis is saying is true, Jarrett’s going to be wondering who this White House’s own personal Deep Throat is, who is setting up Obama to be run over by his own bus, after the former Secretary of State put it in ‘drive’.

jon1979 on May 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM

So if there has to be a scandal involving the White House, if you’re the Clinton people, better it be the IRS than the Libyan intelligence failures.

jon1979 on May 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Exactly. The IRS scandal is no real skin off Billary’s butt. But Benghazi could be sudden death.

petefrt on May 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Anybody else notice that the preezy sated that the IG report was “leaked” to the press? I thought it released to the public as planned. Am I missing something or was he just confused as to which scandal he was talking about at the time?

stout77 on May 17, 2013 at 10:21 AM

So, the woman that was in charge of the tax exempt office is now in charge of enforcing O’Scare..

Electrongod on May 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Even better, during the same years the IRS targeted conservatives, her annual bonuses increased by about 500% over what they had been before.

I’m thinking of a word that starts with B…

CJ on May 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

The motive is always what catches the thief. Did the IRS employees have a motive. Maybe but not much of one. Did a tea pary member drive over their dog? Do they just hate people like the tea party?

Did Obama’s people have a motive. Stay in power. Keep the Tea party from spoiling Obama’s reelection… Yes and a huge one at that.

I bet on the motive. This goes all the way to Obama’s inner circle.

aniptofar on May 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Of course the goons had motive, -job promotions and big bonuses if they did what the boss wanted. The greedy government union management plays a part in determining annual bonuses and they are hard-core proggies.

Do you see a difference between “Obama’s people” and “the IRS employees”?

PS: Why the h should government workers get bonuses?

slickwillie2001 on May 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

And it then also prompts the Watergate-ish question: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

If Obama or any of is White House team knew about the IRS targeting conservatives, how is this any different from Watergate? The technology and tactics are different, but the goal is the same; damage the opposing party.

midgeorgian on May 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Impeachment ice cream….I want me some!!!

gracie on May 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Very convenient for it to be the White House Counsel who reportedly knew about it. Given attorney-client privilege, she cannot be compelled to reveal what she did or did not tell the President. So this goes…Nowhere.

MPan on May 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

MPan – not true.

She can be compelled to tell that she was briefed on the subject. She is not compelled to say what exactly was said on the topic.

Zomcon JEM on May 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I hold out limited hope on this. As I have said before, on a scale of 1 to 10, I put the AP/DoJ scandal at a 5, at worst.

Chris of Rights on May 17, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Interesting point of view, Chris of Rights. What do you think are some of the really big scandals, some of the ones that deserve ratings of an 8, 9 or 10?

In my mind, these two together–AP/DoJ–are more chilling than Watergate, Lewinsky, Scooter Libby and Iran-Contra combined. But, then, maybe you have some others in mind that I somehow missed.

Burke on May 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Lanny’s one of the more decent Dems remaining (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

But even so, I think I smell a Clinton behind this somehow.

petefrt on May 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Good instinct. Davis doesn’t do anything except promote the Clintons. Get him on the witness stand and ask him everything he knows.

In her defense, we could say that Hillary was too busy perverting US foreign interests to be involved in the illegal use of the IRS against americans at home.

virgo on May 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Zomcon JEM – yes, true.

I didn’t say that she can’t “be compelled to tell that she was briefed on the subject”.

I said “she cannot be compelled to reveal what she did or did not tell the President.”

My point is that this doesn’t get us closer to proving what Obama knew.

MPan on May 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM

It is also hard to understand why some people in the media who apparently knew about this foreknowledge by the White House counsel and her failure to tell the president missed this story and its significance.

No it isn’t, Lanny. If some people in the lapdog, Obama-loving media knew about this prior to November 6, 2012, they knew that if the public found out, the media might not have a friendly President pushing their agenda, but a hostile Justice Department intent on blowing the lid off ALL the scandals of 2009-2012.

So, anyone in the media who kenw about this were VERY AWARE of its significance, and kept it under wraps to protect “their” President.

Lanny Davis, of all people, should understand this, after all he personally did to protect former President Clinton, whose wife is now wondering what difference Benghazi makes!

Steve Z on May 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I’ll bet a ton of business gets done between Obama and Jarrett at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Obama eats the food, Jarrett brings the brains, and maybe the umbrellas if Obama forgot.

Steve Z on May 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I’ll bet a ton of business gets done between Obama and Jarrett at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

BuckeyeSam on May 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Obama eats the food, Jarrett brings the brains, and maybe the umbrellas if Obama forgot.

Steve Z on May 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM

She brings out Zinn and tells him bedtime stories too.

slickwillie2001 on May 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM

“…reward our friends and punish our enemies.”

Bevan on May 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

She didn’t tell Obama because Obama already knew. It was his policy the IRS was carrying out.

We have all seen Obama give the orders to those who had the ears to hear it.

Obama hates Americans.

petunia on May 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I may be reading into things here, but is it possible that the IRS persecution scandal was set up by the Clinton machine. I mean this is perfect timing to deflect the attention away from Benghazi. Clinton’s name has not been mentioned and she and her husband have been keeping a low profile. Now you have Lanny Davis asking about the WH counsel’s role in this.

OliverB on May 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Did the IRS violate the Hatch Act?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch_Act_of_1939

“The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit employees (civil servants) in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials of the executive branch, from engaging in partisan political activity. The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico. It was most recently amended in 2012.”

patch on May 18, 2013 at 12:12 AM