Video “I don’t know that hiding something from Congress is illegal”

posted at 12:31 pm on May 19, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

For regular viewers of TV talking heads, Eleanor Clift is no stranger. She’s been making the rounds for years, currently working for Newsweek / Daily Beast, and is a regular feature on The McLaughlin Group. It was on the latter program where today’s feature video unfolded, with the venerable Ms. Clift once again tangling with Rich Lowry.

In this episode, the subject of the IRS investigation is once again on the table, and Clift has the clarity to cut to the heart of the matter. Her argument boils down what surely seems like a clear cut case of, “move along. Nothing to see here.” Because even if what everyone is saying happened actually did happen, then it was just some low level rogue tax drones. And it’s not like anybody broke any laws, right? So what’s the big deal? (H/T to RealClearPolitics)

ELEANOR CLIFT: Let the facts go where they may. It does look like you had some mid-level bureaucrats who did this and their names are going to come out. They are protected by the Civil Service. You only have two political appointees in the IRS, there’s really nobody to fire. There’s really no evidence that this is necessarily illegal. This is inappropriate –

RICH LOWRY: They hid it from Congress.

CLIFT: Excuse me.

LOWRY: They hid it from Congress. They would not answer it. They were asked about it and they wouldn’t say, they wouldn’t reveal it.

CLIFT: I don’t know if hiding something from Congress is illegal either.

LOWRY: It may not be illegal, it is wrong.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: How about making false statements to Congress? How about conspiracy? Depriving Americans of their civil liberties, namely the Tea Party? How about the Hatch Act forbidding civil servants from engaging in political activity for starters?

CLIFT: Not when you start out with an Inspector General’s report saying there is no evidence of political bias, an Inspector General who was appointed by President Bush. You know, you really have to stretch to find a political trail –

MCLAUGHLIN: To find a crime!

CLIFT: — to find a crime and to find a crime that leads to the Oval Office, which is what Republicans are trying desperately to do.

I’ll leave this one to you guys. But Clift may be on to something here. Dan Pfeiffer was out on the Sunday shows this morning saying “the law doesn’t matter” when it comes to some of these scandals, so she might be ahead of the game. Of course, Dan walked that one back on Twitter pretty quickly.

Before folks quoting me out of context get too far ahead of themselves, of course the law matters, IRS conduct is wrong even if legal

Sooooo… okay then! I guess that clears it all up.


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If Obama gets away with this, he will go for broke.
clnurnberg on May 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Indeed.
workingclass artist on May 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I agree. The MSM has messaged this is the new norm. The next scandals will not be covered at all

Obama cannot be impeached with the current Senate.

Too bad the RINOs had planned to stuff it to the Tea Party, the anti amnesty crowd, and the anti gay marriage crowd. To go whole hog against the Executive branch, they need the support of the last group of Americans who demand rule of law

This IMHO is why the RINOs did not push the issue before the last election. They too wanted the tea party dead. Both RINO and Libs have been messaging that the Tea Party is dead. The funeral had been held last fall. Benghazi forced the Libs to release the Tea Party IRS data for cover.

And they did stage the release.

It did cool down the Benghazi momentum from the Whistleblowers

Plus, it throws a screw in the RINO plans.

entagor on May 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Nobody keeps him in check now…Do they?

workingclass artist on May 19, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Right–It’s just like when Pelosi was Speaker.

ghostwriter on May 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Workingclass Artist is right. You are focusing on the admin being able to pass their agenda( what you refer to as a “check”)…but what does it matter if no new regs get passed when you can simply do what you want( clearly) and there are absolutely NO consequences to your orders? Use that power to place all your “men” in the right positions?

The ends justify the means to them…no consequences mean they can move about with impunity and the worse that happens is some people call them bad names in the news and on blogs…small price to pay to wield the might of a government like ours with nothing stopping you.

Alinsky on May 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Ms. Clift should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail…

Khun Joe on May 19, 2013 at 6:03 PM

It didn’t take long for the MSM to get over it’s phony outrage and get back in the groove. These liberals lie and the MSM swears to it.

savage24 on May 19, 2013 at 6:04 PM

The law certainly doesn’t matter to this administration.

Axion on May 19, 2013 at 7:07 PM

It’s time to put this old Witch out to pasture! She has been a chief liar for the Libs for many years and I think she has out-lived her usefulness!Give her the gold retirement watch and tell her it’s time to take a walk!!

Jersey Dan on May 19, 2013 at 7:23 PM

So, this must be the “Hope and Change” Obama was talking about when he asked for our votes. Where, if it can’t be proven (by an Obama-appointed prosecutor) to be illegal for the government to screw you, it’s OK for it to do so?

Glad we cleared that up.

Socratease on May 19, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Workingclass Artist is right. You are focusing on the admin being able to pass their agenda( what you refer to as a “check”)…but what does it matter if no new regs get passed when you can simply do what you want( clearly) and there are absolutely NO consequences to your orders? Use that power to place all your “men” in the right positions?

The ends justify the means to them…no consequences mean they can move about with impunity and the worse that happens is some people call them bad names in the news and on blogs…small price to pay to wield the might of a government like ours with nothing stopping you.

Alinsky on May 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

No, workingclassaritist is not right. Executive orders can be undone by electing a new executive. Preventing Obama from advancing his legislative agenda is the best that we can get right now. It isn’t ideal, but the situation could be far worse.

ghostwriter on May 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

First?

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Because liberals are looking out for the little guy, anything they do is a okay.

racquetballer on May 19, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Ratings? It’s PBS. Do they care about ratings? Used to watch it in the day. Can’t now. If it were on CNN it would have been canceled years ago.

rickv404 on May 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

It is? It used to be on NBC and later, CBS.

22044 on May 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I’ve only ever seen it on PBS, but I guess that’s changed in recent years.

rickv404 on May 20, 2013 at 3:23 AM

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Lying is not found anywhere in those honorable words. Unless, “execute” has been taken out of context by every president before Obama. Hint Eleanor, it does not mean that one can use executive power to cover up criminal behavior, as both Clinton and Nixon learned in recent history.

kregg on May 20, 2013 at 5:42 AM

You don’t really expect nasty old hags like this to actually be journalists do you?

After all, where is she goign to get her shoes, lampshades and purses made of gosnell fabric is we actually enforced laws around here?

acyl72 on May 20, 2013 at 7:13 AM

One thing for sure, the TEA Party will be working their butts off in the midterms to turn the Senate. If the IRS couldn’t stop them, nobody can. The scary part is what the Republicans will do and who they put up as their candidate in 2016.

lea on May 20, 2013 at 7:20 AM

Late to this one, so I will just say that if this WAS purely a middle level thing, entirely carried out by faceless peons, and there is nobody higher than a GS15 or so to blame, certainly nobody whose name you would have heard, …then nothing short of eliminating the IRS will do. It is just too big, too unwieldy, and too unaccountable to permit in a free country.

So that’s the deal. Pitch the people on top, all the way up to and including the CEO, or pitch the organization itself. I’m sorry, but we need to be absolutely sure that this can NEVER happen again, and there will not be any taking of anyone’s word that they ‘get it now’. We can’t have a government that powerful and that untrustworthy. Those of us who were targeted will not forget, and we will not let it go. No. Not in America. That we were just paranoid was always a lie, and it is now self evident. We told you.

Dirty Creature on May 20, 2013 at 7:24 AM

I suppose this means that in the New America the party that holds the Presidency can and will use all of the levers of government power to punish and silence political opponents.

So, liberals, next time there is a GOP congress, we will investigate you with the IRS, FBI, NSA, and every other federal organization until we either bankrupt you through forcing you to hire attorneys to defend yourselves or find something that we can use to prosecute and imprison you.

And, as shown by the liberal trolls such as Hotairlib, verbulace, and the like, the liberals are perfectly fine with this state of affairs.

I’m glad that we have this new wonderful America created by the left – where the gov’t is used to destroy political opponents. They sure do love their country and all of its values. that’s what makes leftism so wonderful.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Clift, like miller, believes that Heads of agencies like the IRS have no obligation to inform the Congressional oversight committees that monitor them the entire status / issues / scandals / etc that is going on. Her statement regarding hiding something from Congress is not the same thing as MISLEADING them, thereby committing FRAUD through hiding their scandalous activity.

Right now Liberals like Clift & Milner are trying to set precedence by defining what the IRS did – misleading Congress – as ‘not illegal’. That needs to be stopped in its tracks RIGHT NOW. Congress MUST demonstrate that this is INDEED ‘Illegal’ & do so by charging Miller with a crime!

easyt65 on May 20, 2013 at 8:18 AM

If only these inoffensive, teeny little non-scandals had occurred during the Bush administration, Eleanor Clift would have worked herself into such a fevered pitch condemning Bush and all his cronies for their calculated attacks on civil liberties that she might well have had an aneurysm on t.v.

morganfrost on May 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

And they did stage the release.

It did cool down the Benghazi momentum from the Whistleblowers

entagor on May 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

“They” are not the Obama-ites. They, and he, are not that bright. Just take a look at the minions that they keep sending to the Sunday shows when in trouble.

I am in agreement with those that believe the leaks have a Clintonian smell to them. Many of the Obama staff hold an allegiance to the Clinton’s. Protection of Hillary regarding Benghazi is utmost.

Carnac on May 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

What is really needed, is another agency, to monitor this agency. Because clearly, there isn’t enough regulation on this agency. So when we like something, we want more, we want more!

/s

kirkill on May 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

You know, you really have to stretch to find a political trail…to find a crime and to find a crime that leads to the Oval Office, which is what Republicans are trying desperately to do.

Is Clift implying that there is a crime leading to the Oval Office?

So this IS inappropriate, but IS not illegal. Depends on what your definition of IS is.

Civil Service will protect them? Does that mean anyone who gets into Civil Service is protected for life, no matter what they do?

Steve Z on May 20, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I suppose this means that in the New America the party that holds the Presidency can and will use all of the levers of government power to punish and silence political opponents.

So, liberals, next time there is a GOP congress, we will investigate you with the IRS, FBI, NSA, and every other federal organization until we either bankrupt you through forcing you to hire attorneys to defend yourselves or find something that we can use to prosecute and imprison you.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM

No, no we won’t. We don’t control the bureaucracy they do. You won’t be able to get those low level employee’s to pursue your political enemies like they would their own. You just don’t realize how badly we’ve lost.

DFCtomm on May 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I suppose this means that in the New America the party that holds the Presidency can and will use all of the levers of government power to punish and silence political opponents.

So, liberals, next time there is a GOP congress, we will investigate you with the IRS, FBI, NSA, and every other federal organization until we either bankrupt you through forcing you to hire attorneys to defend yourselves or find something that we can use to prosecute and imprison you.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM

No, no we won’t. We don’t control the bureaucracy they do. You won’t be able to get those low level employee’s to pursue your political enemies like they would their own. You just don’t realize how badly we’ve lost.

DFCtomm on May 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Why do you think almost every government job requires a college degree? It’s to ensure they get the right(left) kind of person.

DFCtomm on May 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

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