Progress? Journalists notice “shifting” White House account of IRS scandal

posted at 2:01 pm on May 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

I’m not talking about conservative publications either, but outlets that normally would allow Barack Obama and his team the benefit of the doubt.  Bloomberg starts us off with a straight report on the changing explanations:

Carney said Ruemmler was informed by the Treasury Department’s General Counsel’s office April 24 that the Inspector General for Tax Administration was completing a report that found that IRS employees improperly scrutinized political organizations seeking tax exempt status by searching their applications for words including “Tea Party” and “patriot.”

The previous week, on April 16, Ruemmler had learned more generally that there were a number of Inspector General reports being finalized and an IRS investigation was among those investigations, Carney said.

Carney’s comments today are at odds with what he told reporters last week, when he said the White House counsel “only found out about the review being conducted and coming to conclusion by the inspector general.”

Next up is Politico, which ran Reid Epstein’s analysis of the fifth version of the White House account of what was known and who knew it last night:

The White House on Monday once again added to the list of people who knew about the IRS investigation into its targeting of conservative groups — saying White House chief of staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago.

Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department.

Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press.

Republicans said they were on the lookout for the next installment in the White House’s ever-shifting narrative.

It’s gotten so bad that Epstein had to supply a timeline to keep the stories straight.  Maybe that will help Jay Carney in his next press briefing explain just how little anyone knows about what’s happening  in their own administration.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier, a well-respected political analyst, wonders why anyone would bother to believe any of the ever-changing versions regarding the IRS scandal, even though Fournier clearly wants to do so:

Knowing the consequences that would befall the Obama administration if the White House or Obama’s re-election campaign knew in real time that the IRS was targeting conservatives, I desperately want to believe Pfeiffer. I’ve known him for years. I like him. He’s never lied to me.

But Pfeiffer is part of an institution that has demonstrated an inability and/or unwillingness to tell the full truth about the IRS scandal and a spate of other controversies. The White House can’t be trusted.

That depressing conclusion (not unique to the Obama White House, sadly) was driven home Monday when spokesman Jay Carney used his daily briefing to announce that presidential advisers knew more about the IRS scandal a bit sooner than previously disclosed. …

And yet the revelations cost the Obama White House some measure of credibility. In politics, as in life, when you constantly change your story, even on small matters, you sew doubt about your credibility and competence.

In different ways, each of the so-called Obama scandals revolve around the issue of trust (as I wrote herehere,herehere, and here). The president’s greatest asset is his credibility. If this pattern of spinning and shifting stories continues, it could become a liability.

Howard Fineman simply can’t believe that the White House is this inept:

The aides either have forgetten or are unable to implement the basic lesson of scandal control in Washington: Get the full story out — all of it — as fast as you can before your critics accuse you of a cover-up or worse.

It’s been only a week since the president told the world that he had learned about the “outrageous” actions of the IRS’ Cincinnati office from “news reports” on May 10. We now know that those reports stemmed from a disclosure the administration had planned and that, in fact, “senior officials” in the White House knew the essence of a damning inspector general’s report on the matter as early as April 24.

From the start, the White House’s response on this potentially explosive matter has been grudging at best and, in retrospect, ignorant or arrogant or both.

Of course, inept only applies if the White House didn’t really know what the IRS was doing.  That seems to still be Fournier’s assumption, but Fineman is starting to get skeptical:

With two winning presidential campaigns built on successful grassroots fundraising, with a former White House counsel (in 2010-11) who is one of the Democrats’ leading experts on campaign law (Bob Bauer), with former top campaign officials now ensconced as staffers in the White House (David Axelrod and Dan Pfeiffer among others), it’s hard to imagine that the Obama inner circle was oblivious to the issue of what the IRS was doing in Cincinnati.

That may well be true. Maybe they didn’t care one whit what the IG was going to say. But they sure haven’t been behaving that way in the last week.

There are two ways to look at the shifting stories and seeming incompetence.  If the White House was truly ignorant of what the IRS was doing and got blindsided by the IG report, then the fumbling is a demonstration of inexplicable incompetence from a team noted for its messaging savvy.  If, however, the White House was well aware of the targeting of conservatives and needed to keep that from becoming public knowledge, then the shifting stories as more revelations arise makes … a lot more sense.

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Or just plain shifty.

Too many “f”s in that statement.

BobMbx on May 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM

LOL Howard Fineman can’t believe it. Of course he can’t he’s waited his whole life for The One.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Press corpse zombie.

forest on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

Huh? Barry has “credibility”?

GarandFan on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

OT: Michelle Malkin is tweeting pics of IRS protests around the country…

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Still no questions about the meeting between the POTUS and the head of the IRS union the day before the “get the conservatives” campaign began. Sheesh.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

What if the scandal is so bad that the White House can’t put out all the information..? Anybody asking for interviews with Valerie Jarrett..?

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Liar!

In my best princess bride voice

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

If, however, the White House was well aware of the targeting of conservatives and needed to keep that from becoming public knowledge, then the shifting stories as more revelations arise makes … a lot more sense.

“Transparency Change doesn’t happen overnight. Transparency Change is hard — especially when you’re dealing with challenges that have been building up over decades.”

Electrongod on May 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

The Obama Administration has never operated under any challenge from the press until now.

Of course they’re inept. They don’t know what to do.

portlandon on May 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

There are two ways to look at the shifting stories and seeming incompetence. If the White House was truly ignorant of what the IRS was doing and got blindsided by the IG report, then the fumbling is a demonstration of inexplicable incompetence from a team noted for its messaging savvy. If, however, the White House was well aware of the targeting of conservatives and needed to keep that from becoming public knowledge, then the shifting stories as more revelations arise makes … a lot more sense.

In either case, their response has bristled with arrogance.

Not. A. Good. Look.

The same contempt for the hoi polloi is on full display across The Pond, too…

Revenge of the ‘Swivel-Eyed Loons’!

France: A Nation on the Edge

The emerging ‘Let them eat cake’ theme by elites in the UK, Europe, and the US is going to lead to predictable results…and, they won’t be pretty.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Huh? Barry has “credibility”?

GarandFan on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

F- worth of it..
But there is room for improvement..
I guess it can be looked at that way.

Electrongod on May 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Most of the big media is all but begging Team Obama to come up with an explanation that’s at least a little credible, while the Obama crew believes those same media outlets should be able to take any explanation they offer up and spin it the proper way. That’s where the disconnect is on the IRS scandal, while the AP/Fox bugging incidents has also made some (not all) in the media less willing to shovel crap for the administration, because they now feel they’re getting no love in return.

jon1979 on May 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Journalists notice “shifting” White House account of IRS scandal

Well when the journalists have to put date and time stamps on the various accounts of the same story just to keep track of the shifting versions, they’ll eventually notice the squirrel in a hailstorm reaction from the White House. Apparently that smug Miller guy who got “fired” told a different story this morning than he did on Friday….. It seems that the targeting of conservative groups was partisan after all. That’s not what he said last week.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Maybe the good Reverand was right about those chickens.

docflash on May 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM

When does Morgan Fairchild come into the conversation?

Oil Can on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Most of the big media is all but begging Team Obama to come up with an explanation that’s at least a little credible, while the Obama crew believes those same media outlets should be able to take any explanation they offer up and spin it the proper way. That’s where the disconnect is on the IRS scandal, while the AP/Fox bugging incidents has also made some (not all) in the media less willing to shovel crap for the administration, because they now feel they’re getting no love in return.

jon1979 on May 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Neither side has ever had a real swing of the bat, so how do expect either to get a hit. It’s kind of funny. They are who we thought they were, just even more incompetent than we thought.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Definitely a solid B Plus!

TexasTea on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Time to tap all of their phones and emails! /sarc

OxyCon on May 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

With two winning presidential campaigns built on successful grassroots fundraising,

Gee could anyone have said that if perhaps, just perhaps OUR grassroots groups had been given tax exempt status then they too could have been successful too?

Could it be that once Obama saw how his side got whupped in 2010 they didn’t see that it was largely due to the Tea Party groups?

Could you then draw a straight line directly to Obama wanting to marginalized these groups because he knew they were effective?

I mean it’s not like he’s familiar with grassroots orgs himself say the way a community organizer might be…oh wait!

neyney on May 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

This is actually pretty smart. Tell a different story about what doesn’t matter, as in when the staff new after the fact about the IG reports. This takes any focus away from how the program originated, a in the meeting between the head of the IRS Union and the President of the United States.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department.

So, what exactly is Obama’s staff allowed to “trouble” him with. The fact that he slept through Benghazi, apparently nothing.

DaveDief on May 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

“Shifty” stories? Or “shitty” ones.

I report, you decided.

MaxMBJ on May 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Or maybe they are incompetent AND liars.

myiq2xu on May 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

That says it all.

Bwahahahahahahaha.

LASue on May 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Snakes are less slithery.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

Once you learn to fake sincerity the rest is easy.

myiq2xu on May 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM

. . .you sew doubt about your credibility . . .

Spell check doesn’t help you here.

That would be “sow doubt”.

dissent555 on May 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM

One reason Obama is so successful at grassroots fundraising is that his side is allowed to do things that Republicans aren’t. Like get organizations certified as 501 c(4)s. Or take donations from Palestine.

hawksruleva on May 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM

So, what exactly is Obama’s staff allowed to “trouble” him with. The fact that he slept through Benghazi, apparently nothing.

DaveDief on May 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Scouting reports so that he can fill out the NCAA basketball brackets. Guest lists for the parties and concerts in a White House where he has used sequestration to keep the smelly people away. Mooch’s vacation demands.

Face it the guy works a solid three hours a day outside of greeting championship sports teams and pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys. It is the hardest he has worked in his life.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Administration strategy:

Step 1: Deny everything

Step 2: Act like investigators are morons

Step 3: Lie in very small ways

Step 4: Refer investigators to previous statements

Step 5: “Adjust” storyline, conveniently forgetting yesterday’s lies

Step 6: Repeat 3 through 5 until house of cards starts to fall. Move into “You’re obsessed” mode.

Step 7: Admit the truth (in part) claiming, “That’s what we’ve been saying all along.

Step 8: Call investigators “obstructionists” and “Scandal-mongers”

Step 9: Lie about everything up to and include Step 9.

Step 10: Go to Vegas, campaign, arrest a filmmaker.

MaxMBJ on May 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Is it just me or does Carney look as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs these days.

ghostwalker1 on May 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Has Carney said, “Who are you going to believe,me or your lying eyes?” yet?

Wethal on May 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

With two winning presidential campaigns built on successful grassroots fundraising

Yeah, the GOP could have done better if they had thought to organize some of those 501c(4) things. Too bad they didn’t have more of them. I understand it is a pro-forma process if the IRS likes you. /

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Is it just me or does Carney look as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs these days.

ghostwalker1 on May 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Lover’s spat over the spying on journalists. They’ll make up.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Boss emeritis is tweeting pictures from DC TEA protest.

Protesters denounce IRS targeting of tea party groups outside agency’s Washington headquarters

A few dozen tea party activists and their supporters have gathered outside the IRS headquarters in Washington to protest extra scrutiny of their organizations.

The protesters listened to speeches Tuesday afternoon and carried signs reading “Audit the IRS” and “Don’t audit me, bro.”

Not a peep about armed Homeland Security vehicles and personnel lining Constitution Ave. and every entrance barricaded (as if average TEA Joe’s were a terrorist threat).

Terp Mole on May 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Carney’s comments today are at odds with what he told reporters last week, when he said the White House counsel “only found out about the review being conducted and coming to conclusion by the inspector general.”

No, they’re not. You misunderstood him because you weren’t paying attention. Keep talking like that and you’ll lose all credibility.

BTW — Nice press pass you have there. Would be a shame to lose it.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Or just plain shifty.

Shifty Grifters.

MichaelGabriel on May 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Once again, the Daily Mail scoops American news outlets. IRS sued by Tea Party in CA.

LetsBfrank on May 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Lover’s spat over the spying on journalists. They’ll make up.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Or else…

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Oh, snap:

At this point Jay Carney became visibly annoyed to have his story questioned so closely, and began asking Nichols what exactly he was getting at. Nichols answered, “I’m trying to find out who knew and when did they know it,” and added that Carney had previously chided the press corps for asking vague, general questions, and said, “Now I’m asking specific questions, and you’re accusing me of being petulant.”

Jay Carney sarcastically said, “No one would ever accuse you of being petulant.”

“Or you [of being] forthcoming,” Nichols answered.

peski on May 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

There are two ways to look at the shifting stories and seeming incompetence.

Incompetance ? No way ?
It is downright vendetta by a tyrant against those who he hasn’t been able to subjugate yet.
Calling this incompetance is like calling an armed bank robbery—an unauthorized loan.
Sorry Ed

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Well when they “shift” tracks it’s to avoid a coming train wreck!

Don L on May 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

When does Morgan Fairchild come into the conversation?

Oil Can on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

After Samuel L. Jackson picks him up in a snake free plane…

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Once again, the Daily Mail scoops American news outlets. IRS sued by Tea Party in CA.

LetsBfrank on May 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

More fun to cover the US then UK maybe?

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Is it just me or does Carney look as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs these days.

ghostwalker1 on May 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Lover’s spat over the spying on journalists. They’ll make up.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Imagine we’ll have to watch the make up s*x. Yuck.

LetsBfrank on May 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

outlets that normally would allow Barack Obama and his team the benefit of the doubt.

well, that’s a Dana Perino way putting it. But I’m here for the blogging point of view, i.e., “outlets that normally [unprintable]“

williampeck1958 on May 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Still no questions about the meeting between the POTUS and the head of the IRS union the day before the “get the conservatives” campaign began. Sheesh.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

I asked this question yesterday in the “Chat Room.” I honestly don’t know what everybody’s afraid of, accusing the President of what, being a Chicago politician?

March 31, 2010. The president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, met with the President at 12:30 pm. The very next day after her meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees–the same employees who belong to the NTEU–set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America.

IndieDogg on May 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

OT: Rand Paul only adult at this democrat showtrial with Apple.

And John Should have been left in NVN MCCain beclowned himself like the olde fool he is.

tom daschle concerned on May 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

When does Morgan Fairchild come into the conversation?

Oil Can on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

++

Yeah, that’s the ticket!

peski on May 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

March 31, 2010. The president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, met with the President at 12:30 pm. The very next day after her meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees–the same employees who belong to the NTEU–set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America.

IndieDogg on May 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I mean at today’s Carney Ride – not a single press question about it.

oldroy on May 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

After Samuel L. Jackson picks him up in a snake free plane…

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Morgan Fairchild is not a ‘he’.

Midas on May 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

March 31, 2010. The president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, met with the President at 12:30 pm. The very next day after her meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees–the same employees who belong to the NTEU–set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America.

IndieDogg on May 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Here is another one, to be filed under
” things Obama is never told about ”

News reports from the time indicate the now-chief counsel of the IRS, William Wilkins, helped a church connected to President Barack Obama’s friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright get out of an IRS probe in 2008 while working as a private attorney.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/19/Chief-IRS-counsel-bailed-Jeremiah-Wright-s-church-out-of-IRS-probe-in-2008

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

In different ways, each of the so-called Obama scandals revolve around the issue of trust (as I wrote here, here,here, here, and here). The president’s greatest asset is his credibility. If this pattern of spinning and shifting stories continues, it could become a liability.

COULD BECOME?!

What the hell? At what point does it become a liability, Ron?

Here’s a thought – maybe the press should make it a liability. You know – the way you’d be doing if the president were a white Republican male.

Good Lt on May 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Another view of <a href="Here's another view“>DC IRS-HQ protest from Boss emeritus.

Terp Mole on May 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Or as my mother called it: lying.

CurtZHP on May 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Huh? Barry has “credibility”?

No less credibility than Rubio or the House (we refuse to de-fund) Republicans.

kunegetikos on May 21, 2013 at 2:51 PM

JOE WILSON: You Lie!!

TarheelBen on May 21, 2013 at 2:51 PM

The White House was obviously not too worried about any of this, given that in the past a good number of reporters wouldn’t bother to check facts about what they were told and when. They also had a history of saying the GOP was blowing things out of proportion, conducting a witch hunt, politically motivated…etc., etc., etc. The WH probably figured they’d continue on this path and this would all blow over in a matter of days. Didn’t work out so well for them this time around.

scalleywag on May 21, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Fineman’s nose is starting to itch for the right reason.

The Obama White House has never (from 2008) shifted into governing mode. The White House is a campaign organization and has been from the beginning. It is what they are. It is what they do.

And, my belief remains, until we know more, that the link is the union. A face-to-face with the President is not something handed out lightly. She (Colleen Kelley, NTEU President) spoke of “coordination” with the White House. What else would you call this, but coordination to go after the Tea Party groups that might be expected to be raising money to spend in the 2012 election to defeat the President.

Excuse me, but what is difficult about this link?

Knowing who these people are and where they’re from, it would shock me if they weren’t finding ways to use the levers of government to smack do the tea party, conservative groups and anybody else who was a threat to the throne.

You like Game of Thrones? This is the real thing. Just because you can’t see the crown on Obama’s head doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

IndieDogg on May 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

Huh? Barry has “credibility”?

GarandFan on May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Sure, he’s credible, if you are asking him to turn the country into a socialist cesspool.

kirkill on May 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I wonder how much of this Carney will take before he realizes it’s his own credibility and reputation that’s getting hammered day in and day out. Who has his back? The WH? Hahaha, right. Walk out the door, Jay. Let the WH can find someone else to clean up their mess. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

scalleywag on May 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

They keep using that word, credibility, I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Lily on May 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Gasp! Choke!! Somebody help me! Gasp… I can’t breath…. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The Rogue Tomato on May 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

The president’s greatest asset is his credibility.

I’m hard pressed to find a single incident that makes that statement
credible.

scalleywag on May 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Time to tap all of their phones and emails! /sarc

OxyCon on May 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I have a feeling that meetings on park benches, with the whistleblower wearing sunglasses and a floppy hat, are going to be coming back into style. And maybe some parking garage meetings, as well.

iurockhead on May 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Lerner to plead the 5th

iceman1960 on May 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Here’s how I see it:

1) The White House (maybe Obama, maybe not) knew in general terms what the IG was investigating, and by late April knew exactly what was in the report.

2) They decided to leak the gist of the IG findings and an apology on a Friday afternoon when they thought nobody would much care and nobody would follow up.

2) They really thought this would be at most a one- or two-day kerfuffle over the following weekend and then it would go away. They believed all the Beltway media that the Tea Party was effectively defunct, it is now unpopular, and nobody much would care that a few of its groups got the runaround from the IRS.

I think they are genuinely stunned that this thing had legs and because they’ve not had to do any serious damage control in 5 years, they don’t know how. Their usual “nothing to see here,” followed by “this is a partisan attack” approach didn’t work. They have no Plan B.

rockmom on May 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Knowing who these people are and where they’re from, it would shock me if they weren’t finding ways to use the levers of government to smack do the tea party, conservative groups and anybody else who was a threat to the throne.

You like Game of Thrones? This is the real thing. Just because you can’t see the crown on Obama’s head doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

IndieDogg on May 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM

1) Watch a bunch of little Tea Party groups form and apply for IRC 501(c)(4)status.

2) Give them as much runaround as possible, delay, ask intrusive questions and generally act like a bully to people with zero experience dealing with the federal bureaucracy and a healthy fear of the IRS. Make it clear that they are not going to get their approval without giving up a lot of information they may not want the government to have.

3) Watch groups disband out of fear or intimidation or unwillingness to give personal info to the government.

4) Declare the Tea Party “ineffective” and “essentially defunct.” get media sycophants to write stories on the death of the Tea Party.

5) Disillusioned Tea Party voters stay home in November 2012, especially in swing states like Ohio and Virginia.

6) If anyone asks, mention that Karl Rove’s group was approved. (Rove was too useful as a campaign foil and fundraising boogeyman.)

All perfectly legal.

rockmom on May 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Lerner to plead the 5th

iceman1960 on May 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

(This currently leads, in large red font, on Drudge)

The fifth amendment. Because nothing says “innocent” like taking the fifth.

This is when someone needs to take Ms Lerner aside and whisper the offer of immunity in her ear.

bofh on May 21, 2013 at 4:20 PM

You have to admit, they provide an awful lot of material for stand up routines…we can’t believe that Romney would have been this flippin bad, can we

crosshugger on May 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Lerner to plead the 5th

iceman1960 on May 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Taylor, a criminal defense attorney from the Washington firm Zuckerman Spaeder, said that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation, and that the House committee has asked Lerner to explain why she provided “false or misleading information” to the committee four times last year.

Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.

No way they let her off – pass the popcorn.

peski on May 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Lerner to plead the 5th

iceman1960 on May 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Time to impanel a grand jury methinks.

PackerBronco on May 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

If, however, the White House was well aware of the targeting of conservatives and needed to keep that from becoming public knowledge, then the shifting stories as more revelations arise makes … a lot more sense.

Watergate Barack style.

Sharr on May 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

When does Morgan Fairchild come into the conversation?

Oil Can on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

After Samuel L. Jackson picks him up in a snake free plane…

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Umm… do you mean Morgan Freeman?

bofh on May 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

When does Morgan Fairchild come into the conversation?

Oil Can on May 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

After Samuel L. Jackson picks him up in a snake free plane…

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Umm… do you mean Morgan Freeman?

bofh on May 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I took it to be a reference to this.

peski on May 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

I took it to be a reference to this.

peski on May 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Actually, this is the one.

peski on May 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

If, however, the White House was well aware of the targeting of conservatives and needed to keep that from becoming public knowledge, then the shifting stories as more revelations arise makes … a lot more sense.

Please apply Occam’s Razor.

newtopia on May 21, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I am not hearing anyone say that they are big fat liars.

The language is far too polite for people who have basically got their own political policemen at their beck and call.

Where is the anger?

I am angry, and I’m scared.

And I’m tired of thinking that maybe this time the public will wake up and see the monster they put in the Whitehouse.

But they are still completely blind.

I want them all tarred and feathered! At least rhetorically.

petunia on May 22, 2013 at 2:33 AM

I think they are genuinely stunned that this thing had legs and because they’ve not had to do any serious damage control in 5 years, they don’t know how. Their usual “nothing to see here,” followed by “this is a partisan attack” approach didn’t work. They have no Plan B.

rockmom on May 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

They may be stunned, but they know as well as I do (and I’m sure you do) that their usual approach will eventually work. There’s a reason it has never failed for a democrat. There’s also a reason it’s never worked for a republican.

The press is still the press. They need no plan B.

runawayyyy on May 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM