Second IRS employee pleads the 5th at Oversight hearing

posted at 1:21 pm on June 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

What’s going on at the IRS?  Don’t expect answers from some of the people who work there.  A manager suspected of steering hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to a friend became the second major figure to take the Fifth at a House Oversight Committee hearing into a widening range of malfeasance at the IRS:

A second IRS employee summoned to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee invoked the Fifth Amendment on Wednesday and refused to answer questions — a flashback to Lois Lerner, who did the same during a hearing on the agency’s scandal last month.

Gregory Roseman, who worked as a deputy director of acquisitions at the IRS, exercised his constitutional rights when Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started interrogating him about panel findings that he helped a friend procure potentially $500 million worth of IRS contracts.

“On the advice of the counsel, I respectfully decline to answer any questions and invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent,” Roseman said when Issa asked to whom he reported at the IRS.

Issa continued: “Mr. Roseman, when did you first become aware of a company called Strong Castle Inc.?”

Roseman, who has been removed from his position pending the outcome of an inspector general investigation, repeated his first statement.

Unlike Lerner’s case, where Congress is investigating possible political corruption, this appears to be corruption of a more mundane sort.  Susan Ferrecchio provided the background on this case yesterday for the Washington Examiner:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the IRS handed a $266 million purchasing agreement to Strong Castle, an information technology company based in Leesburg, Va., based on the company owner’s “longstanding relationship,” with an IRS deputy director Gregory Roseman, who is in charge of the agency’s Enterprise Networks and Tier Systems Support.

The company was recently named “small business contractor of the year,” by the Treasury department. According to Issa, the company earned a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business designation based on the owner’s injuries sustained during military prep school and not during active duty or in combat for the U.S. armed forces.

Issa issued a report on the fraud investigation Tuesday and plans to hold a hearing on the matter Wednesday that will feature, among other witnesses, both Roseman and Strong Castle Inc. president and CEO Braulio Castillo.

Castillo had denied that he had any kind of personal relationship with IRS officials, but it didn’t take an investigation long to refute that:

More than 350 text messages between Roseman and Castillo tell a different story, the report found.

“The messages show a relationship far closer than an arms-length relationship between a contractor and government contracting customer,” the report states. “Text messages include grossly inappropriate homophobic slurs that underscore a problematically close relationship. Castillo said months of records for other text messages, at critical contract junctures, were accidentally deleted and unavailable.”

Among the text messages between the two men were “offensive jokes about the physical appearance of other IRS employees.”

Castillo also asked Roseman for help “structuring a deal” to set up a new company that would focus on selling technology to the IRS.

UPI reports on another unsavory part of the story:

The House Oversight report also asked why Castillo received a special designation as a “service-disabled veteran-owned small business” 27 years after being injured in military prep school.

“He was able to get this designation despite the fact that he never actively served as a member of the armed services, he played college football after the injury and 27 years went by before he sought the designation as a disabled veteran,” the report said.

“Castillo sought the disabled-veteran designation only months before he purchased the company,” the report added.

Speaking of Lois Lerner, the Oversight Committee will vote on Friday on whether her attempt to take the 5th was legal:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will vote Friday on whether Lois Lerner, director of IRS’s Exempt Organizations division, waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she spoke at a May 22 hearing. …

In a news release today, Issa said the committee on Friday will consider whether she waived her rights. “If the committee finds that Lerner waived her rights, she could be brought back before the Committee to answer questions,” the release states.

When we have two officials at the IRS taking the 5th in two different scandals, it’s clear that the agency has spun out of control, regardless of whether the proper form was used.

Update: Jeff Dunetz was on the scandal last night, before the hearing took place.

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Remember Fast & Furious? Anyone?

Seems like so long ago.

Still out there somewhere.

Akzed on June 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

What’s going on at the IRS?

The mother of all rhetorical questions.

Myron Falwell on June 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

‘Civil servants’ are neither any more, just charlatanic thugs.

Work harder. They need more lavish credit cards.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Wow, the state of our government goes from worse to worser moment by moment.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

What’s going on at the IRS?

Mueller doesn’t know.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

I need a scorecard to keep track of all these Obama Administration scandals.

rbj on June 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Over to you Elijah Cummings…

d1carter on June 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Still out there somewhere.

Akzed on June 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

So is Benghazi

Solyndra

and on and on and on and on and on and on.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Worser and worser. So much for honesty and integrity. Time and time again the IRS is shown to be out of control. Shut it down and urn it to the ground on live TV

jaywemm on June 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

based on the owner’s injuries sustained during military prep school and not during active duty or in combat for the U.S. armed forces.

In Heinlein’s world this jackass would be tethered to a beam and have his back striped about 50 times, my world too for that matter.

But don’t worry, fellow vets, there is congressional oversight of the IRS.

Bishop on June 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Unlike Lerner’s case, where Congress is investigating possible political corruption, this appears to be corruption of a more mundane sort.

The fact that we now have to designate certain acts of corruption as “mundane” tells us how low we’ve sunk.

Doughboy on June 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Actually, IF I were in the IRS, I would take the 5th as well!

Look at the immediate consequence, extended paid vacation. And of course, we all know, sooner or later these people will ALL be re-instated with a formal apology and nice fat bonuses. This is the big government way!

Freddy on June 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The Congress has made the IRS an “untouchable” by their past actions. Why should Congress have tough oversight over the very agency that funds this huge runaway government?

d1carter on June 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

(Strong Castle Inc.) was recently named “small business contractor of the year,” by the Treasury department.

Probably based more on its political donation record than its performance.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Thanks, IRS, for destroying the Progressives’ argument that ‘government is good.’ Between you, the NSA, the DOJ, the EPA, the White House, and Obamacare, those of us that advocate small, limited government owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. You’ve done more for our cause in the last few months than we’ve been able to accomplish in, like, FOR-EVAH!

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Why not. This nation is now morally bankrupted.

BigGator5 on June 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Everything seems to be out of control. Yet, no one seems to care.

joekenha on June 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM

The State Run Media insists there is nothing wrong here…move along.

d1carter on June 26, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Flat tax or fair tax and kill the IRS.

John the Libertarian on June 26, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Perfect timing for IRS replacement with another tax model. Meanwhile, the GOP stumble around, squinting up at the sunlight and trying to count all those brand new Hispanic votes they think are about to fall into their laps to help re-election.

a capella on June 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Duckworth’s takedown of the poor suffering Castillo is pure GOLD

http://youtu.be/rPOKm20wP4s

ace tomato on June 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Roseman sounded like his bosses dropped a roofie in his latte.

Or, he’s just another dumfug lackey not fit for his job and rife with coverup.

patman77 on June 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Now let us review the campaign contribution history.

pat on June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Keep ‘em coming Darrel. Just keep ‘em coming.

DanMan on June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

It’s clear the US Government is a criminial
enterprise, run by criminals for the benefit
of criminals. This is worse than the mafia.

redguy on June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

This guy calling himself a Disabled Veteran is a slap in the face of every “real” Disabled Veterans.

Who approves of such designations? I know the VA has to certify someone to claim disability compensation, but who certifies someone for business designations?

Disgusting piece of something I’d scrap off the sole of my boots.

D-fusit on June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

OT – the land, circa 2013

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I think Ch. Issa also needs to call whomever in the bureaucracy approved that “…Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business designation based on the owner’s injuries sustained during military prep school and not during active duty or in combat for the U.S. armed forces…”

I do not believe that such a finding falls into the intent of the writers of the legislation. It would be one thing if the injuries had been suffered at West Point, Annapolis, the AFA, or even the CGA; but a prep school?

This is total horse-pucky.

Another Drew on June 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Check that – the only donation I could find from either Strong Castle or its former name Signet Computers principals between the 2006 cycle and the 2012 cycle was a $2500 donation from Braulio Castillo (listing Signet as his employer) to Romney-Ryan. I’ll bet the Treasury Deparment, when they see this comment, will take back the award, not because Strong Castle is corrupt, but because they donated to the class enemy.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2013 at 1:42 PM

What does this have to do with gay marriage?

gwelf on June 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

ace tomato on June 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Man, that was humpbot worthy!

a capella on June 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Thanks, IRS, for destroying the Progressives’ argument that ‘government is good.’ Between you, the NSA, the DOJ, the EPA, the White House, and Obamacare, those of us that advocate small, limited government owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. You’ve done more for our cause in the last few months than we’ve been able to accomplish in, like, FOR-EVAH!

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Indeed. They constantly tell us all the wonderful things they could do if we just “smartened up”, and gave them the Absolute Power That Is Their Birthright (because they are Just So Perfect).

And then, when they have even near-total power, they proceed to abuse it in ways that would have them calling for impeachments if not mass executions of the “unrighteous”- if it were done to them by people they don’t like.

I’d call it the Mote-Beam Syndrome in action, but I’m pretty sure the post-modernists would have no idea what I was talking about.

cheers

eon

eon on June 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Wow, the state of our government goes from worse to worser moment by moment.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Actually it’s been going on for a long time. We’re just getting wind of it now because the fertilizer bin is full and now overflowing…

bigbeachbird on June 26, 2013 at 1:54 PM

But its for the children!

pat on June 26, 2013 at 1:55 PM

And the rest are drinking a fifth, courtesy of the taxpayers.

Marcola on June 26, 2013 at 1:57 PM

72% Think NSA May Have Monitored Congress, Military Leaders, Judges

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Russ Tice testified they have.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Actually it’s been going on for a long time. We’re just getting wind of it now because the fertilizer bin is full and now overflowing…

bigbeachbird on June 26, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Yes, it is.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM

But don’t worry, fellow vets, there is congressional oversight of the IRS.

Bishop on June 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Yeah, about that, Bishop…

dogsoldier on June 26, 2013 at 2:03 PM

This is the libtard version of being patriotic.

To gain status as a service-disabled veteran, CEO Braulio Castillo initially pointed to a foot injury suffered while playing football in 1984 at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, which he attended for a single school year, according to the report.
He later changed his testimony to the committee, saying the injury happened during orienteering — a sport that involves exploring unfamiliar terrain.

Castillo’s one year at the prep school is his only connection to military service, according to the report, which also noted that he played football during college in Southern California after the injury occurred.

In an email to an examiner with the Department of Veterans Affairs during the certification process, Castillo described his injuries as “crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country. I would do it again to protect this great country.”

What a pathetic, manipulative liar.

Give us our money back.

fogw on June 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Most transparent corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on June 26, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Thanks, IRS, for destroying the Progressives’ argument that ‘government is good.’ Between you, the NSA, the DOJ, the EPA, the White House, and Obamacare, those of us that advocate small, limited government owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. You’ve done more for our cause in the last few months than we’ve been able to accomplish in, like, FOR-EVAH!

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

If I knew where you lived I could send some Democrats by to explain that:

1) This is all Bush’s fault.

2) Mr. Snowden was a lowly underpaid contractor so we need more money for more government employees and for congress to stop being so cheap.

2) Benghazi and IRS scandals are related because (drumroll) terrorists or extremists overwhelmed our brave government employees in both cases.

3) The Republicans are killing us all to defend breaks for the rich and connected when they aren’t just being sexist or racist.

4) You get the idea…

IlikedAUH2O on June 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM

72% Think NSA May Have Monitored Congress, Military Leaders, Judges

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:36 PM

You couldn’t have guessed that, based on, I don’t know, votes, court decisions, and maybe even events?

I am not paranoid usually but I heard things about NSA and FBI decades ago.

Remember Hoover? They said he was small time and harmless…

I don’t know…

IlikedAUH2O on June 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Most transparent corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on June 26, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Yes, but transparently corrupt, so that’s OK.

PersonFromPorlock on June 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

‘Civil servants’ are neither any more, just charlatanic thugs.

Work harder. They need more lavish credit cards.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

American Express…..no limits, for our “unCivl Servethemselves”.

hawkeye54 on June 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Most transparent corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on June 26, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Yes, but transparently corrupt, so that’s OK.

PersonFromPorlock on June 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

“Its okay, everybody is corrupt, and as long as we get our free stuff, we don’t care.”, LIV.

hawkeye54 on June 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

the vet thing pisses me off.
I am a DAV injured in peacetime over in Germany in 1988 and I often refuse to use VA services I can get as I feel there other others who deserve the resources more.
then I read crap like that.
I don’t know, maybe I am just hyper sensitive but it feels like a slap in the face.

dmacleo on June 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Everyone in the Obama administration seems to taking the fifth…………………… and, I don’t mean a fifth of vodka.

SC.Charlie on June 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Work harder. They need more lavish credit cards.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Because pr0n isn’t getting any cheaper, you know.

Bishop on June 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Agree wholeheartedly on the ‘stripes’.

Resist We Much on June 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Amen. It’s really helpful when teaching history, too, to demonstrate some of the individual complaints in the Declaration of Independence.

This is worse than the mafia.

redguy on June 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM

At least the mafia doesn’t claim it’s for your own good. Or the children.

Remember Hoover?

IlikedAUH2O on June 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You know, it would seem appropriate to name the data building in the west after the guy. Then it would be the Hoover Building.

I’m betting one of these guys goes to jail. This is tailor-made to deflect attention from all the other IRS scandals, since it doesn’t reflect politically. Then they can point and say, “See? We’re cleaning up the IRS! We busted these guys!”

GWB on June 26, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Perfect timing for IRS replacement with another tax model. Meanwhile, the GOP stumble around, squinting up at the sunlight and trying to count all those brand new Hispanic votes they think are about to fall into their laps to help re-election.

a capella on June 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Brilliant. I think a strongly worded letter is in order!

hisfrogness on June 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM

No federal employee should be allowed to assert 5th amendment rights when being questioned by about their job. If they do so, they should be fired.

When the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson fandango was ongoing, President Bush told his staff that if they asserted 5th amendment rights; they were fired.

Should be the rule.

patch on June 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Please, please…..please tell me that Strong Castle Inc. is involved in setting up the Obamare tax system at the IRS.

Crony capitalsm works so well. Just ask Solyndra.

MichaelGabriel on June 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM

No federal employee should be allowed to assert 5th amendment rights when being questioned by about their job. If they do so, they should be fired.

When the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson fandango was ongoing, President Bush told his staff that if they asserted 5th amendment rights; they were fired.

Should be the rule. – patch on June 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Very good point.

SC.Charlie on June 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Are these gentlemen er, “buddies”.

Mason on June 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM

One of the requirments of working for someone is to be able to communicate, and when communicating to tell the truth and the complete truth.

I have never worked anywhere an executive could ask an employee “Why wasn’t that product shipped on time”, and the employee answer, “I plead the 5th”…they would be fired.

Or “Why were you late this morning”, “On advice from my attorney, I cannot answer that, I am expressing my constitutional right”…they would be fired.

So, these guys should be fired, without pay, without pension…lose it all.

right2bright on June 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM

JAIL

TX-96 on June 26, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Let me tell you what ticked me off…I was audited, and while waiting they sent a gal out to teach me to line dance, she learned it at the last convention.

Said it was the new personal IRS…

right2bright on June 26, 2013 at 4:21 PM

No federal employee should be allowed to assert 5th amendment rights when being questioned by Congress about their job.

patch on June 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Think I FIFY.

GWB on June 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM

So, this guy wasn’t actually using his federal office to target political enemies of the administration– he was just a plain old crook. It’s nice to see that the IRS isn’t bogged down in one particular type of misconduct. Diversity is the strength of that organization.

morganfrost on June 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Duckworth’s takedown of the poor suffering Castillo is pure GOLD

http://youtu.be/rPOKm20wP4s

ace tomato on June 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Wow!!! Well worth watching.

Barred on June 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM

If the IRS headquarters was blown to bits, what would be the reaction of the average American?

ardenenoch on June 26, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Banana Republic

With the messed up management in DC, maybe Ecuador can talk to Mr. Snowden and use him as entre for them to come up and help us run the country.

We have an economy stuck in creeper low gear.

We let our people get killed with no retaliation.

We have a POTUS who doesn’t understand Global, er climate change enough to take questions yet he is tossing a blanket on the economy to stop it.

We have women rioting to let doctors kill babies.

We have a billionaire mayor who wants to remove large soft drinks and guns from the cold fingers of adult citizens.

We can’t put photos of guys who are killing us on buses since we will see what they really look like.

IlikedAUH2O on June 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

The clip that I saw had Issa asking Roseman if he was still employed by the IRS and he pleaded the 5th. How in hell can you plead the 5th on a question like that? If I were Issa, I would have stopped the hearing and called in the head of the IRS and asked if this guy was still employed by the IRS and, if he was, why aren’t you now firing him. Not only would it have been dramatic, it would have showed some concern about what’s happening here.

We have an organization that participated in the stealing of an election and I firmly believe our legislators have to start looking at them like that and become really serious about this investigation.

bflat879 on June 26, 2013 at 7:39 PM

What’s going on at the IRS?

Presumably the NSA and FBI have copies of all the IRS communications, so it should not be hard to ascertain.

virgo on June 27, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Greta tried to pin down an R rep last night about is anyone ever going to be brought to account with all this testimony being gathered and all he could say was that the committee will get to the truth. Actually, we all know the answer. If DC was interested in doing their jobs as designed, the IG would have been on top of this wrongful abuse of power a lot sooner. Maybe someone at the NSA could provide the missing emails for the fake vet.

Kissmygrits on June 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM