Did the IRS also use cover-up techniques of the DEA?

posted at 8:01 am on August 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In another exclusive about the investigatory practices of the executive branch, Reuters uncovered an IRS manual that instructed its agents to concoct phony investigative trails when using tips from the DEA’s Special Operations Division.  The manual, found in an archive of Reuters’ parent company, mirrors the instructions given to DEA agents building cases for prosecution:

Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.

The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure.

A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA’s Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

An IRS spokesman had no comment on the entry or on why it was removed from the manual. Reuters recovered the previous editions from the archives of the Westlaw legal database, which is owned by Thomson Reuters Corp, the parent of this news agency.

As Reuters reported Monday, the Special Operations Division of the DEA funnels information from overseas NSA intercepts, domestic wiretaps, informants and a large DEA database of telephone records to authorities nationwide to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans. The DEA phone database is distinct from a NSA database disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The dates provide the first objective indication that the practice was in place for quite a while and apparently rather open at one time, at least at the IRS — as was the SOD in the DEA and its collection of phone data.  Its removal also suggests that either the practice stopped, or more likely, the government decided that openly discussing how to falsify investigative trails could make it a wee bit difficult to win convictions in court.

Actually, the DEA says these practices have been in place since the Clinton administration, “in near-daily use.” They claim to use it to protect sources and methods, but it’s the latter that’s the issue.  There is a valid argument for trying to protect human sources at risk of death and violence by constructing an evidentiary profile so that their testimony is not required for conviction, as long as that profile doesn’t misrepresent the government’s actions in the investigation to cover up any violations of a defendant’s constitutional rights.  Those kinds of “methods” should not be protected by dishonest representations in court about the investigations, but that appears to be exactly what the manual trained agents to do.

How many Americans ended up convicted thanks to dummied-up investigatory trails in order to protect the government’s snooping on phone activity, by the IRS as well as the DEA?  Perhaps Congress would like to provide us that answer — fast.


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Phony scandal part 25
-lsm

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

“When government expands, liberty contracts”

And of course it’s going to do whatever it takes to continue growing.

But…we must do our part (as slowly Serfs) and listen to our Ruling class Lords (the politicians, celebrities and Media) and give them EVEN MORE power and influence over our lives.

PappyD61 on August 8, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Phony troll part 25 cmsinazism.

Viator on August 8, 2013 at 8:11 AM

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Benghazi- Just a YouTube video
IRS- Just a few rogue employees in Ohio
NSA- Just spying on foreigners
DEA- Just protecting the investigation……

Somebody better be going to jail soon.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Heads need to be rolling, and right now, rather than at some future time.

I’m not holding my breath over that, though. The only way these things will change is through electing true Conservatives to Congress, along with an actual Conservative to the presidency, and then forcing them to clean house across the board.

TKindred on August 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Loot

Everyone’s

Fortune and

Treasure

beselfish on August 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM

This is a conspiracy to deprive citizens of their rights. This is criminal! Somewhere, somehow, these people have got to go to jail. I would love to see a state atty gen go after feds who used these practices within state jurisdiction.
In the long run, a failure of law enforcement will lead to people seeking justice by whatever means necessary.
It seems to me that Obama is purposefully ignoring/facilitating these actions in hope of something like that happening so there is an excuse to unleash DHS and the rest of the alphabet cops.

questionmark on August 8, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Remember I warned about IRS problems if you guys wrote the wrong thing?

Then I bashed them myself?

Well, guess who is having income tax issues?

Apparently, my 2011 returns were never electronically sent, even though H & R Block first claimed to have done so. Then it gets interesting.

I had a local guy claim to work for Block and he asked me to mail him my stuff. And I did. In three packages since I don’t know whether my return and 1099′s or etc are 100 pages alone or just close to that. This doesn’t count support docs!

Then I talked to a financial person who went nuts. Apparently, you never put your stuff in the mail. Delivery was confirmed by the USPS. The “H & R guy” (whose emails claimed a PhD. and twenty years at Block) doesn’t return calls or emails. I was prodded into buying identity theft protection. I was told to hire counsel and H & R Block Hdqts. I hate that stuff, the coverage and being disgruntled with people’s bosses.

I will leave out the insults and snarks from my local “elite” office.

H & R Block claimed this whole thing is so wrong by their rules they can’t talk.

Someone asked if maybe IRS is doing a fraud action and got the mysterious to purloin the stuff.

Se what trouble is out there?

IlikedAUH2O on August 8, 2013 at 8:21 AM

HN.
Crickets I tell ya…its so disheartening

As soon as the next gop President comes along.the lsm will be blaming everything this idiot has caused

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 8:23 AM

The IRS needs to be treated like Old Yeller. Time to put the rabid dog down.

Flange on August 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Under a normal Administration, every single conviction by any of these agencies would warrant a new trial, but not these clowns. If I was convicted by any of them, I would demand the investigation be reopened and a new trial done.

Johnnyreb on August 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

If I’m a defense atty with a client convicted during the time frame of these manuals I’m using this on appeal.
If this was standard operating procedure and there is even the slightest question of how evidence was obtained, this falls right in with falsification of DNA results and planting a gun when a suspect is shot by a cop. It poisons the whole process.

questionmark on August 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

It would seem that the entire executive branch is out of control not just obama but he does lead by example!

tim c on August 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

The Georgetown, KY newspaper ripped Obama about the “phony” scandal speech in this mornings paper. It is brutal. Nice to know there are a few independent papers out there that actually care.

Johnnyreb on August 8, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Crickets I tell ya…its so disheartening

As soon as the next gop President comes along.the lsm will be blaming everything this idiot has caused

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Any single one of these scandals would be enough to bring down a GOP Presidency. But because the left isn’t going to let the rat-eared bastard fail solely because he is black….. a conspiracy of silence.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 8:31 AM

It would seem that the entire executive branch is out of control not just obama but he does lead by example!

tim c on August 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

No the rat-eared wonder leads from behind. But the marching orders to his minions are very clear. When it comes to the IRS, I want to know when Lois Lerner is going to be charged for her activities.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 8:33 AM

HN
*sigh*

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 8:40 AM

IlikedAUH2O on August 8, 2013 at 8:21 AM

What a coincidence. By strange happenstance, we also got our first ‘audit by mail’ in more than 30 years of filing tax returns…from our 2011 return. Oh, and a pay audit. And a travel claim audit. And a nice note from the VA claiming we owed money already paid. I’m sure it was all just coincidence, though – totally and completely unconnected and in no way represents targeting. It’s not paranoia if you’re right.

Guess that what comes from making donations to (shakes head sadly) the Rom-Com – hey, ABO, you know?

Next election we are donating double what we did in 2012.

Right on August 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM

This is the kind of thing that a Christie, Rubio, or Bush would do absolutely nothing to stop.

EddieC on August 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM

If only there was a political party that was opposed to this sort of abuse.

David Blue on August 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

This is the kind of thing that a Christie, Rubio, or Bush would do absolutely nothing to stop.

EddieC on August 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Exactly.

David Blue on August 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Yes

acyl72 on August 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM

A boon to criminal defense lawyers. An awful lot of IRS convictions and civil penalties are about to be overturned.

I only wish that a bunch of government employees would go to prison.

rbj on August 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Yep. Corruption to the point of arrogance and no recourse.

Nothing good will come of this.

archer52 on August 8, 2013 at 9:48 AM

…there are no scandals!….everything these people do…gets them promoted!

KOOLAID2 on August 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department.

Well they should get to the bottom of all this.

/spit

Rancher on August 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I bet a lot of people convicted would like to know if they were convicted on an illegal evidence trail. What would SCOTUS do, I wonder? How would the “liberal” and “conservative” justices rule on the question of overturning every conviction, and refunding all monies seized? And maybe facing lawsuits for damages to further bruise the Treasury’s credit rating?

njcommuter on August 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM