Chuck Todd, NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent, apparently hasn’t figured it out that the initial IRS scandal isn’t the only IRS scandal. Here’s what he said on the matter:

On Monday, the IRS Commissioner testified before Congress. A week after the IRS told Senate investigators that two years of e-mails disappeared in a computer crash back in 2011. While this certainly doesn’t make the Obama administration nor the IRS look very good, it’s important to remember what this actual story is about because it’s gotten lost.

The question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code and both political parties are pointing blame. Republicans say that just conservative-sounding groups were targeted by the IRS.

The thing is that the IRS targeting of TEA Party organizations is just part of the scandal. Another facet of the scandal is Lois Lerner’s illegal activities, starting with her sending confidential donor information of the National Organization of Marriage to the Human Rights Campaign.

Another facet of the scandal is how her emails were suspiciously ‘lost’. That’s actually a big deal because the only plausible explanation for 2 years of Ms. Lerner’ emails disappearing is that they were intentionally destroyed to hide incriminating facts about how she was using the IRS to terrorize President Obama’s political opponents.

In fact, it was learned Wednesday that Ms. Lerner used her position within the IRS to get a sitting US senator audited.

People that think this scandal is about whether 501(c)(3) organizations “should be filing as tax exempt social welfare” organizations have their head in the sand. This scandal is mostly about whether the Obama administration is using the IRS to terrorize its political enemies. Whether the tax code should be fixed is trivial in comparison.

When the IRS targets the president’s political opponents, it’s frightening because the IRS has the ability to destroy people’s lives. When the IRS attempts to limit organizations’ ability to participate in the political process, that’s trampling on those organizations’ constitutional rights. When a high-ranking official attempts to have a sitting US senator audited, That’s about as corrupt as it gets.

In fact, I’d argue that that’s more corrupt than Watergate. Here’s part of what Article 2 in the Articles of Impeachment brought against President Nixon said:

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

It clearly states that Nixon tried to obtain “confidential information” from the IRS. Lois Lerner didn’t resist HRC’s request for confidential information from NOM’s filing with the IRS. Ms. Lerner handed them over without hesitation.

If Chuck Todd thinks that Lois Lerner’s allegedly illegal actions aren’t the focus of this scandal, then he isn’t qualified to be a journalist. That doesn’t mean, though, that he isn’t the closest thing MSNBC has to a journalist. In all seriousness, though, I suspect Todd would like to take that statement back.

Finally, I wish Lois Lerner was never a government employee. She’s done tons of damage to average citizens over the past 5 years. If we had a real attorney general, she’d already have been indicted for her treachery.

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One Response to “The multi-faceted Lerner-IRS scandal”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    I know that you’re excited about the IRS, but:

    One, Lois only thought that the Senator should be audited. She tried to put in motion the effort to get an audit going, but was struck down by somebody who said that an audit wasn’t necessary for the item that was causing her to do an audit.

    Two, the incident on the marriage group is that the person who got the document illegally won’t tell the marriage group who gave him the document (the real criminal in this case) unless he has immunity from prosecution. Even though the group has asked the Justice Department to grant the immunity they won’t. Thus they can’t find out who at the IRS leaked their document. Thus it could be Lois L, but it can be somebody else unless you know something that the marriage group doesn’t know.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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