IRS Ship Sinking: First Deadline Friday
By Larry Provost
The IRS is running but cannot hide due to citizens; citizens who obtained two important victories this week.
Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the watchdog group Judicial Watch has taken the government to federal court seeking answers to the IRS missing emails; emails that are important in determining the extent and guilt of the IRS targeting the political opinions of ordinary Americans.
This past week, the US Federal District Court for the District of Columbia has mandated two important rulings taking effect on Friday July 18, and no later than August 11, forcing the “most transparent administration in history” to put its money where its mouth is.
On Friday July, 18 the IRS must swear, under oath, an affidavit or declaration that:
“1. outlines the expertise and qualifications of the individual or individuals currently conducting the forensic examination as part of the Inspector General’s investigation;
2. outlines the expertise and qualifications of the individual or individuals who previously conducted forensic examinations or otherwise attempted to recover information from the computer hard drive at issue;
3. provides a projected date of completion of the Inspector General’s investigation;
4. states whether the serial number, if any, assigned to the computer hard drive at issue is known; and
5. if the serial number is known, why the computer hard drive cannot be identified and preserved.
What this means is the US District Court for the District of Columbia is not taking the IRS’s line about lost emails and further, is keeping a tight rein on those conducting the internal IRS investigation. The court even wants to know the qualifications of those conducting the internal IRS investigation. This is a big deal.
The second hearing decided in the last week, before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, also of the DC District Court, was in regards to Lois Lerner’s supposedly missing emails. Judicial Watch is seeking these emails as part of its FOIA requests and their lawsuit, Judicial Watch vs. IRS. .
IRS lawyer Geoffrey Klimas suggested it would be better to wait on giving the court, Judicial Watch, or the people of our great nation any answers until the IRS completed its own internal and “transparent” investigation. Judge Sullivan was not impressed as can be seen by the following exchange:
“THE COURT: More appropriate for whom, though, for the department or the public? I mean, this is an action filed by an organization that seeks documents under the theory that the public likes to know what its government is doing, so appropriate for whom? How would delaying discovery assist this plaintiff [Judicial Watch] and the public in learning what happened here?
MR. KLIMAS: I would submit that letting the Inspector General conclude his investigation serves the public interest. The Inspector General is –
THE COURT: First of all, we don’t know who this Inspector General is; secondly, we don’t know whether his or her report is going to be public, right, right?
MR. KLIMAS: That’s correct.
THE COURT: So what’s — so let’s just stop there. Whose interest does that benefit, other than the IRS and not the public?”
Judge Sullivan was not persuaded and demanded answers, under oath, from the IRS within 30 days in regards to the missing emails. Sullivan mandated, “For the reasons stated by the Court on the record during the status hearing on July 10, 2014, Defendant IRS is hereby ORDERED to file a sworn Declaration, by an official with the authority to speak under oath for the Agency, by no later than August 11, 2014.”
Judge Sullivan’s ruling involves the Lois Lerner email issue, an issue Judge Sullivan said he would “leave that category (the missing emails) broad.” Judge Sullivan also mandated the upcoming IRS declaration “should also include how the government could recover information contained in the lost emails.”
Finally, Judge Sullivan mandated a Magistrate Judge, John Facciola, to
“manage and assist in discussions between Judicial Watch and the IRS about how to obtain any missing records from sources. Magistrate Facciola is an expert in e-discovery. Judge Sullivan also authorized Judicial Watch to submit a request for limited discovery into the missing IRS records by September 24.”
These rulings will go a long way towards determining whether the IRS emails, ostensibly used in the overall targeting of Conservative organizations, are indeed “lost” as the IRS claims. The IRS must now swear declarations under oath mandated by the American court system and the qualifications of its own internal IRS investigators are being vetted by our judicial system.
The score is ordinary people 2; intrusive government power 0.