Have you ever been audited by the IRS and was unable to find and produce all of your documentation for your deductions? How sympathetic or lenient was the IRS with your failure to produce all of the documentation they request – demanded? Generally, they are not sympathetic or lenient and if you can’t produce the necessary documentation, too bad, you just lost that deduction and you owe more taxes.
The tables have been turned on the IRS and it seems they have failed a sort of audit, in which the IRS was unable to produce requested documentation. For the past several years, Judicial Watch filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits requesting certain records and documentation. However, the IRS has not fully complied those lawsuits.
Earlier this month, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that they found the IRS to have lost records and failed to comply with many requests filed via the FOIA.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following response to the Inspector General’s report:
“This new report is shocking but not surprising. We have long battled the IRS in court over its obstruction in responding to FOIA requests about Obama era IRS abuses. It is a scandal that the Obama IRS did not tell Judicial Watch, the courts, or Congress about the loss of government records. Our attorneys will review this report to assess whether we should seek relief and accountability from the courts. In the meantime, President Trump should finally fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and direct the Justice Department to reopen its criminal inquiry into the Obama IRS abuses and cover-ups.”
In relation to the supposedly missing emails of IRS Supervisor Lois Lerner who as at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal, Judicial Watch reported:
- In June 2014, the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
- In July 2014Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
- In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
- In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
- On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testifiedto the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner. This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
- In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admitin a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan’s ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
- In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contemptof court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.
The bottom line is that current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen should be immediately fired by President Donald Trump and the Justice Department should investigate the IRS and Koskinen for probably obstruction of justice charges. In fact, if they dig deep enough, I would not be surprised that Barack Obama would be at the very heart of the targeting scandal and obstruction of justice.
In 2013, I reported:
“According to publicly released records, IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House more than any other member of Obama’s Cabinet. In hearings before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, it was made known that 118 of Shulman’s 157 White House visits were made during the period that IRS agents were intentionally targeting tea party and conservatives. In fact, he visited the White House more times than the combined visits of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.”
‘The number of White House visits released to public records are as follows:
- IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman – 157
- Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank – 86
- Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez – 83
- Nominee for Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker – 76
- Attorney General Eric Holder – 62
- Secretary of State John Kerry – 49
- Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner – 48
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – 43
- Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano – 34
- Secretary of the Department of Education Arne Duncan – 31
- Former Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu – 22
- Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates – 17”
“When asked in the committee hearings, Shulman came up with a whole list of reasons why he visited the White House so often, including attending the Easter Egg Roll with his kids. Listening to his excuses was like listening to a kid who got caught taking cookies from the cookie jar, but gave mom 20 different excuses rather than admitting his infraction.”
Hopefully, the Trump administration will re-open a full investigation of the IRS and everyone involved in the targeting scandal and obstruction of justice allegations that seem to be apparent by the Judicial Watch report. It’s quite possible that Obama, Schulman, Koskinen and Lerner, among others could end up facing criminal charges.