Leftist Corruption Update: IRS Watchdog Recovers Thousands Of Missing Lois Lerner Emails

IRS Watchdog Recovers Thousands Of Missing Lois Lerner Emails, Reignites Hill Probes – Fox News

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A Treasury Department watchdog has recovered thousands of emails from Lois Lerner and turned them over to Congress, reviving the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

Lerner was in charge of the IRS division that targeted Tea Party and other groups with conservative-sounding names when they applied for tax-exempt status from roughly 2010 to 2012.

She has since retired, and officials have said that many of her emails are permanently lost because her computer hard drive crashed.

“This underscores that our investigation into IRS abuse is far from over,” a House Ways and Means Committee spokesman said Wednesday. “The committee will thoroughly review these new emails as part of our ongoing efforts to find out exactly what happened and provide accountability.”

The Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration announced overnight that it had recovered roughly 6,400 Lerner emails that Congress has yet to see and that it will examine them as part of Congress’ bipartisan investigation that also includes the Senate Finance Committee.

Roughly 650 of the recovered emails are from 2010 and 2011, while most of them are from 2012.

During those three years, Lerner led the IRS division that targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

The inspector general has found about 35,000 emails in all as it sought to recover emails from backup tapes.

“We welcome the Inspector General’s recovery of these Lois Lerner emails,” the IRS said in response to the IG announcement. “This is an encouraging development that will help resolve remaining questions and dispel uncertainty surrounding the emails.

The agency also pointed out in its response that it has already produced 24,000 emails from 2010 to 2012 and that it has given Congress more than 1.3 million pages of documents related to the investigation, including more than 147,000 emails.”

In addition, the IRS also said it will continue to cooperate with the Inspector General and the congressional committees.

The agency said last year that Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011 and her emails were lost.

Lerner was placed on leave in May 2013 and retired four months later.

“I have not done anything wrong,” Lerner said to Congress in 2013. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

The IRS scandal broke in May 2013 when Lerner said at an American Bar Association gathering and during a follow-up conference call with reporters that there was a “very quick uptick” in nonprofit applications and that the vetting process was limited to the agency’s Cincinnati office.

The extent to which the Obama administration knew about the targeting, beyond Lerner’s unit in Washington, remains unclear in part because, she says, her computer crashed and emails were lost.

Lerner attorney William Taylor recently said he and his client were “gratified but not surprised” by a decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office not to pursue contempt of court charges against her earlier this month after she refused to testify about her role at the IRS in the targeting of conservative groups. Regarding efforts in Congress to punish her for not testifying, he said: “It is unfortunate that the majority party in the House put politics before a citizen’s constitutional rights.”

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Leftist Corruption Update: Multiple Clinton Charity Donors Got State Department Awards Under Hillary

Amazing Coincidence: Multiple Clinton Charity Donors Got State Department Awards Under Hillary – Jammie Wearing Fools

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As Jim Geraghty notes, it’s quite the trifecta from Grandma today. Refiling tax returns, shady, unreported money from the Kremlin and now this. But it’s all a right-wing conspiracy or something.

Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award – and six of the eight ultimate winners – while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.

The published donor records of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation don’t give exact dates or amounts of its contributors, but it is possible to create a general timeline for when many of the corporations donated and when they were either nominated or selected for the award.

Silicon Valley giant Cisco was the biggest foundation contributor nominated in 2009, giving the Clinton charity between $1 million and $5 million. The company then won the award in 2010 when eight of the 12 finalists and two of the three winners had donated to the foundation.

The other Clinton contributor to win that year, candy-maker Mars, Inc., had given between $25,000 and $50,000. Coca-Cola was the most generous foundation donor to be honored as a finalist in 2010, giving a $5-10 million donation.

TOM’s Shoes, a 2009 winner for its work in Argentina, donated between $100,000 and $250,000. The other 2009 winner, Trilogy International Partners, gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Overall, seven of the 10 finalists in 2009 were foundation donors.

Seven of the 12 finalists for the award in 2011 gave to the charity. One of the winners, Procter & Gamble, had contributed $1-5 million. The other 2011 winner, Sahlman Seafoods, does not appear to have been a donor.

Tiger Machinery, a 2011 finalist, is the Russian dealer of Caterpillar, Inc. tractors and other heavy equipment. Caterpillar gave between $1,000 and $5,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Intel, another Silicon Valley giant, was nominated for an award each year of Clinton’s time in office, winning the award in 2012. The technology company donated between $250,000 and $500,000.

Five of the eight finalists and one of the two winners were foundation donors in 2012. A finalist that year, Esso Angola, is an international subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil, a prolific contributor to the Clinton Foundation. Exxon-Mobil gave between $1 million and $5 million.

Wow, taking money from Big Oil. The insane left is going to love that.

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There’s A Reason Why Customer Service At Obama’s IRS Sucks

Report: IRS Deliberately Cut Its Own Customer Service Budget – Weekly Standard

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If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn’t get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance – nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts – funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak – but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015 – a 76 percent cut.

Commissioner Koskinen will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning, one week after the federal tax filing deadline, and he can expect to be asked why the IRS cut its own customer service budget and continues to spend money on other questionable activities.

The report notes that Koskinen reinstated bonuses weeks after his appointment, has allowed IRS employees to spend roughly 500,000 work hours on union activities, and failed to collect delinquent taxes owed by federal employees. The tax agency has also been strained by Obamacare. According to the report, the IRS has spent “over $1.2 billion on the President’s health care law to date, with a planned expenditure this year of an additional $500 million.”

The IRS’s total annual $11 billion budget is dwarfed by the amount of improper tax payments it makes each year. According to the report, the IRS paid out $17.7 billion in improper Earned Income Tax Credit payments (which are supposed to help poor and low-income individuals) and an additional $6 to $7 billion in improper child tax credit payments.

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Leftist Corruption Update: How Foreign Cash Made Bill And Hillary ‘Filthy Rich’

How Foreign Cash Made Bill And Hillary ‘Filthy Rich’ – New York Post

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Hillary Rodham Clinton used her clout as secretary of state to do favors for foreign donors who gave millions to her family foundation – and who paid millions more to her husband, Bill, in speaking fees, a new book charges.

Records show that of the $105 million the former president raked in from speeches over 12 years, about half came during his wife’s four-year tenure at the State Department.

The claims in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” come just a week after she launched her presidential campaign.

They raise questions about shady foreign money flowing into the Clinton Foundation – and what actions Hillary took in her official capacity in exchange for the cash.

“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions,” writes author Peter Schweizer, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

Schweizer – a former speech-writing consultant for President George W. Bush – said he found a clear “pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable US policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds.”

One example of an alleged quid pro quo cited by the Times and other sources involved the State Department’s backing of a free-trade agreement with Colombia that benefited a company founded by a big donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary opposed the trade deal when running for president in 2008 because of the South American country’s poor record on workers’ rights.

But then the company, Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales, and its founder, Clinton Foundation board member Frank Giustra, donated “millions” to the foundation, The International Business Times reported.

In 2010, the State Department under Hillary lauded Colombia’s human rights record, allowing Giustra’s company to reap huge profits.

The book also examines lucrative development contracts awarded to foundation donors following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010. And it reports that Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a small North Carolina mining company that in 2012 got one of only two coveted “gold exploitation permits” from the government of Haiti – the first issued in more than 50 years, according to the website Breitbart.

Bill Clinton himself was paid $1 million by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the State Department was considering the project, Schweizer charges.

Records show that Bill’s earnings from appearance fees – both foreign and domestic – spiked at $17 million in 2012, Hillary’s last year at State.

During Hillary’s four-year stint as secretary of state, the ex-president earned about $48 million of a $105 million speaking haul amassed between 2001 and 2013.

More than half of the $48 million was paid by companies in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, among others.

The author writes that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”

Bill Clinton is believed to be the richest living ex-president and one of the 10 wealthiest ever.

Most estimates put the power couple’s combined net worth at $100 million to $200 million.

Some of the fees were paid at the Clintons’ request to their foundation – netting domestic donors a fat tax break. But most went directly to Bill, and the fees make up the family’s main source of income, The Washington Post reported.

Following Hillary’s decision to run for president, the foundation itself announced last week it would accept donations only from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Norway.

The 186-page book will go on sale May 5, but Hillary wasted no time dismissing it.

“We’re back into the political season and, therefore, we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory,” she said Monday in Keene, NH.

“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I wasn’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues,” she added.

Allison Moore, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, responded by bringing up Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business and her deletion of thousands of emails.

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Democrat Senator Menendez Indicted On Bribery, Fraud Charges

Justice Department Indicts Sen. Robert Menendez On Corruption Charges – Wall Street Journal

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The Justice Department indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) on corruption charges Wednesday, bringing the first criminal charges against a sitting U.S. senator since the botched prosecution of Alaska’s Ted Stevens seven years ago.

Mr. Menendez, 61 years old, has said he plans to fight any charges, which are the culmination of a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the relationship between the senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

A federal grand jury in Newark handed down a five count indictment, charging Mr. Menendez with crimes including conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud.

Dr. Melgen is already under investigation for possibly overbilling Medicare. The FBI has also probed whether Mr. Menendez used his position to try to help Dr. Melgen with his legal troubles and whether the senator sought to improperly aid Dr. Melgen’s business interests in a Dominican Republic port security company. Dr. Melgen’s lawyer has previously said the doctor acted appropriately at all times.

The probe began with an anonymous accusation about Mr. Menendez’s personal conduct while traveling with Dr. Melgen in the Dominican Republic in 2013. Investigators could never substantiate those claims, but the probe evolved into a far-reaching examination of the relationship between Dr. Melgen and the senator – a long friendship that included gifts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, and travel together, according to people familiar with the case.

Shortly after the FBI investigation began, Mr. Menendez repaid Dr. Melgen $58,500 for two private flights to the Dominican Republic that the senator hadn’t listed on financial disclosure forms, Menendez aides have said. Aides called the initial failure to list the flights an oversight.

As news of potentially pending charges spread in recent weeks, Mr. Menendez has acknowledged receiving gifts from the doctor but said they were the result of a close friendship, not corruption, and pledged he wouldn’t back down. Mr. Menendez has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees over the last year, according to public filings.

A prolonged legal battle between the senator and the Justice Department could have broader political and foreign-policy repercussions at a time when Senate Democrats need every vote they can get to confirm Obama administration nominees and muster support for the White House’s foreign-policy moves.

The case is already testing the limits of the Justice Department’s ability to investigate members of Congress. Much lawmaker activity is protected by a constitutional provision that makes them immune from prosecution and civil suits when they are involved in “legislative activity.”

Lawyers in the case have already been sparring on the issue. Prosecutors sought to compel two Menendez staffers who claimed such privilege to testify before a grand jury about actions allegedly taken on behalf of Dr. Melgen, according to a sealed appellate court document that was briefly posted on a public website last month.

Prosecutors’ last attempt to charge a sitting senator – Mr. Stevens – went badly awry, casting a dark cloud over the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, which is also pursuing charges against Mr. Menendez. The Justice Department won a 2008 conviction against Mr. Stevens on charges he made false statements on government paperwork, allowing him to conceal tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts, including free home renovations. Just a week after that verdict, Mr. Stevens narrowly lost his re-election bid.

The next year prosecutors reversed course and asked for a judge to vacate the conviction, based on an internal review which found key information had been withheld from the defense. Mr. Stevens died a year later in a plane crash.

Since then, the Public Integrity Section has been overhauled and brought a number of high-profile cases. It oversaw the successful prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges. Last year, Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.), pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion and said he would resign. Still, the constitutional protections for Congress weren’t at play in those cases.

The charges come at the same time as Mr. Menendez, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is playing a key role in some major foreign-policy issues. He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s overtures to Iran and Cuba and has urged it to get more aggressive in combating Russia’s moves in Ukraine.

Senate Democrats have no hard-and-fast rules requiring a lawmaker to step down from committee assignments or leadership positions when facing legal troubles.

If he declines to step down, Democrats would have to decide whether to force his ouster, Senate aides said. Democratic aides said such a decision would be unlikely to occur until members return to Washington from recess in two weeks, though any public statements from rank-and-file lawmakers could be a harbinger of how the caucus might vote.

Charges against Mr. Menendez would also put Senate Democrats and the White House in an awkward position on the nomination of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder. Ms. Lynch is facing a tight vote to win confirmation and, should Mr. Menendez choose not to vote to confirm the woman who could oversee his prosecution, the White House would have to find another Republican to back Ms. Lynch or she risks being denied confirmation.

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Turns Out Dirty Harry Reid Was Forced From Office Because Of Corruption Scandals, Not Because He’s Old

Corruption Scandals Led To Harry Reid’s Abrupt “Retirement” – Judicial Watch

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You’d never know it from the mainstream media puff pieces of Harry Reid’s sudden retirement, but it was a long string of corruption scandals – including a recent one involving his attorney son – that drove the veteran Nevada senator to abruptly leave public office.

For nearly a decade Judicial Watch has investigated and exposed Reid’s involvement in a multitude of transgressions and JW even warned the Senate Ethics Committee, but not surprisingly, no action was ever taken. On multiple occasions the Senate minority leader appeared on JW’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for his role in a number of political scandals that got more serious as his seniority and clout in Congress increased.

As far back as 2006 Reid was in hot water for violating Senate rules by concealing a seven-figure payoff on a suspicious land deal orchestrated by a longtime friend known for political bribery and mob ties. The influential senator secretly collected a $1.1 million profit on land he hadn’t personally owned for years. To hide the deal, Reid transferred ownership, legal liability and tax consequences to a company owned by a former casino lawyer who has been investigated by federal authorities. Months earlier Red got busted for accepting gifts from a state agency trying to influence him. In that scheme the lawmaker quietly took very expensive ringside boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission while that state agency was trying to influence him on the sport’s federal regulation.

In 2012 Reid made JW’s corrupt politician list because he was embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal involving a Chinese “green energy” client of a Nevada law firm run by his son Rory. The senator was one of the Nevada projects most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on its behalf, according to a mainstream news report. Reid’s son was an attorney at the prominent Las Vegas firm that represented the Chinese Company, ENN Energy Group, and helped it locate a 9,000-acre desert site for well below its appraised value from Clark County.

In 2013 Reid was again named to JW’s most corrupt politician list for taking more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds from a shady donor, Harvey Whittemore, who eventually went to jail. Whittemore hired four of the senator’s sons at a law firm in which he served as senior partner and worked with Reid on huge land deals that required federal legislation. Additionally, Reid sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations with close ties to one of his sons, Key Reid. The legislator also colluded with President Obama to nix a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain Nevada after U.S. taxpayers spent $15 billion on the project.

More recently Reid abused his authority to pressure the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite a $115 million foreign investor visa deal critical to his son’s casino client. Reid got the DHS to override agency procedures to rush through hundreds of visa applications from foreign nationals who helped fund a Las Vegas hotel and casino that hired Rory Reid to provide legal representation for the project, according to a recent news report. The article goes into tremendous detail about the illicit scheme that evidently served as the straw that broke the camel’s back. A few days later Reid said he wouldn’t run for a sixth term in the Senate. His hometown newspaper called it a “surprise announcement.” On his government website, Reid posted a goodbye video saying he did his best though hasn’t been perfect.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Hillary’s Aides Emailed Her About Benghazi From Their Private Email Accounts

Hillary Clinton’s Aides Reportedly Emailed Her About #Benghazi From Their Personal Email Accounts – Weasel Zippers

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Via Buzzfeed:

Hillary Clinton’s top aides used their personal email accounts to correspond with her about the attack in Benghazi while she was Secretary of State, the New York Times reported Monday.

That detail comes after Clinton, earlier this month, held a news conference to address questions about her use of her personal email account to conduct official business while she was in office. During that event, she said “vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.”

Critics said the likely presidential contender’s use of her personal email account may prevent official records from becoming public. Clinton’s email was run from its own server out of her New York state home, and she has said that she deleted thousands of emails she deemed personal.

About 300 emails have been turned over to the Congressional committee investigating the Benghazi attack, the New York Times reported. Some of those emails, according to people who saw them and described them to the Times, showed Clinton and her staff reacting as the Obama administration’s explanation of what happened in Benghazi changed from a “spontaneous” attack – as then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice called it – to a planned act of terrorism.

Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, kept her updated on the developments, the Times reported:

Two weeks after that first email assessing Ms. Rice’s appearance, Mr. Sullivan sent Mrs. Clinton a very different email. This time, he appeared to reassure the secretary of state that she had avoided the problems Ms. Rice was confronting. He told Mrs. Clinton that he had reviewed her public remarks since the attack and that she had avoided the language that had landed Ms. Rice in trouble.

“You never said ‘spontaneous’ or characterized their motivations,” Mr. Sullivan wrote.

Hilarious, so she’s not responsible for what her effective understudy, Susan Rice did in her place, in their view. That she didn’t answer questions on the Sunday shows because she was “too tired”.

Actually, Mr. Sullivan, Hillary did characterize the motivation.

About 10:00 p.m.: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issues a statement confirming that one State official was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Her statement, which MSNBC posted at 10:32 p.m., made reference to the anti-Muslim video.

Clinton: Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

Subsequently, over the next few days, she continued to refer to the video.

When meeting the bodies of the dead with the family, she lied to the families, saying that the government was going to “arrest the man behind the video” which, of course, they went on to do.

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