by Tom Fitton
Just so we are clear about what’s gone down, the same crooked administration and the same corrupt federal agencies responsible for the IRS-Tea Party scandal now say no crimes were committed. In a letter addressed to the House Ways and Means Committee, Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik, explains why Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to press ahead.
“Ineffective management is not a crime,” he wrote. And so the Obama Justice Department dismissed reams evidence, mostly uncovered by Judicial Watch, of obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, civil rights violations, the illegal release of taxpayer information, the illegal use of taxpayer information, unlawful audits, and perjury.
We responded immediately with a statement:
President Obama’s IRS was used against his opponents to help him win reelection. So the Obama Justice Department’s decision to shut down its IRS abuse investigation with no prosecutions is as unsurprising as it is corrupt. Judicial Watch’s independent litigation proved the Obama IRS obstructed justice and destroyed evidence. And we uncovered that the IRS and Lois Lerner conspired with the Justice Department and FBI on a plan to jail the very Americans the IRS was illegally suppressing. In fact, Justice Department lawyers recently admitted in federal court that the IRS watchdog is still digging through IRS backup tapes and has no idea when the search will be complete. This same Justice Department decides it can shut down an investigation before it has all the evidence? That might pass muster in Chicago, but America deserves better – the IRS is not above the law.
Congress needs to get its act together and consider the impeachment and removal from office the officials, including Barack Obama, responsible for the worst abuse of the IRS in American history. Judicial Watch will continue its independent investigation and litigation that has made it the best source for the truth about the continuing IRS scandal. In the meantime, the Justice Department and FBI, which illegally obtained IRS files on Americans with the help of Lois Lerner and the Obama IRS, should finally be investigated for their role in Obama’s misuse of federal law and tax agencies against innocent Americans.
Many thousands of JW supporters have echoed the calls for impeachment over the last few months. George Will, one of most influential political columnists writing today, recently penned a column entitled “Time to impeach the IRS director”:
After [IRS Commissioner John] Koskinen complained about the high cost in time and money involved in the search, employees at a West Virginia data center told a Treasury Department official that no one asked for backup tapes of Lerner’s emails. Subpoenaed documents, including 422 tapes potentially containing 24,000 Lerner emails, were destroyed.
For four months, Koskinen kept from Congress information about Lerner’s elusive emails. He testified under oath that he had “confirmed” that none of the tapes could be recovered.
Lerner conducted government business using private email, and when she was told that the IRS’s instant messaging system was not archived, she replied: “Perfect.”
Koskinen’s obfuscating testimonies have impeded investigation of unsavory practices, including the IRS’ sharing, potentially in violation of tax privacy laws, up to 1.25 million pages of confidential tax documents. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, which has forced the IRS to disgorge documents, says some “prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech.”
Mr. Will evidently had some good sources on the Hill, as House Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced a resolution this week to impeach the IRS commissioner for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The resolution focuses on the lies and obstruction of Obama’s IRS henchman in lying to Congress about the Lois Lerner emails. According to Chaffetz, Koskinen violated the public trust in the following ways:
• Failed to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence. Commissioner Koskinen failed to locate and preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena and an internal preservation order. The IRS erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails – key pieces of evidence that were destroyed on Koskinen’s watch.
• Failed to testify truthfully and provided false and misleading information. Commissioner Koskinen testified the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails. When the agency determined Ms. Lerner’s emails were missing, Commissioner Koskinen testified the emails were unrecoverable. These statements were false.
• Failed to notify Congress that key evidence was missing. The IRS knew Lois Lerner’s emails were missing in February 2014. In fact, they were not missing; the IRS destroyed the emails on March 4, 2014. The IRS did not notify Congress the emails were missing until June 2014 – four months later, and well after the White House and the Treasury Department were notified.
Kudos on this impeachment push on the Lerner email obstruction. It is imperfect justice, but a move needed toward accountability. Once again, it was Judicial Watch’s hard work that resulted in this accountability.
Our historic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama. Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to admit that Lerner’s emails were supposedly missing, and then that the emails were on IRS’ back-up systems.
What next? The House Judiciary Committee will have to move to consider and approve the proposed articles of impeachment in order to move them to consideration by the full House. If a majority of the House approves, the issue would move to the Senate for trial. Two-thirds of Senators present must then vote to convict and remove Obama’s IRS commissioner from office.
Interested citizens should focus on sharing their views with members of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Also, in the meantime, individual House members can choose to co-sponsor the impeachment resolution. You may also want to check in with your individual members to see if they’re on board.
Judicial Watch Uncovers Corrupt
Obama CIA-Hollywood Connection
Did you see the link on the Drudge Report and hear the news?!!
We are now in possession of a previously classified December 2012 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) strongly condemning the agency’s handling of “briefings, interviews, visits, and other support” given to the entertainment industry. The report specifically criticizes the CIA’s granting of “Secret level” access to the makers of the movie Zero Dark Thirty. The OIG report was declassified in response to a Judicial Watch request for a Mandatory Declassification review.
The OIG “Report of Audit – CIA Processes for Engaging With the Entertainment Industry” is critical of both the agency’s procedures and its recordkeeping:
We found that the records maintained by the OPA [Office of Public Affairs] are not sufficient to document that entertainment industry requests to CIA for briefings, interviews, visits, and other support are handled in a consistent and fair manner and that engagement with the entertainment industry is effective in furthering CIA’s goal for engagement … OPA and other CIA employees have not always complied with Agency regulations intended to prevent the release of classified information during their interactions with entertainment industry representatives.
The Washington Times took note of what your JW has uncovered shortly after the information was released. Here is how it was reported:
The CIA may have mishandled “briefings, interviews, visits and other support” given to the entertainment industry, says a previously classified report, now declassified and provided to Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The report specifically criticizes the CIA’s granting of “secret level” access to the makers of the 2012 movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which dramatized the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
Our astute readers know how hard it is pry information loose from the agencies that are not tasked with espionage, intelligence gathering and covert operations. So just imagine how hard it is to shake information loose from the CIA.
While the heavily redacted document carefully avoids the disclosure of the eight projects it reviewed dating back to January 6, 2006, it specifically cites problems involving the CIA’s interactions with the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers. According to the OIG report, “There was an instance in which CIA allowed an entertainment industry representative to attend a CIA event in which information classified at the SECRET level was discussed.” The report then adds in a footnote:
CIA officials told us that the filmmaker involved with Zero Dark Thirty was invited to the event so that he could absorb the emotion of the event and that he was told he could not use anything he heard at the event for his project. During our audit fieldwork, the then Director, CIA called for an internal examination of the decision to allow the entertainment industry representative to attend the event.
The CIA Inspector General cites one project in particular that was given “significantly more support” than any of the others reviewed. Though the project is not identified, it is an apparent reference to Zero Dark Thirty:
[W]e noted that the CIA provided significantly more support to one of the eight entertainment industry projects that we reviewed: [REDACTED]. Entertainment industry representatives for this project met with [REDACTED] CIA officers (the majority of whom were under cover) … on multiple occasions, including meeting with one officer 12 times.
The newly-released OIG report also questioned the CIA’s granting of access to foreign nationals who may not have received proper screening before their briefings, warning of possible “negative consequences” for the CIA:
We also noted three entertainment projects [REDACTED] in which foreign nationals may have participated in briefings, interviews, and visits provided by the CIA. However, because of the lack of adequate records, we were unable to determine the extent of CIA’s support to the eight projects, the extent to which foreign nationals participated in CIA-sponsored activities, and whether the Director, OPA approved of the activities and participation of foreign nationals.
Failure on the part of CIA officers to adhere to regulatory requirements could result in unauthorized disclosures, inappropriate actions and negative consequences for CIA. [Emphasis added]
The CIA IG also concluded that taxpayers were not compensated for the assistance CIA provided to Hollywood film projects:
CIA Has Not Been Reimbursed for Costs Incurred in Supporting Entertainment Industry Projects …
The CIA needs to establish a written policy concerning under what conditions reimbursement of costs incurred in providing support to entertainment industry projects should be sought. In the absence of a formal policy, there is increased risk that costs incurred by CIA will not be handled in a consistent manner and that CIA funds may be used for questionable expenditures.
On May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that American personnel had killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and buried his body at sea. President Obama ordered the withholding of photos and video of the deceased bin Laden and his burial at sea, claiming it would be unwise to “spike the football” over bin Laden’s killing, as it might be offensive to al Qaeda and other terrorists.
Judicial Watch immediately requested these photos from the Defense Department and CIA and then, when denied them, sued for their release in federal court. An appellate court upheld President Obama’s decision to withhold the records from American citizens because the records might offend terrorists.
Other Judicial Watch litigation forced the release of records showing a cover-up and the dangerous disclosure of classified information, as the Obama administration sought to promote the raid to aid Obama’s reelection, while at the same time withholding basic information about the raid from the American people.
In response to the Judicial Watch January 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the unusual access given to Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers, CIA Information Review Officer Martha Lutz conceded:
It is my understanding that when the meetings with the filmmakers took place at the CIA Headquarters, the guidance provided to the officers who were undercover or were otherwise in sensitive positions was that they should provide the filmmakers with their true first names only.
Disclosures by Vice News last month highlighted even more corruption at the Obama CIA as the agency tried to promote the pro-Obama film for the White House. Vice News reported that the CIA OIG found several potential violations of criminal law by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, CIA officials, and the filmmakers.
Has anyone been held accountable for these illegal leaks? Especially since the leaks put the heroes who killed Osama bin Laden at risk in order to help make this film.
Given the IRS cover-up described above, you won’t be surprised to learn that Vice News reported the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute any of the alleged violations.
The CIA responded to Judicial Watch’s disclosure in a statement to Reuters:
CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said the agency had “completely overhauled its procedures for interaction with the entertainment industry” since 2012. The agency set up new training procedures for officials who deal with Hollywood and strengthened protocols for guarding agency secrets and classified information, he said.
Believe you me, we’re following up on this.
In the meantime, we know now the Obama administration put Hollywood before national security in order to help Barack Obama win reelection.
Judicial Watch Sues Obama HHS
for Records on Planned Parenthood Connection
You may have seen undercover videos by investigators with the Center with Medical Progress (CMP) featuring Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the sale of tissue from aborted human beings and how abortion techniques can be altered to preserve intact human organs and limbs for sale.
Over a glass of wine and casual lunch conversation caught in the undercover video, Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, let slip how inhuman, cruel and soulless her organization is when it comes to human life. It was back on July 25, 2014, that Nucatola made comments to undercover investigators posing as representatives from a human biologics company looking to purchase human body parts.
Nucatola also describes the gruesome process through which abortionists operate to preserve specific fetal body parts. An undercover video entitled: “Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts” has gone viral thanks to the Center for Medical Progress’ good work.
Following up on public interest in this truly disturbing scandal, Judicial Watch just filed a federal lawsuit here in DC for contracts between the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs and Nucatola for her paid work on the 2014 government report “Providing Quality Family Planning Services” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (No. 1:15-cv-01697)).
The Left does not want you or other Americans to know the truth about the abortion industry’s trafficking in the body parts of human beings killed by abortion. I encourage you to view all the Planned Parenthood videos, but warn you that they are difficult to view and may upset you.
Judicial Watch filed our lawsuit after HHS failed to comply with two simple August 10, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking a set of records about the Planned Parenthood doctor:
• Records related to contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the report “Providing Quality Family Planning Services,” released April 25, 2014;
• Records concerning contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the report “Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines,” released June 5, 2015;
• Records regarding contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the “U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use,” released in 2013.
You’ll see here that the controversial 2014 so-called “Family Planning” report for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Office of Population Affairs recommends that counselors provide abortion options and referrals to pregnant women and teenagers (without parental consent). The report also promotes providing “adolescents,” without parental consent, contraception (which includes potentially abortion-inducing drugs). Planned Parenthood’s fingerprints are all over the “abortions for teenaged girls without telling their parents” Obama administration advocacy document.
That Nucatola is helping set government policy on sensitive life-and-death issues is concerning.
According to CMP, its undercover investigators, posing as buyers for a company seeking fetal tissue, ask Nucatola:
“How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium-the head-is basically the biggest part.”
Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”
The undercover videos raised questions about whether Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the sale of the fetal tissue and violating other laws, such as the federal ban on partial birth abortions.
For the record, there is no doubt about the authenticity of the undercover videos. As the Daily Signal has reported, a forensic analysis of the videos has already been done that shows they are the real deal:
The analysis was completed by Coalfire, a digital security and forensics firm that has worked on civil and criminal investigations. The firm had access to all audio and video investigative footage recorded by the Center for Medical Progress.
“The Coalfire forensic analysis removes any doubt that the full length undercover videos released by Center for Medical Progress are authentic and have not been manipulated,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom. “Analysts scrutinized every second of video recorded during the investigation and released by CMP to date and found only bathroom breaks and other non-pertinent footage had been removed.”
The Obama administration is in cover-up mode on how it uses tax dollars to fund and promote Planned Parenthood’s anti-human ideology.
You should be outraged that the Obama HHS won’t even respond to our simple Freedom of Information Act request for taxpayer-funded contracts with one of the nation’s leading abortionists caught red-handed discussing how to preserve the body parts of human beings killed by abortions so that those parts can be sold for higher prices. The Obama gang would rather violate the federal transparency law in order to protect taxpayer funding for activists and groups that traffic in body parts. Does it get any worse in terms of government corruption?
Tom Fitton – President
425 3rd St, SW Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20024