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Author Topic: Taking the fifth
philnotfil
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I have heard a lot of people talking about Lerner taking the fifth and not answering any questions today. Doesn't taking the fifth only free you from answering questions about your own actions? Won't she still need to answer questions about things that were happening that were not done by her?

If someone asks her point blank if Obama directed the IRS to attack his enemies, wouldn't she still need to answer this question?

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msquared
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My guess is if her answer implicates her in a crime or some such, then she could take the 5th.

If a prosecutor asks me "Did Bob pay you money to kill Bill?" an affirmative answer could be used, I think, to prove at least conspiracy, even if I never killed Bill.

msquared

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G3
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She can take the 5th. This is not a court so she can even take it selectively, only answering questions she wants to answer while invoking it on others.
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Bud Martin
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Issa is saying that she relinquished the right to take the fifth by her previous opening statement and is planning to bring her back to testify.

quote:
By RACHAEL BADE | 5/22/13 3:15 PM EDT
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said embattled IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights and will be hauled back to appear before his panel again.

The California Republican said Lerner’s Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination was voided when she gave an opening statement this morning denying any wrongdoing and professing pride in her government service.

Lois Lerner: 'I have not done anything wrong'
“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told POLITICO. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”

@ http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/darrell-issa-irs-lois-lerner-91755.html#ixzz2U3y8EHED
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djquag1
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That...that doesn't sound like actual law. But I'm not a lawyer, I guess it could be.

What's he going to do, anyway? Rove and Gonzales all but flipped their panels of Congressmen off, and nothing came of that.

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Bud Martin
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The IRS officials just about did that too and they looked so arrogant and acted so unrepentant that this occurred, as if they were going to flip off the congressmen with their words and actions.

BTW, did you know dj that the IG that posted the negative report on the IRS was a former boyfriend of Michelle Obama? I bet you can just smell a right wing conspiracy.... yeah right! [Razz] [LOL]

http://www.examiner.com/article/claim-irs-inspector-general-once-dated-michelle-obama

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MattP
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quote:
This is not a court so she can even take it selectively, only answering questions she wants to answer while invoking it on others.
As I understand it that's the only way you can exercise that right. You can't just make a blanket statement that you wont answer any question or refuse to show up. You have to plead the 5th to each question based on the belief that answering *that* question could incriminate yourself.
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AI Wessex
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Taking the fifth in a criminal trial is different. You can't be forced to testify against yourself, since there are criminal penalties attached to the process. In court, if you answer any questions (presumably more substantive than "What's your name"), then you have waived your 5A protection and can't be selective to answer only questions that go toward your innocence and refuse to answer ones that might point to your guilt. That makes sense to me.

Congress is not a courtroom. You are compelled to appear to provide information rather than trial testimony. As long as you don't perjure herself you are not liable for what you say to Congress, but the information can be collected and used against you by prosecutors in a criminal trial.

She complied with their summons to appear and made a statement, which was not an answer to a question in any case. After that she was within her rights to refuse to answer any questions. She probably decided not to answer any questions at all, even when they didn't refer to her own behavior, in order not to muddy up the situation.

As to why she used the 5th, even though Congress is supposedly only gathering information, the tone of the hearings is very prosecutorial and pejorative. The Senators grand-stand all over the place, make sweeping denunciations and even accuse the witnesses of lying. I don't see any good outcome when you already have been attacked in public by the same members who are going to question you, so why subject yourself to that kind of abuse?

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Bud Martin
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I remind you that there were bipartisan calls for this lady to testify and the left's own legal expert Allan Dershowitz said that he agreed that she had waived her rights by her opening statement that was read after she was asked questions. She had the right to take the fifth on a question or for any number of questions, but she decided to make a statement claiming innocence and that she had not done anything wrong or violated any laws, and then refused to participate in the investigation; which invalidated her right to claim the fifth because any statement made in a Court of Law, has the right to be cross examined.

quote:
The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that Congress' power to investigate is "as penetrating and far-reaching as the potential power to enact and appropriate under the Constitution" as any Court of Law in the United States excepting the Supreme Court. “Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 111 (1959)”
This is why the Congress can issue subpoenas and contempt citations. If the individual in question comes to the stand and makes a prepared statement in lieu of answering questions they cannot make declarations of innocence and decry their adherence to laws and regulations without being cross examined.

Where are all of the lawyers on this issue…Huh? Could some trained lawyers give their expert opinions here!

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Pyrtolin
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What do lawyers have to do with it? The was a Congressional hearing, not a trial (there isn't any cross examination either, just questions from congressional reps)

Claiming 5th amendment protection is in relation to the FBI investigation; she could refuse to answer questions even without that, but in this case the reason that she's refusing to take questions is, as Al pointed out, because the nature of the questioning, even if she tries to decline to answer directly, is such that anything that she'd say, even if it's unintentionally in a less that perfect response to a loaded question, will be fed back into that investigation and could taint the proceeding there.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
She had the right to take the fifth on a question or for any number of questions, but she decided to make a statement claiming innocence and that she had not done anything wrong or violated any laws, and then refused to participate in the investigation; which invalidated her right to claim the fifth because any statement made in a Court of Law, has the right to be cross examined.
First and foremost, of course, it's not a court of law.

quote:
If the individual in question comes to the stand and makes a prepared statement in lieu of answering questions they cannot make declarations of innocence
I think you'll find that many people have, of course. And then there's the whole "I can't recall" dodge, which is the usual last defense.

[ May 23, 2013, 08:09 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Bud Martin
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Tom,

You cut off that last quote and it no longer carries the same meaning. It should read:

quote:
If the individual in question comes to the stand and makes a prepared statement in lieu of answering questions they cannot make declarations of innocence and decry their adherence to laws and regulations without being cross examined.

The important part of the quote is in BOLD.

Yes, the Congress isn't a court but has the power of a court when investigating government abuse of the laws, yet they aren't held to the same standards as a court and may deviate completely from legal restrictions (which makes them far more powerful than a court):

“Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 111 (1959)”. "OF COURSE", you should read the whole thing first.

That IRS lady could be brought back in front of Congress and if she refuses to answer questions now (since her right to the Fifth has been waived), could be imprisoned and fined or both!

[ May 23, 2013, 10:11 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The important part of the quote is in BOLD.
Sure, they can. Her statement is not admissible as evidence; she can assert innocence without having that assertion count as evidence of her innocence. She is, in fact, not permitted by law to be a witness in her own defense.

There is no reason to cross-examine someone declaiming his innocence; such a declamation does not constitute a point of fact and does not need to be challenged to make a case against that person's innocence. In fact, it functionally cannot be.

Had she made specific assertions of fact, Congress would have been entitled to ask her to substantiate them. A blanket denial of wrongdoing, however, does not rise to the standards of evidence and does not require a cross.

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djquag1
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What prison would she be put in? Which law states how much she can be fined?

I'm asking because the same questions were asked when Rove was pulling his shenanigans.

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Bud Martin
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Tom,

quote:
It is the opinion of attorney Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law Professor and litigator of such cases as Claus Von Bulow and O.J. Simpson that Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s embattled director of Exempt Organizations, could be held in contempt of court and jailed for refusing to testify before Congress.

Speaking on The Steve Malzberg Show, Dershowitz said, “She’s in trouble. She can be held in contempt. Congress can actually hold you in contempt and put you in the Congressional jail.”

The legal observation from the famous criminal defense attorney was all the more interesting following Lerner’s invocation of her Fifth Amendment right Wednesday appearing before a House subcommittee investigating the growing scandal.

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2013/05/23/professor-alan-dershowitz-gives-his-opinion-about-irs-lois-lerner-did-she-waive-her-5th-or-not-prof-dershowitz-suggests-malpractice-b y-her-lawyer/

I think he has more qualifications in this matter than you do Tom.

dj,

I think you'll find everything you need here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_Congress

Several cases are referenced here and there is a listing of punishments rendered for contempt after 1975. I'm sure that there can be discovery during any congressional investigation on additional criminal charges and violations of federal laws and regulations that would be remanded over to another court and additional criminal proceeding.

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MattP
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quote:
I think he has more qualifications in this matter than you do Tom.
Tom is fairly describing the prevailing opposing view. If qualification were a prerequisite to stating an opinion here...
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djquag1
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Looks like only one of them served time or paid money, and that was for lying to Congress, not for refusing to testify. Enforcement of contempt charges appears to be a rare thing.
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AI Wessex
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"It is the opinion of attorney Alan Dershowitz..."

Yes, but in the opinion of James Duane, a lawyer and professor who specializes in the application of the 5A, she didn't.
quote:
Had this been an actual criminal trial, in an actual courtroom, and had Lerner been an actual defendant, then yes, it would not have been permissible for her to testify in her own defense and then refuse cross-examination on Fifth Amendment grounds. But a congressional hearing is not a criminal trial in two important ways, Duane tells Daily Intelligencer.

First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee. Second, in a trial there would be a justifiable concern about compromising a judge or jury by providing them with "selective, partial presentation of the facts." But Congress is merely pursuing information as part of an investigation, not making a definitive ruling on Lerner's guilt or innocence.

"When somebody is in this situation," says Duane, a Harvard Law graduate whose 2008 lecture on invoking the Fifth Amendment with police has been viewed on YouTube nearly 2.5 million times, "when they are involuntarily summoned before grand jury or before legislative body, it is well settled that they have a right to make a 'selective invocation,' as it's called, with respect to questions that they think might raise a meaningful risk of incriminating themselves."

In fact, Duane says, "even if Ms. Lerner had given answers to a few questions — five, ten, twenty questions — before she decided, 'That's where I draw the line, I'm not answering any more questions,' she would be able to do that as well." Such uses of selective invocation "happen all the time."


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Bud Martin
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There is grounds for contempt based on historical precedence and its apparently the current thinking of the Congress and its backed up by liberal law experts and don't forget, the Congress is not a Court of Law and those arguments for use of the Fifth by James Duane won't apply as the Congress has no obligations to remain a fair and unbiased adjudicator. Once Congress decides to do it, then they can just issue the arrest warrant for the IRS lady and that's that (IF they choose to use the inherent contempt that bypasses the D.C. US attorney/DOJ completely).

She can try to appeal her contempt, but in the mean time: if she doesn't testify as per Congress’ wishes, then she rots in jail and Congress has won every single court case on this matter. Even a presidential pardon would not help the IRS lady, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority.

Obama can’t use some kind of executive privilege to protect her since the President can’t say he was involved in this as it leads to a Separation of Powers violation that would kick off an Impeachment discussion. Who knows, she might be enough of an ideologue to fall on her sword, so to speak and go mute; thus risking a stay in jail and a fine.

Since this deals with the abuse of power of the IRS in regards to its already admitted targeting of Americans based on political views, I think this issue has more than enough traction to overpower the President and the Executive branch. If he tries to stop this, he will be impeached!

[ May 24, 2013, 07:47 AM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
There is grounds for contempt based on historical precedence...
Congress can find someone in contempt whenever the heck it feels like it; that's like saying there's "grounds for impeachment," since Congress gets to decide what that means at whim, too. They could have found her in contempt for wearing the wrong shirt; that doesn't mean that there's any reasonable basis for doing so, or that she actually did anything wrong when appearing before them.

quote:
Since this deals with the abuse of power of the IRS in regards to its already admitted targeting of Americans based on political views...
You are fundamentally misunderstanding what the IRS has admitted, here.

[ May 24, 2013, 07:48 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Bud Martin
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quote:
Congress can find someone in contempt whenever the heck it feels like it; that's like saying there's "grounds for impeachment," since Congress gets to decide what that means at whim, too
You finally see my point, but you miss the subtlety of how they can use contempt of Congress as a indication of a looming showdown between the legislative and the Executive branches that goes beyond political parties.

The IRS admitted to targeting individuals with a Bolo that specifically listed ONLY conservative groups and they asked intrusive inappropriate questions under penalty of perjury for applicants that exceeded their limit of power. You're fundamentally misunderstanding what the IRS has really admitted; and it looks like you think that there is a technical difference between abuse of power and the appearance of abuse of power, when there really isn't.

From the following article:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/24/an-enormous-abuse-of-irs-power/

quote:
IRS agents deliberately targeted numerous conservative and Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Their (unspoken)goal: to prevent Mr. Obama’s opposition from being able to organize and raise money — especially during the closely contested 2012 election cycle (its the only possible conclusion). The IRS was transformed into a partisan arm of the administration in order to persecute Mr. Obama’s critics. This was not only unethical, but also unconstitutional and illegal. The IRS engaged in massive, systemic abuse of power.

Read about some of the horror stories:

quote:
Take the case of Catherine Engelbrecht. She is the president of True the Vote, a group devoted to combating voter fraud. Mrs. Engelbrecht says she has faced government harassment for years. She said the FBI visited her several times, inquiring whether she knew if any “terrorists” were part of her group. She underwent five rounds of IRS questioning — and still hasn’t received approval. Moreover, Mrs. Engelbrecht and her husband were audited multiple times by federal agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — all of them conducted separate audits on Mrs. Engelbrecht or her husband’s business. The IRS sharing of confidential tax information with other federal agencies is a serious crime. It is highly likely that Mrs. Engelbrecht was targeted for one reason: her Tea Party beliefs. It appears she was being punished — financially and emotionally — for the crime of criticizing Mr. Obama.

Individuals opposed to the president were systematically persecuted. Businessmen and donors to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, such as Frank VanderSloot, were audited. Mr. VanderSloot’s Idaho cattle farm was fined more than $80,000. A conservative Catholic university professor, who wrote articles critical of the administration’s policies, was frivolously audited. Conservative pundits and journalists — including some at Fox News — were targeted. The list goes on.

At its core, the IRS scandal is about the subversion of our democracy. It is more than big government run amok (as some Republicans claim). It is the embryonic creation of a liberal fascist regime. The Obama administration is erecting a thug state, transforming the IRS — and other federal agencies — into a political weapon to bludgeon opponents. This is the kind of behavior common in Venezuela, Cuba and Russia.

This issue has staying power and Congress is gaining bi-partisan support for this investigation. The media will have no choice but to support this investigation becasue of its serious nature and long term implications for this country.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You finally see my point, but you miss the subtlety of how they can use contempt of Congress as a indication of a looming showdown between the legislative and the Executive branches that goes beyond political parties.
Bud, dude, I have seen that point from the beginning. What I have objected to is the idea that Congress' ability to whimsically find someone in contempt amounts to illegal or immoral behavior on the part of that victim. Sure, Congress can bring down the hammer on someone who has properly taken the 5th (or done any variety of things) -- but that does not necessarily mean that person has behaved improperly. That the Republicans in Congress have had a stick up their ass concerning the president currently in office is not exactly a surprise; we've known for years that they will seize on any possible excuse to go after him and obstruct any useful initiative he might propose. This is not an indictment of the president; that is a failure of this Congress.

quote:
IRS agents deliberately targeted numerous conservative and Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Their (unspoken)goal: to prevent Mr. Obama’s opposition from being able to organize and raise money...
This is, of course, not only speculation but the most unlikely scenario. Their spoken goal was to distinguish political funding groups from public welfare groups; the latter might qualify for non-profit status, while the former does not. That particular spoken goal seems entirely consistent with the behavior of the agents in question.

Note that Jeffrey Kuhner's bloviating, stupid opinions do not actually qualify as fact or reasoned analysis; the guy's a giant turd.

[ May 24, 2013, 08:49 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
IRS agents deliberately targeted numerous conservative and Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Their (unspoken)goal: to prevent Mr. Obama’s opposition from being able to organize and raise money — especially during the closely contested 2012 election cycle (its the only possible conclusion).
There is still a logical contradiction in this accusation that everyone seems to gloss over.

If an organization is a "social welfare" group, politics is a sideline, something it participates in less than most of the time.

So why would the Obama Administration be afraid of these conservative organizations that dabble in politics, while their main goal is education, socialization, or whatever? Why would they spend so much time and effort to keep them from getting their non-taxable status if their main thrust was not political?

Unless, of course, they were a (potential) major force in politics, and would be doing quite a bit politically. But if that were true, then the Obama Administration would be right, they would be political organizations and thus would not qualify for the tax-exempt status! [Wink]

So which are these Tea Party organizatios: are they social welfare organizations that dabbled in politics or were they political-movement organizations that could have swayed the election?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The IRS admitted to targeting individuals with a Bolo that specifically listed ONLY conservative groups and they asked intrusive inappropriate questions under penalty of perjury for applicants that exceeded their limit of power.
No, the IRS was found to have used common conservative keywords as a first pass screening to quickly identify politically oriented groups that required additional screening. (Ultimately only about 1/3 of all groups identified for screening were identified this way. It saved them a few hours of the time that would have otherwise been needed to individually analyze about 100 of the ~2k applications (under normal circumstances) plus the ~1.5k from the largely conservative surge in applications that came in the wake of the CU decision opening up a dark money loophole by removing the direct contribution limits from such groups.

The questions, which were indeed clumsy attempts to divine the vague specification of ensuring that these groups were not primarily involved in electoral politics and instead primarily focused on promoting their nominal social welfare goal. Groups across the spectrum that were flagged received similar questions, and liberal groups actually lost their status during the period in question because of overly close political ties.

(Of particular note, there is no similar scandal for 527 groups being so harassed; the issue ios groups that should be applying for 527 status trying to used the loophole from the CU decision to pretend to be 503c4 groups as a way to launder political money)

Here's the full report if you want to catch up on the actual findings, without the spin that's being used to create the distortion of "targeting"

http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf

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Bud Martin
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Tom,

Did you listen to any of the hearings on the IRS scandal? The Democrats were after the IRS officials too; its not just party politics on this one.

If this turns into a Legistative branch vs Executive branch battle, they'll be able to get a special prosecutor.

There is no concievable way that Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel didn't know about this typically Chicago style use of the government to squeaze political opponents, since it was set up in 2010 or before.

Don't you think what happened to Catherine Engelbrecht and others posted earlier are a travesty and abuse of power?

I think of 401c4 tax exempt groups as balancing the labor unions corrupt influence on the system, but if I had my druthers, I'd get rid of them both and all PACs as political organizations too!

[ May 24, 2013, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Democrats were after the IRS officials too; its not just party politics on this one.
That's just sound and fury and a lack of message cohesion, something the Democrats are bad at. See, when Republicans get wind of something like this, they all circle the wagons and decide on a story, whether or not it's true. Democrats are bad at this; they don't make it clear that someone answering a question out of turn without clearing that answer will be stepped on, so you get people at all levels saying dumb things without a full understanding of the big picture or any desired spin. This has continually come back to bite Democrats over the last few years, as a number of "scandals" that everyone universally agreed were of some "concern" just evaporated once people realized the facts, but not after some idiots on both sides of the aisle, wanting to look all full of moral rectitude, offered uninformed opinions.

quote:
There is no concievable way that Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel didn't know about this typically Chicago style use of the government to squeaze political opponents, since it was set up in 2010 or before.
Man, I lived in Chicago. And I think it's rather ridiculous to hear someone who served in the military in Texas to be whining to me about corruption. [Smile] That said, this was "set up" before they were in office, so the idea that they absolutely had to know about it based on the timeframe is baffling to me; that'd seem to argue against your point.

quote:
If this turns into a Legistative branch vs Executive branch battle, they'll be able to get a special prosecutor.
Again, let me point out that the ability of the legislative branch to pull special prosecutors out of their ass at whim does not mean that there is actually anything worth prosecuting.
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Bud Martin
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Most of my family is from Illinois and my Grandfather was part of Daley's machine; he took the fifth too. I still have several Cousins in Chicago and even a few on the Mercantile exchange, so I do know a little about the Chicago way, even though I can't stand the City.

I have relatives in St. Louis and Springfield too as well as several other tiny towns around the state. Its my second home.

BTW, Charlie Rangel has told Obama to Fess up already about the IRS...LOL, so you know its a slam dunk!

I gotta mention, I was only in Texas for a few years after being in the military and make no claims on the state, its too dang hot for me!

I didn't whine, that was my rocking chair! [Big Grin]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Don't you think what happened to Catherine Engelbrecht and others posted earlier are a travesty and abuse of power?
True the Vote is a bad example of persecution, since it's problems stem from protests over its use of voter intimidation and voter suppression tactics. It's being investigated for egregiously bad behavior, not simply because of partisan affiliation.

As for the questioning directed at organizations under review, that might be valid if it were only conservative groups getting those questions, but such questions were asked of all organizations being reviewed, regardless of political affiliation. They reflect poor guidance and standards in regards to how to properly investigate applicants to determine if they're a social welfare groups or a PACs trying to disguise themselves under that mantle, but to claim "abuse of power" you first have to demonstrate any direct intent to actually misuse power, as opposed to just somewhat incompetent application of it in pursuit of vague but legitimate purposes.

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Bud Martin
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P,

Maybe you don’t see the difference between investigating an organization for something and then going to someone’s business and private home and using different government agencies as whipping boys to intimidate, harass and threaten private citizens, but I certainly DO. Your accusations:

quote:
True the Vote is a bad example of persecution, since its problems stem from protests over its use of voter intimidation and voter suppression tactics. It's being investigated for egregiously bad behavior, not simply because of partisan affiliation.
Are totally irrelevant to what I was addressing, which is going to an unrelated business and a person’s home and investigating them for completely false or unrelated charges, like so-called “terrorists” by the FBI. Then they sent OSHA, ATF and the EPA to mess with their personal business trying to cause them financial problems. Maybe you aren't aware what kind of a hassle such investigations can be when trying to conduct business and earn a livelihood, but I can assure you that it can and does cause businesses to collapse.

I have no qualms about “True the Vote” being investigating because if it is supposed to validate voting and prevent voter fraud, I want it to be completely aboveboard.

I watched the IRS investigation on the TV twice and I heard repeatedly that no 401c4 organization was investigated that wasn’t a conservative group. No liberal groups were investigated AT ALL and received their tax-exempt status in the proper allotted time frame, while years later these conservative groups still have no adjudication on their applications to the IRS. No liberal group had to answer harassing questions or provide member lists.

Asking for a membership list is illegal, this was decided in a previous court cases dealing with harassment of the NAACP. The IRS also released application data for conservative groups to liberal groups and member lists to liberal media which is also very illegal, which resulted in additional harrassment for these organizations. They deliberately and unlawfully exceeded their power and scope and ONLY targeted conservative groups and individuals based on their political views, so there can ONLY be a political motive behind this effort since it was connected to other government agencies that had nothing to do with the 401c4 applications.

This is the same IRS that’s going to be controlling and monitoring Obamacare and dealing with everyone’s health records. Do you want that organization handling the most delicate, personal and private information about your health and well-being? If they get away with this, then when the next republican President gets in, don’t you think that this would invite him to do the same to the democrats? Dirty tricksters like this destroy faith in our democracy and erode the public confidence that our country is a moral and just society.

[ May 25, 2013, 06:03 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
. They deliberately and unlawfully exceeded their power and scope and ONLY targeted conservative groups and individuals based on their political views, so there can ONLY be a political motive behind this effort since it was connected to other government agencies that had nothing to do with the 401c4 applications.
Out of interest, Bud, which of these facts would have to be demonstrated incorrect in order for you to concede that there may in fact have been something other than a political motive?
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Bud Martin
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Tom,

All of the facts are relevant. Why would I concede that there is no political motive if you can find one mistake? I won't be convinced until all the facts are out, but I've had my suspicions for several years now.

I'd point to the way that Bush and Obama have used Executive orders to take short cuts to the Constitution. They both curtailed individual freedoms, but Obama has turned government agencies loose on individuals worse than Nixon ever did in trying to intimidate his political enemies! There is nothing worse that a President can do than attacking American citizens with the power of the Government just because they have a different political idealology, IMHO.

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AI Wessex
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"...Obama has turned government agencies loose on individuals worse than Nixon ever did..."

Nixon's plumbers were originally recruited as thugs to neutralize Daniel Ellsberg - by beating him up or even killing him, if told to. His "enemies list" was compiled to give the IRS the names of people to be individually targeted for audits. When Kissinger was asked if what Nixon did was legal, he answered that if the President does something, it's therefore legal. Bush spied on Americans and said directly that the law against domestic spying on citizens without a warrant didn't apply to him, because he was the President.

Those are just examples of things we know to be facts about Nixon and Bush. Obama's Administration may have stepped over the line (probably, but as Bud says, let's wait for all the facts before deciding), and there is no proof of any kind yet that Obama was directly or even indirectly involved or how extensive the violations may have been.

That doesn't stop Republicans and the conservative media from loudly claiming that Obama has done the worst things that they can imagine, but that just identifies what some people want to believe before they know the facts.

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Pete at Home
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Dear Wessex,

The idiom 'turned loose' suggests deed actually done, not unrealized schemes supposedly brewed.

Love,

The Dictionary

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why would I concede that there is no political motive if you can find one mistake?
I wanted to know if you were arguing from your conclusion based on existing bias, or if you were indeed capable of examining factual evidence. Thank you for answering my question.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Dear Wessex,

The idiom 'turned loose' suggests deed actually done, not unrealized schemes supposedly brewed.

Love,

The Dictionary

Doesn't that assume facts not in evidence, counselor? Also, "turned loose" implies no constraints whatsoever. Do you think that Obama doesn't care what the JD does?
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Bud Martin
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Al,

I think Nixon was a reprobate yet I would dispute your claims as to the details of his outrages, but he wasn't brazen enough to send 4 different government agencies after the same family in such a successive and unrelenting fashion. The audacity of Obama and his people to do this should convince even the most skeptical and loyal liberal that something is terribly wrong with this administration.

If this is allowed to stand, then you can expect the next Republican administration to do Obama's actions one better and I wouldn't want that either. You can't possibly think that this kind of behavior from your government is justified under any circumstances can you?

It’s a fact that these different agencies targeted that single family. How can there be any other conclusion that they were directed by an authority above them in the government to focus their attentions on these people. I ask you, who is above the FBI, the ATF, the EPA and OSHA, but the President and his people!

[ May 26, 2013, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Bud Martin
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Dang,

It was five agencies, I forgot the IRS also audited their personal and business taxes too, so that's another stick in the fire. Can you see the smoke yet Al!

Tom,

Your Welcome, and I really appreciate your questions, they made me re-examine my positions and it helped me to understand that I need to separate out any Bias and look at each situation from an objective viewpoint. Sometimes it's easy to forget that.

[ May 26, 2013, 10:25 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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AI Wessex
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"It was five agencies, I forgot the IRS also audited their personal and business taxes too, so that's another stick in the fire. Can you see the smoke yet Al!"

What five agencies investigated who?

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Bud Martin
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Al,

Don't you remember, you quoted from my rebuttal on this story and talked about Nixon's plumbers. It was regarding this news story that I was talking about Obama turning the government loose on the people with different political ideas.

I posted about Catherine Engelbrecht on this page earlier in the thread, but here is another recent article:

quote:
Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership–which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”

The Democratic Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against her, as did an ACORN affiliated group. Both the FBI and the BATF continued to poke around her life, the lives of people in her Tea Party group, and her businesses.

In 2010 True the Vote filed for tax exempt status as a non profit. Six months later not only was True the Vote audited, but Catherine and her husband’s business was audited (It had never been audited in the 20 years they had been in business), AND her and her husband each were PERSONALLY audited. After that, the FBI visited her SIX TIMES. Then the BATF, and OSHA, and the EPA also harassed her.

It’s a mind boggling abuse of power by our government. All of us, no matter what our political affiliations, should be appalled and angry.

Catherine has sacrificed so much, been attacked by liberal organizations unfairly, and abused by our government. She has had to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers. Why? Simply because she chose, as a citizen, to get involved and start a organization to train poll workers for fair and free elections.

Just unbelievable.

http://blog.chron.com/texassparkle/2013/05/the-abuse-of-power-by-our-government-on-true-the-vote/

[ May 27, 2013, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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AI Wessex
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Thanks for the refresher [Smile] . I can't speak to all the claims in that article and others that are ricocheting around the conservative blogosphere, but I'm curious if you think there was no reasonable basis to investigate them.
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