IRS was engaged in election rigging. (UPDATED)

Again I had to find out from the foreign press that IRS’ own internal investigations clearly pointed at targeted malfeasance against conservatives, as much as 6 months before the 2012 elections, but this critical information and attempt to undermined our voting process was conveniently kept from congress:

Tempers flared in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, with members on both sides of the aisle castigating the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups with special scrutiny, and then hiding the practice from Congress.

Rep. Darrel Issa, the committee’s chairman, said that the committee learned just yesterday that the IRS completed its own investigation a year before a Treasury Department Inspector General report was completed.

But despite the IRS recognizing in May 2012 that its employees were treating right-wing groups differently from other organizations, Issa said, IRS personnel withheld those conclusions from legislators.

‘Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,’ Issa said. ‘While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General’s report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 – May 3 of 2012 – and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later.’

So not only was the management at the IRS well aware that their employees were engaged in wielding the massive power of government to intimidate and suppress what these people clearly saw as enemies of the Nanny State, but they sat on it. There was a lot of this sort of stuff that went down before the election but was kept under wraps, it seems. I have a feeling that the LSM and many of the people now trying to pretend this stuff is all much ado about nothing, primarily because they like who won the election as a result of the lies and manipulations now coming to light and whom the target of the governmental abuse was, wouldn’t be so blasé about this all if it wasn’t their side that profited from it.

UPDATE: Holy freaking Sheat these Obamanauts are morons:

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.

“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.”

….

Issa dismissed her from the committee room once it became clear she wouldn’t answer questions.

Lerner’s decision to speak at all immediately triggered a dust-up among lawmakers who were confused about whether she gave up her Fifth Amendment protections when she made an opening statement.

This chick is a lawyer right? And who was her lawyer? Did either understand how invoking the 5th works in the real world, or did they watch one Hollywood movie too many? These are the people running the country. No wonder things are as effed up as they are.

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  1. richtaylor365

    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.

    Trey Gowdy, an ex prosecutor who knows a little something about the law, corrected Issa right on the spot:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjoScJeZrPA

    IANAL, but isn’t invoking your 5th Amendment rights like Miranda? Suspects can invoke it at any stage of the interrogation, and once invoked all questions concerning the alleged incident must stop.

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  2. Xetrov

    Her statement stated that she didn’t do anything illegal. How does Fifth Amendment Protection apply? Either she broke the law, and can plead the fifth, or she can answer the questions. If fifth amendment protection applies, then she should be investigated for whatever illegal act she performed.

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  3. CM

    From what I can tell, Lerner’s lawyers insisted that because the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the scandal she had no choice but to refuse to testify at the hearing.

    Regardless, she seems like a reasonable candidate to lose her job. Not only is she the person who was in charge of the group that wrongly targeted conservatives, she dishonestly testified that she didn’t know about the targeting until 2012, when the inspector general found she knew as early as 2011 (as outlined in the Daily Mail piece). And as someone posted the other day – she’s the person who told a conference call of reporters “I’m not that good at math” even though she’s a manager in an agency that’s all about math.
    Even MORE stupid – Lerner herself asked that tax lawyer Celia Roady inquire about whether the IRS had targeted conservative groups.

    I do like how Krauthammer praised Scooter Libby when he took the Fifth during the Plame investigation, but now he’s telling Fox News that Lerner is all but admitting guilt.

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  4. hist_ed

    If I understand correctly, taking the fifth before Congress has a lot less history/precedence than in criminal trials. If I remember correctly, in a criminal trial, it is the adversarial nature that means testifying voids Fifth Amendment rights. You don’t get to make a big ole’ “I’m sooooo innocent because I kiss my grandma and bake cookies and was actually in Reno at the time” statement and then clam up because the prosecution gets to deal with any statement that you make before a jury. I am guessing that applying this principle to Congressional testimony has not been tested, so one really knows the answer.

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