The Grilling of the IRS

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Air Date: June 24, 2014

Host: Vic Eliason

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The program opened with a World Watch Monitor report that Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman released from death row in Sudan on Monday, was arrested with her husband and two children at Khartoum airport on Tuesday as the family attempted to leave the country.

Hearings about IRS targeting of conservative organizations continue in the House of Representatives.

On Friday, June 20, in a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan expressed his frustration over IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s attempts to explain why he promised that all the pertinent emails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner would be provided, even though it was already known in the agency that thousands of those emails had been lost in a computer crash.

On Monday, June 23, in a separate hearing before the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa also proclaimed that he does not believe Koskinen’s claims.

Rep. Jim Jordan asked Koskinen why it took so long to tell Congress that the emails were lost, and also why they have not reported the loss to the Justice Department or the FBI who would need them for evidence as they are conducting a criminal investigation of the same issue.

The concerns are in great part due to the fact that Lois Lerner’s emails were subpoenaed by Congress 18 months ago, in 2013, and the IRS commissioner stated under oath that those emails were all archived–as is required of all government agencies.

Then on June 13, 2014, it was announced that the emails had been lost in a computer crash in 2011–and that other emails involving several employees, who are also implicated in the investigation, may have been lost as well. This includes emails between Lerner’s office and the White House.

Interestingly, Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in June 2011, just ten days after House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups.

Also discussed was the contrast between IRS demands that taxpayers be able to produce up to seven years of records for a tax audit, and the ability of the IRS itself to claim that it has lost the very records that pertain to congressional and Justice Department Criminal investigations of the agency.

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