May have finally been found:
“The David Fish email proves the IRS originated and fed to Senate Democrats the idea of threatening conservatives with criminal prosecution for engaging in political speech – specifically with an eye towards the 2014 cycle. It’s the strongest proof yet that there should indeed be criminal prosecutions, not of conservatives but of the IRS bureaucrats who conspired to suppress them,” said Phil Kerpen, the president of American Commitment and one who has followed this issue closely since it first become public knowledge.
Interestingly, sources close to the House Committee on Ways and Means, one of the congressional panels looking into the issue, is not at all certain the document containing the Fish email was given to the panel subsequent to a rather broad, comprehensive subpoena of the IRS.
There is also this message from Lerner, also made public as a result of the Judicial Watch FOIA. In it she writes, “As I mentioned yesterday – there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report that are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t fell so comfortable doing the stuff. … So don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”
Gee, what does this remind me of? Oh, that’s right:
Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a “crude” analogy he once told his staff about his “philosophy of enforcement.”
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them.
“And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” he said.
Armendariz went on to say that “you make examples out of people who are in this case not complying with the law … and you hit them as hard as you can” — to act as a “deterrent” to others.
And in the IRS case, Catherine Engelbrecht was the designated crucifixee.
These totalitarians should not be allowed anywhere near the reins of power.
John Hinderaker has been looking at the documents, too:
…the emails are heavily redacted. Almost all of the redactions cite exemption b5, which is very general; it covers any document or portion of a document that would not have to be produced in a civil action. Actually, if documents fall within the scope of a Rule 34 request, the circumstances under which they do not need to be produced are quite narrow. While it is impossible to judge the appropriateness of a redaction without knowing what has been blacked out, there are a number of instances where it is hard to believe that any normally recognized privilege would apply.
Given what we’ve seen already, imagine what they’re still trying to hide. It’s hard to imagine all this inter-agency coordination without White House involvement. I’ll bet that it’s tied to the campaign, too.
[Update a few minutes later]
The IRS behavior has clearly become more sinister:
Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.
This is not America.
“In short, it was a politically motivated witch hunt.”