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Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-were-just-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news that the IRS lost email scandal is far from over. Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) has sent a formal letter to the National Security Agency asking it to hand over "all its metadata" on the e-mail accounts of a former division director at the Internal Revenue Service. "Your prompt cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will help establish how IRS and other personnel violated rights protected by the First Amendment," Stockman wrote on Friday. The request came hours after the IRS told a congressional committee that it had "lost" all of the former IRS Exempt Organizations division director's e-mails between January 2009 and April 2011.
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Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

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  • by Craig Cruden (3592465) on Monday June 16, 2014 @06:41PM (#47249827)
    There are two independent issues. The investigation is about using the IRS to pursue the political agenda or those that are in charge of the IRS. The 501c is a separate issue. Non-profit status should only be inferred on charitable organizations or religious (i.e. not political) , and the congress could make those changes anytime it wants.
  • Re:Just imagine "if" (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:04PM (#47250013)

    they'll deny it

    yup. the official response, if there ever is one, will go something like this.

    "we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested data in our records. to do so would be a risk to national security."

    (because whether they can produce the data, and to what extent, would reveal information about programs that will be claimed to be 'sensitive' or 'classified')

  • by Jaxim (858185) on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:07PM (#47250049) Homepage

    Fine. So long as they also do it for liberal groups like the Unions. But that won't ever happen because liberals like to play by a different set of rules.

  • Obviously a coverup (Score:1, Informative)

    by amightywind (691887) on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:12PM (#47250083) Journal
    This is obviously a cover up. Time to for a special prosecutor. Let's get some demonrats under oath, as if that mattered to them. Nixon was impeached for threatening to use the IRS as a political weapon. Obama has done it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:18PM (#47250125)

    Do you have ANY comprehension of what you seem to be supporting????? Consider:

    Person A pays his taxes. Person B pays his taxes. Person C pays his taxes.

    Persons A,B, and C form a club, and each tosses-in a few dollars to fund club activities.

    WHY ON EARTH is the government automatically entitled to apply a new tax to the already taxed money the three people chipped-in????

    Now let's extend this a bit...

    The club has functions of general benefit to society. Anything from providing medicine to needy kids, or food to hungry families, or teaching English to immigrants, helping drunks get sober, you name it ... and wealthy person D decides to donate to the cause. For a wide variety of historical and cultural reasons, in the US it has long been policy to not tax the money that person D donates to help the club. The general reason is that the US was never intended to be socialist - it had a small government and left "social welfare" to a huge array of voluntary and charitable organizations. Money already flowing to such organizations was already deemed to be in the public good, and it was therefore redundant and counter-productive to tax it "for the public good".

    do-gooders on the left long-ago declared that actions in the political realm were in this very nature of being "beneficial to society" and in that vein, the labor unions were enabled to become hugely involved in politics by disguising their Democrat-aligned election activities as "voter outreach", "volunteer training" and so-on and were able to do it under the 501(c4) section of the US code (which covers labor unions). For DECADES all the people on the left DEPENDED on this and defended it with lofty rhetoric about "civic responsibility" and so on. Only recently, as people on the right started to try using the same parts of US law in a similar way, have Democrats become critics - and ALL their proposals to remove the tax exemption have included the 501(c3) section of IRS code (which is where the non-union charities all are) while carefully and deliberately letting the 501(c4) section (which conveniently only applies to labor unions) stand. Any proposal to kill-off tax exemption for the 501(c3) groups in a partisan attempt to "get" the Koch Brothers or the TEA Party, will also hit things like the Shriners, Alcoholics Anon, Food Banks, etc while protecting the thugs at the UAW and the SEIU - an obnoxious result for something pretending to be "reform".

    IF you are going to remove ABSOLUTELY ALL tax exemptions from US Law, you'd at least be more fair than any proposal the Democrats have ever supported BUT you are still stuck with the problem of a group where all the members are contributing after-tax dollars: Should THAT money be re-taxed? I ask because many such proposals remove that tax exemption by declareing a gathering of people to be a new entity and the money chipped-in to be "income". Under that scheme there is no such thing as "freedom of assembly" because nearly every gathering costs money and as such would be taxed and regulated and subject to harassment and arbitrary suppression.

  • by UrsaMajor987 (3604759) on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:24PM (#47250163)
    The sad thing about this political firestorm is that not one person in a hundred can actually explain what it is about. It's amazing how many people think that the IRS was seeking to prevent the Tea Party from getting tax exempt status; that was never the issue, their tax exempt status was never in doubt. The issue was they were applying for 501(c)(4) status which is reserved for social welfare groups like civic leagues and volunteer fire departments. Social welfare groups are allowed to engage in political activity but it cannot be their primary activity. Wondering why the Tea Party wanted that 501(c)(4) designation? Such groups do not have to reveal who is donating money to them. There has been a large run up in the number of groups applying for the 501(c)(4) designation.
  • Re:Just imagine "if" (Score:2, Informative)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Monday June 16, 2014 @08:43PM (#47250773)

    the Democrat controlled IRS (during that time-period)

    ....while these emails are to and from a Bush appointee...

  • Re:Just imagine "if" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday June 16, 2014 @09:43PM (#47251215)

    No, they did not target one single organization. Instead they targeted multiple organizations, according to a popular viewpoint.
    From a different point of view, meaning from other news stations, they were asked to apply extra scrutiny to the rash of new requests for tax exempt status which was then performed overzealously by some staffers.
    The problem here is that rather than deciding which of these viewpoints are closer to the truth that guilt has been decided a-priori.

  • by funwithBSD (245349) on Monday June 16, 2014 @10:12PM (#47251389)

    They cannot explain OFA getting status, seeing how the supposed 501(4)(c) uses the Presidents Twitter account to make announcements.

    There is no way that the Tea Party applicants can be scrutinized when OFA was not, given the regulations. OFA is the proverbial camel that passed through the eye of a needle, while conservative organizations are being examined in detail.

    501(c)(4) organizations may inform the public on controversial subjects and attempt to influence legislation relevant to its program[44] and, unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as their primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.[45] The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities – generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election – is taxable.[46] An "action" organization generally qualifies as a 501(c)(4) organization.[47] An "action" organization is one whose activities substantially include, or are exclusively,[48] direct lobbying or grass roots lobbying related to advocacy for or against legislation or proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation that is related to its purpose.[49] A 501(c)(4) organization may directly or indirectly support or oppose a candidate for public office as long as such activities are not a substantial amount of its activities.[37][50]

  • Re:Just imagine "if" (Score:5, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:56AM (#47252437) Journal

    Actually, it isn't so much where the bodies are burried and more the civil service act. It limits the ability of administrations to rid non cabinet level positions and stack government with incompetent friends and donars. Of course the latest craze is to create a new position, call it a czar which has absolutely no power outside of recomending something to the administration and the gaft runs rich again.

    But this civil service act limits an administration's abilitty to clean house and makes sure somewhat competent people fill most of the positions.

    As for Learner being a bush appointee, it doesn't matter. We already have confirmation that she was working with someone in the white house. The extent and degree of legitimacy in that is what is trying to be determined.

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