John McCain just passed and already there are already few skeletons coming out of the closet. What might be considered a bombshell of a report has now surfaced from the Washington Times and Judicial Watch as they crack open the pandora box of revelations that suggest Senator John McCain’s office was suggesting that the IRS should use audits as weapons of political destruction. They apparently urged “the IRS under Lois Lerner to strike out against political advocacy groups, including tea party organizations” proving that there is once again a little bit of corruption everywhere you go. Even Barack Obama’s name is mentioned and this is clearly just the tip of an iceberg doomed to melt into a sea of missing facts if people don’t investigate and reveal it now. McCain has passed, so no further information can be attained from him and any secrets he kept are gone for good unless somehow documented or known by others.
The Washington Times stated that there was an “extensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that has been delayed for many years” but that a group called Judicial Watch has finally gotten ahold of multiple emails dating back to 2013 that talk about what McCain and Sen. Carl Levin were doing. It then mentions advocacy groups that came about shortly after the Citizens United decision was made by the Supreme Court.
It’s about to get good. You might need to blink a few times before continuing. Let’s do it together.
Apparently, the documents that were more or less unraveled included some notes that stemmed from a meeting on April 30, 2013. It was a meeting that was considered “high-level” and it included people from McCain’s staff and Levin’s staff. Lerner was also there. “The notes reveal the suggestions from McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner who urges Lerner to use IRS audits on the advocacy groups to financially ruin them.”
In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”
Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.
Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting. Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.” The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.
Multiple updates have since been posted regarding that rather alarming behavior and the fact that government folks seemed bent on using the IRS and the threat of audits to cause a bit of an issue for some people.
If what they’re saying is true, then it might have been a very nasty move to take people down, but also a strategically a great move. Either way, people will debate if it was just or corrupt and unethical. It likely falls into the category of being unethical or worse, but that’s for you to decide.
The Washington Times reported that McCain’s office had released a statement regarding this fiasco and accusations, claiming that there was no merit behind them. True or false, we’re not sure. All we know is that some people are reporting one thing, but McCain’s office is saying another. Maybe we should get a little bit more information on this before making a final judgment. One thing that’s for sure is this: why and how is any of this coming up in the first place? Was a website making this up out of thin air? If they’re telling the truth, then is McCain’s office’s statement below a lie? Who is telling the truth?
“Judicial Watch’s allegations that Senator McCain was somehow involved in the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups were debunked in 2015 and have no merit. As the record shows, Senator McCain was one of the most outspoken critics of the IRS’s bias against conservative groups and abuse of power under the Obama Administration. After the extent of IRS targeting of conservative groups was revealed, he called for Lois Lerner to be fired. And as Ranking Member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he released a 37-page dissenting report refuting the Democrats’ Majority report claiming the IRS showed no bias against conservative groups. Judicial Watch has once again gone out of its way to smear Senator McCain’s strong record of oversight of IRS practices, and fabricate outlandish conspiracy theories that are totally contradicted by the facts.”
We have a lot of digging to do. Who is telling the truth? What really happened? Who else knows about all of this? What else was McCain linked to and what new information will be revealed?
The late McCain is being buried but his skeletons are creeping to the surface.