As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Lew was Aware of IG Investigation in March 2013

CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Lew learned of the IG investigation in the fall of 2012 while he was White House chief of staff. It appears to me that I misinterpreted what he said, and that he actually was indicating he learned of it in March 2013 as Treasury Secretary. He actually said, as you see below, that it was a “matter of public knowledge” in the fall of 2012, which I interpreted to mean that he had learned of it then. I apologize for the error.

Below is a newly edited version of the story, updated Friday, May 17 at 10:30 pm ET

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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said today that he was aware in March 2013 of the Treasury inspector general probe of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but he claims he did not know the details of the investigation.

However, it’s not clear what Lew means by “details,” and he was not specific on the extent of his knowledge.

Lew spoke during an appearance on Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which will air tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Lew said what he learned last fall was “a matter of public knowledge.” From a a transcript of the interview:

I think that there was – the heads-up that I got was something that was a matter of public knowledge. It was posted on the IG’s website in the Fall of 2012. I believe that other is typically the practice that an inspector general notify the agencies when matters are opened. I was not aware of any details.

Lew said he was made aware of the IG investigation in March – after he had become Treasury Secretary – during a getting-to-know-you chat with the IG, though again he says he was not apprised of details.

Instead, Lew said he was not aware of “details” until last Friday, when news broke of the IRS targeting of conservatives.

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84 Responses to Lew was Aware of IG Investigation in March 2013

  1. I’ll just bet he was “aware” it. As in directing the IRS to “make it happen, but don’t tell us any details. I don’t want to know.”

  2. It seems pretty clear why Lew didn’t seek more information for Obama:
    Plausible Deniability. Isn’t that the banner that POTUS wears everyday?

    He tells us that he knew nothing of the latest scandal until he read about it in “the paper” a couple of days ago. Is he ignorant, incompetent, or untrustworthy? Whatever his excuse, it would be enough for the head of a business to get the boot. Can you imagine the CEO of a large company in Japan having the scandals Obama is at the top of? Stepping down might be the least of his choices. Over there, accountability and honor are paramount. Unlike our President, some people are willing to point the finger of blame at themselves.

  3. The entire gaggle of “I know nothing” lefties in the Obama administration should always be hooked up to a lie detector when testifying before Congress. The graph coming out of the machine should be shown on the television screen so we can observe every lie. If we had a drink every time a lie was put forth, we’d all be drunk after 20 minutes of testimony.

    • “The graph coming out of the machine ….”

      Would reflect the “graft” coming out of the administration.
      I wouldn’t hook them to polygraph unless it let off an electrical shock.

  4. The people in this administration are idiots. AND SO ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED HIM. Sorry about that but maybe if we all shouted at the nitwits they’d come out of their Obama Kool-Aid induced trance.

      • I’ll settle for Voter photo i.d. laws because people too stupid to obtain one shouldn’t vote either :D It’s been proven that states that require them noticed a huge drop in election fraud.

        • I agree with you, however as long as Holder is AG it will not happen, sadly. And if he were to be replaced by Deval or Big Sis, it still might go no where.

  5. Since Obama swept all of the current scandals under the carpet in order to steal the election from Mitt Romney, why can’t we impeach him for election fraud, voter intimidation, lies, gross incompetence, dereliction of duty, treason, maliciously putting Americans in harm’s way, and gross failure to uphold his Oath of Office. The list of charges against him if we wanted to go back to 2009 would be as long as the Mississippi river! Witj Obama, we are in uncharted waters. His removal should be swift – we can’t afford to drag it out for 3 more years!

    • Eh…if 3 years of death by a thousand scandals is the price we have to pay to put the Democratic Party out of business forever, I think we’d all take that, yes?

      Let me throw a bit of Eastern philosophy out here. If you do a yarrow reading in I Ching, you’ll be left with 6, 7, 8, or 9 groups of 4 yarrow stalks at the end of each division. Even numbers are yin (female), odd numbers are yang (male). 6 is as the “greater yin”–as yin as it gets–and 9 is the “greater yang”–as yang as it gets. 7 is the “lesser yang”, and 8 is the “lesser yin.”

      Here’s how that looks visually:

      9–Greater Yang
      8–Lesser Yin
      7–Lesser Yang
      6–Greater Yin

      Each number represents one line in a “gua”, the symbol you get once you’ve drawn six lines. You then look up the gua in the book, and read the interpretation.

      However, some lines of the gua change, and here’s where it gets counter-intuitive–and also where it’s relevant.

      The lines that change are the GREATER lines, the 6’s and 9’s. Lesser yin and lesser yang stay where they are. Greater yang changes to yin, greater yin changes to yang. What it all boils down to is that extremes of anything tend to bring their opposites about. Exceeding fortune has a way of bringing about misfortune; extreme misfortune tends to teach us the lessons we need to be fortunate; and so on.

      What that all means–and I apologize for the essay here–is this. I think that, as a Nation, we are seeing “greater tyranny,” in the Taoist sense. In other words, what’s going on right now is so extreme that it will ultimately bring about its opposite, which is freedom.

      Even the lo-fo voters will start to understand next year when their health insurance premiums jump (I’ve heard anywhere from 100 to 400 percent.) Even Democrats understand it’s wrong to use the IRS as a partisan attack dog. And even sheeple understand that lying your way through an election, and revealing that you knew the truth all along once you’re safely beyond accountability, is dishonesty in the extreme.

      So if we have to put up with Sir Golfsalot for the next three and a half years, when he’s stuck with zero political capital and the dissension of the governed, I’ll take it if that’s what finally destroys the Democratic Party as a legitimate political voice in American civic discourse.

      Let them have their Greater Tyranny. Once it’s over, our liberty will be back.

      • Even the lo-fo voters will start to understand next year when their health insurance premiums jump (I’ve heard anywhere from 100 to 400 percent.)

        Many LIV’s don’t pay for their insurance already.

        • The LIV don’t pay for their health insurance or prescriptions, we do. As long as they have their lives made comfortable with free cell phones, food vouchers, housing subsidies, health insurance, free medications plus a monthly support check they will never vote their benefits away.

  6. OT Lew, but funny. I saw this on Twitchy. Clever.

    First Amendment, Second Rate, Third World, Fourth Estate, Fifth Column #AmericanMediaByTheNumbers

  7. I live in a country with very high taxes. Our system could only work with an “IRS” ( skattemyndighet) that is respected and trusted. What if something like this happened ? It´s so mindboggling, fearsome. The IRS turning into a Gestapo, intimidating, overwhelming, spying ??? It´s abuse of power of the worst kind.. Now, when the mask is slipping and the evidence is out, what will happen to the moral of the taxpayers ? Why stick to the rules when the government does not ? Why pay taxes ? Yes, why indeed ? So Little Barry and the wife can have more fancy parties in the White House, more vacations, more travels ??? This will take years to repair. My disgust for Barry and his gang is soon beyond words. Auntie M and Sadie mentioned “banana republic”, yes, that´s what it looks like. And Barry looks like a Third World dictator. Have you seen the picture of him at a podium with a Marine holding up an umbrella for him ? Barry is so unmanly, so unamerican. Good heavens Barry, hold on to your own umbrella, or grab a newspaper and use as a shield. Don´t just stand there like that , you silly sissy. Oh, I give up.

  8. It ok Keith. We know we will get honest reporting and analysis here. Besides, who is keeping score?

    P.S. Keith 209,351…Lions 1.

  9. Starting in 2009, the woman who was in charge of the group that targetted conservative group and who is in charge of heath-care enforcement, Sara Hall Ingram, recieved bonuses. The bonuses went from $7,000.00 to $34,000.00.

    Was she being groomed?

    • Most certainly. As are many others. Its been coming building for many years. These people cant really be fired and the unions will obfuscate most anything. Does anyone think Acting Commissar Miller who resigned is left to fend for himself in the private sector?
      There are so many dependant on gvmt already either by employment or entitlement. The there is a massive pool that gets de facto grease money in grants and contracts…Higher Ed and healthcare especially. Do you think these groups going to ignore the incentive motive?
      This is all a bit like playing chess in the dark except we are the only ones in the dark. If the media were to pull back the curtain a bit more…if only a bit.

      • It’s as if Ingram was being shaped and tested to adhere to the administration’s goals of destroying conservative opponents.

        I wonder if FCMABBHO is looking for her replacement.

        • you know he is.. chuckling how McCaskill is yelling for all their heads to roll (involved or just touched the issue). Hopefully they should be shown the door. Maybe they should pay back any bonuses issued. Some jail time.

  10. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/vid…l_america.html
    Please take a minute to watch this testimony and tell I am not crazy. Kevin Brady talks about a woman who started a Tea Party and applies for tax exemption. She then is harrased by four, maybe more different agencies. Who is telling the other agencies and why is this not a bigger scandal than it seems? Am I nuts or is this just being overlooked?

  11. Let me get this straight; the President’s Chief of Staff knew the IRS was targeting conservative groups in the Fall of 2012 (pre-election), did not tell the President then and then gets promoted to be head of the Treasury which oversees the IRS. I hear, smell, see and taste a duck!

    • Big Difference…

      Keith makes a correction saying he was mistaken

      The White House makes “corrections” to cover their mistakes.

      Another steaming serving of “Rice”, Mr. President?

  12. Two questions that Dictator Obama needs to answer under oath (not that this would guarantee he would answer truthfully):

    1. Where were you the night of Benghazi and did you give the stand down order to the military assets and if not who did?

    2. Did you give the order to the IRS to target your political enemies?

    If Dictator Obama answered either one or both of these questions honestly he would be impeached.

    • Great questions, Junius. Enough people in the know have indicated that stand-down orders can only be issued by the commander-in-chief. Somewhere in the vast tentacles of the leviathan is hard evidence of two stand-down orders – one given to Tyrone Woods, which he bravely and selflessly ignored to save the embassy staff in Benghazi, and one given to LTC Gibson, who we have yet to hear from.

      Although we’ll never find a written or recorded order instructing the IRS to target conservatives, Obama’s words and deeds prove the intent was explicit. He is the CEO of the Executive Branch and the IRS is an agency under his direction. He sets the tone for the actions of the alphabet agencies, and he is ultimately responsible for their deeds.

      Unfortunately, impeachment will never happen. Boehner is a tool for this regime and even when he is replaced, Harry Reid will never allow it to see the light of day. I’d be satisfied to see the bureaucracy exposed and eventually dismantled. Let him and his family live the life of royalty for his last 3 1/2 years in office, while his legacy is being dismembered. Let him go down in the history books as a lesson to future generations that We The People, girded by our Constitution and American exceptionalism, withstood the perils of tyranny for a second time since our founding.

      • Well said, Susan. The Obamas are going nowhere until 2017.
        The best we can hope for is to slow the march of government over our freedoms.
        It’s imperative that small-government Repubs take over the Senate in 2014.

      • I believe that somehow, and I may be delusional, there are still enough people in this country who will raise up in righteous fury and demand that the office of the presidency be restored to its’ former glory. Maybe, just maybe all of these scandals and the new ones which will surface over the next few months will awaken an outrage so strong that it will engulf this Dictator and his circle of communist thugs like a tidal wave so tall and powerful that enough of the democrats in Congress will endorse impeachment in order to save their own political skins in 2014. I pray that I am correct.

  13. That’s even worse–did he order it to stop now…did Obama come out and with (real) outrage say, “I just learned of this and it ENDS TODAY!” No…. I am sick of the president’s wussy little half-acknowledgments and “remarks”–give him an Oscar to go with his Nobel.

    • And he should say–all apps for tax-exempt status will be granted as of today, period, the people who did this will be fired with no pension, and ….

      Oh, well, I can dream. Of course, even if he maintained plausible deniability, they thought they were doing what he wanted or maybe even what the campaign people wanted. That would be a huge no-no, if the campaign people were calling these shots.

  14. I am confused–our paper (Ass Press story) said that IG guy George said they investigation started in June of 2012, a year ago. I have heard it was known long before that that people in on-favored groups were being given a hard time and being stalled on being able to accept tax-exempt donations.

  15. I am sure we would be sick if we knew what this man has been doing for 5 years and his plans for our country in the next 3. the 3 things we know is nothing that we don’t. I do believe he hates America and Christian Americans. We are at war from the inside out and we need to wake up and see what is really going on.

    • Yeah, where is that slumbering giant when you need him. Of course, O’Reilly had more idiot on the street interviews last nite with people who had never heard the tern Benghazi and did not know the name of the VP (this kid was at Berkeley, there goes that money, Mom and Dad).

  16. Let’s consider the facts:

    This Jack Lew fellow — who is now, and was the United States Treasury Secretary back a few months ago in March of this year — now “definitively” admits that he learned about the IRS scandal that had been erupting for a few years in the arguably most sensitive agency within the federal Department that he was and is in charge of running, during a get together chat with the IG, but he says he did not learn the details at the time!

    Think about that for a second. Is that even remotely credible?

    IG: “Jack, welcome aboard, and best of luck! Oh, by the way, I should mention in passing that there seems to be a bit of a problem that has been brewing in the IRS over the past few years. Seems that several of our offices around the country were systematically requiring conservative groups of various stripes to jump through major hoops in order to get any ‘exempt’ status, while they were simultaneously handing out full exemption status to lots of ‘friendlies” in record time, such as, for example, the President’s ongoing campaign successor operation.”

    SEC’Y LEW: Eh … no problem! Listen, I don’t need the details right now. I have a full schedule of these get-together meetings to attend to as you can imagine, and it really doesn’t sound like anything I need to worry about any time soon. We’ve got plenty of time for getting into the weeds. Maybe some time in May we could start to deal with this. So, take your time and send me a heads-up in writing if you really feel the need to expound a bit on this. I’ll get one of my new people to review it. And thanks again for stopping by. I look forward to working with you.

    Now, Jack Lew is not a political neophyte. We know that because he was for a time the Chief of Staff to the President. That job has never been one given to someone who did not have extraordinary political radar. But even someone with zero political radar skills would have sought the details immediately!

    To put it bluntly, Jack Lew is either lying now, or he just plain isn’t up to the job. Either way, he should be gone.

    • He was on my “your family misses ya” list–along with Jarrett and Donilon. I see Donilon all over the Benghazi mess–and that Rhodes guy. But hey, what do I know–I am just a dumb citizen in a family room in Podunk.

      • “Smells like Donilon” ought to be made into a political button — by Democrats!

        “Smells like a Lew” should too!

        Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s former pollster, has had no use for Tom Donilon in recent years (Donilon got his start working for Carter), for the very basic reason that as Caddell has repeatedly pointed out, Tom Donilon is first and foremost a political operative and not — as he has attempted to re-cast himself — a national security expert. He’s become the leaker in chief, according to Pat.

        But this IRS story has the stench of Jack Lew all over it. And in my opinion, it will be shown to have been known to him for a whole lot longer period than a mere two months. He and his boss Obama were trying to get ahead of the story — some reporter must have been sniffing around and piecing it together. Lew’s claim that he just found out about it in March, and not in any detail, is just not credible.

        I understand Keith drawing back from his earlier claim because he wants to be provably accurate. But when the whole story begins to spin out — and it will — I’ll guarantee that Jack Lew knew about this in detail a long, long time ago.

        I don’t know who cooked up the idea, or who approved it. But I do know to some extent about how government operates because I participated in, and was familiar with the operation of State Government in New Jersey for several years, and on several levels.

        Rule number one is that governments on our state or national level keep a very, very close and tight handle on all sources of revenues, and on policy implementations that can easily affect the flow thereof. Particularly at a time when the federal government was running huge and quite unsustainable deficits, driven by a policy of rampant spending in an effort to “stimulate” the economy, the natural inclination of the administrators was to cut off the resources that could aid their vocal critics. The 2010 election was the clarion call, and I would include the run-up period to that election — their polling told them where things were headed with the growth of Tea Party, and other conservative groups.

        I think we’ll eventually learn that this policy was refined and directed by operatives who were very close indeed to the President. And I have little doubt that Jack Lew was aware of a whole lot more about it than he is willing to own up to at this point.

        Suffice it to say that there was a good political reason Obama installed Lew at Treasury.

  17. There are only three possibilities in this scenario.

    Either a) Obama ordered the IRS to start punishing his enemies, or he didn’t. If he didn’t, THEN either b) he knew what was going on, or c) he didn’t.

    If it was a), then we have an honest-to-God dictator in the White House.

    If b), then he is criminally negligent, if not an accessory.

    If c), then he is so dangerously incompetent that his lack of leadership threatens the very safety of the republic.

    If there’s another scenario, I’d like to know what it is.

    But if it’s any of those three I’ve listed, how can Obama NOT be removed from office?

    • There may be another scenario–the underlings, incl agency heads, think like he does (play dirty, win at all costs) and thought they were helping him and it would be appreciated (people could not donate in that election cycle).I think all this was wink and nod stuff, and pushed by Congressional Dems, too, I might add.

      • No, when you have several IRS offices, including the one in DC, simultaneously implementing elements of virtually the same illegal operation, the likelihood that it was a “bottom up” operation evaporates.

        There was an early effort to contain this “revelation” to the IG investigation of the Cincinnati, Ohio office. But that quickly fell apart when abuses from several offices nationwide came to light.

      • But the IRS is part of the executive branch. It reports, ultimately, to the president. So even if this really WAS just a whole bunch of offices all over the country all deciding independently to knowingly commit equal protection violations, this goes back to “can’t control his own department.”

        The only way your scenario holds would be if the collectivist culture had so polluted the IRS that the entire agency is now an imminent danger to American liberty. In that case, perhaps Obama might get away with staying, but the entire IRS would need to be swiftly shut down. FairTax, anyone?

        • Heh! Good luck with that one . . . group think so run amok that government officials nationwide simultaneously violate individuals’ rights, all in strikingly similar ways!

          Plan? What plan? There was a plan? How come no one told us? We were just doin’ what came nacherly!

      • And here is more proof of coordination of this illegal scheme — a Tea Party organization with participation from the former Executive Director of the Hawaii Republican Party, was simultaneously targeted by two IRS offices, with costly audits and demands for explanations of the organization’s relationship with the individual, Dylan Nonaka, one of which was the Cincinnati IRS Office, and the other was the Baltimore office.

        Now let’s see, who do we know has ties to Hawaii . . . Oh, wait!

    • By way of comparison:

      An illegal wiretapping plan was hatched during the Nixon Administration by government officials, to spy on political party opponents to illegally wiretap the phones of a few top Democrat officials in their offices at the Watergate Hotel, in order to to get insider information, and with the overall intention of gaining a political advantage in coming election contests, including the Presidential Election of 1972.

      Operatives were caught in the act of tapping the phones, and a coverup was launched to mask the chain of responsibility — i.e., to shield those who had actually initiated and ordered the initiation of the scheme, and more broadly, to shield those who were aware of the scheme, and when they became aware.

      In this case, operatives within the Obama Administration actually launched a broad-based program of corrupt governmental action on a massive scale at the IRS, purposefully intended to create a legal status disadvantage 1) for political opponents in the opposition party, and 2) for more broadly based critics, each in turn intended to frustrate their attempts to exercise legitimate legal and constitutional rights.

      Government officials did so by systematically seeking to either sabotage their opponents legitimate efforts to exercise their rights via legitimate organizational status, including by launching time consuming investigations of organizations and their principals; or by systematically imposing illegitimate burdens on their attempts to achieve such organizational status, all the while simultaneously fast-tracking and boosting the same organizational status recognition of the Administration’s various identifiable political allies, even including granting the highly irregular retroactive approval of an organization headed by a relative of the President.

      At a minimum, therefore, this effort appears to have constituted a massive and systematic denial of the equal protection of the law, obviously intended for partisan advantage, and was a massive attempted restraint on the exercise of fundamental rights via organizational status, which effort was also intended for partisan political purposes.

      What we don’t know yet is the extent to which high officials in the Obama Administration may have either planned and/or ordered the implementation of this scheme, and who in the White House was aware of this effort, and when. There are strong indications, however, that this was known to officials and covered up during the fall of 2012, during the Presidential Election.

      • Also, government officials illegally leaking confidentially supplied information regarding Administration opponents and critics, and doing so for partisan political advantage.