Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's Special Prosecutor Time

At least that's what Ron Fournier of National Journal thinks and I agree.  Fournier is a journalist who's made no secret that he is favorably disposed toward the Democrats and has written articles critical of the Republican take on this matter but at this point he writes:

If the IRS can't find the emails, maybe a special prosecutor can . . .
The announcement came late Friday, a too-cute-by-half cliche of a PR strategy to mitigate backlash

The White House is stonewalling the IRS investigation. The most benign explanation is that Obama's team is politically expedient and arrogant, which makes them desperate to change the subject, and convinced of their institutional innocence. That's bad enough. But without a fiercely independent investigation, we shouldn't assume the explanation is benign.

It is difficult to believe that these emails were lost in a crash on Lois Lerner's computer, which is the government claim, since government agencies have multiple server backups and, in fact, are required to do so by government regulation. 

My only disagreement is that I think the special prosecutor needs to also investigate what, by all appearances, appears to be a phony investigation by Eric Holder's Justice Department which should be no surprise since, as Fournier notes, the President himself has said that there is "Not even a smidgen of corruption" (he must have come to this conclusion as a result of the findings of his parallel, independent investigation of the IRS).

And further to my comment in Friday's post about the media, the New York Times carried NO mention of the missing emails in either Saturday or Sunday's editions.  The paper's stenographers are, no doubt, awaiting word from the Administration on the proper Party Line to take before they publish anything.  This is standard operating procedure for the Times.  A great example is Fast and Furious, the Holder Justice Department scandal in which ATF agents facilitated the legal purchase of semi-automatic weapons from dealers in the American southwest and then arranged their transfer, in an untraceable manner, to Mexican drug cartels.  The result is that weapons purchased under this program were used to kill at least two American border agents and several hundred people in Mexico (perhaps the Administration's unofficial immigration policy was "kill 'em before they cross the border").  Fast and Furious caused a great outcry in Mexico but readers of the New York Times would not have known since the paper ignored the controversy completely for several years until the paper's Justice Department stenographer was summoned by Eric Holder who informed him that those raising the allegations were racists which the Times dutifully reported in a front page article.

Also in line with my prior comments, Powerline, a blog run by two Washington lawyers, which in my experience has good and pretty reliable sources within DOJ, printed an email from a lawyer in the department:

I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

He reiterates in a postscript:
I’m serious about your keeping any identifying information out of the media. Things are very, very bad.

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