McCain minority staff director Henry Kerner to IRS official Lois Lerner and other IRS officials: “the solution is to audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”
A top political and government watchdog on Thursday released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Arizona’s GOP U.S. Sen. John McCain’s former chief of staff and chief counsel on the Senate’s Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, on behalf of McCain, cooperated with renegade staffers at the IRS.
Kerner, on behalf of his boss McCain, urged top IRS officials, including then-Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many [Tea Party groups and conservative organization] that it becomes financially ruinous,” according to Judicial Watch’s Director of Public Affairs Jill Farrell’s alert to the media.
The information was gleaned from notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Lerner and other IRS officials also met with staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
Senator McCain, working with far-left Democrat, Sen. Feingold, had been one of the main sponsors of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”
In the full notes of the 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.
Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”
The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups. In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.
On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
All of these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013.
In a press statement Judicial Watch said it’s attorneys are seeking:
- All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
- All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
- Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
- All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.
“The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats wanted to regulate political speech which lost in the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“The Obama IRS scandal is not over – as Judicial Watch continues to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment rights of Americans,” Fitton noted.
McCain and the Dirty Dossier
McCain not only obtained what’s known as the “dirty dossier” coupled with the question of to whom did he give copies of the “salacious and shocking” besides federal law enforcement officers.
Admission by McCain
Sen. John McCain said he did “what any citizen would do” in turning over to the FBI a so- called dirty dossier, that allegedly contained unconfirmed secrets about president-elect Donald Trump, over to the FBI. The Arizona Senior Senator has gained a reputation as a “reasonable conservative” but his critics say he is “neither reasonable nor is he a conservative.”
A former intelligence officer told NewswithViews.com that the left-leaning British newspaper, The Guardian, described how the dossier came to be and how McCain got his hands on the super-secret documents.
“I first heard about this mysterious dossier when I was checking out an Inside the Beltway private detective and security firm. The firm allegedly tapped Trump‘s campaign staff and his allies hoping to find negative ammunition against the true Republican Maverick, Donald Trump,” said former military intelligence operative and New York police detective Michael Snopes.
“I know… I know… Senator John McCain is the guy the Democrats love to use to slam the GOP because most of the time he has cooperated with the Democrats, especially now,” said Iris Aquino, a former police official and now a director of security for a major corporation.
“If you look up the political term RINO in a dictionary it should carry a picture of McCain with the definition ‘Republican In Name Only,’” said police adviser for the National Law Enforcement Legal Defense Society, Charles Coultner.
Shortly after the election — that left Donald Trump the winner and Hillary Clinton the loser — John McCain attended a Canadian conference and spoke with a ‘former senior western diplomat’ who knew of the dossier’s existence, claims the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.
Sir Andrew Wood described to reporters his dealings with McCain: “I would like to stress that I did not pass on any dossier to Senator McCain or anyone else and I did not see a dossier at the time.” However, it’s what Wood did not say that was interesting: He didn’t deny telling McCain about the dirty dossier.