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June 23, 2014

Did Koskinen Actively Mislead Congress?

Ace researcher (I mean he's an ace at research, not that he's a researcher for Ace) Morgan Richmond notes this interesting tension between two statements made by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. (Most of this post is actually Richmond's analysis and writing; I've edited it a little, and added stuff near the end.)

Last week, Koskinen testified that it was "my decision" to withhold this information from Congress in February when IRS discovered that Lerner's emails from 2009-2011 were missing due to crash. he says that at 1:30 here.

He says he didn't want to tell Congress something that would cause Congress to "leap to conclusions" about the missing emails.

Now, per his recent testimony, he says he knew that the emails were lost (or possibly lost) due to a crash. He further says it was his decision to not tell Congress about this.

But compare this to his testimony to Congress on March 26. Representative Trey Gowdy asked him specifically about emails from 2010 and why they couldn't be retrieved more quickly:

Note that the reason Koskinen offers for the impossibility of delivering this information by the end of the week was that he had to screen the emails for "6103 material." (I guess that's possibly confidential material that would have to be redacted.)

However, at this point, Koskinen knows that the main reason the emails can't be delivered is that her computer "crashed" and that the emails can't be recovered.

There is a difference between merely failing to inform someone of a fact and deliberately misleading them with a false statement.

Koskinen's claim that he can't deliver emails due to the need to redact "6103 material" seems to be the latter. He's not merely failing to inform Trey Gowdy of the truth; he's actively offering statements which are false to avoid offering that truth.

Let me add something: Koskinen has donated over $100,000 to Democrats and Democratic causes since 1979.

Yes, that's over 40 years; but that is still and awful lot of money to donate to politics for anyone who's not a multimillionaire.

Nothing illegal about that -- but it does show he is an intense partisan.

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posted by Ace at 04:09 PM

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