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White House Damage Control Script Jeopardized By New Disclosures

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Zero Hedge
May 20, 2013

It has been a tough weekend for the President. First, the CEO of the Associated Press states the government’s seizure of AP phone records was “so broad and so secret,” among other factors, “that it was an unconstitutional act,” adding that it had already had a chilling effect on newsgathering and press freedom…

Add to that James Goodale’s comments (the leading force behind the release of the Pentagon Papers and first amendment lawyer), that President Obama is “worse for press freedom than Nixon” and things are not going well…

But, the problems did not stop there as the Wall Street Journal reports that while President Obama claims not to have been made aware of the IRS indiscretions until May 10th it seems the White House’s chief lawyer learned weeks ago that an audit of the IRS likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

In the week of April 22, the Office of the White House Counsel and its head, Kathryn Ruemmler, were told by Treasury Department attorneys that an inspector general’s report was nearing completion, the White House official said. In that conversation, Ms. Ruemmler learned that “a small number of line IRS employees had improperly scrutinized certain…organizations by using words like ‘tea party’ and ‘patriot,’ ” the official said.

The White House, which declined to make Ms. Ruemmler available for comment Sunday, wouldn’t say whether she shared the information with anyone else in the senior administration staff.

When findings are so potentially damaging, the president should immediately be informed, said Lanny Davis, who served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton.

Of the controversies dogging Mr. Obama, including the terrorist assault in Benghazi, Libya, and the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records of Associated Press journalists, the IRS case “is the most nuclear issue of all,” Mr. Davis said. It involves the “misuse of the IRS” and “anyone who knew about this a few weeks ago and didn’t tell the president shouldn’t be in the White House,”

Republican lawmakers on House oversight committees are pressing the investigation, with more hearings set for this week.

Exactly who in the administration knew what about the IRS targeting is one of the key outstanding questions,” said Rep. Darrell Issa

“… President Obama and his administration seem more preoccupied with having deniability than quickly addressing serious wrongdoing…”

The President’s response so far is that “we’re not going to participate in is a partisan fishing expedition.”

 

This article was posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 4:34 am





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