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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Two reasons why IRS scandal is not going away anytime soon

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,IRS,Justice Department,Cleta Mitchell,Lois Lerner,Scandals

There are many reasons why the IRS scandal won't be going away any time soon, but two of the biggest are Cleta Mitchell and Jay Sekulow.

Mitchell is a tough-as-nails Washington attorney and former Oklahoma Democratic state legislator who specializes in campaign finance law and represents several of the key Tea Party groups in the scandal.

Sekulow is the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a Virginia-based educational foundation devoted to litigation on behalf of protecting traditional religious and constitutional values. Sekulow also represents a number of Tea Party groups targeted for harassment by the IRS.

We'll see you in court

Monday's release by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of a new report detailing how President Obama and congressional Democrats pushed the federal tax agency go after the Tea Party in 2010 also highlighted the key roles now being played by Mitchell and Sekulow.

Neither were impressed by the IRS claim that a computer crash destroyed nearly two years worth of emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner to and from people outside of her agency.

“To assert that a computer glitch eliminated key evidence in this case is the most egregious stonewalling tactic to date by the IRS,” Sekulow said.

The ACLJ is "reviewing all legal options to obtain these emails from other sources, which could include additional court filings."

Mitchell will, too

On the same day the new HOGR report was made public, Mitchell -- a partner in the Foley & Lardner law firm -- reminded Justice Department attorneys that multiple federal laws require preservation of all emails concerning official government business.

The emails must also be preserved as evidence in litigation, including the civil suit Mitchell filed against the government and a dozen individual IRS employees on behalf of True the Vote, one of the Tea Party group's most egregiously harassed by the IRS.

In other words, besides destroying federal property, anybody who may have had a hand in making that computer crash could also face evidence-tampering charges. Serious jail time follows convictions.

Mitchell also noted that "the failure for the IRS to preserve and provide these records to the committees would evidence either violations of numerous records retention statutes and regulations or obstruction of Congress."

Even if Congress never convenes another hearing on the IRS scandal, Mitchell and Sekulow will be uncovering new evidence for years to come.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Fracking raises workers' salaries and cuts state costs.

Watchdog/Richard Pollock: CFPB settles with whistleblower two days before Congress to hear more allegations of workplace abuses.

Watchdog/Mark Tapscott: New emails show IRS targeting of Tea Party groups followed demands by Obama, Hill Democrats.

Columnists/Byron York: Obama golfs while the Middle East burns.

Columnists/Cal Thomas: We need a policy of fighting Islamic terrorism that actually works.

Columnists/Gene Healy: "Don't do stupid stuff" is good foreign policy advice.

OpEds/Melanie Sturm: Real leaders accept responsibility for failure and credit victories to others.

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Yes, we've heard of crashing computers and no, we're not stupid.

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Michigan teachers' credit union attacks departing member's credit rating.

PennAve/David M. Drucker: How GOP is catching up with Democrats on data.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Five times Obama went around Congress.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Labrador tells Republicans House leadership race "needs another voice."

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Circuit court rules Redbox didn't break California law in class-action lawsuit.

In other news

CNN: U.S. moves more firepower to Middle East.

The New York Times: GM recalls another 3.3 million cars.

Time Magazine: Nine dead in new Islamic Jihadist attack in Kenya.

Righty Playbook

The American Spectator: The four horsemen of Hobby Lobby.

Washington Free Beacon: "Caliphate inevitable" DHS adviser tweets.

The Daily Caller: Anonymous DOD official says Iraq is symptom of Obama's real problem, Syria.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Americans think school is for socializing our kids.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Iran offers Iraq "everything it needs to fight ISIS."

Daily Intelligencer: Delta learns giraffes don't usually live in Ghana.

UTNE Reader: Open systems and glass ceilings.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Did this California city bring down its murder rate by paying people not to kill?

Blog Right

Yid With Lid: Poll says 61 percent of Americans think Obama lied about Benghazi.

Hot Air: No one buying claim computer ate Lerner emails.

The Marginal Revolution: Are currency movements and capital outflows the relevant lever for China problems?

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Will Louisiana help make Gulf region an abortion-free zone?

In These Times: Why Brazil's World Cup protesters are so furious.

Pandagon: Is the word "girl" sexist?

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