Cleta Mitchell to the IRS: Answer This

Scott Johnson
Power Line
6/16/2014

Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell represents True the Vote, one of the groups illegally targeted by the IRS in the scandals that have exposed the agency as a partisan operation. True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht has been harassed by federal law enforcement authorities representing three different federal agencies. They represent the price of politics in the Age of Obama.

Cleta has just served the letter below on the attorneys at the Department of Justice representing the IRS in True the Vote’s pending lawsuit referenced in the subject line below. She has also served the letter on Steptoe & Johnson partner Brigida Benitez. Benitez comes in for special attention in Cleta’s letter; she represents the IRS defendants who are sued in their individual capacity.

Cleta has graciously forwarded a copy of her letter to us. Given the newsworthiness of the subject, we are promptly posting it verbatim without further comment for the moment:

RE: TTV v. IRS et al, 1:13-cv-00734 (D.D.C.), Litigation Hold – Preservation of Responsive Evidence..

…Late Friday, the IRS apparently advised the Ways & Means Committee that the IRS has “lost” Lois Lerner’s hard drive which includes thousands of Defendant Lerner’s e-mail records. However, several statutes and regulations require that the records be accessible by the Committees, and, in turn, must be preserved and made available to TTV in the event of discovery in the pending litigation. Those statutes include the Federal Records Act, Internal Revenue Manual section 1.15.6.6 (which refers to the IRS’s preservation of electronic mail messages), IRS Document 12829 (General Records Schedule 23, Records Common to Most Offices, Item 5 Schedule of Daily Activities), 36 C.F.R. 1230 (reporting accidental destruction,) and 36 CFR 1222.12. Under those records retention regulations, and the Federal Records Act generally, the IRS is required to preserve emails or otherwise contemporaneously transmit records for preservation.

Therefore, 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…

 

 

Read the entire letter at Power Line.

 

 
Related: IRS Commissioner Subpoenaed to Testify About Lost Lois Lerner Emails

…In a letter to (IRS Commissioner John) Koskinen today, Chairman of the Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that the Federal Records Act (FRA) was passed by Congress to avoid this very scenario…

 

 
IRS Gave FBI 1.1 Million Pages of Taxpayer Data to Encourage Prosecution of Conservatives

…The facts, as we know them so far, were laid out yesterday in a letter from Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan to John Koskinen, Commissioner of the IRS. The letter includes a series of emails that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has finally obtained, after more than a year of stonewalling by the Obama administration. The IRS originally told the House committee–falsely–that the disks contained only publicly available filings by the non-profit organizations. But the IRS later admitted that it had illegally transferred confidential taxpayer information to the FBI…

 

 

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