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Tag: DOJ

Newly Uncovered E-Mails: IRS’ Lerner Discussed Targeting ‘Political’ Groups with DOJ

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New evidence has emerged to indicate that Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS scandal, was communicating with the Justice Department about pursuing groups trying to get a tax exempt status, Fox News reports.

E-mails between Lerner and the FBI raise questions about the extent to which the Obama administration was involved in the targeting.
In one email from May 2013, Lerner expounded on the possibility of pursuing tax-exempt groups that lie about their political activity.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ,” Lerner reportedly wrote to the office of Steven Miller, the agency’s acting director at the time. “He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who ‘lied’ on their 1024s — saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.

“DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.”

DOJ Finds ‘Strained’ Relationship Between FBI, Organized Crime Drug Task Force

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents were retaliated against for voicing concerns over operations at the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center, a DOJ inspector general concluded.

AllGov.com reports that OCDETF’s leadership also wasn’t cooperative.

The report described the relationship between the FBI agents in the task force and the center’s leaders as “strained.”

In some cases, according to the report, agents were retaliated against for expressing concerns about heavy workloads.

The center’s “management took actions that created difficulties for us in obtaining information from OFC [fusion center] employees and in ensuring that interview responses were candid and complete,” inspectors said.

Federal Government Allows ATF Official to Collect Two Salaries While on Leave

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A key figure in the Fast & Furious gun-running operation was permitted to collect two salaries while on leave from his federal government job, the Washington Times reports.

The Justice Department’s inspector general created the report after finding that three of William McMahon’s superiors with the ATF “exercised poor judgment” by allowing McMahon to collect his salary while also working for JP Morgan when he was on leave.

The two jobs also created a conflict of interest, the inspector general found.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 


Whistleblower, Ex-Arizona U.S. Attorney Says His Office Was Cast As Scapegoat

Fprmer U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who blew the whistle on the Fast and Furious gun investigation, said he leaked the information because he feared his superiors in Washington would unfairly blame the problems on his office, Main Justice reports.

During an Arizona State Bar disciplinary proceeding on March 27, Burke said his bosses were more concerned with political expediency than getting to the bottom of the problem.

Burke “believed that his office and employees were not being protected by DOJ, and that accurate and complete information was not being provided to the national media,” according to the disciplinary agreement.

Burke was issued a reprimand and accepted responsibility and agreed to $1,200 to reimburse the state bar, Main Justice wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Justice Department to Train Law Enforcement How to Work with Transgender People

courtSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Transgender people are disproportionately harmed by violence – so much so that the Justice Department is training law enforcement how to handle them as crime victims.

The idea is to help identify hate crimes and build more trust with law enforcement, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said at a ceremony unveiling the program. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

Police have been criticized for their responsiveness to crimes against transgender people, according to the AP.

Senators Call for Inspector General Investigation of Ethics Infractions by Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new report shows that Justice Department lawyers committed hundreds of ethics infractions ranging from recklessness to misconduct.

Now a bipartisan group of senators is supporting a bill that would empower the inspector general to conduct an investigation, NPR reports.

The senators want to bypass the traditional route – using the Office of Professional Responsibility, which reports to the Attorney General and has been criticized for being too secretive.

“Current law invites undue influence from the Attorney General’s office into the process and should be changed to ensure the integrity of investigations of misconduct within the Justice Department,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a prepared statement.

The bill would give the inspect general limitless jurisdiction.

Some of the cases involve intentionally misleading courts.

Attorney General Holder to Announce Reductions in Drug Sentences Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying too many Americans are spending an excessive amount of time behind bars for drugs, the Justice Department is expected to announce a proposal today that would reduce some sentences and relieve overcrowded prisons, Reuters reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to deliver the speech at 9 a.m.

The change would impact about 70% of future drug trafficking defendants.

“Certain types of cases result in too many Americans going to prison for far too long, and at times for no truly good public safety reason,” Holder will tell the commission, according to an excerpt of his speech released ahead of time by the Justice Department.

According to a Justice Department estimate, the average sentence for federal drug offenders would decline from 62 months to 51 months.

Senate Narrowly Rejects Obama’s Choice to Lead Justice Department’s Civil Rights Unit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly rejected President Obama’s choice to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The 47-52 vote was shy of the majority needed, the New York Daily News reports.

Debo Adegbile couldn’t muster a majority because eight Democrats joined all 44 Republicans in voting no.

At issue was Adegbile’s role in offering legal help to a man who shot a Philadelphia police officer.

Obama didn’t say whether his office would give the appointment another go.

Obama called the rejection a ““travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”