by Ben Johnson
News has broken today that a federal agency will investigate another impeachable offense. The U.S. Treasury Department will launch an investigation into the Obama administration’s allegedly revealing his political opponents’ private tax information to the media.
In late August, an anonymous Obama official (now assumed to be Austan Goolsbee, one of the president’s economic advisors) revealed the tax structure of Koch Industries to the media, information its lawyer, Mark Holden, said must have been gleaned from confidential IRS forms. The possibly illegal disclosure was part of the administration’s coordinated press offensive against Koch Industries, whose owners, David and Charles Koch, have funded a number of libertarian enterprises that vocally oppose the president’s free-spending agenda. Most notable among these is Americans for Prosperity (AFP), whose state chapters host rallies from coast to coast.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, called for action two weeks ago.
Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George said, “As the inspector general charged with ensuring, among other things, the fair implementation of our nation’s system of tax administration…I have ordered the commencement of a review into the matters alleged.” This adds more material to the snowballing avalanche of investigations into the Obama administration’s skirting of the law that could result in the president’s impeachment.
The situation is less ideal than it sounds. The Obama administration is essentially investigating itself, and Democrats may be able to hide the details of the president’s wrongdoing George discovers. The Washington Times has added, “Still, Mr. George said that, since Republicans are in the minority, there are some constraints on what he’ll be able to share with the GOP after the review is completed.”
Although the development is potentially explosive, the final report could end up providing cover for the administration against genuine examination. This has already happened with the administration’s report trying to excuse the Obama administration’s advocacy for Kenya’s new pro-abortion, pro-Sharia constitution. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) report indicated the Obama administration spent a total of $61.2 million pushing for adoption of the new constitution. Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, has classified this as an impeachable offense revealing “obvious violations of U.S. law.” Yet the official USAID inquest parroted the Obama administration’s claims that it merely encouraged Kenyans to vote, not to vote yes. The evidence seems to suggest otherwise.
Smith called the report a “whitewash.”
“This is the most superficial report I’ve seen in my 30 years in Congress,” he said. When asked if the administration broke the law, Smith replied, “With this poorly researched, incomplete audit, we still don’t know.”
If Republican take the majority in one or both houses of Congress in 2011, that could change.
House Republicans, led by Rep. Darrell Issa of California, promise a host of investigations to match an even larger host of shady dealings by this administration – which assumed, with a large Democratic majority in Congress, it would face no accountability. The tax snooping will join likely investigations of the Justice Department’s racial discrimination during the Black Panther Party case. The FBI and the Labor Department have already questioned Andrew Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for financial improprieties. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, is warning fellow Democrats that a new Republican Congress will investigate Barack Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility. Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson told NewsMax that Obama bundler Jodie Evans could (and should) be tried for treason. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is considering keeping a House select committee open to investigate climategate. And Congressman Issa has pledged to investigate this and many other crimes in the new year.