The Congressional probe to determine who was responsible for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policy of discriminatory audits and/or retaliatory examinations just became a criminal obstruction of justice matter.
A series of emails released this week by Congressional investigators documents that the former IRS manager of tax exempt determinations, Lois Lerner, and the top IRS official for ObamaCare, Sarah Hall Ingram, disclosed confidential taxpayer information to Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy Jeanne Lambrew and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz regarding churches who filed suit against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. This action would appear to be criminal. However, if it is shown that the motivation was intimidation, the penalties would skyrocket for obstruction of justice.
After the Nixon IRS scandal, Congress passed Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Tax Code, which eliminated any presidential discretion regarding IRS sharing tax information between different Executive Branch departments and any public disclosure of tax records.
Under the law, disclosure of IRS information from tax filers is a felony punishable upon conviction by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In addition, the law also says that if such offense is committed by any officer or employee of the United States, that person shall be dismissed from office or discharged from employment upon conviction for such offense.
The emails that were sent in mid summer 2012 appear to indicate that Ms. Ingram and her boss Ms. Lerner were conspiring with the White House on strategies to use confidential taxpayer information to generate IRS compliance violations that could be used as evidence to intimidate the religious organizations opposing ObamaCare’s contraception mandate to drop their suit or face the imposition of retaliatory rulings to hurt their courtroom credibility.
If the IRS and the White House were seeking to threaten or intimidate an opposing party in a federal judicial proceeding, then, such action would be obstruction of justice. Under the federal law, it would be considered “Witness Tampering” which prohibits intimidation, threat, misleading or corrupt persuasion with the intent to prevent physical evidence from being truthfully presented at official federal proceedings and is subject up to 20 years imprisonment. In addition, the law also states that “Obstructing Federal Courts” impeding the “due administration of justice” and imposes up to 10 years imprisonment. The federal law also bans any scheme or artifice to defraud and is subject up to 20 years of imprisonment.
The fact that the United States Justice Department, in addition to being corrupt, has a huge conflict of interest if the White House and/or IRS was engaged in obstruction of justice. Thus, it is just about impossible for Obama to prevent the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to review the above potential crimes.
With the stringent penalties that the law provides, I’m sure that potential witnesses will make a mad dash to begin seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for full testimony. Thus, thanks to Obama’s White House (Obama’s thugs) and/or IRS, America may soon be involved in another Constitutional crisis.