At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal…
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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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Federal Court Deals Obama Administration Another Humiliating Defeat Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 21 2016
The Obama Administration considers itself superior to two centuries of Supreme Court precedent and all previous administrations, but this week's ruling marks another humiliating corrective from the judicial branch against this most lawless of presidents.

This was an embarrassing week for the Obama Administration on two separate but interrelated fronts.  

In Mexico, a powerful weapon capable of taking down a helicopter, which was obtained through Obama's "Operation Fast and Furious" debacle, was discovered in the cache of Mexico's notorious drug kingpin and prison escapee Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, as Fox News reported:  

"A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as 'Fast and Furious,' sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.  A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter.  

"After the raid on January 8 in the city of Los Mochis that killed five of his men and wounded one Mexican marine, officials found a number of weapons inside the house where Guzman was staying, including the rifle, officials said.  When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.  Federal officials told Fox News that they are not sure how many of the weapons seized from Guzman's house actually originated in the U.S. and where they were purchased, but they are investigating."  

We won't hold our breath in anticipation of that internal investigation, but it's worth noting once again the contradiction of the Obama Administration seeking to disarm law-abiding American citizens on one hand while voluntarily arming lethal Mexican criminal syndicates on the other.  

By way of refresher, Operation Fast and Furious was a joint operation of Obama's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney that targeted suspected illegal firearms flows from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.  Under their scheme, U.S. law enforcement officers deliberately allowed straw purchasers to obtain firearms illegally here in America, and transport them to Mexico without interference under the idea that they could then be tracked to their ultimate destination.  

What could possibly go wrong?  

Well, events turned tragically wrong in December 2010 when a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed by one of the firearms purchased during the operation.  Perhaps nothing better illustrates the logistical and legal disaster that has been the Obama Administration, although last week's humiliating capture of American sailors by an Iranian regime the administration so desperately seeks to befriend offers strong new competition.  

Regardless, that discovery wasn't the only "Fast and Furious" humiliation for the Obama Administration this week.  

In the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a federal judge appointed by Obama himself rejected the administration's effort to prevent disclosure of documents relating to the disastrous operation.  

The legal question before Judge Amy Berman Jackson was whether Obama's Department of Justice could refuse to produce responsive documents related to Operation Fast and Furious under claim of executive privilege.  Those documents were subpoenaed by a coequal branch of government, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as part of its investigation into the deadly operation.  

The Obama Administration argued that "this Court did not have - or should decline to exercise - jurisdiction over what the Department of Justice characterized as a political dispute between the executive and legislative branches of the government."  In other words, the Obama Administration did its best impression of the Nixon Administration during the Congressional Watergate investigation.  

Citing longstanding Supreme Court precedent - United States v. Nixon, in fact - the Court held that Obama's claim of executive privilege must yield, given his administration's own acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the investigation: 

"The Supreme Court held that it was 'the province and duty' of the Court 'to say what the law is' with respect to the claim of executive privilege that was presented in that case, quoting Marbury v. Madison (1803).  'Any other conclusion would be contrary to the basic concept of separation of powers and the checks and balances that flow from the scheme of a tripartite government.'  Those principles apply with equal force here.  To give the Attorney General the final word would elevate and fortify the executive branch at the expense of the other institutions that are supposed to be its equal, and do more damage to the balance envisioned by the Framers than a judicial ruling on the narrow privilege question posed by the complaint."  

The Obama Administration considers itself superior to two centuries of Supreme Court precedent and all previous administrations, but this week's ruling marks another humiliating corrective from the judicial branch against this most lawless of presidents.  

And as we are now less than a year from the natural conclusion of Obama's tenure and presidential primaries commence, it also reminds Americans of the potential danger in electing a president who considers himself or herself above our Constitution and laws.  

Hopefully that lesson is internalized. 

Notable Quote   
 
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
 
 
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?