Holder's Hold on Office

In the history of the Republic, there have been 82 Attorneys General.  Eric Holder has lasted longer than all but five of them despite losing the support of the people and the commentariat.  What accounts for his longevity in office?

President Obama trusts Holder to continue to carry out a three pronged cover-up:  prevent the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the IRS (and other) scandals, slow-walk his own investigations, and fail to co-ordinate them.  For Team Obama, the third prong is at least as important as the second.  A competent prosecutor develops a thorough strategy to bring down widespread criminality.  Mr. Holder will not do so.  Instead, he will allow months to pass before he pursues fragmented prosecutions that will lead nowhere.

While Attorney General Holder allows his investigations to fall apart over the next several months, Congressional Committees should methodically investigate in order to:  contrast the Committees' professionalism with Holder's lack thereof, build cases against current and former employees of the IRS and other federal agencies, and educate the public.  There is probable cause that current and former IRS employees have engaged in four types of criminal conduct.  1) IRS employees released for publication the confidential tax returns of conservative organizations.  2) IRS employees, located in at least five cities, engaged in a conspiracy to deny tax-exempt status to hundreds of conservative organizations.  3) Following President Obama's incitement, the IRS audited individuals who made political contributions to Mitt Romney.  4) IRS employees conspired with the employees of other federal agencies (OSHA, ATF, and the FBI) to harass Catherine Engelbrecht and her husband.  

The release for publication of confidential tax returns provides the most clear cut example of criminal conduct and the Obama Administration's ongoing cover-up of that conduct.

Federal law (26 USC 7213) establishes a felony for any employee of the United States who willfully releases a tax return or return information.  The penalty is a fine not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both.  In addition, the convict pays the cost of prosecution and is fired.  There is probable cause that on several occasions, IRS employees violated 26 USC 7213 and thus committed felonies. 

Dr. John Eastman (Chairman of the Board, National Organization for Marriage) makes the most convincing argument for probable cause with regard to the release of tax returns.  In his June 4, 2013, testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, he described in detail the criminal activity of IRS employees.  On March 30, 2012, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) learned that its confidential 2008 Form 990 Schedule B, containing donors' names, had been published on websites.  NOM removed the published document's redaction layer and discovered that the document had originated within the IRS itself.  The unredacted original bore two IRS markings.  Someone at the IRS had disseminated the unredacted original for publication.  On April 11, 2012, NOM filed a written request for investigation with Attorney General Holder's Department of Justice and the Treasury.  The latter assigned a complaint number, but Justice and Treasury have done nothing since. 

There are several advantages to Congressional Committees investigating the felonious release of confidential tax returns.  The public will understand the felonies and sympathize with victims of this type of IRS abuse.  Since the felonies involve the crossing of a bright line (the release of confidential tax returns), Congressional investigators should be able to determine who at the IRS committed the felonies.  The public will understand that Congress is doing its duty while Attorney General Holder's Justice Department and the Treasury are not doing theirs.  Lastly, a Committee can argue by analogy that since the IRS released confidential tax returns it will not hesitate to do the same with our confidential health care records.  Therefore, the IRS should not be involved in the implementation of ObamaCare.

So long as Attorney General Holder successfully implements the three pronged cover-up, President Obama will keep him in office.  When he finally leaves, he will go down in history as one of the longest serving Attorneys General and one of the worst.  One question remains:  Do Congressional Committees possess the will and the skill to break through the cover-up and reveal the truth?

Scott Varland is an American lawyer residing in London, England.