Proof of Guilt in the IRS Scandals

A regulation (28 CFR 600.1) exists requiring that the Attorney General shall appoint an outside Special Counsel when the Attorney General determines that: criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted; the Attorney General's Department of Justice should not conduct the investigation due to extraordinary circumstances such as the investigation would create a conflict of interest; and it would be in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel.

The federal government's attack on the rule of law meets the requirements of 28 CFR 600.1. There is probable cause that government officials have engaged in widespread criminal activity. These officials have targeted hundreds of conservative organizations in order to warp the electoral process and harm the Republic. They have harassed some citizens (e.g. Frank Vandersloot) while attempting to destroy others: Catherine Englebrecht and her husband have been investigated by the IRS, FBI, OSHA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The vastness of the suspected criminal activity and its likely coordination by someone in the White House means that extraordinary circumstances have arisen. In the public interest, Attorney General Eric Holder should appoint a Special Counsel.

Has that happened? No. The Attorney General has not come before the press and given his perspective. He has neither appointed a Special Counsel nor stated his reasons for not appointing one. He has not even discussed the possibility of criminal activity.

Instead, on May 30, 2013, Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed the issue. A reporter asked him about a Quinnipiac Poll that found 76% of Americans want the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the IRS scandals. Mr. Earnest responded that: the new IRS Commissioner was conducting a review; the Obama Administration was prepared to cooperate with congressional committees; and according to news reports, the Justice Department was investigating. Got that. The Attorney General falls silent as does White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. In their place, a subordinate without firsthand knowledge appears and spouts talking points. I propose a new organizational chart. Holder and Carney should resign, and Earnest should replace both of them.

Joking aside, all of the above reveals the Obama administration attempting a Benghazi-style cover-up. It worked before when the administration was caught red-handed. Why not try it again? Throw sand in the eyes of the American people by giving different versions of events. Blame one or more individuals powerless to defend themselves: the maker of a YouTube video and IRS field agents will do. Send out a subordinate, Susan Rice or Josh Earnest, to spin the facts, thereby protecting the principals (President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Attorney General Holder, and Secretary of Defense Panetta among others). Make vague claims that the FBI or the Justice Department will pursue the wrongdoers. Conduct your own review (by the likes of the Accountability Review Board and the new IRS Commissioner) that absolves all the higher-ups while producing obvious recommendations to ensure that "it will never happen again."

The proof of guilt does not end with the Benghazi comparison. More damning still is that if top officials in the Obama Administration were innocent, Attorney General Holder would appoint a Special Counsel to clear the air and prosecute the handful of low-level bureaucrats who committed crimes. President Obama and Attorney General Holder are so fearful of what a Special Counsel will uncover that they will refuse to appoint one until political pressure, public opinion, or both compel them to do so.

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