White House corruption
There are two major scandals that will taint President Barack Obama’s legacy: Benghazi and the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.
When both of these scandals came to light, senior Obama administration officials, out of habit, immediately blamed everything and everyone outside the White House. But as we move forward with lawsuits and demands for answers, the White House walls are starting to cave in.
This week, an email obtained by Judicial Watch revealed White House communications adviser Ben Rhodes as the architect of then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sunday show talking points on Benghazi, where, five times, she misrepresented the reason for the attack. To make matters worse, Rhodes specifically stated in the emails that focus needed to be on “an Internet video,” not a “broader failure of policy.”
The White House previously denied involvement in changing or altering talking points and, just days before the 2012 presidential election, Obama took offense at anyone suggesting his White House was deliberately misleading the American people about the cause or motive for the attack.
When the IRS scandal broke early last summer, senior IRS officials and the White House blamed a few “low-level” and “rogue” employees working in a small Cincinnati office for the targeting of conservative tea party groups. We’ve known for months that talking point is demonstrably false.
New email evidence shows the now-infamous Lois Lerner was working with senior officials at the Department of Justice to consider bringing criminal charges against conservative groups that might have “lied” on their tax-exempt application forms. Lerner noted that her old Federal Election Commission friends were concerned about a flood of new groups they wanted to “shut down.” A criminal prosecution of just one would intimidate the rest into silence.
Further, Lerner was regularly working with the former chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who visited the White House a record 118 times during the period of the targeting between 2010 and 2011.
But it wasn’t just Democrats or Lois Lerner’s friends in the IRS who were expressing concern over new conservative tea party groups. Obama led the charge publicly in speeches and in interviews with the media while lamenting the free speech power the Citizens United ruling gave people to create such groups and to raise money. He mentioned “shady” groups repeatedly, the same “shady” groups the IRS and DOJ were working to silence. Coincidence? Not a chance.
When Republicans take over the Senate in November, they’ll have more power to enforce investigations of Obama administration scandals coming out of the House Oversight Committee. When this power is applied, Obama will feel the pressure and more information pointing directly to White House involvement in corrupt behavior previously denied will be exposed.
It’s only a matter of time.
Katie Pavlich is the news editor of Townhall.com. Her exclusive Trib columns appear the first and third Fridays of each month.