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Good for the GOP: The Justice Department won’t return seized cash to hundreds of taxpayers. Now House Republicans are stepping in.

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Christopher Ingraham reports in the Washington Post:

Twenty-one Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have penned a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to demand the Justice Department return millions in seized funds to several hundred U.S. taxpayers.
The money had been seized by the Internal Revenue Service in prior years under suspicion of structuring, an obscure provision in the federal code preventing repeated bank deposits of less than $10,000 for the purpose of evading federal reporting requirements. Ostensibly, the purpose of the law is to make it harder for individuals to launder money obtained through crimes like drug trafficking. But a 2017 report by the Treasury’s Inspector Generalanalyzed 278 of these cases and found that, in 91 percent of them, the people who had had their money seized had obtained the funds legally.
In part due to public outrage, in late 2014 the IRS announced that it would no longer pursue forfeiture cases when structuring was the primary offense. Earlier this year, the IRS told the House Ways and Means Committee that it had received 464 petitions for relief from people who had previously had their cash seized under suspicion of structuring. The cases in question are a small subset of the billions of dollars seized and forfeited annually by state and federal authorities.
The IRS reviewed 208 of those petitions and granted 84 percent of them. It referred the remaining 256 cases to the Department of Justice because of how the forfeitures had initially been processed, recommending that the DOJ grant 76 percent of them.
However, today’s letter alleges that the DOJ largely ignored the IRS’ recommendations and granted only 16 percent of the petitions it received, refusing to return over $22 million in seized funds.
“The Members of this Committee are profoundly troubled by the significant discrepancy between the IRS’s recommended outcomes and DOJ’s final decisions,” the letter states. “What was done was not fair, just or right in most cases. The IRS’s actions led to the destruction of many lives and small businesses, some of which will never fully recover.”
One case generating national attention was that of Lyndon McLellan, a convenience store owner in North Carolina who had his entire life savings of over $100,000 seized by the IRS solely because of how he deposited money is his bank account. He was never charged with any crime. After McLellan’s case went public, a U.S. attorney offered to settle by returning half of the money. McLellan refused, and with pro-bono legal representation from the Institute for Justice he eventually got all of his money back.
The letter praises the IRS for recognizing past “mistakes” such as the McLellan case and for “taking appropriate steps well beyond what was legally required to provide relief to taxpayers whose funds were seized.” But the lawmakers have accused the Department of Justice of being “unwilling to admit faults” on the issue. “DOJ time and time again has affirmed a position that the Committee believes is wholly indefensible.”
At a hearing in June, for instance, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan testified that petitions for relief were denied due to various reasons, including “evidence that the petitioners were convicted in criminal cases; committed other crimes, including money laundering, fraud, tax, and drug crimes; continued to violate the structuring laws even after the forfeitures; and evaded other financial reporting requirements.”
However, Committee members did not find those arguments convincing, noting that some of the “convictions” involved defendants pleading guilty to structuring in the hopes of getting their money back.
“Individuals were often not made fully aware of their rights during these seizures,” the letter states. “They felt pressured, scared, and alone. And most importantly, many were simply trying to salvage what little they could through whatever means necessary. Those circumstances led law abiding individuals to take actions or make statements that the DOJ may feel gives it the right to deny those petitions.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been an outspoken proponent of civil asset forfeiture, calling it “a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains, and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels. But reformers worry the practice is an invitation to abuse because it allows authorities to seize property from individuals never convicted or even charged with a crime.
Nevertheless, it remains widespread: according to  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2018 at 12:42 pm

Interesting development: Ecuador Will Imminently Withdraw Asylum for Julian Assange and Hand Him Over to the UK. What Comes Next?

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Glenn Greenwald reports in the Intercept:

ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT Lenin Moreno traveled to London on Friday for the ostensible purpose of speaking at the 2018 Global Disabilities Summit (Moreno has been confined to a wheelchair since being shot in a 1998 robbery attempt). The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.

Moreno’s itinerary also notably includes a trip to Madrid, where he will meet with Spanish officials still seething over Assange’s denunciation of human rights abuses perpetrated by Spain’s central government against protesters marching for Catalonia independence. Almost three months ago, Ecuador blocked Assange from accessing the internet, and Assange has not been able to communicate with the outside world ever since. The primary factor in Ecuador’s decision to silence him was Spanish anger over Assange’s tweets about Catalonia.

A source close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the President’s office, unauthorized to speak publicly, has confirmed to the Intercept that Moreno is close to finalizing, if he has not already finalized, an agreement to hand over Assange to the UK within the next several weeks. The withdrawal of asylum and physical ejection of Assange could come as early as this week. On Friday, RT reported that Ecuador was preparing to enter into such an agreement.

The consequences of such an agreement depend in part on the concessions Ecuador extracts in exchange for withdrawing Assange’s asylum. But as former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa told the Intercept in an interview in May, Moreno’s government has returned Ecuador to a highly “subservient” and “submissive” posture toward western governments.

It is thus highly unlikely that Moreno – who has shown himself willing to submit to threats and coercion from the UK, Spain and the U.S. – will obtain a guarantee that the U.K. not extradite Assange to the U.S., where top Trump officials have vowed to prosecute Assange and destroy WikiLeaks.

The central oddity of Assange’s case – that he has been effectively imprisoned for eight years despite never having been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime – is virtually certain to be prolonged once Ecuador hands him over to the U.K. Even under the best-case scenario, it appears highly likely that Assange will continue to be imprisoned by British authorities.

The only known criminal proceeding Assange currently faces is a pending 2012 arrest warrant for “failure to surrender” – basically a minor bail violation charge that arose when he obtained asylum from Ecuador rather than complying with bail conditions by returning to court for a hearing on his attempt to resist extradition to Sweden.

That charge carries a prison term of three months and a fine, though it is possible that the time Assange has already spent in prison in the UK could be counted against that sentence. In 2010, Assange was imprisoned in Wandsworth Prison, kept in isolation, for 10 days until he was released on bail; he was then under house arrest for 550 days at the home of a supporter.

Assange’s lawyer, Jen Robinson, told the Intercept that he would argue that all of that prison time already served should count toward (and thus completely fulfill) any prison term imposed on the “failure to surrender” charge, though British prosecutors would almost certainly contest that claim. Assange would also argue that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2018 at 12:11 pm

A New Talking Point From the Pro-Trump Fringe

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And as a perfect example of the direction of the previous post’s video, McKay Coppins writes in the Atlantic:

On Wednesday morning, in the midst of yet another contentious news cycle dominated by coverage of Russian election meddling, I tweeted a kind of thought experiment: “If Trump & co. just pivoted to ‘Aren’t you glad Russia helped us defeat Hillary Clinton?’ would there be any serious blowback from his base?”

The question was rhetorical. The answers that began trickling in were not.

“No,” said Cassandra Fairbanks, a writer at the right-wing news and conspiracy website Gateway Pundit (and a former Sputnik employee). “I mean, I would be cool with it. Im already there. If russia was involved we should thank them.”

“No,” responded another self-identified Trump voter. “Hillary is a greater threat to our Republic.”

Several people pointed me to Jacob Wohl, a Trump booster with a large Twitter following, who had mused just hours earlier, “If Russia assists MAGA Candidates on the internet in this year’s midterms, that’s not the end of the world.” And others re-upped a C-span clip from the day before in which a caller identified as Mary Lou from Connecticut said, “I’ll try not to sound too awful, but I want to thank the Russians for interfering with our election to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president. That woman has got illusions of grandeur.”

Washington Post, there hasn’t been much polling data measuring how Americans feel about foreign governments interfering in U.S. elections; up to now, disapproval has simply been presumed. The polls that are available suggest that most Trump supporters don’t believe there was any Russian election interference, and if there was, it had no effect on the race.

But as Washington braces for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to release the findings of his investigation, this new line of punditry bubbling up in the pro-Trump social-media conversation is worth taking seriously.

Trump has benefitted enormously throughout his political rise from the efficiency with which his supporters circulate talking points that excuse his bad behavior, or neutralize his latest scandal, or explain away the discrepancies in his ever-shifting rhetoric. Sometimes, these talking points originate with the president himself, his early-morning Twitter rants doubling as messaging memos to the #MAGA army. Other times, they filter down from high-profile talking heads such as Sean Hannity or the hosts of Fox & Friends. Often, though, they are beta tested at the fringes, where the ideas seem outlandish and troll-y at first, before becoming more widely adopted once circumstances dictate.

Skimming #MAGA Twitter, it’s easy to see the outlines of the pro-Russian-meddling argument emerging: America interferes in other countries’ elections, so it can’t be that bad; exposing Democrats’ hacked emails was a victory for transparency; keeping Clinton out of office was so urgent and important that it warranted some foreign intervention.

If it seems farfetched that serious people would deploy such an argument, consider the Trump apologists’ trajectory up to this point in the Russia saga. When the term collusion first entered the political conversation in the wake of the 2016 election, the initial response was to dismiss the idea outright. It was popular in Washington for Republicans to crack jokes about how Trump’s disorganized campaign “couldn’t even collude with itself,” let alone a foreign government.

But as evidence of communication with Russia mounted in the months that followed, Trump’s allies were forced to pivot repeatedly. They argued that the president hadn’t broken any laws; that any candidate in his position would have done the same thing; that Clinton would have lost regardless of Russia’s interference, so the whole point is moot.

Given this pattern of deflection and rationalization, is it really so implausible that a significant segment of Trump backers might complete the journey from denying Russian meddling to celebrating it? Already,  . . .

Continue reading.

It occurs to me that the myriad conflicting positions on Russia really does indicate we should be curious as to why? And whatever the answer is, we want that answer to (a) be true and (b) explain why we get so many conflicting stories about a particular subject. I think Mueller is discovering that true answer. And that answer may reveal why Trump and Putin had a totally one-on-one (with translators), with no aides present and no notes taken—at least, certainly by Trump (can you imagine?), though I’m sure Putin has complete video and audio.

The odd thing: the interpreters. Surely Putin must speak excellent English, no? Or at least as good as Trump. Why have interpreters since obviously the talk was intended to be secret.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 July 2018 at 7:02 pm

This is perfect in a dimension I didn’t know existed

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Written by LeisureGuy

20 July 2018 at 6:53 pm

Immigrant Shelters Drug Traumatized Teenagers Without Consent

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The US looks uglier and uglier under Trump.  Caroline Chen and Jess Ramirez report at ProPublica:

Whether they came to the U.S. alone, or were forcibly separated from their families at the border, despondent minors are often pressured into taking psychotropic drugs without approval from a parent or guardian.

Fleeing an abusive stepfather in El Salvador, Gabriela headed for Oakland, California, where her grandfather had promised to take her in. When the teenager reached the U.S. border in January 2017, she was brought to a federally funded shelter in Texas.

Initially, staff described her as receptive and resilient. But as she was shuttled from one Texas shelter to another, she became increasingly depressed. Without consulting her grandfather, or her mother in El Salvador, shelter staff have prescribed numerous medications for her, including two psychotropic drugs whose labels warn of increased suicidal behavior in adolescents, according to court documents. Still languishing in a shelter after 18 months, the 17-year-old doesn’t want to take the medications, but she does anyway, because staff at one facility told her she wouldn’t be released until she is considered psychologically sound.

Gabriela’s experience epitomizes a problem that the Trump administration’s practice of family separation exacerbated: the failure of government-funded facilities to seek informed consent before medicating immigrant teenagers. Around 12,000 undocumented minors are in custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. The majority crossed the border unaccompanied, while more than 2,500 were separated from their parents while Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy was in effect from April to June.

Emotional distress and mental health issues are prevalent among these children, sometimes a result of traumatic experiences in their home countries, at other times triggered by being separated from parents at the border, or by fear that they will never be released from ORR facilities. Former shelter employees, and doctors and lawyers working for advocacy groups say the shelters lack sufficient counselors and too often turn to powerful psychotropic drugs when kids act out.

Under most states’ laws, before a child is medicated, a parent, guardian, or authority acting in the place of the parent—such as a court-appointed guardian ad litem— must be consulted and give informed consent. But in these shelters, the children are alone. Shelter staff may not know the whereabouts of the parents or relatives, and even when that information is available, advocates say that the shelters often don’t get in touch. Nor do they seek court approval. Instead, they act unilaterally, imposing psychotropic drugs on children who don’t know what they’re taking or what its effects may be.

“These medications do not come cost-free to children with growing brains and growing bodies — psychotropic medications have a substantial cost to a child’s present and future,” said Dr. Amy Cohen, a psychiatrist who has been volunteering in border shelters. “A person whose sole concern is, what is in the best interest of a child — a parent or a guardian ad litem — that role is desperately needed now.”

Gabriela is one of five immigrants under age 18 who are plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed last month in federal court in Los Angeles against Alex Azar, the head of HHS, and Scott Lloyd, director of ORR. The suit alleges that children are overmedicated without informed consent. Another plaintiff, 16-year-old Daniela, became suicidal after being separated from an older sister who accompanied her from Honduras to the U.S. border. She has been given Prozac, Abilify, Clonidine, Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa in various shelters as staff have been unable to settle on a diagnosis, detecting at different times bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and major depressive disorder. Her older sister was released from custody and allowed to stay in the U.S., but wasn’t consulted about whether Daniela should take those medications, which have side effects including weight gain, uncontrolled spasms, and increased suicide risk. The lawsuit doesn’t disclose the last names of the plaintiffs. Another ongoing class action lawsuit in the same court, against the U.S. Department of Justice, alleges the U.S. is inappropriately medicating immigrant minors as young as 11 years old, violating standards established in a 1997 legal settlement.

In legal filings, Justice Department lawyers have said that the shelters are acting appropriately, in accord with state laws on informed consent. “There is good reason for this Court to conclude that ORR’s provision of such medications complies fully with ‘all applicable state child welfare laws and regulations,’” the department said. State and local authorities, rather than the court, are best positioned to determine whether shelters are in compliance, it also argued.

Reports of overmedication extend beyond the lawsuits. At the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, which has a program for unaccompanied immigrant teenagers, at least 70 percent of the residents were on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids, often taking multiple pills, according to two former employees. The two staffers, who left the facility a few months ago, worried that the adolescents were over-medicated. Although the shelter offered group therapy, many teens didn’t participate.

Most of the teenagers had crossed the border alone, but often had family members in the U.S. who were seeking to sponsor them. Even in cases where a child had a mother or father living in the U.S., the parent was never contacted for permission to medicate, said the former employees, who asked for anonymity for fear of affecting future employment.

By law, when an unaccompanied minor crosses the border, the Department of Homeland Security must transfer the child to ORR within 72 hours. Children who arrive with parents can’t be held in a detention center for more than 20 days. The Bush and Obama administrations typically would release the family with an appointment to show up in court, while the Trump administration decided to separate the family, with the parents remaining in detention. ORR then places the unaccompanied or separated child in one of the roughly 100 shelters contracted to provide housing, education, and medical services. Immigrant children can remain in the shelters for months or even years. If the minor crossed unaccompanied but has family members in the U.S., as Gabriela did, the relative must be cleared by ORR as a sponsor, a stringent vetting process that can take months.

To provide mental health services, shelters typically have an in-house counselor who holds therapy sessions, and a psychiatrist on call to conduct mental health evaluations and prescribe medications. The troubled teens aren’t always easy to handle. Sometimes they try to run away or start fights. In a statement obtained by advocates for one of the pending class-action lawsuits, a 17-year-old boy described breaking a chair and window in frustration.

Virginia law has an exception that allows minors to give consent, without adult permission, for mental health care. The law is intended to help minors who want mental health treatment without having to disclose their diagnosis to their parents, according to Jessica Berg, dean of Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law and co-author of a book on informed consent.

Such laws presume “the individual in question actually has capacity” to make the decision, meaning that the physician should first determine that the minor can understand the consequences of treatment and make an educated choice, said Berg.

That’s not happening at the Virginia center, the former employees said. While skipping consent procedures, staff also made it hard for children to say no. A federal field specialist from the Department of Homeland Security instructed staff to file a “significant incident report” every time a teen refused to take medication, said one of the former employees. That report could then be used to justify delaying reunification with family. The teenagers, fearing being written up, would take their pills, the staffer said.

Johnitha McNair, executive director of the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, didn’t respond to phone calls and an email requesting comment.

Other states, such as Texas and California, require  . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 July 2018 at 7:19 am

Has Trump burned an intelligence source close to Putin?

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Trump famously passed code-word intelligence along to two Russian officials in a White House meeting, something that shocked our allies (who, I imagine, became much more wary about sharing intelligence with the US). And now David Sanger and Matthew Rosenberg have a disturbing report in the NY Times:

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

The shifting narrative underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump regularly picks and chooses intelligence to suit his political purposes. That has never been more clear than this week.

On Monday, standing next to the Russian president in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump said he accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of Russian election intrusions. By Tuesday, faced with a bipartisan political outcry, Mr. Trump sought to walk back his words and sided with his intelligence agencies.

On Wednesday, when a reporter asked, “Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” Mr. Trump shot back, “No” — directly contradicting statements made only days earlier by his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, who was sitting a few chairs away in the Cabinet Room. (The White House later said he was responding to a different question.)

Hours later, in a CBS News interview, Mr. Trump seemed to reverse course again. He blamed Mr. Putin personally, but only indirectly, for the election interference by Russia, “because he’s in charge of the country.”

In the run-up to this week’s ducking and weaving, Mr. Trump has done all he can to suggest other possible explanations for the hacks into the American political system. His fear, according to one of his closest aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is that any admission of even an unsuccessful Russian attempt to influence the 2016 vote raises questions about the legitimacy of his presidency.

The Jan. 6, 2017, meeting, held at Trump Tower, was a prime example. He was briefed that day by John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director; James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence; and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and the commander of United States Cyber Command.

. . . According to nearly a dozen people who either attended the meeting with the president-elect or were later briefed on it, the four primary intelligence officials described the streams of intelligence that convinced them of Mr. Putin’s role in the election interference.

They included stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee that had been seen in Russian military intelligence networks by the British, Dutch and American intelligence services. Officers of the Russian intelligence agency formerly known as the G.R.U. had plotted with groups like WikiLeaks on how to release the email stash.

And ultimately, several human sources had confirmed Mr. Putin’s own role.

That included one particularly valuable source, who was considered so sensitive that Mr. Brennan had declined to refer to it in any way in the Presidential Daily Brief during the final months of the Obama administration, as the Russia investigation intensified.

Instead, to keep the information from being shared widely, Mr. Brennan sent reports from the source to Mr. Obama and a small group of top national security aides in a separate, white envelope to assure its security.

Mr. Trump and his aides were also given other reasons during the briefing to believe that Russia was behind the D.N.C. hacks.

The same Russian groups had been involved in cyberattacks on the State Department and White House unclassified email systems in 2014 and 2015, and in an attack on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They had aggressively fought the N.S.A. against being ejected from the White House system, engaging in what the deputy director of the agency later called “hand-to-hand combat” to dig in.

The pattern of the D.N.C. hacks, and the theft of emails from John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, fit the same pattern.

After the briefings, Mr. Trump issued a statement later that day that sought to spread the blame for the meddling. He said “Russia, China and other countries, outside groups and countries” were launching cyberattacks against American government, businesses and political organizations — including the D.N.C.

Still, Mr. Trump said in his statement, “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Mr. Brennan later told Congress that he had no doubt where the attacks were coming from.

“I was convinced in the summer that the Russians were trying to interfere in the election,” he said in testimony in May 2017. “And they were very aggressive.”

For Mr. Trump, the messengers were as much a part of the problem as the message they delivered.

Mr. Brennan and Mr. Clapper were both Obama administration appointees who left the government the day Mr. Trump was inaugurated. The new president soon took to portraying them as political hacks who had warped the intelligence to provide Democrats with an excuse for Mrs. Clinton’s loss in the election. . .

Continue reading.

Kevin Drum comments:

. . . After a year and a half of keeping the existence of this super sensitive source closely held, why make it public now?

https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1019766003188846593?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1019766003188846593&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.motherjones.com%2Fkevin-drum%2F2018%2F07%2Ftheres-something-the-intelligence-community-wants-you-to-know%2F

It seems quite possible that Trump, feeling close to Putin and trusting him (Trump routinely has said that Russia did not interfere in the US election because he asked Putin and Putin denied it—and Trump believes Putin over his intelligence agencies), shared the source of the information about the cyberattacks.

Trump is a traitor. The reason he is desperate to shut down the Mueller investigation is obvious.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 July 2018 at 10:13 am

US Media Accurately Reports Effect of New Dark Money Rules

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Kevin Drum has a good post:

Over at National Review, Charles Cooke is annoyed at our nation’s media. You see, under new IRS rules certain nonprofit groups will no longer have to report the names of donors over $5,000—groups like the NRA, the Koch Brothers, various chambers of commerce, and so forth. But wait:

The change applies to every single 501(c)(4) in America. CNN could just as easily — and just as misleadingly — have placed the story under the headline, “NAACP will no longer need to identify their donors to the IRS.” Or it could have mentioned, say, Planned Parenthood. Or SEIU. Or Everytown for Gun Safety. Or the Sierra Club. Or . . .

Hmmm. That seems like a good point. Let’s see how the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal reported the story. They’ll give it to us without a bunch of liberal bias:

Some of the largest groups affected include an arm of the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, a group tied to billionaires Charles and David Koch….For the past few years, Republicans have been examining the Schedule B requirements, questioning how useful the information is to the IRS and arguing that donors could face harassment if the information is inadvertently released.

In 2016, the House passed a bill to eliminate the requirement, but the Obama administration opposed it and it didn’t become law….“The IRS’s decision is a move in the right direction to end activist regulators’ culture of intimidation to silence political speech,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) “More and more states were using these documents to chill political discourse, rather than encourage it.”

Democrats blasted the decision and warned that the IRS would have one less tool to figure out whether groups are complying with the law. Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) said he will vote against President Donald Trump’s pick to run the IRS unless he promises to reverse the move. “President Trump’s late-night giveaway to shady donors and interest groups makes dark money even darker,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) “The NRA and other special interest groups can now fully operate in the shadows and push their corrupt agendas without any transparency or accountability.” Democrats have warned that changing the disclosure requirement could allow foreign money into U.S. politics without notice.

So it appears that (a) the biggest beneficiaries are conservative groups, (b) Republicans tried to repeal the reporting requirement in 2016, (c) Obama opposed it, (d) Mitch McConnell is in favor of repeal, and (e) Nancy Pelosi is against it. Reading between the lines, conservatives are all in favor of repeal and liberals are all opposed to repeal because it’s conservative groups that don’t want anyone to know who their big donors are. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 7:37 pm

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