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Fireworks at IRS Hearing on Capitol Hill

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: There were fireworks today up on Capitol Hill.  But I don't think it's gonna matter.  I just don't think it's gonna matter.  They had the IRS commissioner up there by the name of John Koskinen, and this guy was arrogant and brazen and, "Screw you!" Both with his tone and his facial expressions, he was sending the message, "Look I don't care about what you think. 

"I don't even really need or want to be here outside of being polite and accepting your invitation, but screw you!"  That's basically what it was.  This segment was about the missing e-mails, the lost e-mails, the recycled server, the crashed hard drive.  Paul Ryan was incredulous at some of the answers.  Paul Ryan was incredulous that John Koskinen didn't apologize. 

So when Koskinen came under some heated questioning by Dave Camp and Paul Ryan, the Democrats on the committee circled the wagons and apologized to him -- to Koskinen for the way he was being treated!  I don't recall them ever apologizing to Sam Alito, or Alito's wife for the way he was treated. I don't remember anybody ever apologizing to Robert Bork.

I don't remember anybody ever apologizing to Clarence Thomas.  Let's go straight to the audio sound bites.  After his opening statement, Dave Camp, who is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee (and that's the committee doing the hearing today), started asking for an apology from the IRS commissioner John Koskinen, and Koskinen said, "What am I apologizing to you for? 

"I gave you the e-mails that we have," but they claim the important ones are gone. But Koskinen said, "What the hell? Apologize to you?  A bunch of conservatives?  No way!" So here's what Camp, who's from Michigan, said: "What I didn't hear you say, Commissioner Koskinen, was an apology to this committee."

KOSKINEN: I don't think an apology is owed! There's not a single e-mail that has been lost since the start of this investigation. Every e-mail has been preserved that we have.

CAMP: You don't think that time period between January 2009 and April 2011 is relevant to this investigation?

KOSKINEN: It is a very relevant time frame.

CAMP: All right.  I'm told that the IRS knew as early as February that her computer crash supposedly caused the loss of her e-mails during the time period of January 2009-2011. Has the IRS known since February?

KOSKINEN:  Uh, the IRS (ahem) knew in February there was an issue. As noted we all had e-mails from Ms. Lerner last fall in which she recited she had had a hard drive crash.

RUSH: Ohhh, "We've all had e-mails from her in which she recited..." How many of you "recite" in an e-mail? "...in which she recited that she had had a hard drive crash," and everybody just went, "Oh, okay.  Ho-hum.  A hard drive cash."  Lois Lerner is only the target.  Lois Lerner is only the face of this scandal.  And I might say, very... (sigh) I've always thought the woman is mean, just looking at her.  But that's just me. 

I know we're not supposed to judge people on their appearance.  By that I mean social ideological orientation or intention.  But I'm telling you, you can do it, folks.  I can, anyway.  Anyway, she doesn't look like a nice woman.  So she's telling everybody, "Oh, you know what? My hard drive crashed!" Everybody laughs. "Gee, okay. Cool.  We'll see at 5:00 at the Old Ebbitt for adult beverages." 

The Old Ebbitt Grill is across from the White House.  If you're invited to have dinner at the White House, stop at the Old Ebbitt Grill first to eat because you won't at the White House.  Anyway, her hard drive crash is treated as, "Yeah, you know, I lost my makeup.  I lost my compact and I can't go to cocktails today." "Oh, that's too bad. Well, maybe next week."

That's when she "recited" she'd had a hard drive crash.  This guy Koskinen, the commissioner of the IRS, was confronted with the lies that have come out of an agency repeatedly.  Kevin Brady, Republican from Texas, said, "Mr. Commissioner, you did not tell me under oath that you told us in February and March and April and May that the information was lost.  That is what just what you said.  Tell us again."

KOSKINEN: February, March and until April I did not know if any information was lost.

BRADY: Yet your agency had already in April communicated with Treasury department about the problem, and the letter we have from Treasury, says, "We agreed with the IRS that it should inform Congress as soon as it is able." That is the letter today that exactly disputes what just told us under oath. This is the most corrupt --

DEMOCRATS: (grumbling)

BRADY: -- and deceitful IRS --

KOSKINEN: (cough)

BRADY: -- in history.

RUSH: The Republicans were firing today.  Would you not agree, Snerdley?  The Republicans were firing both barrels.  The point of this is, in the previous sound bite, Koskinen says, "Oh, yeah. We knew in February there was an issue.  We all have e-mails of Ms. Lerner last fall in which they recited she had a hard drive crash."  It was back in 2009, and they only told them last week.

Anyway, so Brady here is saying, "February, March, April, you didn't know if any information was lost?  You heard from her that her hard drive crashed but you didn't know if any information was lost and you didn't seem to care that any information might be lost, even after you'd been told that her hard drive crashed a couple years prior?"  That's what Brady was saying. 

"Yet your agency had already in April communicated with Treasury department about the problem. And the letter we have from Treasury, says, 'We agreed with the IRS that it should inform Congress as soon as it is able.' That is the letter today that exactly disputes what just told us under oath."

Because the letter says, "Oh, yeah. We knew we should have passed it on," but he just said, "No, we didn't find out about it until way after." Brady said it's "the most corrupt, deceitful IRS in history," which caused John Lewis, Democrat-Georgia to, wake up.

LEWIS: Mr. Commissioner, I want to thank you for your service, thank you for your patient (sic), and I want to apologize to you for the way you've been treated this morning.  I thought this was a hearing and not a trial.

RUSH: Right.  The Democrats were apologizing to this guy left and right.  Up next is Paul Ryan and here, I think it's safe to say, he encapsulates why the country is so outraged by this scandal.

RYAN: You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter and you can turn their lives upside down.  You ask taxpayers to hand us seven years of their personal tax information in case they're ever audited, and you can't keep six months' worth of employee e-mails?  I don't believe you. This is incredible.

KOSKINEN: I have a long career!  That's the first time anybody has said they do not believe me.

RYAN: If we are investigating criminal wrongdoing, targeting people based on their political beliefs, and the e-mails in question are lost because of a "hard drive crash" that is apparently unrecoverable -- which a lot of IT professionals would question -- and you don't tell us about it until you ask us about it, that is not being forthcoming.

RUSH: This descended into Koskinen acting righteously outraged and, "How dare you accuse me of lying! How dare you accuse me of not being forthcoming!"  So Ryan responds, and some Democrat tries to shut Ryan down.  The Democrat says, "Let him answer the question!" And Ryan says, "I haven't asked him a question yet! I'm still telling him what I think of him.  I haven't asked him a question yet," and the whole thing blew up.

It's precisely because nobody believes that her hard drive crashed.

Well, nobody believes the e-mails are gone. 

Nobody believes it. 

Everybody believes the e-mails incriminate her and who knows who else.  Everybody thinks we've got the hard drive crash version of the Rose Mary Woods 18-minute gap tape during the Nixon administration. Everybody knows what's going on here.  Everybody knows this.  And this guy comes up all smug, arrogant and condescending and basically acts offended that he has to even be there.  And I think, again, when you look at Koskinen, you have to see who's really sitting there and that's Obama.  It's the way Obama would behave. 

How dare you ask me this?  How dare you not believe my lies?  How dare you challenge my lies?  How dare you?  Who do you think you are?  And that is the arrogance and condescension of the modern-day government liberal.  And it's all over the place. 

Look, folks, even if her hard drive crashed, nobody believes those e-mails are gone.  Later on in the back and forth with Paul Ryan, Ryan became even more incredulous when Koskinen said, in answer to the question (paraphrasing), "What did you do?" 

"Well, what did we do?  When we determined that the hard drives, the servers were irretrievable and the sectors were bad and the IT experts informed us there was simply no way, we did what's standard ordinary operating procedure is and we recycled them." 

"'Recycled,' what does that mean?"

"Well, I don't know what the process really is.  We junked them.  We trashed them." 

"Did you melt them down?  Did you throw them away?" 

"I don't know, they've been recycled.  They're gone."  That's their story and they're sticking to it.  And, therefore, there is no way, unless there's a whistle-blower somewhere that has these e-mails, that anybody is going to ever really know, for sure, what is on them.  They're basically just saying to all of us, "Screw you.  There's nothing you can do about it.  You can't touch us." 

It's not just: "We are the IRS. We are the Regime.  Whatever we say is what you are going to believe.  We define the truth and we tell you what it is.  And that's the end of it."  And if anybody wants to dissent from this, you have been warned.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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