Tag Archives: independent counsel

IRS controversy lives on … and on

The Internal Revenue Service controversy hasn’t yet blown up into a full-scale scandal, no matter how hard the right wing tries to make it so.

Now the talking heads and pols on the right are clamoring for a special counsel to investigate the matter. Recall, now, that it began with revelations that the IRS was vetting conservative political action groups’ requests for tax-exempt status. It does the same thing for liberal groups, too, but the conservative chattering class got all wound up over it and have raised a stink ever since.

Now there’s been further revelations about two years worth of emails that went missing from IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s computer. What the heck happened to them?

Republicans, not surprisingly, are trying to tie the IRS matter to the White House, even though no evidence has been uncovered that the IRS was doing anything under White House orders. They want to implicate the president — naturally! — for all this. So far they’ve come up empty.

A special prosecutor might be a good idea if Congress could limit the scope of his or her probe. The last notable special prosecutor hired was one Kenneth Starr, who was brought in to investigate the Whitewater real estate dealings involving President and Mrs. Clinton. Starr, though, went rogue and discovered the president had engaged in a tawdry relationship with a young White House intern.

The House of Reps impeached him because he lied to a federal grand jury about that relationship; the Senate acquitted the president at trial.

Is a special prosecutor needed in this case? I believe the GOP-led House of Representatives has looked thoroughly into this matter and has found zero evidence of White House complicity in anything involving the IRS.

That, of course, will not end the clamor.

Christie clears himself of wrongdoing

This just in: A team of lawyers with close ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the governor didn’t do anything wrong in the infamous closure of George Washington Bridge lanes.

Who knew?


I have an idea. It’s worked before in other controversies that turned into scandals.

Why not hire a real, honest-to-goodness independent special prosecutor to look deeply into this matter?

A brief background: Someone reportedly ordered the closure of several lanes on the world’s busiest bridge in 2013 after the Fort Lee, N.J. mayor, a Democrat, refused to endorse the re-election bid by Christie, a Republican. The traffic tie-up caused incredible havoc on the bridge. Democrats accused Christie of getting back at the mayor. Republicans say that’s so much bunk. Christie has said from the beginning he had no advance knowledge of the closure. Others have said he is covering up what he knew and when he knew it.

The law firm that did this probe didn’t interview some key principals in the matter, such as former deputy Christie chief of staff Bridget Kelly who sent out the infamous email that said it was “time for some traffic problems” on the GW bridge.

Hey, a special prosecutor should be turned loose on this matter.

Do the names Leon Jaworski and Ken Starr ring any bells for you. Jaworski was the special prosecutor who probed the cover-up of the Watergate scandal that eventually brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. And Starr? He was picked to investigate something called “Whitewater” during the Clinton presidency and his investigation ended up revealing a tawdry sexual affair involving the president and a young White House intern; President Clinton was impeached as a result, tried in the Senate and acquitted of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

President Nixon didn’t know about the Watergate break-in in advance. The cover-up did him in.

This so-called “investigation” of Gov. Christie’s alleged role in the bridge-lane closure doesn’t even come close to putting an end to this story.

Bring in an independent counsel and let’s get some real answers.