Mike Lee thinks the IRS is involved in a cover-up


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  • woodysworld Sandy, UT
    June 23, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    daehder1, as someone who witness's first hand the charity given to the community both financially and temporally by churches, your position of the "taxing church income and property" would somehow give the government more income is not well founded. The government, local, state and federal could not even begin to fill the gap left which is fill by charitable organizations who are tax exempt. Much of this "welfare" goes to many who not even active in the faith they seek the charity from. If you want higher taxes, then AMEN to your position.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    June 23, 2014 6:26 a.m.

    If any of you believe the IRS is innocent of what they have been accused of,I have some ocean front property in Wyoming that I would like to talk to you about.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    June 21, 2014 10:01 p.m.

    Karen R. said:

    "The point is that, for too many now, there is no distinction to be made between their politics and their religion. It doesn't matter what the issue is. Everything is seen through the lens of a righteous crusade.

    Far too often these people are serving their religion, not their country."


    Karen, please focus like a laser, and deal with the subject at hand: Obama's IRS Department targeting conservative groups, and conveniently deleting e-mails and destroying hard drives relevant to the investigation.

    I know trying to make Lee the issue helps to take the heat off of your Dear Leader, but we both know what happened is indefensible. Okay, so it's no big deal...cool! I guess the next Republican President can target left-wing groups through the IRS and you'll be fine with that as well...right? After all, Obama is setting precedence, is he not?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 21, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    @ 1Observer

    The point is that, for too many now, there is no distinction to be made between their politics and their religion. It doesn't matter what the issue is. Everything is seen through the lens of a righteous crusade.

    Far too often these people are serving their religion, not their country.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 21, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    @ Karen R - I still don't see how religion has motivated Lee's scrutiny of the IRS. Because a person professes religiosity as you claim doesn't necessarily mean that everything they do is motivated by their self-proclaimed religious virtue. That would be painting all religious conservatives with too broad a brush and I don't think could be substantiated by fact. As for singling out a religion, Ajax singled out Mike Lee and his religion and then went on to include all religions so I will give that one to you and give Ajax the benefit of the doubt.

    I have personally worked with a number of conservatives in DC who are religious people and I rarely sense any religious overtones in our conservations. I have also worked with a number of rabid liberals in Congress and in those conversations I sensed none of those overtones. Most can and do focus on issues and it would be unfair to say that either side is motivated solely by overly-religious or overly-liberal philosophy.

    But all of this is a distraction from the original intent of the article - The IRS is covering up and should be investigated.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 21, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    1Observer writes, "The desperately needed social programs you talk about are the main reason for the debt".

    Sir, you need to "observe" the federal budget. Over half of it goes for what is euphemistically called "defense". Weapons and planes that the Navy and Air Force don't even want, but which are going to be manufactured in the district of the guy in charge of appropriations...

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    June 21, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    Mike Lee is living proof of how bad our caucus system is. How anyone with an I.Q. above 1 would think that he would be better than Bob Bennett is a mystery. Bennett voted to save the country with the TARP bill while Lee shut down the government and deeply hurt our economy.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 21, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    Yes, probably the IRS is involved in a cover up. But once Congress tried to deny Lois Learner her 5th amendment rights, all pretense of following the rules and the law flew out the window.

    If indeed (As Orin Hatch claims) there is some arcane rule that making a statement before Congress that you are innocent, strips a person of their 5th amendment rights, shouldn't that person at least be warned? Orin Hatch stated that she gave up that right when she declared her innocence, which rule is this Senator Hatch? I have my doubts that it even exists.

    I am not for the IRS targeting people, but neither am I for a federal employee being railroaded.

  • Kellie Wood Orem, UT
    June 21, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    There are always email back up systems if not triple systems in place for disaster contingency planning including back-up tapes. Emails never disappear. You're spot on Senator Lee. I have a master's in IT Management.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Failure to thoroughly vet charges of partisan misuse of the IRS would be tragic. Confidence in government institutions is very low - Congress, the VA and the Border patrol are but a few examples. Both sides of the isle should be eager to clear the air. "There's nothing here folks, move along," is not sufficient.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    June 21, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    FOr most of us emails are backed up by Yahoo, Gmail, etc. 5% of hard drives crash in a given year. If the IRS did not have back ups they should be fired. Even crashed hard drives contain a lot of information that can be retrieved. This is a no brainer. The IRS is corrupt. I don't know where religion or Bush comes in here.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Six computers crash simultaneously? Sure, along with Obama sycophants I believe that.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 21, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    @ 1Observer

    Is it even possible any longer to separate some Conservatives from their religiosity? Isn't this the way they want it? They see it as a virtue, don't they, and wear it proudly on their sleeves? Some even believe one cannot be "a true Conservative" without it.

    So how is it possible NOT to see religion in everything they do when they themselves proudly declare that this is precisely the case?

    BTW, Ajax's comment didn't call out any one religion. It called out religion in general and it was right on.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 21, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    @ daehder1

    The national debt is roughly $40,000 for every man, woman and child claiming US citizenship. Taxing all of the churches and non-profits in this country wouldn't even make a dent in that number. The desperately needed social programs you talk about are the main reason for the debt and I can personally attest to the fact that local churches and non-profits across the country have far greater success in changing peoples lives than a government program will ever have. If you personally want to do more to help people in need, feel free to voluntarily give to the non-profit or church of your choice. I am sure they would welcome the support and the money will be far better spent than if you sent it to the government.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    June 21, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    Once again our liberal friends have NO answers for yet another one of their messiah's scandals. Instead of dealing with the obvious cover-up, they must attack the messenger. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

    The corruption of the Left is limitless. So let me see if I follow the Liberals on this: 1) Lois Learner took the 5th during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings (didn't answer questions), and 2) we now have supposed damaged hard drives and missing e-mails relevant to the IRS targeting conservative groups, yet the Liberals call this a "conspiracy" by the right?

    Obama's scandals make Watergate look like a misdemeanor!

    It is truly pathetic watching the Left in this country make excuses for the lawlessness of this Thug we call President. If you folks think your earning brownie points with your Dear Leader, guess again. He doesn't see you as loyal, he sees you as fools. When he's done with you, he'll spit you out. You'll be under the same totalitarian oppression as the rest of us. Sadly, you won't believe it until you're living it.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    losing emails is a serious problem. However, granting tax free status to some of these organizations may indeed be illegal according to a law passed by Congress over 50 years ago. So is Congress now really crying foul because the IRS is not following an illegal policy. Who is right and who is wrong?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Anybody who understands computers knows emails don't go missing just because a server crashes. They have backups (by law). If the files AND the backups are missing.. it's a sure sign of a cover-up.

    This doesn't happen by accident (both the files AND the backups being wiped).


    That's when I knew the investigation into the AG in Utah was onto something... when the AG said his emails had been wiped out and he couldn't produce them for the investigators.

    That doesn't just happen. Somebody has to make it happen


    If there's one thing we learn from the recent AG investigation... it's that these files CAN be reconstructed (IF they want to bad enough and have enough money).

    These files being so completely wiped from existence tells me one thing... that there's something to cover up here (it wasn't just an accident). So I hope they keep investigating (as they did in the AG investigation). Until they get the files they are looking for.

    This isn't an accident. Government correspondence (which is required to be backed up for this purpose by law) doesn't go missing by accident.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Mik-lee who short sold his own home/mortgage has ZERO credibility when it comes to financial matters

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    More liberal groups were targeted than conservative. So if repubs want the democrats to outspend them and beat them even more in elections then please, let's keep investigating the IRS.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    The NSA probably has a copy of the emails... just ask them... don't even need a warrant these days... :D

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    June 20, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    This must be Mike Lee's assignment this week.
    If you notice, Cruz, and the other GOP conservative minions have been assigned certain topics to rant about as well.
    They are to "test the waters", according to their GOP big brothers.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 20, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    Is this what the people of Utah sent Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Jason Chaffetz back to Washington to do for our State?

    Benghazi, Shut-down the Government and lost e-mails?


    And the Tea-Publicans want MORE of them??

  • daehder1 Parker, AZ
    June 20, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Ha! I'm sure on the IRS side in this one. Personally, I think none of those groups should have tax deductibility, and legislation should make church income and property taxable. That alone would pay off our national debt and finance desperately needed social programs.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    Eric Cantor got away with this type of leadership(?) for 14 years.

    Virginia voters finally tired of Eric Cantor's fixation on Washington.

    Some time during his third term, Utah Voters will wake-up and send Mike Lee home...

    er...off to some swinging-door-super-lobbyist job in Washington.

    Until then...


  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    @ Ajax

    Why is it that religion is even an issue? I don't see any mention of it in the article. Why are there so many petty posters who constantly use every issue/opportunity to disparage the predominant faith in this state. It really is a joke and undermines the credibility of your comments. I have completely stopped reading comments in the Trib because nearly every commenter drags religion into their comments. The IRS scandal and Mike Lee's response have nothing to do with religion. I rarely agree with Sen. Lee but it is clear that the IRS is following a typical pattern of lies and deceit in Washington. That pattern has existed regardless of party or religion for far too long.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Mike Lee is just trying to score easy conservative points.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    My last post didn't make it past the ever vigilant DN screeners so I will try a different approach!

    Dear Sen. Lee
    Thank you for your dedicated, patriotic and ever bibartisan approach to your office! You are probably right! There very well may be a cover-up in the making! As a previous poster says "Duh".

    I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to cooperate in the ensuing investigation and hearings but maybe it has something to do with the statement in another previous posters question. " Senator Lee, have you see the public opinion of you and your colleagues".

    Is it possible that they just don't respect You Sen. Lee, Sen. Cruz and the others sitting on that side of the aisle, and find it hard to take you serious? You can only get so much mileage out of the "Sky is falling, the Sky is falling" before you lose, just as Chicken Little found, your credibility!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    "The attacks on Senator Lee are disappointing. He is not the issue. It is the behavior of the IRS. If you wish to argue that the IRS did nothing wrong, or that it should be allowed to engage in politically-motivated shenanigans, then please make that argument."

    Says who?

    Everything Mr. Lee has done has been politically driven.

    Now suddenly, we're expected to believe that he's sincere about this issue? How do we know that he isn't making a mountain of a moe hill for political purposes?

    I'm sorry, but Mikey has cried wolf too many times for any reasonable person to give credibility to him.

    Then again, ya gotta hand it to him. He's making his last few years of being a senator interesting!

    His replacement can't come soon enough.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Senator Mike Lee and fellow ideologues, casting themselves as a providential bulwark against clandestine evil doers bent on destroying the nation, are proof of the toxic mixing of religion and politics. Defeating the enemy is for them a religious as well as a political crusade, lacking in perspective and justifying whatever means, whether true or false, right or wrong.

    Such pretension is largely delusional. Utah suffers. It is a losing game for everyone.

    Religion and government can play well together and have at times done so for the good of all, just not when religious beliefs are used as a narrow and divisive strategy driven by fear and contrived for political advantage and personal gain at the expense of others.

    June 20, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    The odds of those emails being lost, if standard IT practices were followed, are somewhere between slim and none. Mike Lee is right - the IRS is playing the same game Mr. Swallow played here in Utah. The only difference is that the IRS was smart enough to shred the hard drives in question.

    The attacks on Senator Lee are disappointing. He is not the issue. It is the behavior of the IRS. If you wish to argue that the IRS did nothing wrong, or that it should be allowed to engage in politically-motivated shenanigans, then please make that argument.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    all the liberal BO apologists are showing their technological ignorance. E-mails do NOT disappear even if a hard drive crashes. There IS a cover-up. The emails exist, and they show criminal use of the IRS; that is why the dems refuse to turn them over and that is why the 5th amendment was invoked. plain and simple.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Outside of Utah, few, if any, have regard for what Senator Lee has to say. In addition to costing his bank hundreds of thousands of dollars for walking away from his mortgage he cost Americans billions by inititating the goverment shutdown. It's time to turn Senator Lee's microphone off and bring him home. The IRS needs to be investigated but we need respected leaders with integrity to do it.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Can mike Lee so something constructive for once? Please???

    I don't know, pass a job bill or something to assist in green technology development?

    Do something other than shut down the government and spread stupid paranoia.

    Are his 6 years up already? Man they never end!

  • Benevolus Fruit Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    The IRS has willingly become a tool of the Democratic party. President Obama has declared there is no smidgen of corruption despite the evidence to the contrary. His justice department announced there would be no criminal charges brought even as investigations were only beginning. Sounds like signals to the IRS that the president and attorney general have the backs of those unwilling to testify or produce evidence.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    Of course Mike Lee thinks this. I'll tell you what. Investigate Bush and Cheney over the Valerie Plame issue, whether they had any involvement. Investigate the IRS targeting liberal groups in the Bush years. Investigate the many other things that Republicans got away with. Let's put them all in the same basket. Unless you do, the current IRS controversy, which has been adequately investigated and vetted now, is nothing more than a partisan game. Can't we get a Congress that actually does something instead of toxic political games and hypocritical huffing and puffing. Senator Lee, have you see the public opinion of you and your colleagues. You would think you could get it through your head that the path you are on is not approved by the people.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 20, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    I actually agree with him..... data retention is a law, not just a best practice. If they destroyed documents "accidentally", well..... I just don't believe it.

  • Michael Hunt Murray, UT
    June 20, 2014 4:39 a.m.

    We need more to send more hound dogs like Lee to govment to sniff out the problems. We can't quite put a finger on what's going on with Benghazi or the IRS, but I bet more patrits like Lee could rout out the stink!

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    June 20, 2014 1:16 a.m.

    There are just way too many jokes here with this story. I am glad Senator Lee is on this one. Now if we could just reopen the Warren Commission report,get video from Area 51 and get funding to find Bigfoot I would feel even better.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    June 19, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    Ummmmmmj yup.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    Mike Lee Thinks...you lost me there.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 19, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    No, DUH!