Imagine, if you would, the following exchange:
IRS Agent: What you did here is suspicious.
Audited individual: I haven't broken any laws!
IRS Agent: Really? What are the relevant laws?
Audited individual: ...I don't know.
I want you to imagine what the IRS agent's most likely response would be to that. You can, right? It's pretty easy. We all know just how much give there is when it comes to dealing with the tax man.
Now let's flip it around.
"You have already said, multiple times today, that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing," Gowdy said. "I want you to tell me: What criminal statutes you have evaluated?"
"I have not looked at any," the IRS commissioner [John Koskinen] admitted.
"Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there is no criminal wrongdoing if you don't even know what statutes to look at?" Gowdy followed-up.
"Because I've seen no evidence that anyone consciously --"
"Well how would you know what elements of the crime existed? You don't even know what statutes are in play," Gowdy said, visibly annoyed.
The Weekly Standard really, really needs a better-synced copy of that exchange between Trey Gowdy and John Koskinen, because it's choice. Gowdy's history as a prosecutor shines through here: if Koskinen thinks that he came out of that with his credibility intact, Koskinen is mistaken. Then again, the man has already set himself up for possible perjury allegations:
THIS - CONFLICT: Koskinen just told Congress he learned about hard drive issue in FEB. Monday he told me IRS learned about it "late Spring".
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDCNN) June 20, 2014
More here: and as Ed Driscoll dryly notes, you can probably hazard a guess why it took two months for Koskinen to mention the hard drive problem once you simply look at the man's campaign contribution history. If you're wondering why the White House picked as IRS Commissioner somebody who hasn't practiced law in decades - which you might think would be a hindrance, given that the organization is having serious legal issues right now - well, wonder no more. There's competent, and then there's reliable. John Koskinen is apparently reliable.
Although I don't think that he knows the one about how if you play poker for a half hour and you haven't figured out yet who the idiot is at the table, well, it's you. You think the administration will mind seeing an appointee get hauled off for perjury? At this point, all Barack Obama wants is personal peace and quiet for the next two years while he plans out his speaking fee schedule. The travails of the Democratic party as a whole are not really his problem.
(Image via Shutterstock.)
Moe Lane (crosspost)