tv Americas Newsroom FOX News June 4, 2013 6:00am-8:01am PDT
>> brian: tomorrow, dan marino, dr. keith ablow and brook burke. thank you, caribbean family. >> steve: see you back here tomorrow, everybody. >> brian: buy miranda's book! fox news alert. it will not be a good time for many on the hill today. what does it feel to be like in the cross-hairs of the irs? we're about to find out six conservative groups say the tax agency targeted them because of their political beliefs. they will testify before congress. this is testimony you will see live here on the fox news channel. now some of these stories have been out there but many have not. there will be drama this morning. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to america's newsroom. good morning. martha: should be interesting. good morning, everybody, i'm martha maccallum. today's hearing will be before the house ways and means committee. this is the second of three we will watch this week. yesterday we had the new irs
commissioner, danny werfel. he got an idea of the work cut out for him. he and the inspector general faced tough questions whether this targeting was indeed politically motivated. watch some of this from yesterday's hearing. >> do you feel like the irs has betrayed the trust of the american people? >> i do, mr. chairman. i think that's why, i'm thinking this in terms of my primary mission is to restore that trust. and i'm heavyful by the end of this hearing today for the various questions that you asked, that i can lay out our approach. but i think it has to start with a recognition that the trust has been violated and it has to start with the recognition that we have to get all the facts out. >> as of this day there is no factual evidence that this was a politically motivated review from senior officials at the irs of the white house. is that correct? >> i can definitely say within the white house, no, as of today.
i can not say that as of the irs as a result of the fact we did not look at that aspect of it. bill: this is what we know so far. the alleged targeting started three years ago, march of 2010, when the irs began screening conservative groups primarily. nearly 500 groups fell into the net. they allege were subjected to unfair, overly burdensome scrutiny and questions. some of the groups, tea party or patriots in their names, waited more than three years to have their tax-exempt applications processed. while they waited two election cycles came and went. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel starts our coverage from the hill. mike, good morning. what do we expect to hear this time? >> reporter: bill, i'm told one panel, six witnesses expected to go a couple of hours. let's look at groups that will be testifying today. one, for example, a traditional marriage group. three tea party groups from lawrence, county, south carolina, alabama and
san fernando california. the founder of lynchpins for liberty which lost a $30,000 grant because of delay in getting its tax-exempt status. they will hear from the coalition of life of iowa, a pro-life group out of iowa. here is what a conservative group said about the idea of conservatives being targeted. >> we're seeing these targeting of these different groups whether religious or irs or different tea party groups and that is one thing i don't think anybody is really surprised about that this really did go all the way up to the white house. now we have to get people to remember or not claim the fifth and actually take claim for the problems they have created. >> reporter: to be clear she is not testifying today on capitol hill. she gives you a little flavor what some of these conservative groups say they got extra scrutiny are feeling heading into this hearing today. she clearly thinks it goes much bigger than the irs. the investigation continues on that front. bill: the hits keep on
coming from the irs too. we're waiting a release from the inspector general on lavish spending that occurred on behalf of the irs. what do we know about that, mike? >> reporter: j. russell george investigating the irs has another decent civil lavish spending from the irs. $50 million in conferences from 2010 through 2012, including a $4 million conference in anaheim, california. things like presidential suites all on the taxpayer dime. we've seen some videos that the irs employees were doing as well. we expect to get more details on the lavish spend aspect of the story, bill. bill: leadership through art, what one of the speakers was paid to talk about at the irs. leadership through art. thanks, mike emanuel on the hill. here's martha. martha: the new irs chief, danny werfel admits his agency undercut the public's trust he vowed he will clean house in his new position. he was named acting commissioner about two weeks ago. he agreed to serve you there
the end of this year. before at that, he was a comptroller of the omb, the office of management and budget. he worked for the federal government over the last 12 years. yesterday he seemed stumped when asked how many americans continue to have their applications delayed at the irs in this process? >> how many americans, how many groups of americans continue to have their applications delayed? how many groups continue to be held under unjust, unconstitutional scrutiny by the irs as of today? >> that's a question that i want the answer to as well. martha: pretty tough in there yesterday. on the job just a couple of weeks so far. werfel is now in the middle of a 30-day top to bottom review of the agency. that is the job cut out before him. we'll see how he does. bill: answers were scarce too. werfel is new on the job, the subcommittee's top republican says he wants answers for the conservative groups that received extra scrutiny. have a listen here. >> they were harassed.
they were intimidated. they were bullied. this went on for almost three years and no one spoke up. we know that but there's a lot that we don't know and it's time for the irs to come clean. now there is some question, is this some rogue agents in cincinnati? it is hard to believe that just somebody stood up one day, here's a way we can really embarass people that are of a particular political philosophy. martha: one of the most shocking revelations from yesterday's hearing was that nobody seems willing to tell the inspector general exactly who ordered them to sift out for these tea party groups, conservative groups but werfel says he will get to the bottom of that question. here he is from yesterday. >> so no one with any knowledge who gave the directive to do this? >> that's correct. questioned during the audit phase of this. >> mr. werfel are you
satisfied with that response from individuals in cincinnati? >> no. >> will you get to the bottom of that? >> we have to get to the bottom of that. >> no matter how high it went up the change, you will find out who made this order? >> we will uncover every fact. martha: that is the job set before him here. stuart varney, fox business network joins me right now. j. russell george, the inspector general who looked all this and has been he have iting, we asked these so-called rogue folks at the irs in cincinnati, who instructed you, where did this directive come from to sift through the applications for conservative names and monikers in here. he said he couldn't get them to answer that question. >> there is really a lot of frustration here. it is growing. it is intense frustration. because there is a suspicion and clear evidence that the machinery of government was used to intimidate the president's political opponents in two election cycles. yet we do not know who may or may not have the
orchestrated this. who orchestrated, who demanded and who organized this campaign. as you just heard, the investigator there, j. russell george, he didn't look at that aspect within the irs. two previous irs directors said they will not name names and they don't he no the answers anyway. then mr. werfel said, yesterday, he will find outs but that would be in the future. so who it ited the irs in an election season? we still do not know, martha. martha: yeah. i mean there's the suggestion, j. russell george says he had no indication it came from the white house. he doesn't know the answer to that question, he said. as you pointed out from the from the irs because it wasn't part of their purview in that investigation. that remains, stuart, the central questioner who. lois lerner and steven miller, as you pointed out, they don't seem to know where it came from. the folks in cincinnati pointing finger in the direction at folks in washington, d.c. and folks in washington, d.c. polk
point pointing the finger at folks in cincinnati. the answer liars somewhere. >> three years after the events originally unfolded we have a stonewall. we still do not know who orchestrated this campaign or whether there was indeed orchestration from the top. we simply don't know. today we might get more information on three aspects of the irs scandal. number one delays in granting tax-exempt status. number two of intimidation of republican donors by use of irs audits. the number three the release of personal information from conservatives by. it will be a very personal series of testimony. martha: we've heard some of these stories here and we've had some of these folks on across the channel we have. i think this is part of the story that is going to shock the american people because they haven't heard what these folks actually went through and the level harrassment that some of them, and they have been he will whying and screaming
about this for years but nobody really took it seriously until very recently. this will be something, stuart -- >> it is not going away, martha. it's not. martha: it's not and it is very important to the american people. we've seen that clearly in all the polls. stuart, we'll see you later. >> thanks, martha. bill: 15 minutes before the hearing begins. chairman of the house appropriations committee vowing not to rest until he is find out who is responsible for the targeting. hal rogers expressed his outrage with just just yesterday. >> the alleged targeting of conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status is a shameful violation of the intent of the constitution. i'm deeply offended. we will not tolerate another political enemies list. we've been there before. bill: hal rogers was on our program yesterday. this is job approval number as reflects on president over past, oh, 34 days. starting may 1st, 4% approval line is in green.
taking up to june 3rd at 46%. a drop of about two points. look at this number, compare with the disapproval number, the disapproval number comes in red. watch how things have changed over the month of may into the month of june as scandals and attention of the scandals increased. how these lines got closer and closer together, right around this mark here. last wednesday or last thursday when the lines crossed. here is where the president sits today, underwater at 49.3%, to 46.6%. that is average of all polls put together on behalf of realclearpolitics.com, martha. that is what? that is reuters. that is rasmussen. that is gallup, that is fox. that's us. abc is in there. gives you a bit of a good canvas what people are thinking and feeling across the country. martha: get attention in the west ink with as they try to deal with all the scandals. we're getting started here this morning, everybody. the justice department is
responding to the investigation whether eric holder lied under oath when he testified before congress about the ap and james rosen stories. why a top republican says that response from eric holder, was quote, insulting. it has created a whole lot more questions than answers. bill: again we're waiting on the latest hearing on the irs to get going on capitol hill. will anyone be held accountable? don't miss a minute. martha: before that gets underway this morning we'll speak to the congressman in charge of today's questioning. chairman dave camp, very much in the center of this today. he will join us and tell us what he wants to hear from the groups that were tar thed by the irs. >> we will not rest, mr. werfel, until you somebody, gets us those answers.se on angie's list before i do any projects on my own. at angie's list, you'll find reviews written by people just like you. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
significant vacancies on the key u.s. court of appeals in the district of columbia. this is a very big judicial decision that he will be making. we'll monitor that. we'll bring any developments as they come through. bill: top republicans not happy with eric holder's response to questions over his role on snooping on reporters. a. james rosen. they're angry a letter they received not from holder from a subordinate who argued the af did nothing wrong. >> i don't know what they thought but we're not biting. we believe that the response we received raised more questions than were answered. bill: bob beckel, former democratic campaign manager and co-host of the 5:00. mary katharine ham, hotair.com. good morning to you. robert g. good morning to you. mk, nice to have you back. mary catherine, they say they're insulted. they say there is something the attorney general is hiding because the answers were not inappropriate.
what is up? >> it has the whiff of a very lawyerly washington sidestep here. in the original testimony, holder says, listen, i didn't know about potential prosecution of a reporter, meaning james rosen. we come to find out in fact he personally signed the warrant you needed to argue we're going to potentially prosecute james rosen in order to get. later he has an underling send a letter it is the truth but the two can not be rec silt. they will find answers and try to get it in front of them. bill: should they have heard from holder? it doesn't look like they're going to stop until he talks? >> well it has been a long morning, bill. bill: long, it is 9:00. >> that's right. you guys are up early. bill: maybe it has been a long night for you? >> that is accurate. now, let me, i can't defend the letter. i was in congressional at the white house. virtually every agency gets
letters from the agencies or departments and get it back from the director of legislative affairs. to call it insulting is itself insulting. ing a said that i think where holder's real problem is, as mare can i katherine pointed out he signed the subpoena where rosen would be a potential coconspiracy are tore. hard to reconcile that we is not targeting reporters. sends a chilling effect on the press. i think that is the dilemma that and and he is dying by a thousand cuts. bill: says at her, something important between a letter and prosecution. that continues to be their defense. >> i think that's their defense. let's be realistic here. when you put out a subpoena like that and it is for the purpose of potentially gathering information for a prosecution, it, it is fairly difficult to say rosen was never the target of a prosecution. bill: mary katherine, do you buy that? they're sticking to that story so far.
>> seems like a very weak defense to me. clearly, he actually used the phrase potential prosecution, he didn't just use prosecution. this is clearly a potential prosecution issue that seems very clear. doesn't make a lot of sense to me. i'm not terribly surprised you're getting discrepancis. you've seen them before in "fast & furious" case, holder said i only found out about this couple weeks ago and there were memos saying he knew about it the year before. they will try to get him in front. committee again to see what they found out. he should --. bill: did you call it two-step or is that bob? who called that? >> i think he called it a --. bill: called it a d.c. two-step. if that is the case, you have a deadline tomorrow, june 5th, which is a wednesday. sensenbrenner saying i still expect a response from the a. about before that deadline. >> yes. bill: where is the give-and-take here now, bob? what happens here? >> the problem is, this is in eric holder's hands. the question is i've been in
washington a long time. this is what we call death by a thousand cuts. i think frankly it etch preach reached the point where holder has to consider as he did last year before the election, he wanted to quit and he was talked out of it by the white house. i think may be for his sake time to begin a wrap down and get somebody else in as attorney general. bill: so you think you he should step aside? >> for his own, i have known him a long time. he is a decent honorable man, but i think how much more of this will you want to take? bill: how long have you felt that way, bob? >> about two weeks? >> some of the cuts, many of the thousand cuts are coming from anonymously inside the white house and inside the administration. >> that's right. >> through pages of "new york times." it is taking its toll. >> by the way that is an old washington trick. >> right. >> a way to send a message through the white house with unnamed sources but i think the intention there is fairly clear. as i again, i say holder begged to get out of this
job last year and he was talked by valerie jarrett to stay in there. bill: we'll see if that is the case. soften the beachhead. do you have a date on that, quick? >> do i have a date tonight? oh, do i have a date when he is quitting? no. i don't. i do have a date tonight. so sorry. bill: make it a short night, bob. >> i will do that. bill: 9:21. mary katherine, bye-bye. martha. martha: we expect we'll see some riveting testimony minutes from now. conservative groups who say the irs singled them out. they will get their say. you will hear from the groups themselves about what they experienced in all of this and whether someone will be held accountable. when will that happen? [ male announcer ] running out of steam?
martha: well that's a live look at the senate armed services committee where the heads of all the branches of our military will take part in a congressional hearing this morning that looks into the number of sexual assault cases that occurred within the armed forces. some lawmakers want to change the military's justice system. they think that will help to take this problem more seriously. they want to limit the authorities that commanders have to discipline the troops that they lead. national security correspondent jennifer griffin joins me live from the pentagon. jennifer, this could be quite, you know, volatile this morning. what do we expect in there? >> reporter: well, martha, you can expect angry questioning by seven female senators who sit on the powerful armed services committee. the largest number of women
to sit on the 26-mem her committee traditionally run by men. the hearing comes weeks after the president called the armed services chiefs to the mat in the white house to demand answers. you can expect the women, in effect make the top brass explain sexual assault and the military justice system which these female senators claim is outdated and broken. where the rape survivor has to report the assault to her chain of command, sometimes to the very person who raped her. >> if you have to go through a nine-month trial and have your commanding officer overturn a jury verdict and have to salute the perpetrator, the predator who raped you, something is wrong with the system. >> senator gillibrand is sponsoring legislation that would effectively take these sexual assault cases out of the chain of command. military judges and juries would then be responsible for overseeing these cases. martha: very disturbing when you read into some of these stories, jennifer. describe what they see,
having looked at it as the extent of this problem. >> reporter: well the pentagon estimates that there were 26,000 sexual assaults last year alone. that is based on a survey, anonymous survey they put out. what is most disturbing, or as disturbing of that figure, half, more than half of those assault cases involved men sexually assaulting other men. here is sampling of recent cases. alleged prostitution ring run by a sergeant in charge of sexual abuse awareness training at fort hood, texas. secret videotaping of female cadets in showers at west point by the sergeant who was mentoring them. they naval academy football players being investigated for sexual assault. in air force in charge of sexuam accused of groping a woman. three air force instructors investigated for sexual misconduct at lackland air
force base where they were doing the training. the hearing is about to start. you can expect it to be very heated this morning, martha. martha: we will watch as we know you will, jennifer. watch the hering on foxnews.com on the home page. we have a dueling hearings. a lot of very important issues taking on capitol hill today that we're bringing to you. bill: that is one hearing room. we'll take you inside another in a moment. today's hearing about the irs will start in 30 minutes. lawmakers repeatedly asking the acting commissioner to answer one simple question. >> do you plan on clearing house, terminating anyone or holding anyone accountable? >> i certainly plan on holding people accountable. i don't know -- >> what is your definition of accountable? >> so here's, that's a good question. bill: we will put that question to a former irs commissioner and find out if he thinks americans will ever get to the truth here.
martha: well as we wait for today's hearing on the irs targeting scandal set to get rolling at the top of the hour we'll bring to you live, here is a little bit from yesterday. lawmakers pressing the acting irs commissioner danny werfel for answers on who is being held accountable. >> for the committee has anyone to date been held accountable. >> let me answer the question this way. >> that is a yes or no. has anyone been held accountable? >> the answer is yes i would like to expand on that.
if you look the irs organization versus the day the ig report, we have new commissioner, deputy services and enforcement, commissioner for tax-exempt government entities. >> that is new leadership but who has been held accountable? >> well i think the leaders that were replaced certainly i think the fact they're no longer holding positions of public trust, that is part of the accountability. >> so so resignation is accountability, is that what you're telling the american people? lois lerner being on administrative leave is accountability? is lois lerner still being paid today. >> she is. martha: she is. there you have it. mark everson joins me now. he served as irs commissioner from 2003 to 2007. he is from alliant group. thank you for being back here today. >> thank you, martha. martha: what do you make of that? is that satisfactory? and how would you handle it this happened on your watch? >> well, the whole, event is really a sad story, martha.
it is a bad chapter for the irs and for the country as a whole. as you know so many interact with the agency that they think of the irs as their government in many ways. so this is pretty terrible. there were three things that happened here. there were problems at the lowest level in cincinnati. and they do call for proper discipline as the congressman indicated. the issue here though there are very important civil service rules and laws, if you will that guaranty rights. so prompt investigations should be undertaken and then, let the chips fall where this may. then there were problems at the intermediary level. it took over two years to clean this up and get it right. that is just unconscionably wrong. finally, if you will, there was just horrible leadership at the very top of the agency in terms of what was told to congress, getting after this problem and then, not correcting the record when it was wrong, what he said was wrong.
martha: i understand what you say about, there are procedures and we have to go through procedures. i think people have just had it with a lot of that. i think they would like to see some of those rules rewritten. when you look at lois lerner, just for example, the fact that she, you know, was told, we would like your resignation and she declined, you know, in any normal circumstances if you're given the opportunity to resign that is nice way of saying we would like to fire you. please send us a letter and we'll make this nicer and they turn that down and you're fired! that is normally the way those things go if you pass up the opportunity to resign. my question to you, why would you not, why would they not fire lois lerner when she refused to resign unless they didn't want her, unless they wanted her to protect her for some reason? why? >> oh, i don't think that's it. i think they are going to make sure they follow the letter of the lou in terms of how they treat civil servants. if you don't do that, if you do something that improper, martha, then it will be, you
know, it will be reversed, if you will by the courts. so i take your point. perhaps one thing we ought to look at is, what is proper under the civil service rules in terms of discipline? i found that always --. martha: i think you're right. i think you're right about that. let me ask you this. when you look at j. russell george, he says i'm trying to get answers to who the directive came from. i say to the employees when we do the investigations who asked you to go through this process this way, he said i can't get an answer. is that acceptable? what does that mean? i mean how can he not get an answer? he is an inspector general? >> i'm sort of with you on this one. i don't understand why, if they were doing the audit, and it, there clearly were problems, why they weren't more thorough of addressing all issues when they were doing their field work, if you will. i think the key here is, that we have full, complete, and also fairly prompt congressional investigations here where everything is
pulled out into the open and, then you have a complete airing of the facts. martha: do you have confidence, mr. everson, do you have confidence that is going to happen? talk about the breach of trust and people not, the irs losing credibility as we heard yesterday from mr. werfel, that is such a serious american break of trust. people sign their, you know, returns. they you know, cross their ts and dot theiris, they're so concerned they will get backlash. to hear, these folks are protected by civil process. gee, we don't get that kind of treatment from the irs? >> yeah. i, i understand the frustration here and, the damage to the agency is real. let me just say this. my experience with the service was that people really tried to call it right undo the middle. so i do find this whole chapter quite, really shocking and mostly from
what happened at the top in terms how long they let this go and the fail lure, failure to address it, particularly the undermining of the relationship with congress. you have to have good relationships with the congress if you're going to unare agency correctly. martha: i think people want to see that good relationship bear out in, you know, a very clear and transparent way, and acknowledgement. i have to get this so far out there that people say i get it. i think people have been punished. i think people have been replaced. i think this will never happen again. short of that we're in a very sorry situation i'm sure you feel having led this organization. >> right. martha: thank you so much, mr. everson. we'll see what happens. who gave the directive? where did that come from. bill: checking on stocks right now, we're early in the day of trading but we're on the good side. up 28 points for the bulls, 15,282. still below the all-time mark but who is keeping track of that.
housing numbers from april, reaffirmed earlier today, they were good year-over-year. here is live look. lawmakers about to interview conservative groups targeted by the irs. we'll talk to the man running today's hearing. he is congressman dave camp and owe is live next this day calls you. to fight chronic osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, y will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can helpeduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children,
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martha: a service today to mark the 60th anniversary of queen elizabeth ii's coronation. ♪ . >> just as her majesty's royal predecessors --. martha: just a little snippet of it this morning. some 2,000 people in attendance including members of the royal family and prime minister david cameron there. there the jewel-encrusted crown of st. edward which has not left the tower of london since her 1953 coronation. there is look at her wearing the fancy crown. the 87-year-old queen elizabeth is closing in on queen victoria's longest rein. she reined 63 years. queen elizabeth has a couple years to go. bill: you go girl. can you say that about the queen? martha: you just did i think. bill: a mere commoner here. we're just minutes away from what is expected to be
riveting testimony on the hill. we'll hear from some of the americans who say the irs targeted them over their political beliefs. a little bit earlier today i talked to the lawmaker running this today's hearing. that is dave camp, the chairman of the house ways and means committee. dave camping, good morning. welcome to "america's newsroom". >> thank you, bill. bill: these hearings which begin in about 15 minutes, what do you expect to learn from these groups? >> well, these are people who have had their first amendment rights targets because of their beliefs. and this hear something a chance to give them voice so we can hear on the record what these people, average, just, honest, hard-working american citizens what they went through. bill: they come from all over the country too. south carolina, alabama, california. there is a group from tennessee and iowa. what does that tell you? >> well how widespread this was. these are not just as we call, 501(c)(4) organizations or social welfare organizations. they're charitable groups. there are other interests.
this is broader than i think what may have been understood by most people and this hearing will help us understand that as well. bill: our fox polling shows 37% believe the administration knew something about it but did not initiate perhaps either to stop it or step in or make it public. what do you think? >> well what we know so far, obviously we're still building a record here, is that, many in the cincinnati office where a lot of this work was centralized said they don't do anything without direction and what we don't know who directed it. how did these questions and they're lengthy and really a huge burden, how they got started and how this was all implemented and whose idea it was. those are still questions we have. this will at least, put as i said, put voice to what many americans went through. bill: what do you think? did the administration know about this? >> you know, we just don't know at this point. i do believe that certainly at some point high level officials in the irs knew and people at treasury knew.
and the question is, who knew what when. we're still really trying to find that out. bill: do you think the objective was to slow down the organization so these political groups don't get, i guess, any steam or energy behind them? >> we know that they were slowed down. many of these applications, some have not been approved yet. have been pending over three years. the normal course is two to four months. so, and we know they were targeted simply because they had conservative views. so we know that they didn't target progressive groups according to the inspector general. we know that these were delayed in many cases and then the old saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied. many groups just stopped trying at some point. bill: but this is your category. this is tax. house and ways and means committee, you're the chairman. this is, this is right down the middle of the plate for you nice. now it's been written that, well, this is a story about
politics. but with regard to you it has been written this is story that calls out for tax reform. do you think this scandal makes it ripe for you to be able to push forward the tax reform that you've been pursuing for years? >> well i think it does in this way. obviously if we could get a simpler, fairer, flatter tax code of the discretion in the irs would not be as evident. one of the things people are concerned about in this whole series of events have shown us, they're concerned about an audit. if the code were more transparent, more straightforward, simpler, i think the fear of an audit would go away. i think frankly the average person should be able to do their own taxes. they can't under the current code. the other thing needs to be restored is trust. there wasn't much trust in the irs to start with. what little trust there was has been shattered by this series of events. bill: is this story about politics or about tax reform, or is it both? i think it is a bit of -- >> i think it is a bit of
both. as we move forward i think this will make the case for a simpler, fairer, tax code that is more understandable to the average person. not this sense if you really know somebody you could get a better deal, or in this case if they know you, they will target you. i think that we need to make sure that we wipe that away from our internal revenue service completely and that is going to be one of the challenges as we go forward for many months. bill: this is your area. we'll see whether or not you're successful in time. dave camp, thank you. we'll see you inside the room in about 15 minutes. >> thank you, bill. martha: tax reform in the big picture. that would be interesting, right? as we've been telling you, we'll take you live, moments away. the group is starting to buzz in that room as things are about to get going 10 minutes from now. first we have other news for you this morning. oscar pistorius, out of hiding and returning to court. the judge just made a big decision in this case goodnight.
bill: there is new outrage after a military judge rules that the fort hood shooting suspect, major nidal hasan, can represent himself during his murder trial. that means he will be allowed to question survivors. in court hasan suggested he plans to argue he was protecting fellow muslims in afghanistan from u.s. old soldiers preparing to deploy. now a judge will decide whether or not to delay the trial to give hasan more time to get ready. he is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. he faces the death penalty or life in prison if convicted. martha: well, he's known as the olympic "blade runner" and now back in a south african courtroom for a brief hearing.
piss oscar pistorius asy as youed of killing his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. both sides think they need more time before this case goes to trial. greg palkot, what exactly happened in court, greg? >> reporter: we were in the courtroom in february. oscar pistorius at that time seemed like a broken man. ashen, crying, grave. we were couple feet away from him. today his appearance seemed to be much more composed. he has been out on bail since that time. he acknowledged many family members in the court. he tried a smile. didn't have too much to smile about though. it was a short hearing, 15 minutes long. he still faced the possibility of a premeditated murder charge in the shooting death of his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. the prosecution specifically said they needed more time to prepare their case and the judge granted that. and said the next court appearance would be on
august 19. the judge also had a few other things to say about the media. he said there could be a trial by media, even called some of the leaks contemptuous. in fact we saw some pictures of the crime scene last friday that which were pretty graphic, martha. martha: what happens next here, gregg? >> reporter: yeah the prosecution will be working hard to build their case. then the defense will be working hard to break down that case. most folks we speak to, martha, say the forensic evidence will be crucial. specifically the bathroom door through which pistorius shot and killed steenkamp. the double-amputee said he thought there was intruder in his house. he didn't have time to put on the prosthetic legs and shot low. the prosecution said this was planned out and had time to put on his legs. there could be phone logs. mobile phones were found in the apartment. now there are reports there could not only texts to steenkamp but texts to pistorius that might have provided the grist of some
kind of argument or some kind of dispute that provided motivation. in fact, martha, we saw a british documentary last night which the mother of reeva steenkamp said the two were arguing quite a bit. the trial though, not expected to start maybe until next year. martha: that will be a major event. thank you very much, greg. we'll see you later. bill: what is it like to be a target of the irs? we're about to find out when some of the very people who say they were on the receiving end of controversial tactics tell their story before lawmakers. some of them for the very first time. we're live inside the hearing room in minutes. >> when government targets individuals for their beliefs, this is now an afront on democracy, on our freedoms. ♪ ♪ wonder if i gave an oreo ♪ to somebody out there who i didn't know ♪
martha: fox news alert. we are just moments away now from the second of two big hearings on capitol hill this week in the scandal that has rocked the irs. the policy to single out primarily right-leaning groups for extra scrutiny when they tried to get through the process to become tax-exempt as so many institutions are in this country. this time though, today is going to be different. we will hear from the victims themselves in this case. welcome to a brand new hour of "america's newsroom." i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. good morning. yesterday we heard from the acting irs commissioner and
we also heard from the inspector general from the treasury department who is investigating all this with the irs. today though the leaders of six conservative groups will testify about their own experience after being targeted by the tax agency for, what, two years? 2 1/2 years? martha: some cases and in some cases they're still waiting. that is what makes today very unique in this whole process. i'm joined by tucker carlson, editor of "the daily caller" and coanchor of "fox and friends" weekend. hey, tucker. >> good morning, martha. >> turned to bill before this hour started. these people must be psyched. they will finally get their moment to sit there and tell the world, this is what i've been going through. a lot of cases these people have been told they're nuts. you're just imagining you're part of a big conspiracy. they're saying no, you know what? we were. >> that is literally true. even a number of these people a number of these activists a number of these groups were dismissed as black helicopter enthusiasts or tinfoil hat cases,
conspiracy nuts as they told their story. keep in mind this is the second hearing at the ways and means committee in the house. this is the second hearing they have held into irs abuses the first one took place quite some time ago. it was spurred by these initial complaints. it was during the campaign. in the end of course it went nowhere because seemed so completely implausible. this never happened. it has been compared to abuses during the nixon administration but keep in mind the evidence during that period 40 years ago was the administration was trying to target its enemies using the irs. i don't think there has ever been evidence of wide scale targeting that actually happened like you're seeing here. martha: yeah. we have heard incredible stories. we interviewed one of these folks yesterday here who talked about, you know, ultimately it was the fbi who she claims started looking into what they were doing with this organization. and one of the things that think people need to sort of think about in the larger scope of all this, tucker, is that it wouldn't matter, they go through the 501(c)(3) organizations and
looking for political activity. that part we get. >> right. martha: the problem is they only did it to one side. if all those soros groups and other groups were also undergoing the same kind of scrutiny, just how politically involved are you there would be no argument, right? >> sure. there are legitimate questions you could raise. i live in washington. trust me, there are a lot of nonprofit groups probably shouldn't have that designation. martha: yeah. >> for 27 months not a single conservative group, rightly named tea party group received nonprofit status, not one, from the irs. meanwhile all kinds of progressive liberal groups including one one run by the president's half-brother, in some cases received expedited treatment by irs. it is not up for debate. that happened. the question is why. the question we may hear in this hearing is, who told you to do this? the cincinnati office was the locus of this but where did the instructions come from? that is what i think these members will be hitting on. martha: that is a huge unanswered question in all of this so far.
and you know, if you could, tucker, set the political stage for us. while all of this wasp haing because these things don't happen in a vacuum. >> no. martha: give everybody that background. >> the background of course was the presidential campaign. the president's re-election campaign of 2012 and a lot of these groups are the part of the same force that allowed the republican to take the house of representatives in the 2010 midterms. they were potent that year. the white house, everyone understood that. these were in effect people who might make the president's re-election difficult. in some cases they were forced to sit it out on the sidelines because they couldn't raise money because they didn't have their letter from the irs. anyone who runs a nonprofit can tell you it is really hard to get donors to chip in until you have the letter saying you are a legitimate government recognized nonprofit organization. in effect this helped tip the scales in a presidential campaign. this is a campaign story among others. it is also very quickly a story about tax reform.
keep in mind the irs asked for a billion dollars more this year in the 2014 budget than it received in its 2013 budget. going to be pretty tough, that of course decision is made in part by the house ways and means committee. pretty tough to get the new funding in light of these scandals. that is one of the linesquestion a minute. martha: millions of dollars spent on line dancing practice. >> $50 million. martha: $50 million!. >> unbelievable. martha: that is pretty expensive. we have to get that video production job. >> why don't we do that at fox? i would be for it. martha: exactly. tucker, stand by. we'll keep watching all of this as it unfolds. bill: we talked to the chairman dave camp 15 minutes ago. part of what he talked about was the political aspect of this and part of it was the tax reform aspect as well which he is proponent of for years. there are six groups seated at table in front of him. they come from south carolina, a tea party group down there. alabama, a tea party group in that state. california, the san fernando valley patriots.
they have got a group from tennessee, a group of iowa and a group from the national organization for marriage. mike emanuel is standing by. we'll bring in mike in a moment. we want to get to dave camp. his opening statement as this hearing gets underway. some of these groups as martha just mentioned, they have been waiting at a minimum 2 1/2 years for america to hear their story. today they get their shot. >> in may of 2011 the irs started sending letters to donors of conservative-leaning nonprofits they could be liable for gift taxes. in june 2011 the ways and means committee launched a investigation into the letters and that concern that individual taxpayers might be targeted for their political believes. in june 2011 the senior leadership at the washington, d.c. office in the irs became aware irs workers began using lists to target groups with the names liberty, tea party, patriots,
9/12 or make america a better place to live. in march of 2012 the "huffington post" published a confidential donor list for the national organization of marriage, a conservative tax-exempt organization. in july of 2012, the administration there the treasury department was informed by the treasury inspector general of a tigta audit of targeting of groups by the irs. in may 2013 the public and congress were finally told this practice occurred only after a scathing report by the taxpayer treasury inspector general resulted in senior irs firms planting a question about the targeting activity before the report's release. just this weekend "the wall street journal" reported that the irs gift tax letter that launched this committee's initial investigation was in fact the result of a conservative organization and its donors being tar the ifed for their political beliefs. those are the facts we know.
we also know that americans were affected by the culture of political intimidation and discrimination that was cultivated by this targeting. at its core this investigation is about how and why the irs was empowered and allowed to use a broken tax code to abuse individuals based on their beliefs. and seemingly, only based on their beliefs. and who are these americans? well their life stories are different but they all share in common they are americans who did what we ask people to do every day. add their voice to the dialogue that defines our country and for pursuing that passion, for simply exercising their first amendment rights, their freedoms of association expression and religion, the irs singled them out. today's witnesses will help this committee and the american people better understand just how far off track the irs has gone. their testimony will show that the irs's practice of treating certain americans differently on the basis of their beliefs was not
limited to the discriminatory conduct revealed by the treasury inspector general for tax administration's report which was released may 14th of this year. victims it include tea party and nontea party groups. 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations including religious organizations. all of the witnesses received onerous and intrusive questionnaires from irs agents across the country. some even had their confidential information leaked by the irs to the media which can have an impact of chilling free speech. information requests to some included questions that were not only irrelevant but also intimidating. not to mention a violation of privacy. those requests included asking for the following. copies of all activity on facebook or twitter. resume's of past or present many employees. whether past or present employees or a member of their family plans to run
for office in the future. a list of pass or present board members or members of their family that volunteer at a tax-exempt organization. information on their interaction with the media. details regarding the group's relationship with a private taxpayer and a list of donors. the invited witness are but a small sample of americans who were treated differently and discriminated against by their government because of their individual deeply-held bee he was loo. there are many, many more. again i want to thank personally the witnesses for being with us today, for the time you've taken to travel here and for sharing your stories and experiences. what we might not know why this happened, please be assured that learning first-hand from you about how the irs used the tax code to intimidate and harass you, will help us take the steps necessary to make sure this never happens again. i will now recognize ranking member levin for an opening statement. >> thank you very much. at our first hearing and
every die since each of us on a bipartisan basis have condemned the actions within the irs exempt organization division and condemn the actions by the irs leadership who failed to accurately and adequately inform congress after they had all of the facts of what had occurred between 2010 and 2012. we have all said that the singling out by name was wrong. the president said it was outrageous. the delays of over 13 months in processing applications were wrong. and the fact that the applications of some organizations have been pending for over three years is inexcusable. the inability to get clear guidance on how to measure
political activity was wrong. and the burdensome questions and inquiries were totally inappropriate. the handling of these applications was gross mismanagement by the irs exempt organization division. that's why the day after the report was issued, i called for acting commissioner steve miller and the exempt organization division elector lois lerner to be replaced. since our hearing progress has been made to address the malfeasance that occurred within the irs exempt organization division. and to assure that all of the facts come to the surface and that all identified problems are corrected so that the confidence of the american people may be restored steve miller resigned as the irs commissioner. the president appointed
daniel werfel as the acting irs commissioner and secretary lou instructed him to up immediately conduct a 30-day review. bill: that review is pending now. pending also is the money shot. that is the six members, six individuals, six americans, sitting in front of that hearing table. we will hear from them beginning in a matter of moments. we have to take a commercial. got to pay some bills here. we will not leave this hearing. quick break, back in two minutes. after this.
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the great outdoors... ...and a great deal. thanks to dad. (gasp) nope. aw! guys! grrrr let's leave the deals to hotels.com. (nice bear!) ooo! that one! nice! got it! oh my gosh this is so cool! awesome! perfect! yep, and no angry bears. the perfect place is on sale now. up to 30% off. only at hotels.com jo sander levin of from michigan laying out some of the argument in terms of what we expect to hear. biggest moment from today when we hear the voices of these six individuals who went through all of this. who tried their darnedest to get tax-exempt status in support of the groups they were organizing and they were rebuffed because they had names like patriot, conservative, tea party, make america better, in the
names of their organizations when they put forth these applications. i want to bring in mike emanuel who is covering this story for us on capitol hill. mike, you know, this side of the story has not been heard to the extent, we've seen the irs agents grilled and we'll see a lot more of that throughout the course of this week but these people will fill in a lost blanks for americans. >> reporter: no question about that, martha and the national organization of marriage which is represented on its panel had its donor leaked in the middle of the 2012 campaign. april 2012 it was published. then it revealed that mitt romney had given money to this organization that is in favor of traditional marriage but the group says it obviously had a huge chilling effect. a lot of donors did not want their names printed on the internet, out in public view that they were giving. that is something they wanted to do privately as american citizens. that is one thing to listen for. while we are away, also
sander levin offered these groups an apology. something those who were at the irs during the time of this targeting did not do when they were given the opportunity at previous hearings. while levin was not responsible for the behavior, he acknowledged that these folks, these different groups that were targeted for their beliefs deserved an apology, martha. martha: that's a great point. bill: mike, we believe, just stand by one moment here. that this could be the moment when we hear from the first of these six groups and we mentioned some of them. they have a tea party in their name. at least those from california, alabama, south carolina. they also have an educational group out of tennessee. a group of pro-life-supporters in iowa and a national organization for marriage which i think comes out of washington, d.c. where you are, mike. do you know why that these groups were selected out of dozens if not hundreds of others? >> reporter: my understanding they wanted to give a cross-section. some of the tea party to demonstrate this was
widespread across the country, bill. as you mentioned, different states, iowa, california, down south, and so, to show exactly how far, widespread this was, across the country. martha: you know, mike, one of the things that think i guess is the goal here for dave camp, who we just spoke to a little while ago, is to prompt enough, to continue to stoke the fire of interest in this by hearing these people's stories that would lead us to want to figure out more about exactly who initiated this program? >> reporter: martha, absolutely right. >> mike, thank you. we're going to the hearing because we're starting to hear some response. >> my name is kevin kokogey i'm president and founder of lynchpins of liberty which is an american leadership development enterprise. our motto to challenge the imagination of the rising generation. we do this by mentoring high school and college students in conservative political philosophy. we aim to mentor high school
and college students by teaching them about the great books and about the foundations of america's moral and constitutional order. lynchpins of liberty of the platoons described by alex today tocqueville a local institution acting as check on power of state to monitor the despotism of majority and give people a taste of freedom and skills to be free. we're committed to a literary education and moral convictions that will allow citizens to maintain civil order. we aim to develop the moral imagination through teaching of history. we believe god is the measure of all things and that the soul is the essence of humanity. lynchpin students they use about the squandering of resources on extravagance. from cicero we learn the necessity of rule of law. we discover true law's right agreement and reason with
nature. that virtue must not yield to power. linchpins of liberty is inspired by augustine, the great 4th century author of that only in lib obedience to god do we find perfect liberty. we discover religion and morality are indispensable supports for political prosperity. from montesque positive law must conform to natural law and a republican only be sustained by the virtue of its citizens. lynch pins of lib period of time recognized that the state is god ordained, necessary to protect against foreign enemies and there can be no freedom without the law. there are limits to the authority the state. the government can not be a law unto itself and when the state usurps its legitimate authority by interfering in the realms of speech, religion, conscience, family, association and ideas, we have a duty as human beings
beings to ourselves and properity to oppose and protest the state's stress passinging its limits n order to raise money i filed an application with the irs in the january of 2011 seeking to obtain 501(c)(3) status as an educational organization. as of today, i have been waiting for 29 months without status. in the interim i lost a $30,000 launch grant from a reputable nonprofit whose executive director advised me had never seen such treatment of a 501(c)(3) applicant in his 25 years of making grants. i also lost and continue to lose multiple thousands of my own money and i had to cease any further official activity for fear the irs would target me for further harassment. for 2 1/2 years the irs has unlawfully delayed and obstructed my application for determination of tax-exempt status by using an down studentsnal -- unconstitutional criteria. the types of questions asked
by the irs including asking me to the identify the political affiliation of my mentors and that i advised the irs of my political position on virtually every issue of importance to me. for good measure i was asked to identify those who i train and i inform the federal government in detail what i am teaching my students. considering that the mission of my organization is devoted to mentoring young people, some of whom are minors, can you imagine the reaction of the students parents were i to turn over names of their children to the i? and to what end? is it not conceivable that i would be sued? would the irs threaten to audit the parents of those students? yet my failure to comply with this stunning inquiry would result in the denial of my application or subject me to perjury. moreover, contrary to the statements of lois lerner the targeting of linchpins was not nearly the act of a few agents in cincinnati. on december 31st, 2011,
after numerous and repeated calls to the irs which went unreturned i finally reached agent ron bell in cincinnati. when i inquired of him why my application was taking so long, he said, we have been waiting on guidance from our superiors as to your organization and similar organizations. we have now received that guidance and you will receive your answer first in, first out basis. although linchpins of liberty is a 501(c)(3) and not a c-4 like many organizations here today we do share one common trait with them, that is our ideas. linchpins of liberty exists to defend the cause of liberty. we reject the expansion of the state beyond its legitimate authority and we jealously regard human liberty. i respectfully urge and appeal this committee, to this committee today, which is, a coequal branch of the federal government vested with authority and responsibility to check the power of the executive branch.
i would ask that you act with courage and moral resolve for in so doing, you will, the intent is that you will, sorry, i got, my time was running there. >> you may conclude. >> thank you. i would just ask that you would act with the moral resolve to check the power of the executive branch because in so doing you will protect and defend, and defend and preserve human liberty for ourselves and our posterity. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. kookgey. our next witness is diane belsom. founder and president of lawrence county tea party in south carolina. you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you for having me today. my name is diane belsom i'm president of lawrence county tea party. lawrence county tea party is social welfare organization that seeks to educate ourselves and our fellow citizens on various issues pertinent to living in a free country and we also work to educate voters by vetting candidates and
holding candidate forums during election years. we typically meet once a month and hold a annual rally. we held our first tax day tea party rally in april of 2009 and then formally original niced and incourted with the state of south carolina in march of 2010. on july 22nd, 2010, we filed for 501(c)(4) status with the irs and paid the application fee of $400. we received a letter on august 11, 2010, stating if more information was needed to process our application we would be contacted within a approximately 90 days. after hearing nothing, i called the irs in the summer of 2011 which is a year after i filed and was told our case was still pending but in the meantime we were still responsible for filing tax returns which we have done. on november 14th, 2011, we received a letter from the irs stating that we may be required to file a form
990-n and e-post card. nothing more was heard until september, 6th, 2012, when we received a communication from the irs requesting extremely burdensome additional information which includes the following. provide a copy of our articles of incorporation which we had sent with our initial application in 2010. information about all of our committees, including legislative, educational and vetting and how much time and resources are devoted to these activities. they sent about 20 pages copied from our website and wanted confirmation that these were in fact from our website. then they wanted samples from any other social media sites including facebook. they, asked for detailed information about all meetings, rallies and events with dates and names of speakers, agendas, any associated materials, and if a guest speaker made remarks concerning upcoming elections and whether our organization took a view on
anything expressed and how much time or resources are devoted to these activities. they wanted to know how much or resources were devoted to vetting candidates. the irs noted that our website had a lot of videos of candidates running for local office. they wanted to know what offices the candidates are running for, which was stated? in the videos, a list of all candidates for these offices and an explanation for those who didn't participate. copies of any written materials including inhavesy stations to the candidates -- invitations to the candidates. copies of any introductory statements made by us and copies of all questions asked of the candidates. whether the interviews were edited, a list of which interviews were posted on the website and explanation for any not posted. percentage of time and resources devoted to this. as regard the candidate forum we held, more questions were asked including the date and elective offices for which it was held, a list of candidates and explanations for those who didn't participate, copies of
opening remarks from us, who asked the questions, copies of all questions asked, copies of written materials including invites to candidates and advertising, what are the videos posted were edited and the time and resources devoted to these activities. they also asked for a list of expenses for the past three years including any amounts expended in support of any candidate for federal, local, state, public office, which i might add is zero. since i was already aware that the irs was targeting tea party groups, i immediately contacted the ac l.j. and they agreed to represent us as no charge. nevertheless, in order to comply with this information request, it took hours of time, stress and aggravation. by the end of december we had filed the asked information with the irs. then on january 31st, 2013, we received a request for more information which included, again, a request for the articles of incorporation, copies of
e-mails sent out on issues we deal with, plus copies from our facebook. so e-mails sent out to our group members i provide ad quite a few of those. copies of free and paid ads placed in papers. pictures isn'ted to local papers, press releases and materials for distribution. we complied with these demands on march 5th, 2013 and it is now june 4th, 2013. so nearly three years and to date we have still heard nothing. i would like to note that our group is a small-time operation with very little money and this represents a complete waste of time by the irs in terms of any money they would collect if we were not tax-exempt. furthermore, nearly three years of waiting for an answer is totally unacceptable. the irs needs to be fully investigated and held accountable for its incompetence, harrassment and targeting of conservative groups. thank you. >> thank you, miss belsom. our next witness, dr. jon eastman, chairman of the
national organization of for marriage and professor at chapman university school of law and you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. bill: we have to take a commercial right now. we won't leave this hearing. as dave camp said at beginning this is better chance for american people to see how far off track the irs has gone. what the woman of south carolina testified, copies and copies an more copies of materials the irs demanded for two years at a minimum. back to the hearing in two minutes, right after this. >> but i'm here today [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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bill: a couple things popping. i want to take you live to the rose guard ep. president obama talking about the vacancies on the district court. he may nominee three at one time. this is streaming online at foxnews.com if you want to check it out. meantime, martha back inside. martha: we'll get you back to the interesting testimony by john eastman chairman of the national organization for marriage. >> we can only bring a suit against the united states for a thousand dollars per the one disclosure not the hundreds of thousands of the disclosures that was done by the human rights campaign when they posted this on their website. i would like to see a clarification of that provision that would hold the people, the individual i.r.s. official as well as their k colluders civilly liable to the taxpayers whose tax returns they illegally disclosed. finally, i think because the investigation has yielded
nothing of information to us, i would ask this committee to consider subpoenaing the folks at the human rights campaign a, find out who posted it on the website, find out who introduced the redactions and hid the i.r.s. information. find out who received it from the i.r.s., and most importantly find out who from the i.r.s. disclosed this information. the head of the human rights campaign has recently been named the national cochair of the obama re-election campaign. this just smells and i hope this committee gets to the bottom of it. thank you for allowing me to testify. >> thank you dr. eastman. our next witness is karen kinee founder of the san fernando valley tea party. she is a licensed psychotherapy p*eus practicing in southern california. she assists returning veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. you are recognized for five minutes. >> john adams knew the facts are stubborn things.
in this district facts are hidden under the mantle of office. they get used as tools or weapons but they wait for us. we must seek them with the lamp of truth and put them into words. you and i speak different languages in this republic. you speak the language of power, of pen, purse and gaffe he will. i speak american grassroots, the language of liberty, through providence, and property and civic virtue. we seldom speak together about the rule of law unless it is ignored or violated, now is such a time. i have a story that pwreupbs t bridges the distance between the say the of california and this capitol. what i say here must be stayed here h. pill grams guided here by the pursuit of life within the words of moses and christ they persevered for righteous freedom. we sit here in the shadows of washington, jefferson and lincoln. we sr-they per certificate
verdict for righteous pour. it is my duty as an american citizen to speak here today. in october 2010 the san fernando valley patriots, a not for profit corporation in california applied with the internal revenue service for a 501(c)(4). we were then and remain a tea party group affiliated with the national tea party patriots. we heard nothing until february 2012 when i received a packet from the i.r.s. exempt organization's office in cincinnati, ohio which included a questionnaire with 35 items divided into 80 subpoints of inquiry. a cover letter indicated that we had 20 days to comply without penalty including penalties of perjury for failure to answer all questions with facts that are true, correct and complete. generally the questions were a demand that read like the chilling words from the 1950s,
are you now or have you ever been? the i.r.s. sought documentation of our meetings, rallies, events and candidate forums including video and audio transcription -gs, notes, copies of all handouts, the political party of seekers and an issues list. the i.r.s. sought identifying information on employees, data on volunteers, and members, plus employer identification numbers on businesses with which we associate. these are our donors. they have names. mike the printer, who gave us a discount on handbills, dethe beauty consultant who donated posters for our tax day rally and greg the electrician who made our stand for a 9/11 banner out of pipes and wires. the i.r.s. sought ein's and details on associations of tax exempt organizations. these are our teachers, they have names. the heritage foundation, freedom works and the national center for constitutional studies where we learn american history.
the tea party patriots where we learn grassroots skills and the west valley food pantry, our charity. the i.r.s. sought details of communications with our legislators, even in southern california that is protected free speech. my personal favorite was question number 33, which in relation to protests asked for a listing of your quote, committed violations of local ordinances, breaches of public order or arrests. then requested details on how we conduct or promote illegal activities. i think the i.r.s. needs to fix its labeling machine, we are the san fernando valley patriots not occupy oakland. i stopped the costly and exhausting i.r.s. process in july 2012. we survive on my credit card and donations and our cake tins like patriots before us we per certificate srer. the voice of the republic resides in our citizens not in the tongue of the government. more must grasp that self-evident truth. this die lot is when the tyranny
on our founding documents to whisper the litters, i-r-s-strikes aville note. when they trample on grassroots few hear the snapping sound. now more people listen but few who know the truth speak. this moment reflects the reality of govern answer in america. this time we came to you in time you will come home to us. this time we came for truth. in time the lies will fall. the voice of the people is the voice of god, is irresistible but different in america. our voice belongs to the free individual not to the collective oice is best heard with power. and when liberty stands under heaven and shouts to power, freedom, thank you. >> thank you, dr. kenney.
our next witness is president of the coalition for life of iowa. until her recent retirement she was founder and manager of a clothing operation company. you're recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. >> you're microphone, please, thank you. >> good morning. i am sue march ta tphaoebg president of coalition for life of iowa, based in cedar rapids, iowa. coalition for life of iowa is a grassroots, low budget public charity founded in 2004 to provide prayer, education, and related activities about the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. throughout our history we have organized and sponsored educational forums and engaged in peaceful, prayerful activities. in 2008 we sought 501(c)(3) tax
exempt recognition from the i.r.s. by filling out a complete i.r.s. form 1023 application. i speak today so that what happened to us, the i.r.s.'s demonstrated harassment, improper questions, and intolerance toward our message may not happen to others. the i.r.s.'s questions centered on our educational and potential political activities, our prayer groups, on our signage. on april 27th, 2009 i.r.s. agent miss richards out of the cincinnati office sent me a letter asking about our educational forums, whether we were flying to influence legislation or influence political campaigns. we had already answered no on the i.r.s. form 1023 application. i responded may 14th answering all her questions fully. in subsequent weeks i.r.s. agent
richards contacted me by telephone a few times asking more questions about our activities. some questions i asked her she was unable to answer and would put me on hold and check with her superior or superiors. in june of 2009 miss richards told me verbally that we needed to send in a letter with the entire board's signatures stating that under perjury of law we would not picket, protest, or organize pickets in protest outside of planned participate hood. upon receiving such a letter she indicated that the i.r.s. would allow our application to go through. so we sent a follow-up letter to the i.r.s. we specht flee requesting -- martha: unbelievable the stories that we are hearing about the reams of paperwork that was required, the 19-month wait times that these people had and then they were told if they didn't return it in 30 days they would not receive the tax exempt status that they sought,
incredible stories that we are hearing from the people who were the subjects of these investigations. we will be right back with more live coverage here in "america's newsroom." stay with us. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover, and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i've been with bp for 24 years. i was part of the team that helped deliver on our commitments to the gulf - and i can tell you, safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge safety equipment and technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all oudrilling activity, twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. safety is a vital part of bp's commitment to america - and to the nearly 25000 peopleho work withs here. we invest more in the u.s. than anywhere else in the world. over fifty-five billion dollars here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor.
testimony now. >> we've always felt that the united states is the greatest country in the world. in september 2008 when we had our first 700 billion-dollar bailout we, along with millions of americans were very concerned. that bailout was confirmation that our government was out of control. just a few months later, in january, 2 open 09 we learned that our government was going to spend another $787 billion. that money went to foreign nations, failing banks and unproductive industries. we were worried and we knew we had to do something to sound the alarm. we tpwhu that governmen knew that government had gone far beyond habitual deficit spending. the government was mortgaging america's future and we knew that washington wasn't going to stop by itself. in the spring of 2009 we learned that others were organizing tea party events around the nation to educate an empower concerned citizens who believed their government was out of control, so we made our plans.
my husband and i filled out a permit to meet at a local park in our small town. my daughter and i walked through neighborhoods handing out flyers for our april satisfactoryth event. when the day arrived we were blown away by the large crowd. a few politicians came also but they didn't speak. we wanted to give ordinary citizens the chance to speak their concerns. our event had no party affiliation. i could not tell you if the attendees with republicans, democrats or independents. it didn't matter. the only political notion expressioned was one that we collectively felt, that our representative government had failed us. and that was the birth of the wetumpka tea party. there are no dues, no price for membership. are events are mostly educational. whatever expenses are incurred are paid from donations from -- bay donations and t-shirt sales. we are patriotic americans. we peacefully assemble. we petition our government, we exercise the rights of free
speech, and we don't understand why the government tried to stop us. i'm not here as a serf or a vassel, i'm not begging my lords for mores 4 see. i'm a born free american woman, wife, mother and citizen, and i'm telng my government that you have forgotten your place. it's not your responsibility to look out for my well-being and to monste juan pablo montoya tere my speech. it's not your right to assert an agenda. the post that you occupy exists to preserve american liberty. you've sworn to perform that duty and you have faltered. the abuses i will discuss today occurred on your watch, and it's your responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen again. here are the facts of my case. we applied for a hoch 501(c)(4) in october 2010. our $850 application fee was cashed seven days later. we received a letter from robert
choe dated november 2nd, 2010 stating that our application and our user fee payment had been received. it also stated that we should be expecting to hear from someone within 90 days. however, the i.r.s. did not initiate any contact with us for another 459 days. that was when i received a letter from the cincinnati office dated february 3rd, 2012. that letter stated that they could not process our application until we completed the enclosed questionnaire, which requested approximately 90 pieces of additional information about our organization. the questionnaire stated that if the additional information was not returned by february 24th our case would be closed. the demands for information in the questionnaire shocked me, as someone who loved liberty and the first amendment. i was asked to hand over my donor list, including the amounts that they gave and the dates on which they gave them.
501(c)(4) organizations do not have to disclose donor information. i knew that. why don't they? among the demands that i found alarming and inappropriate were, they wanted me to identify all of my volunteers. they wanted to know if any of our donors or volunteers had run or would be running for office in the near future. remember, this was the 2012 election cycle. they wanted us to identify the office they would be running for. they wanted us to provide detailed contents of all speeches ever given, the names of our speakers and their credentials. they wanted copies of written communications and contents of all other forms of communications to any legislative body, including my own representative. i was very uncomfortable with these questions, as you can imagine, and my husband and i discussed forfeiting our application. however, within days of reading through these questions we knew we were being targeted, because
fellow tea party organizers across this nation were getting the same types of letters and questionnaires. that was when we decided to seek legal counsel. on march 6th 2012 we retaped the counsel of the american center for law and justice and they represented us in this matter. two weeks later i received a letter from lois lerner dated march 16th, 2012, asking that i provide the previously requested information. four months later we received a letter dated july 9th 2012 stating that we had been approved to receive our tax exemption, this was 635 days after we applied. in conclusion we filled out a complete application, our organization fell within the boundaries of receiving a 501(c)(4) status, yet our application was singled out solely because we had tea party in our name. government agents made invasive and excessive demand for
information they were not entitled to. congressman camp and members of this committee this was not an accident. this is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view. what the government did to our little group in alabama is unamerican. it isn't a matter of firing or arresting individuals, the individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should in a government culture that has little respect for its citizens. many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. they think they are our masters and they are mistaken. i'm not interested in scoring political points. i want to protect and preserve the america that i grew up in, the america that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of, and i'm terrified it is slipping away.
thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. martha: wow, very powerful testimony today from becky garretson, who says that the government has for forgotten its place. she pointed her finger basically alternate the members of congress and says these abuses have happened on your watch. very powerful testimony. she is going to be our guest tomorrow here on "america's newsroom" and we will talk to her about her for convenient appeal to congress. she said she does not have any political agenda. she wants to protect the freedoms in the america that she grew up in. we will take a quick break and be right back. what makes your family smile? backflips and cartwheels. love, warmth. here, try this. backflips and camm, ok!s. ching! i like the fact that there's
[ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. >> i'm not here as a serf or a vassel. i'm not begging my lords for mercy. i'm a born-free american woman, wife, mother and citizen and i'm telling my government that you have forgotten your place. it's not your responsibility to look out for my well-being and to monitor my speech. it's not your right to assert an agenda. the post that you occupy exists to preserve american liberty. you've sworn to perform that duty, and you have faltered. martha: wow. after the 2010 midterms a lot of people wondered what happened to the tea party? where did they go? we may be hearing the answer to that question. they were mired in paperwork according to these people. bill: five minutes for each person at the table there, you can imagine how long they've
been waiting to tell people what they've been through and copies, after copies after copies and application after application after application. we're hearing it play out. we'll see it throughout the day here. martha: "happening now" starts right now. see you tomorrow. jon: continuing the coverage as political targets who say they were singled out for scrutiny by the i.r.s. are getting their kay on capitol hill. good morning i'm jon scott. jenna: i'm jenna lee. new details in the i.r.s. scandal being revealed right nowwadia hearing before the house ways and means committee. they are every day americans who want to add their voices now to this big political conversation. they say they were targeted by the i.r.s. for the wrong reasons. today they are sharing stories of intimidation, and they say discrimination, as lawmakers attempt to uncover the truth about why they were singled out and who exactly gave those orders. one witness voicing grave concern about all i.r.s