PoliZette

Podesta Friend at DOJ Led Cover-Up of IRS Scandal

Peter Kadzik, now involved in Clinton email probe, helped squash charges in targeting of conservative nonprofits

Senior Department of Justice official Peter J. Kadzik, newly exposed by WikiLeaks as colluding with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, is the same Obama appointee who helped cover up the Internal Revenue Service’s deliberate targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.

It is troubling that Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Kadzik is involved in, and possibly overseeing, the Justice Departments’s investigation of the 650,000 potentially sensitive emails found on a laptop computer thought to have been used at home by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and his estranged wife, longtime senior Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Kadzik shrugged off the Lerner-led conspiracy as mere bureaucratic incompetence, as opposed to the left-wing witch hunt it was, designed to curtail Tea Party movement activism.

It appears Attorney General Loretta Lynch is doing her best to make sure the new DOJ probe goes nowhere. She let Clinton off the hook this summer, refusing to pursue criminal charges against her after a clandestine meeting at an airport with Bill Clinton.

Abedin reportedly forwarded secret government documents to her personal Yahoo email account and may have viewed them on that laptop. The computer is reportedly the same device Weiner used to send sexual messages to an underage girl while his infant son sat beside him on a bed.

In a recent letter to House and Senate lawmakers about the Abedin probe, Kadzik wrote that the law enforcement agency “will continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.”

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At DOJ, Kadzik also put the kibosh a year ago on any possible criminal prosecution of Lois Lerner, the notorious former IRS tax-exempt organizations division chief — a hyper-partisan, left-wing Democrat. This is the same tax collection agency President Obama claims is not tainted by even “a smidgen of corruption.”

Kadzik shrugged off the Lerner-led conspiracy as mere bureaucratic incompetence, as opposed to the left-wing witch hunt it was, designed to curtail Tea Party movement activism.

Lerner refused to testify at congressional hearings, instead invoking her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid possible self-incrimination. Congressional investigators found that the IRS targeted right-of-center 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. They determined that Lerner organized an unprecedented crackdown on Tea Party and conservative groups and then attempted to scapegoat those nonprofits, blaming them for the harsh treatment they received at her instigation.

Lerner’s office brutally harassed conservatives like Catherine Engelbrecht, leader of the Houston-based good-government group True the Vote. Other federal agencies joined in the harassment campaign, subjecting Engelbrecht’s family business to unexpected audits, inspections, and fines.

The decision to do nothing about the thuggish, criminal actions of Lerner isn’t all that surprising. This is what Barack Obama does. He uses taxpayer resources against his enemies in an effort to rig the system against them.

But Kadzik was dismissive.

“Ineffective management is not a crime,” he wrote.

“The Department of Justice’s exhaustive probe revealed no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution. What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action — but it does not warrant criminal prosecution.”

Kadzik wrote there was no proof of bad intent on Lerner’s part and that she seemed to try to correct the inappropriately tough scrutiny on conservative and Tea Party nonprofits once she “recognized that it was wrong.”

“In fact, Ms. Lerner was the first IRS official to recognize the magnitude of the problem and to take concerted steps to fix it,” he wrote.

This excuse resembles the explanation offered in 2009 by the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), for its intake workers who counseled undercover journalists on how to defraud the IRS and banks and establish a brothel. ACORN, of course, had close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton and President Obama. Just as Kadzik commended Lerner for her supposed efforts at internal reforms, shell-shocked ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis also conveniently claimed her group took steps to end internal corruption after being exposed in media reports.

Kadzik is tied to the Democratic Party Establishment and is a donor to Democrat candidates.

Using his private Gmail account, on May 19, 2015, Kadzik tipped off John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chairman and former White House chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s administration, about an upcoming hearing, according to a WikiLeaks document dump.

“There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify,” Kadzik wrote. “Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”

While letting someone know about an upcoming public hearing may not be unlawful or even unethical, it demonstrates how close and friendly the two men are.

Earlier this year, WikiLeaks published a Sept. 8, 2008 email from Podesta, then serving on the Obama transition team, to Cassandra Butts of the Obama campaign. Podesta boasted in it that Kadzik — who represented him when he was accused of procuring a job for Bill Clinton paramour Monica Lewinsky as a way to keep her quiet — was a “fantastic lawyer” who “kept me out of jail.”

Kadzik left a slime trail before joining the Justice Department.

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He was attorney for Marc Rich, the fugitive financier and oil trader President Bill Clinton pardoned in his final hours in office on Jan. 20, 2001. Rich was accused of violating U.S.-imposed trade sanctions by dealing with rogue nations like the Iran and Cuba. In 1983, he was on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted list after being indicted for racketeering, tax evasion, and fraud. It was thought at the time to be the largest tax-evasion case in U.S. history.

But Belgian-born Rich, who was a citizen of the United States and several other countries, died in Switzerland at age 78 in 2013, having never faced the charges in a U.S. court. His wife, Denise Rich, donated $450,000 to the endlessly venal Clinton Foundation and more than $1 million to Democratic candidates during the Clinton years.

Former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, said at the time of the Rich pardon, “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.” President Clinton himself later regretted signing the pardon, saying “it wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation.”

Current FBI Director James Comey, who this summer refused to recommend charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in connection with her use of hacker-friendly non-government email servers for official business, investigated the pardon scandal. Comey was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003. In that post, he refused to recommend charges in the Rich affair.

Matthew Vadum is senior vice president at the Capital Research Center.