Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Jay Sekulow’

Graham: Obama Not ‘Trustworthy Fellow’ on IRS Scandal.


President Barack Obama is “not a very trustworthy fellow,” in light of his claim there wasn’t a “smidgen of corruption” in the Internal Revenue Service scandal and the revelation Thursday of an email chain by agency officials that pointed to a strategy to target conservative groups, Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

“I hate to say this about the president but he’s not a very trustworthy fellow when it comes to scandals in his own backyard,” the South Carolina Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday.

Jay Sekulow, attorney for 41 targeted conservative groups, testified during a hearing about the IRS scandal on Capitol Hill Thursday. He revealed an email among IRS officials outlining a strategy for applicants seeking nonprofit status. According to Sekulow, IRS employees wrote they would work “off plan to devise rules to curtail the activities of 501C-4 organizations.”

Story continues below video.

The email chain was important, Graham indicated, because it showed targeting by the IRS was not limited to a “rogue” group of employees in Cincinnati, as the administration had maintained.

“Now you have this e-mail chain talking about a plan to go after people,” Graham said. “I hope people are beginning to put the puzzle together that President Obama himself is not a very reliable person to talk to about mistakes on his watch.”

Graham maintained if that email chain “doesn’t wake up the Justice Department to criminal activity, nothing will.”

“You’ve got interaction between government officials in charge of overseeing these tax-exempt groups that are talking about a strategy. And, to me, that lends itself to a conspiracy between people in Cincinnati and other places,” he said.

Graham explained that was why former IRS official Lois Lerner pled the Fifth Amendment when testifying before a House committee in May on the issue.

“That is why she took the Fifth Amendment, because she has literally exposed herself to illegal behavior here,” he said.

President Obama repeatedly has promised that his administration would get to the bottom of scandals, including the IRS activity and the bombing of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Graham dismissed that by saying of the president that the bottom was “very shallow in his world.”

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Advertisements

Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives Continues.


Image: Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives ContinuesCleta Mitchell testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 6. On the panel with Mitchell are, from left, Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder of King Street Patriots, Becky Gerritson, Founder and President Wetumpka Tea Party, Inc., and Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel American Center for Law and Justice.

By David A. Patten

Explosive testimony lit up a House hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday, as GOP super lawyer Cleta Mitchell told representatives that the systematic effort to delay the processing of grass-roots groups applications for nonprofit status continues to occur.

Mitchell represents several grass-roots conservative organizations whose applications under sections 501C3 and 501C4 of the internal revenue code were delayed for years in the run-up to the 2012 election. She said that targeting had not stopped.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Thursday that the effort to suppress conservative voices was “almost Nixonian,” noting President Obama said in a recent interview that there was “not even a smidgeon” of corruption involved in the apparent IRS effort to chill conservative groups after the tea party movement emerged in February 2009.

“How could you possibly say that when Lois Lerner in charge of tax-exempt groups pled the fifth?” Graham asked.

Also testifying Monday was Jay Sekulow, head of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). ACLJ officials also contend the IRS targeting continues to this day.

There were 41 grassroots groups named as plaintiffs in the ACLJ lawsuit alleging widespread abuses of the First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech by the Obama administration and the IRS. Of those, 13 still have not yet received adjudication of their request for non-profit status.

The oldest of those 13 pending applications for nonprofit status dates back to December 2009, French says. That would mean at least one group has been sidelined through two election cycles, with a third rapidly approaching.

Of the 13 groups in limbo, two sought 501c3 non-profit status and the other 11 sought 501c4 status as “social welfare” organizations, French said.

According to the ACLJ, five other groups joined the lawsuit after withdrawing their nonprofit applications due to frustration over the IRS approval process. Also, two of the plaintiffs refused to answer IRS questions that they considered unconstitutional, which led to the IRS closing their nonprofit applications without further consideration.

The proposed new IRS regulations seek to limit 501c4 groups’ activities. Conservative activists say the rules have exacerbated their sense of uncertainty and intimidation.

“Of course that has a chilling effect,” says French. “And until it is decisively and emphatically stopped through public, legal accountability, that chilling effect is likely to linger.”

Mitchell, who represents grass-roots conservative activists not included in the ACLJ lawsuit, recently echoed the view that conservative groups continue to be singled out in the run-up to the 2014 elections.

“The IRS is still, very deliberately targeting conservative organizations and subjecting them to additional intense and burdensome scrutiny — and this has not stopped,” she said. “This is still ongoing.”

According to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan, the new proposed IRS regulations, which were first unveiled in November, appear to single out as political activity the precise sorts of programs tea party organizations typically run: Candidate forums, voter registration drives, and distributions of voter guides.

In a column published in the February edition of Newsmax Magazine, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel contends that conservative groups are much more likely to become ensnared in the new proposed limitations.

She notes that neither unions, which conduct most of their activities as 501c5 groups, nor 501c3 organizations such as the liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund, are affected. That’s because the rules were not written to apply to those types of nonprofits.

The reaction of conservative activists has grown increasingly strident. Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the grass-roots National Liberty Federation organization, tells Newsmax:

“Never before have we seen such attitudes and actions taken in America by an administration or government body.

“They are intentionally trying to silence the voices of millions of Americans, who all they want is to be heard.”

Wilkinson said his organization is closely following nine critical Senate races that could flip either way. But the fear of some that they could become targets of the IRS is having an impact, he says.

“Through this intimidation a lot of people have said, ‘I don’t know if I want to risk the IRS or the Treasury Department or whoever they’re going to send after me,’” he says.

Recent remarks by Democrats appear to have exacerbated conservatives’ concern that the IRS has been politicized.

In January, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer urged the IRS to “redouble [its] efforts immediately” to constrain the tea parties.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

During his Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, President Obama said there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” involved. This despite the fact that the FBI has yet to release the findings of its investigation.

Such remarks appear aimed at energizing a Democratic base that has seen tea party nonprofits as fair game ever since the Citizens United ruling made it easier for corporations to get involved in politics.

Curiously, the IRS targeting has had relatively little impact on the major activist groups that raise millions of dollars each year.

A recent New York Times story reported that four major conservative organizations — FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, the Club for Growth Action Fund, and the Senate Conservatives Fund — are actually outraising their more establishment GOP counterparts such as Crossroads GPS.

But unlike the big groups that can afford to “lawyer up,” it is the smaller activist organizations all over the country — with names like Linchpins of Liberty, Colorado 9/12 Project, First State Patriots, Mid-South Tea Party, and American Patriots Against Government Excess — who have been ensnared by the long arm of the IRS.

Those smaller organizations are believed to play a key role in getting out the vote in local neighborhoods.

Wilkinson praises the myriad local tea parties as “the most effective system out there, compared to the Republican consulting groups that get millions of dollars in TV ads and radio ads.

“They put every dollar they have in, and their heart and soul. They’re getting people to the polls for maybe pennies on the dollar.”

How those groups will fare as the tax laws they must comply with grow increasingly complex and demanding is open to question.

French says the proposed IRS rules will mean “an enormous amount of activity undertaken on the basis of issues, is now re-characterized as political, and now subject to limits.

“That essentially takes a group’s ability to engage in issue advocacy and then completely neuters it in the days and the weeks leading up to an election, by defining political activity so very broadly,” he adds.

When the targeting controversy first broke last May, President Obama said the IRS targeting was “inexcusable,” and added: “I’m angry about it.”

The “social welfare” and issue-advocacy 501c4 organizations have received special attention in part because their donors’ names generally do not have to be disclosed.

The controversy over IRS targeting dates back to May 2013. That’s when former IRS executive Lois Lerner revealed that IRS personnel had acted in what she called an “absolutely inappropriate” way by holding up the non-profit applications of groups with the terms “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” in their names.

The IRS asked the targeted groups to answer intrusive questionnaires regarding their activities — ranging from information on their members’ employers, donors lists, and even in one case how much time a particular organization spent “on prayer groups.”

At the time, GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, received several complaints. He wrote a letter of inquiry to then-acting IRS Commissioner Stephen T. Miller.

Miller wrote back with assurances that no conservative groups were being targeted. But not long after Lerner’s disclosure, Miller was asked to resign.

The Obama administration has portrayed the IRS affair as a limited imbroglio involving a few rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.

But Mitchell says several of her clients were told a final decision on their applications would be handed down from IRS offices in Washington, D.C.

Not every grass-roots leader is concerned that conservative activists’ IRS problems will work to Democrats’ advantage, however. Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer is among those predicting it will backfire.

“When all this came out about the IRS targeting, it made people mad,” she tells Newsmax. “It made them mad as hell.

“…You get these individuals, under whatever local group, they don’t care: They’re going to go out there, and work their hearts and souls out for the cause.”

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

FBI Finally Contacts Conservative Groups in IRS Targeting.


Image: FBI Finally Contacts Conservative Groups in IRS Targeting

 

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The FBI is contacting some conservative groups that were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service as calls heat up for a key Justice Department investigator to step down from the probe after questions about her donations to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

A lawyer working with some of the tea party groups told The Washington Times that a “small number” of his clients were recently contacted, albeit seven months after the investigation was to begin.

“After seven months of no contact from federal investigators, a small number of our clients recently received a request for an interview from the FBI,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice, which represents more than three dozen of the organizations.

Cleta Mitchell, another attorney representing some of the targeted groups, said her clients have not heard from investigators.

“Normally, don’t you first interview the victims?” Mitchell said. “I mean, I’ve watched enough cop shows over the years. You interview the victims. You don’t interview the perp.”

Republicans, though, say the whole investigation is under question following the selection of Justice Department attorney Barbara Kay Bosserman to lead the probe. Bosserman donated more than $6,000 to the president’s campaigns, and Republicans say she cannot be impartial.

House Speaker John Boehner said he is concerned by the Obama administration’s many obstructions on not only the IRS investigation, but many other issues.

“The administration has not been forthcoming with regard to the IRS investigation,” the Ohio Republican said. “Furthermore, they’ve not been forthcoming when it comes to the Benghazi investigation or Fast and Furious. And the administration can try to stonewall as much as they want, but these issues are not going to go away. The American people have a right to know the truth. And for the administration that came in five years ago promising to be the most transparent administration in history, they’ve got a very poor record.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul called for independent investigations into the IRS scandal.

“They say the fox isn’t good to guard the henhouse; the fox is probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either,” Paul said Thursday. “I think these investigations need to be done by independent people outside of the administration.”

Last spring, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an FBI investigation after it was revealed the IRS had been targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny and delaying tax-exempt status for hundreds of groups’ applications.

However, not much has been done with the investigation since that time, and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and co-chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, complained last month that the committee still has not gotten related documents.

While the FBI rejected many of Issa’s demands for documents, he learned Bosserman was leading the investigation for the Justice Department, and on Wednesday he and Jordan sent a letter to Holder saying her selection tainted the entire investigation.

The Justice Department says federal law and policy prevents it from denying assignments based on an employee’s political views, and doing so violates workers’ rights right to participate in the political process, The Washington Times reports.

Sekulow said his firm’s clients are evaluating FBI’s requests, but Bosserman’s political leanings “create a serious conflict of interest and raises more questions and doubts about the Obama administration’s promise to get to the bottom of what happened.”

The FBI refused comment, pointing to a letter sent on Dec. 31 by Stephen Kelly, assistant director for the agency’s office of congressional affairs.

“We would request that the committee permit the investigators to complete their investigation and consult with federal prosecutors, as appropriate, to determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any statutes within our jurisdiction,” said Kelly. “As a result, we cannot provide the documents requested at this time while the criminal investigation is active and ongoing.”

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Judge Orders Removal of San Diego War Memorial Cross.


 

Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial
A Califronia judge ordered the removal of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego. (Liberty Institute)

A federal district court judge in California ordered the removal of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego late Thursday.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said the decision is “deeply flawed” and promised to file an amicus brief in support of an expected appeal to keep the memorial—which includes a commemorative cross—in place.

“This latest decision in the long and winding legal road concerning the constitutionality of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is deeply flawed,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, which has been active for years in defending the constitutionality of the memorial and its cross.

“The federal court decision declaring the memorial unconstitutional and ordering its removal does not square with the facts. This memorial is part of the historic landscape of San Diego and is consistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

This new legal decision is the result of action that occurred in 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case, leaving in place a decision by the Ninth Circuit declaring the memorial unconstitutional and sending the case back to the trial court in San Diego. The ACLJ urged theSupreme Court to take the case at the time, filing an amicus brief representing 34 members of Congress.

In an amicus brief filed in August with the U.S. District Court representing 18 members of Congress, the ACLJ urged the court to permit a private organization to obtain and operate the war memorial—a remedy that would remove any constitutional questions and keep the monument and cross in place.

Thursday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled that the memorial must be removed because it violates a constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion.

“Deliberate language in the opinion makes it clear that removal of the large, historic cross is the only remedy that the Ninth Circuit conceives will cure the constitutional violation,” Burns wrote in his ruling. Burns ordered the memorial be removed within 90 days but put that order on hold, pending an expected appeal.

“We will continue to aggressively argue in support of this memorial and commemorative cross,” Sekulow says. “We believe the law and precedent are clear: The Supreme Court has concluded in the past that ‘a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this nation and its people.’ This memorial should not create a constitutional crisis. It is part of the history and heritage of the San Diego area.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Pastor Robbed, Threatened at Knifepoint as Health Deteriorates in Iranian Prison.


 

Pastor Saeed Abedini
Pastor Saeed Abedini with his family.

American pastor Saeed Abedini not only faces deadly conditions in Iran’s Rajai Shahr Prison, but we can now confirm that he faces direct threats on his life from other prisoners.

Abedini’s Iranian family was able to visit him yesterday—the second visitation allowed since he was transferred to the deadly new prison last month.

Abedini is facing constant threats to his very life in the new prison. There have been several nights where he has awoken to men standing over him with knives. Abedini’s “cell” is only separated by a curtain from the rest of the violent prisoner ward he is forced to share, allowing dangerous prisoners—murderers and rapists—unfettered access to him 24 hours a day.

He has also been robbed at knifepoint several times, stripping him of what few necessities he has been permitted to purchase for personal hygiene.

As a result of the robberies, the utterly deplorable conditions of the prison and the lack of doctor-prescribed medication being withheld by prison authorities, Abedini’s health has quickly deteriorated.

The pain in his stomach has returned, and he is now experiencing increased pain in what he described to his family as his kidneys. As a result of repeated beatings in Evin Prison, he suffered from internal bleeding. After months of being refused medical care, he was allowed to see a doctor and was prescribed medication earlier this year. As a result of that medication, his physical condition had improved and his pain had subsided. However, since being moved from Evin to Rajai Shahr last month, Iranian officials have refused to allow him this critical medication, and his condition is worsening.

Abedini is being refused medication prescribed by Iranian doctors for injuries he sustained from prison beatings. This is one of the most deplorable human rights violations imaginable.

To make matters worse, the prison conditions and lack of basic hygiene have led to his body being covered head to toe in lice. Because of the lice and increased pain, Abedini has been having trouble sleeping. He is also experiencing symptoms of recurring urinary tract infections. There is no medication to stop the infections. He is now also experiencing significant joint pain.

Abedini’s family reports that he has also noticeably lost weight in the new prison from lack of proper nutrition.

The conditions he faces are unfathomable. He faces direct threats to his life on an almost daily basis.

Iran has sent him to disappear. The Obama administration abandoned this U.S. citizen when given the opportunity to negotiate his release, even reportedly releasing an Iranian scientist for nothing in return. Abedini has been left for dead.

We must not forget him. We must take action now.

I, along with the American Center for Law and Justice‘s chief counsel, Jay Sekulow, am in Berlin this week meeting with foreign dignitaries and world leaders across Europe, urging them to use international pressure to free Abedini.

The time is now to pressure Iran for his release. Each day could be his last.

Join tens of thousands in standing with Abedini by signing our petition demanding international sanctions until he is freed.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JORDAN SEKULOW

Obama Administration Betrays Imprisoned Pastor With Iranian Deal.


Pastor Saeed Abedini
Pastor Saeed Abedini

The Obama administration betrayed American pastorSaeed Abedini by reaching a deal with Iran that includes easing sanctions and providing humanitarian relief—a deal that leaves a U.S. citizen behind, imprisoned because of his faith, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is working to secure his release.

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry turned their backs on a U.S. citizen by refusing to secure his freedom before reaching an agreement with Iran,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. “It is outrageous and a betrayal of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has spent more than a year in an Iranian prison simply because of his Christian faith. The Obama administration has leftPastor Saeed behind. And by failing to secure his release as a precondition to any negotiations, the Obama administration sends a troubling message to the Iranian government that Americans are expendable.”

The ACLJ sent a letter to Secretary Kerry, urging him to act and noting that “the failure to secure the release and return of Mr. Abedini and the other Americans would be reprehensible.”

Imprisoned for more than a year simply because of his Christian faith, Abedini faces life-threatening conditions in one of Iran’s most dangerous prisons.

Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the release of this U.S. citizen, and key members of the European parliament wrote a letter raising Pastor Saeed’s case.

And just days ago, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved H. Res. 147, calling for the release of Abedini, allowing it to proceed on to a full vote of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The ACLJ has launched a significant online social media campaign on behalf of Pastor Saeed at BeHeardProject.com.

Abedini is serving an eight-year prison sentence simply because of his Christian beliefs. He has been imprisoned now for more than one year. The ACLJ represents his wife, Naghmeh, and their two children, who live in Idaho.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

GENE KAPP

Wife of American Jailed in Iran ‘Devastated’ US Didn’t Demand Release.


Image: Wife of American Jailed in Iran 'Devastated' US Didn't Demand Release

By Amy Woods

Naghmeh Abedini, whose American husband Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned in  Iran, spoke out Monday about the failure of the United States to work the Christian pastor’s release into the nuclear deal reached early Sunday, Fox News reported.

“It’s devastating,” Naghmeh Abedini said. “Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don’t think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country, when we could have used our leverage, chose to stay silent.”

With the holidays approaching, Naghmeh Abedini said her children were praying their 33-year-old father, who has been behind bars for more than a year because of his Christian religious practices, would be returned to the United States.

“It’s unbearable to think of another Christmas without him and see my kids not have him home for Christmas,” she said.

Despite the hope of the family, Saeed Abedini’s freedom was not a talking point when the Obama administration struck an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

According to the White Housethe release of Abedini — a U.S. citizen who was born in Iran and who was working in an Iranian government-approved orphanage when he was arrested — did not enter discussions that took place last week in in Geneva.

President Barack Obama raised the issue of Saeed Abedini’s release in September during earlier rounds of talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but an agreement allowing the prisoner to come home was not reached, prompting the American Center for Law and Justice to reach out to Secretary of State John Kerry.

ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow accused both Obama and Kerry of turning their backs on a U.S. citizen; however, Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said Saeed Abedini’s case, as well as the cases of other American prisoners in Iran, have been part of diplomatic discussions.

Related Stories:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Tag Cloud