On Thursday, with PJ Media's J. Christian Adams as her guest, Fox News's Megyn Kelly recited a list of assertions (under oath, she reminded us) made by Internal Revenue Service officials which have later been shown to be lies or cause for agency flip-flops after "new" facts have been revealed.
It's a significant list. By implication, it's an indictment of the vast majority of the establishment press, which has refused to give the IRS scandal the attention it deserves. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
Here is the video:
Transcript (italics represent words the speakers emphasized; there are no bolds, because I would have had to bold the entire transcript for its importance):
MEGYN KELLY: Developing tonight, a new twist in the scandal over the IRS's targeting of conservatives. The agency yesterday had to confess to Congress that evidence it said was destroyed may in fact exist. Crucial evidence. Whoops!
So we went back over the record and we found some other obvious reversals. Starting back in 2012, when former IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman flat-out denied any targeting was taking place.
DOUGLAS SCHULMAN: Absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back-and-forth that happens when people apply for, uh, 501(c)(4) status.
KELLY: Well, a year later he changed his tune, forced to admit that targeting had taken place, and fessing up to knowing about it long before before the scandal made headlines.
SCHULMAN: What I knew was, uh, there was a list. I did know the tea party was on it, I didn't know what else was on the list. I had a partial set of facts.
KELLY: In March of this year, the new IRS Commissioner promised to hand over all of Lois Lerner's emails. Remember, she's the woman at the heart of this scandal.
HOUSE COMMITTEE MEMBER: Are you or are you not going to provide this committee all of Lois Lerner's emails?
IRS COMMISSIONER JOHN KOSKINEN: We are already ... (crosstalk) ... Yes, we will do that.
KELLY: It was a promise the IRS repeated over and over again, until we found out that her hard drive crashed, and emails from a crucial time frame had mysteriously vanished into thin air.
KOSKINEN: The first time I knew that emails had been lost from her account was in April.
KELLY: So he found out in April. But Congress and the American people did not find out until last month. And then we were told, "MM, y'know the computer crashed," and there definitely were no backups to Ms. Lerner's hard drive.
KOSKINEN: We confirmed that backup tapes from 2011 no longer existed because they had been recycled pursuant to the IRS normal policy.
KELLY: They confirmed it. They confirmed, no backup tapes, until, yeah, you guessed it. Suddenly, we found out this month, maybe they do have backup tapes.
KOSKINEN: Right now, the question is, do I know anything more about tapes, backup tapes, and the answer is I don't know anymore, other than the IG is investigating whether there are backup tapes and whether they are in fact recoverable.
KELLY: What? What do you mean he's investigating whether there are some? You just said under oath that there aren't, that they do not exist.
So what are we to make of all this? J. Christian Adams is a former Justice Department attorney and legal editor of PJ Media. Chris, this is the head of the tax agency asking us to trust him and vouching for Lois Lerner as he is either terribly informed — or worse.
J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: It's becoming the Beltway clown show, Megyn. Look, lie after lie, flip after flop. That's what's characterized this IRS scandal.
Don't forget, there's a lot more. We had the "It was a low-level employee in Cincinnati" lie. We had Lois Lerner flip and flop over the Fifth Amendment before Congress.
But perhaps the biggest flop of all, Megyn, is the President of the United States. Because President Obama a year ago said he was angry. He read the Inspector General's report. He was furious about it. He's going to get to the bottom of it. Fast-forward to 2013: "There's not a smidgen of corruption."
That's what's going on with this scandal is complete dishonest lying, flip-flopping, like a bunch of rogues who don't think there's any accountability.
KELLY: All right, let me, let me play advocate for the President here. Because, he said, when he first said, "I'm outraged," as outraged as anybody, he wanted to see the full investigation. And the Inspector General report made clear targeting had gone on. It was crystal clear, targeting of conservative groups had gone on. But since then, I imagine the president would argue, corruption hasn't been proven. What he thinks happened is, these employees trying to do a good thing, which is make sure groups weren't too political to get non-, tax-exempt status, uh, that's what they were trying to do. And they didn't go about it the right way, but they weren't corrupt.
ADAMS: Well that's always the first line of defense for this administration. It's they say it's just a bunch of incompetents. It's not incompetence, Megyn. It's people who shared the president's beliefs about free speech, about a Supreme Court case called Citizens United that allowed people to speak freely. And this president, this IRS, this administration was doing everything it could to clamp down on free speech before the 2012 election.
KELLY: And we see that in their emails. We see that they were like-minded with the President about that decision in their emails, including Lois Lerner and the Department of Justice, your old place of employment, coordinating with the IRS on the, on the shock and horror of that Supreme Court decision.
ADAMS: And that's where it all goes to. But look how crazy it's gotten just in the last week. You had very detailed testimony from the commissioner of the IRS in front of the House two or three weeks ago, saying that, "Oh, all of the backup tapes have been recycled, they're gone." And then lo and behold, what we find out today? We find out that there's backup tapes! And so, Megyn, it means you can't trust anything, anything this administration, this IRS says about tea party targeting.
KELLY: They also said that the hard drive, Lois Lerner's hard drive, was destroyed. And now, this week they said, "Oh it was just scratched." That's a material difference. J. Christian Adams, good to see you.
ADAMS: You too, Megyn.
The video cuts off as Kelly appears to say, "And they wonder ..." I would be very interested in knowing what she said. If anyone knows, please put it in a comment.
The establishment press has been almost completely uninterested in telling their readers, listeners, and viewers about the litany of changed stories and caught-lying incidents chronicled above, the sheer volume of which makes Watergate look like a, well, a tea party (in the old-fashioned polite-company sense of the term). There's no way this flat-out journalistic negligence would happen during a Republican or conservative administration.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.