Links for 6-29-2016

  • Cause of Action is still digging into the IRS targeting scandal, and they’ve uncovered clear evidence that Lois Lerner violated federal law when she turned taxpayer records over to the Department of Justice. Eliana Johnson writes:

    The transfer of information at Lerner’s request came to light during a congressional investigation in 2014. What we know now, thanks to additional documents unearthed in years-long litigation by the good-government group Cause of Action, is that Lerner almost certainly broke the law when she transferred the documents. That casts a new light on the Justice Department’s decision last year not to prosecute Lerner, who had become the face of the IRS’s ham-handed effort to crack down on right-leaning groups, but against whom a criminal case might have been difficult to build.

  • Stephen Dinan writes that the Benghazi report is an illustration of Congress’ inability to oversee the executive branch:

    Despite repeated subpoenas and official requests for interviews or documents, the committee said the State Department obfuscated, the Defense Department misled, the CIA stalled, and President Obama himself refused to cooperate, prolonging the congressional probe and leaving investigators without the information they needed.

    Officials also repeatedly agreed to turn over information to Congress only if lawmakers treated it as classified, even though the administration had never made a formal determination that the information needed to be kept secret, the probe concluded.

    And there was little Congress could do to press its case, said Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi, who said Capitol Hill should change the laws to punish officials who refuse to cooperate with official probes.

  • Darryl Glenn won Colorado’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate; he was endorsed by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, among others. Glenn will face incumbent Michael Bennet in November.

  • There’s another reason Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns: He has virtually no record of recent charitable giving – other than the $1 million for veterans that the media badgered him into coughing up.

  • Last month a Russian Federal Security Service officer on guard outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow beat up an American diplomat:

    This previously unreported attack occurred just steps from the entrance to the U.S. Embassy complex, which is located in the Presnensky District in Moscow’s city center. After being tackled by the FSB guard, the diplomat suffered a broken shoulder, among other injuries. He was eventually able to enter the embassy and was then flown out of Russia to receive urgent medical attention, administration officials confirmed to me. He remains outside of Russia.

  • Someone – most likely ISIS – detonated a car bomb in the Kurdish-held Syrian town of Tel Abyad, killing at least five people.

  • Marine Le Pen predicts what’s likely to happen after the Brexit vote:

    Brexit may not have been the first cry of hope, but it may be the people’s first real victory. The British have presented the union with a dilemma it will have a hard time getting out of. Either it allows Britain to sail away quietly and thus runs the risk of setting a precedent: The political and economic success of a country that left the European Union would be clear evidence of the union’s noxiousness. Or, like a sore loser, the union makes the British pay for their departure by every means possible and thus exposes the tyrannical nature of its power. Common sense points toward the former option. I have a feeling Brussels will choose the latter.

  • Under a consent decree Volkswagen will spend $10 billion to fix or buy cars with its emissions test-cheating diesel engine. The federal government and California are extracting another $4.7 billion from the company for pet projects:

    Under the Justice Department deal, VW will provide $2 billion over 10 years to fund programs directed by California and EPA to promote construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, development of zero-emission ride-sharing fleets and other efforts to boost sales of cars that do not burn petroleum.

    VW also agreed to put up $2.7 billion over three years to enable government and tribal agencies to replace old buses or to fund infrastructure to reduce diesel emissions.

    There’s also a $600 million settlement with 44 other U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.