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Another mysterious ‘hard drive crash’ for the Obama Administration

Another mysterious 'hard drive crash' for the Obama Administration

The freak wave of hard-drive crashes afflicting the Obama Administration – and nobody else on Earth – continues.  By an amazing coincidence, the new story is about an old colleague of IRS scandal kingpin Lois Lerner at the Federal Election Commission, who in an even more amazing coincidence was also under investigation for partisan political activity.  The Daily Caller brings us the latest thrilling tale from the Most Transparent Administration Ever:

The Federal Election Commission recycled the computer hard drive of April Sands — a former co-worker of Lois Lerner’s — hindering an investigation into Sands’ partisan political activities, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Sands resigned from the Federal Election Commission in April after she admitted to violating the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities on federal time and at federal facilities.

What sort of “partisan political activities” was this honorable colleague of Lois Lerner’s engaged in?

Sands took part in a heavily partisan online webcam discussion from FEC offices and also operated a Twitter account with the handle @ReignOfApril which were sent during Sands’ normal working hours.

One of Sands’ tweets, from June 4, 2012 read “I just don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican. What kind of delusional rhetorical [sic] does one use?”

Sands is a black female.

“Dear every single Republican ever, When will U learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed #Obama2012 #p2,” Sands wrote on May 1, 2012.

In a message from Aug. 25, 2012, Sands called Republicans her “enemy.”

In others, Sands issued fundraising pleas on behalf of Obama. “Our #POTUS’s birthday is August 4. He’ll be 51. I’m donating $51 to give him the best birthday present ever: a second term,” she wrote on July 18, 2012.

How refreshing to know that the Federal Elections Commission hosted a hardcore partisan who thought nothing of violating the Hatch Act.  I once again invite you to imagine the alternate reality where all of this happened during the re-election campaign of a Republican, and partisan Republican operatives were abusing the powers and resources of the IRS and FEC.  Imagine what the media coverage would be like.  You’d already have seen a blockbuster movie about it, and it would have won some Oscars.

The Office of Inspector General at the FEC launched a criminal investigation of Sands’ activities, but – SHAZAM! – discovered that her hard drive had been “recycled,” wiping out all the evidence of her activities.  The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia therefore decided not to prosecute.  I’m sure Attorney General Eric Holder’s politicized Justice Department was just chomping at the bit to get on this case.

And so, we’re once again left with a letter from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, (R-CA) and subcommittee head Jim Jordan (R-OH), informing another agency head that this all stinks to high heaven, especially since Sands admitted to violating federal law.

Although we recognize and appreciate the right of every citizen to participate in the political process, the Hatch Act limits certain political activities conducted by employees of the Executive Branch.  In particular, the Act prohibits Executive Branch employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on official duty at a federal workplace.  Certain employees, including FEC employees, are further restricted by the Hatch Act from engaging in partisan political campaigns or management.  Additionally, federal law makes it a crime for a federal employee “to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties…”

As part of a settlement agreement with the [Office of Special Counsel], Ms. Sands admitted to violating the Hatch Act by soliciting political contributions via Twitter, conducting political activity through her Twitter account, and participating in a political discussion “via webcam from an FEC conference room… while on duty.”  The FEC OIG sought to pursue criminal charges stemming from Ms. Sands solicitation of political contributions while on duty inside the FEC building.

But then, you know, there was that little hard drive problem, and all the evidence went away.

As Issa and Jordan remind us, Lois Lerner was known to have communicated with her old colleagues at the FEC during her jihad against conservative groups, and even shared protected taxpayer information with them.  It’s more than a little suspicious that an old chum of hers at the FEC would have been allowed to dump her hard drive in a recycle bin, not only thwarting a criminal investigation, but also destroying “material responsive to Freedom of Information Act and congressional oversight requests.”  Funny how that tends to happen when the investigations get dragged out for years, huh?

House Oversight wants the FEC to produce documentation about exactly how and why Sands’ hard drive got recycled, “including all correspondence between or among FEC employees and outside vendors or contractors involved in the recycling, and all FEC requisition request forms and other records concerning the hard drive.”  They’d also like a refresher on the FEC’s “practices and policies for retaining FEC documents responsive to congressional requests, inspector general investigations, the Freedom of Information Act, or litigation.”

This information is all due for delivery to House Oversight by July 28, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that deadline was wholly or partially ignored.  After all, it took a judicial order to get the IRS under oath and compel them to explain how Lerner’s emails, along with correspondence from half a dozen other key scandal figures, vanished into the ether.  And that only happened because watchdog group Judicial Watch filed the sort of Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that our vaunted “mainstream media” is utterly uninterested in pursuing, as I’m sure they would be if this was a Republican scandal… or string of Republican scandals, sharing many of the same individuals and obfuscation tactics.

 

 

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