John McCain staffer Henry Kerner urged Obama IRS to financially ruin people with audits

Remember how the IRS under the Obama administration maliciously targeted conservatives, for which IRS officials like Lois Lerner were never held accountable?

Judicial Watch, the nonpartisan citizens’ watchdog group, has uncovered evidence that it wasn’t just Democrats: Republican Senator John McCain (Arizona) also urged the IRS to politically target individuals and non-profit groups for special auditing, for the express purpose of ruining them financially.

Cover photo of The Atlantic, October 2008.

Yesterday, June 21, 2018, Judicial Watch issued this stunning press release:

Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, includingthen-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

[Note: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark U.S. constitutional law, campaign finance, and corporate law case dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit groups,  for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.]

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.

Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting.  Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.”  The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.

Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups. In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.

On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

All these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch is seeking:

  • All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
  • All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.

The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats who wanted to regulate political speech lost at the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama IRS scandal is not over – as Judicial Watch continues to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment rights of Americans.

Born in Munich, Germany, Henry Kerner was appointed by President Trump as special counsel for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Please contact President Trump and your representatives in Congress to demand that Kerner be removed from the Office of Special Counsel, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law:

Update (June 23):

I sent President Trump a message via his Twitter and the White House contact form. This is the immediate response I received from the White House:

Thank you for contacting the White House. We are carefully reviewing your message.

President Donald J. Trump believes the strength of our country lies in the spirit of the American people and their willingness to stay informed and get involved. President Trump appreciates you taking the time to reach out.


The Office of Presidential Correspondence

See also:


40 responses to “John McCain staffer Henry Kerner urged Obama IRS to financially ruin people with audits

  1. Don’t know about Henry Kerner but John McCain has a meeting with the ultimate judgment in the near future and will have to answer for his actions.
    I’ll just sit here and wait for that meeting to take place.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Civil War #2, closer than you can imagine. Get ready, you can still purchase guns and ammo. This will be a core requirement to survive and help your family survive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You know the Manchurian Candidate McCain is up to his cancerous jowls in destroying conservatives.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Asin’t he dead jet? Clown McCain cain’t keep up rattling so he gets his chained monkey Kerner do his dirty work while they change his “shitty” pamper. I don’t think they want him in hell so they keep him here making Hell for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lerner and Kerner…sounds like a comedy act…but they ain’t funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Shocker, not. Shameful…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m getting really annoyed now. I’ve had my dancing shoes all laced up for months now . . . and yet he still breathes.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Once a traitor…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on Exposing Modern Mugwumps and commented:

    Outrageous and who in heaven’s name recommended this rotten leftist to President Trump?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. McCain is such a little man. The Navy ought to name a garbage scow after him.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Mr. President – if this is true – we have to fire this guy. We were some of those people who they harassed for no reason except they wanted our ranch – falsely accusing us of owing taxes on our ranch which they said we inherited – which was a blatant lie. We went through a year of hell with those people.

    They treated us like those dogs in the circus – making us jump thru hoops to satisfy their evil. Good example – requiring a business plan for the ranch. Can you imagine furnishing a business plan to the IRS?

    In the end, they apologized with the story that the agent was going thru a divorce and was stressed out.

    Ready for a recompense for harassment



    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on Roberts Thoughts 2 and commented:

    Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, includingthen-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Joseph McCarthy was 100% correct, communists have infiltrated every sector of our government, that was in the 50’s, it’s done nothing but grow since then. I would love to see lerner jailed, but I think the statute of limitation has expired. This is still one of my favorite videos, 4 minutes of sheer terror for Lois, she stands with such honor, her neighbors wouldn’t even help out! Everyone enjoy…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. And everyone knows McStain was behind it!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. WHY is there not an AUDIT of everyone in Congress to tally their VOTING RECORDS? If a HR or Senator votes 80% or more Republican during their Career,they’d be officially considered Republican;if their records show they vote 80% or more Democrat,they’re officially a Democrat. (I’m sure there are better parameters to use,but the POINT is that McLame shouldn’t be labeled a Republican by any stretch of the imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mortality will accomplish what the ballot box could not.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Yes, I also despise his behavior….but he will have to answer to a higher authority.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. McCain follows his father’s tradition – selling out America. He did it in Viet Nam and he continues to do so.

    “When Gates asked about the second meeting with Deripaska in 2006 at the Rothschild family fiefdom on the coast of Montenegro, he unfortunately confused Montevideo for Montenegro, which allowed McCain to avoid the question by saying he has never been to Montevideo.

    Sen. John McCain is the most active supporter of the Zionist war agenda in the U.S. Congress. In his 2008 book Guilt by Association, Jeff Gates pointed out the McCain family’s ties to the cover-up of the murderous Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 and other treasonous and criminal activity by the senator from Arizona, who was then the Republican party’s candidate for president. To understand why Sen. McCain puts his support for the Zionist crime syndicate ahead of what’s best for the American people it is essential to understand who supports John McCain. The following paragraphs from Guilt by Association make that quite clear:”

    Liked by 2 people

  19. “North Vietnamese Propagandist John McCain: The Vietnam Tapes”

    Excerpt of McCain Vietnam propaganda broadcast: [2 min]

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Just cross referencing this excellent article at the Fellowship of the Minds with the one at Conservative Tree house so the information we have can be known by ALL of us:

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m not saying this is ALL in McLame’s court-there are LOTS of alleged Conservatives in Congress who just can’t make themselves VOTE like Conservatives. (I’m sure there are a few Liberals who don’t dance to their own Party’s tune as well.)


  22. Pingback: John McCain staffer Henry Kerner urged Obama IRS to financially ruin people with audits | The Olive Branch Report

  23. More pull at the top for treasonors than there should be.

    “CORRUPTION: Former McCain Aide Involved in IRS Scandal Has a New Job You Won’t Believe”

    “He is now in charge of all DC Corruption and Whistleblower cases. That explains why whistleblowers are so persecuted. Also, he is now in charge of the investigation into the FBI and the DOJ, which means they will go free unless someone steps up, or he’s fired.”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. THANK GOD that McCain never became President. I know that he had his connections: Remember, he got away with crashing his jet into the USS Forrestall without a court-martial, and that accident killed 134 of his fellow sailors.
    I would be interested in knowing of any connections between McCain and the Bush Family. Is McCain Skull & Bones? How did he manage to hang on for so long, wreaking havoc behind the scenes?
    John McCain shall soon live in INFAMY. GOOD.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. John McCanus is, and always has been, a traitor to America.

    He’s lucky his daddy was an admiral, else he would have been arrested as soon as he stepped off the plane from Viet Nam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is very much the truth, Dave.

      This report below is about the attack on the USS Liberty. It’s an attack against America by Israel, with loss of life to America’s military people, which McCain’s Admiral father helped to cover up, along with McNamara and the Crypto-jew President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who may have had a part in it’s planning and execution.

      “Betrayal behind Israeli attack on U.S. ship”

      “On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked our proud naval ship — the USS Liberty — killing 34 American servicemen and wounding 172. Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.” [His letter and public report continues at the Houston Chronicle].

      Liked by 1 person

  26. “Sinking Liberty
    By Philip Giraldi

    “Senator John McCain of Arizona has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to effectively block any reconvening of a board of inquiry to reexamine the evidence. Most of the documents relating to the Liberty incident have never been released to the public.”

    Liked by 1 person

  27. “USS Liberty Vets Call For Help As Billboard Company Bows to Jewish Pressure”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. AND you can take this to the BANK, McStain was in 100%!

    Liked by 1 person

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