Under James Madison’s constitutional theory, the separate branches of government would “check” each others’ powers by applications of their own officers’ rival jealousies. For example, legislators can cut the budgets of the executive branch when executive-branch officers overreach. In practice, such “checking” almost never happens, because all three branches have learned to share in common control and exploitation of the American people.
When it came to light that the IRS has been persecuting “tea party” groups seeking 501(c)(4) status as “social welfare” groups (like thousands of other similar organizations, e.g., the Sierra Club, the NRA, etc.), Congress began investigating.
It soon emerged that the IRS obstructed Congress’s investigation, by, for example, deleting incriminating emails. When the highest-level IRS officials were summoned before committees of Congress, such IRS officials falsely claimed that incriminating emails had been “lost.”
Further investigations followed. It has now emerged that IRS officials have deliberately deleted and concealed incriminating emails AFTER they became aware of congressional investigations (and after their IRS head testified falsely that no emails could be found).
The obvious answer is for Congress to slash the budget of the IRS and force the agency to lay off hundreds. (Prosecuting executive-branch agents is difficult when prosecuting officials are themselves agents and partisans of the executive branch.)
“[Investigators] took possession of the 424 backup tapes and determined that 422 of the 424 tapes were degaussed (i.e., magnetically erased) by IRS employees in Martinsburg on or around March 4, 2014, one month after the IRS realized they were missing e-mails from Lois Lerner, and approximately eight months after the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested ‘all documents and communications sent by, received by, or copied to Lois Lerner.’”
The National Review story is here.