Suggestions for draining the DC swamp

  • 29 March 2017
  • NormanL
Suggestions for draining the DC swamp

Cleaning up the DC swamp was a key reason voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in November. Where to start? Law professor Ronald Rotunda has a few ideas that could not only start the process, but clear up some long-standing issues from the Obama administration. Among them: the unresolved IRS scandal:

Consider, for example, the charges against Lois Lerner, who pled the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before Congress, while insisting she did nothing wrong and that her IRS office did not discriminate against conservative organizations. After that, she and her lawyers had private conversations with lawyers in the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ can release all related emails and notes of those secret meetings.

The IRS discrimination against conservative groups led to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits. The IRS is still withholding FOIA documents and slow walking the turnover of information. Earlier this month, the IRS admitted that it has located “an additional 6,924 documents of potentially responsive records” to a 2015 FOIA lawsuit that still ongoing. For years, the IRS has withheld documents! There is no need for any further delay. The government can simply order the IRS to turn over the documents. Nothing requires the IRS to fight this lawsuit. Even if FOIA gives a defense to disclosure, the government can waive that defense. If the IRS has nothing to hide, it can prove that by hiding nothing. The IRS does not need a FOIA lawsuit to disclose these documents. It can just disclose them voluntarily.

Maybe full disclosure of the emails and notes of the DOJ lawyers will reveal that Lois Lerner acted completely above board and did nothing to tilt the IRS against conservative groups. If so, that would be great. We could renew our faith that the IRS is nonpartisan. Or, it may show that lawyers supposedly working for the DOJ conspired with Lerner to cover up efforts to punish people because of their exercise of free speech. We should know that as well, so that we the people can make sure this never happens again. Sunlight, after all, is the best disinfectant. Disclosure will warn future IRS employees that if they politicize the IRS, they will be exposed.

There are other examples at the link, including suggestions on clearing up the Russia issue, finally resolving the DoJ's botched "Fast and Furious" operation, and airing Hillary Clinton's deeper secrets.

We can think of more, including an accounting of political pressures used to steer big government grants to Obama's allies in the green power industry, and explaining in greater detail and with greater clarity just what happened in the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Lybia.

Plenty of dank, grimy corners just waiting for disinfectant.

What do you think needs to be done to drain the DC swamp? Let us know in the comments section below.