Two interesting news stories this week that if true show an abuse of power by the current administration in violating the First Amendment.
The rules of political scandal are simple:
- Act Surprised
- Deny all responsibility
- Make counter accusations
The first case centers around using the IRS to target of political enemies and organizations:
Perhaps as many as five hundred organizations were targeted by the IRS for investigation for no other reason than that they were opposed to the current administration and were vigorously exercising their First Amendment rights. The naked attempt to curtail their activity was at the very least: "unconscionable and appalling", possibly illegal and very likely a wide spread violation of civil rights. Such a wide pattern of misconduct would seem to indicate nothing other than a top led effort.
The next case is the secret court order of wiretapping of AP offices in an attempt to find leaks in the administration.
This might actually bring down the AG. I think this best sums it up:
“There can be no possible justification for such an over broad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Pruitt wrote to Holder. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the news gathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s news gathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
One has to wonder if the government can steal information from the media for political gain what does that say about the state of our press? The press is mad today but they mostly forgive the administration for most malfeasance. If they decide to bear a grudge this could be the end for Holder.
My question are:
- Are these civil rights violations?
- If so how serious?
- Do those effected have ground for a suit?