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Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Another lost-hard-drive improbability

From the “You-Can’t-Make-This-Stuff-Up” file comes news confirming your suspicion that no matter how corrupt you thought the current administration is, it’s worse.

It seems a Federal Elections Commission lawyer, known to her coworkers as “Obama Girl,” breezily violated the Hatch Act — a prohibition against federal employees advocating for campaigns during work hours — during the run-up to the 2012 election. It also seems, despite her admission, she won’t/can’t be prosecuted, because her office hard drive was recycled by efficient agency IT professionals.

According to London’s MailOnline:

April J. Sands resigned her position as an FEC attorney in April 2014 after investigators confronted her with tweets she sent and a video interview she conducted during work hours, advocating for the election of President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates – and asking people to contribute to their campaigns. ...

Following an investigation into her partisan political activity, Sands admitted to the FEC’s Office of Special Counsel that she had violated the Hatch Act ... and agreed not to seek employment in the federal government for two years.

Revealed in a small but representative sample of her tweets to a following of 8,500 — among them, “Romney is toast. But POTUS can’t do it all on his own. Don’t forget Congressional races. We need a Democratic sweep. Stay focused. #p2” (for Progressives 2.0) — is an aggressive partisan not particularly worried about shattering the federal criminal code.

Why would she? An FEC lawyer who worked alongside Sands told MailOnline, “She probably didn’t worry about seeming too rah-rah and running afoul of the law,” because she bragged to anyone who would listen that the Obama 2012 campaign was going to hire her away from the FEC.”

Of course it gets creepier. Not only was key evidence in a potential criminal prosecution destroyed, Sands has ties to Lois Lerner, the (as near as can be determined just now) kingpin of the IRS’ two-year targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status ahead of the 2012 election. (Alert readers will detect an eerie similarity to what’s allegedly happened to Lerner’s old agency computer equipment.)

Lerner, the FEC’s general counsel during the final years of the Clinton administration, was Sands’ boss until she left in 2001. Whether they remained close is uncertain. However, according to the same unnamed FEC lawyer, “Last year when Lerner got into hot water at the IRS, April made a point of telling everyone that her old boss got railroaded by the Republicans on the [Capitol] Hill.”

Now those same Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, chaired by dogged Californian Darrell Issa, are interested in Sands and the FEC’s curious data-retention practices, which — my words, not the committee’s — stink of conspiracy to camouflage wrongdoing that was widely known and ignored, if not outright condoned.

Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto (“Best of the Web Today”) applies the appropriate kicker:

Each new revelation gives reason to doubt that Barack Obama’s re-election was honestly won.