Lois Lerner

FEC Recycled Hard Drive of Attorney Under Investigation for Potentially Illegal Political Activity


Until April of this year, April Sands was an attorney at the Federal Elections Commission's (FEC) Enforcement Division. That division is responsible for enforcement of federal elections law generally and is specifically charged with investigating "alleged violations of the law" and well as making recommendations to the FEC about "appropriate action to take with respect to apparent violations."

During her time at the FEC, however, Sands sent out numerous tweets expressing support for President Obama and other Democrats, opposing Republicans, and even explicitly urging followers to donate to a Democratic candidate.

In her tweets, sent from the handle @ReignOfApril, Sands expressed an intense dislike of Republicans.

"I just don't understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican. What kind of delusional rhetorical does one use?" she tweeted in July of 2012.

"If you're still calling yourself a Republican after the #WarOnWomen, their stated RNC platform, & Birtherism, you are my enemy," she wrote in August of the same year.

She noted her own donations, and pushed others to give as well. "Our #POTUS's birthday is August 4. He'll be 51. I'm donating at least $51 to give him the best birthday present ever: a second term," she said in a July 2012 tweet. "Donate to @clairecmc [the Twitter handle of Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill] today," she tweeted the next month. "Romney is toast," said a message sent in September. "But POTUS can't do it all on his own. Don't forget Congressional races. We need a Democratic sweep. Stay focused." 

Sands is, of course, entitled to her political opinions, whatever they are. But as an Executive Branch employee, she was prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty in a federal workplace. The Hatch Act, which places limits on such activity, also makes it a crime for employees to solicit money in connection with an election "while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties."

Did Sands engage in criminal activity? The FEC's Office of Special Counsel and Inspector General's office investigated Sands' behavior, and last April, announced that she had resigned as part of a settlement agreement. Sands admitted to conducting political activity, including fundraising, on Twitter, and also to taking part in a political discussion using a webcam while in an FEC conference room. She was on duty at the time.

But as a letter from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) notes, the investigation stopped short of pursuing criminal charges.

According to the letter, which provided background on Sands and copies of her tweets, Sands' computer hard drive was recycled, and its records wiped, before the FEC's Inspector General could get access to it.

"The bias exhibited [by Sands' tweets] is striking," the letter says, "especially for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election laws fairly and dispassionately." The letter requests comprehensive information explaining how the FEC managed to let Sands' hard drive be recycled.

The odd kicker to the story: Prior to 2001, long before the tweets were sent, Sand worked at the FEC under the supervision of Lois Lerner, who for the last year has been at the center of an ongoing congressional investigation into possible targeting of conservative non-profit groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Lerner headed the IRS office in charge of tax exemptions, but has indicated that many of her emails during the time frame under investigation cannot be produced for congressional investigators. Her hard drive crashed less than two weeks after the House sent its first letter investigating scrutiny of non-profit groups, and it could not be restored, preventing investigators from accessing its contents.

There is no direct connection between the recycling of Sands' hard drive and Lerner's conveniently timed crash. But, especially when combined with the fact that six other IRS employees have apparently also lost record, at least one because of another computer crash, it does appear that federal employees are having a remarkably difficult time maintaining electronic records that might be useful to investigators.

NEXT: Should Pro-Choice Libertarians Support the Women's Health Protection Act?

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54 responses to “FEC Recycled Hard Drive of Attorney Under Investigation for Potentially Illegal Political Activity

  1. Why do those screen shots look like they were xeroxed in 1981?

    1. They’re taken from the Jordan/Issa letter.

  2. it’s insane hyperpolitical bitches all the way down.

  3. Prediction: Nothing else will happen.

    1. ^^^THIS^^^

      The Obama crime syndicate doesn’t even feel they need to keep the appearance of the rule of law alive anymore.

  4. I’m sure she was totally unbiased and thoroughly professional when it came to scrutinizing the honesty and integrity of our elections though!

    1. Absolutely. And since her hard drive was destroyed, I guess we’ll have to take her word silence on it.

  5. Is she black?

    If not, then Issa is a sexist.

    If yes, then he’s a racist and a sexist.

    That is all.

    1. I see what you did there…

    2. I doubt she is racist just observant. The GOP tends to be very white. Hell libertarian events tends to be very white along with Democrat events etc etc. She is just misguided and tacky but hardly a racist.

      1. I’m sorry, I don’t speak gibberish. Could you translate that word salad please?

        1. Wait, I speak progtard:
          He said, April can’t be racist because she’s black, only white people can be racist.

          1. Can you translate it into jive now?

            1. White people vote like THIS, while black people be votin’ like THIS.

              1. I,was,thinking something more,like:

                Shit, April be smoove. But that honkey? He must be out his mind tripping on a brother skin.

                1. Keepin’ it real, yo!

              2. Almost:
                White folks be votin’ like DIS, but black folks be votin’ like DIS HERE.

        2. There are a lot of white people everywhere?

        3. I wouldn’t worry too much about MD. He never quite recovered after the entirely predictable Zimmerman verdict.

      2. I doubt she is racist just observant.

        good one. classic actually.

  6. People who get paid by the government support big-gov’t politicos! Wonder if this says anything about gov’t school teachers?

  7. The FEC’s Office of Special Counsel and Inspector General’s office investigated Sands’ behavior, and last April, announced that she had resigned as part of a settlement agreement.

    Ah yes, of course, the settlement agreement.

    Translation: the taxpaying schmucks will still be paying this cunt-snap for the rest of her life.

    1. No problem. A judge has already ruled that everyone involved with recyling Lerner’s hard drive must submit an affidavit. Get the lowly grunts legally involved and this shit will stop.

      1. Yeah, you figure eventually somebody’s going to crack and start squealing on the bigger rats.

      2. Yeah a government employee would never lie in an affidavit or deposition.

  8. If the GOP does get control of Congress, I hope they realize that they only way to fix the FEC and IRS is take Ripley’s advice. It’s a hard move, politically, as there is a substantial dollar value attached to those bureaucracies, but it’s the only way to be sure.

    1. But then how the hell is the GOP going to dole out goodies to favored constituencies? You expect them to eschew power once they have it back?

      1. Not a lot of pork in the FEC, and the IRS is starting to look like an existential threat. You can’t dole out shit unless you win your elections, which is hard if the game is rigged.

        1. In all seriousness? Neither the IRS nor the FEC are going anywhere. The GOP hasn’t got the ability or the desire to take any serious action.

          1. True, but that’s mainly because they’re idiots.

            1. The hard, cold, reality is the NSA has dossiers on anybody who would try to reduce govt.

  9. An ultrapartisan hack in charge of the FEC?! It’s like I don’t know who to trust anymore, man.

  10. I don’t understand why one party isn’t running exclusively on disbanding Executive agencies that don’t comply with standards of evidence preservation that is the agreed upon civil standard. Disband, forbid current employees from working for any successor agency, and reconstitute. SLD, the reconstitute part wouldn’t be part of my platform, but I’m not running a national campaign.

    1. Okay, I know this is an emotional moment for all of us. I know that. But let’s not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly an important agency we’re dealing with and I don’t think that you or I, or *anybody*, has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them.

      1. Bullshit. Explain to us why this agency is important and what they do to expand individual rights in adherence with the Constitution.

        Then explain to us why they have to do the job when we have a court system.

        1. Shit,min forgot to turn on my sarcometer when I read that.

          Carry on.

          1. Not sarcasm exactly, I was repurposing Burke’s response to Ripley.

    2. 800 FBI files in the closet, that’s why.

  11. “If you’re still calling yourself a Republican after the #WarOnWomen, their stated RNC platform, & Birtherism, you are my enemy,” she wrote in August of the same year.

    I’m pretty sure that Hillary supporters started off the whole birther retardation. I wonder who April will vote for in 2016 if Hillary is on the ballot?

    1. I’m sure she’s convinced herself by now that the republicans are responsible for birtherism, just like they think the southern slave holders and Jim Crow enforcers were republicans.

      1. Perhaps an even better comparison is how Al Gore first brought up Willie Horton, but somehow it was all Lee Atwater and George HW Bush’s fault.

        1. Yeah, even better. I had forgotten about that one.

    2. The Hillary people are fucking crazy. They were shooting at Maureen Dowd for being anti-Chelsea and thus anti-Hillary. Which made me angry to find myself defending Ms. Dowd.

      1. You could do as the rest of us, grab the popcorn and enjoy the spectacle.

  12. “”I just don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican”


    To be honest, i’ve never quite understood how in the ‘progressive’ mindset, ‘hetero white people’ are somehow the logical, diametrical opposite of “gay black/hispanic trans-queens”.

    I’m just saying, i think this cultural binaryism seems entirely contrived and imagined. False Dichotomy! Why am i supposed to be Yang to some gay ethnic minorities Yin? I dont see it that way.

    Like Walt Whitman, my constituency contains multitudes.
    I roll deep.

  13. Young Progressives Fighting Racism

  14. Essential misdirection. It’s how the magic trick works.

    If the little people started looking at the true balance of power in our society, looking past white and black, male and female, and so on, I suspect we’d see progs at the top of most institutions: government, media (entertainment and journalism), education, TLAs, quite a few corporations if not the majority. Has anyone ever done a rundown of the Forbes 100 to figure out how they lean?

    Divide and conquer, as the saying goes.


    1. No higher than 8%.

      1. What’s with the whole 8% thing? I keep seeing it come up in the comments but I’m not sure where it really originated.

        1. It’s the percentage of Americans who can see through the lies and understand that this administration has really been the best thing ever for this country.

          1. Ah. Thanks for the clarification. Guess I’m one of those deluded 92%.

            1. Palin’s Buttplug (shrike) once posted a Omabacare poll to “prove” its popularity and did a little troll dance about it. But, like always, he didn’t actually read the poll. Only 8% of respondents “strongly approved” of Obamacare.

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