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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Lerner

GOP blasts IRS excuse for losing Lerner emails

The IRS last week sent a letter explaining how it lost some of former employee Lois G. Lerner's emails from 2009 through 2011, including some from her communications with Democrats in Congress or with other federal agencies, drawing a stern rebuke from Republicans. Published June 15, 2014

FILE - In this May 22, 2013, file photo, then-IRS official Lois Lerner is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Oversight Committee hearing to investigate the extra scrutiny IRS gave to tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.  The House is preparing to vote May 7, on holding Lerner  in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at a pair of committee hearings about her role in the agency's tea party controversy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

IRS says it lost key Lerner emails

The IRS has told Congress that it has lost some of former employee Lois G. Lerner's emails, including some covering communications with Democrats in Congress and with other parts of the government, the House's top tax-law writer said Friday. Published June 13, 2014

Johnson

Homeland Security to probe border child abuse allegations

Homeland Security officials announced an investigation Thursday into charges that Customs and Border Protection officers abused some of the young children surging across the U.S. border, as the government continued to struggle to get a handle on the burgeoning problem. Published June 12, 2014

Left to Right: Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Chairman David Medine, moderator and Washington Times Opinion Editor David Keene, Former NSA and CIA Director Gen. Mike Hayden, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Washington Legislative Office Director Laura W. Murphy, speak on a panel called "Privacy in America: the NSA, the Constitution and the USA Freedom Act" at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center, Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Former NSA director backs House bill to rein in spy agency

The head of the government's civil liberties protection board said Thursday that its classified review of the NSA's collection of Americans telephone records didn't turn up any evidence of abuses — but both he and the man who lead the National Security Agency's program said it's still time to end bulk collection. Published June 12, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, following a Republican Conference meeting.  Commenting on  problems with the troubled health care system in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boehner said, "We have a systemic failure of an entire department of our government."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Immigration activists blockade Boehner office

More than a dozen immigration activists blocked the hallway in front of Speaker John A. Boehner's office in one of the House buildings on Wednesday, demanding that he bring an immigration bill to the floor for an immediate vote. Published June 11, 2014

**FILE** Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 22, 2014. (Associated Press)

Democrats say Cantor's loss should speed up immigration bill

Democrats and immigrant-rights advocates on Wednesday mounted a forceful effort to save immigration, arguing that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning loss in a GOP primary on Tuesday shouldn't be seen as a statement on the congressman's support for legalizing illegal immigrants. Published June 11, 2014

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and three of his top aides have used personal email accounts for government business, feeding the growing legal storm over secret accounts and how much access the public should have to those records. (Associated Press/File)

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson admits to need for border reform

Both in public and in private meetings, new Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson readily acknowledges there is a border "problem" that needs fixing — a major departure from his predecessor, Janet Napolitano, whose consistent refrain was that the border was more secure than it had ever been. Published June 10, 2014

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

IRS adopts taxpayers' bill of rights

The IRS said Tuesday it has come up with a taxpayers' bill of rights — a list of 10 guarantees the tax agency says it will give Americans — including the right to privacy and the right to appeals. Published June 10, 2014

FILE - This May 8, 2014 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. To congressional Republicans, "Benghazi" is shorthand for incompetence and cover-up. Democrats hear it as the hollow sound of pointless investigations. It is, in fact, a Mediterranean port city in Libya that was the site of an attack on an American diplomatic compound on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. That's nearly all that U.S. politicians can agree on about Benghazi.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Boehner: Obama trusted us with bin Laden but not Bergdahl

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday he rejected the White House's latest explanation for keeping Congress in the dark about the swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying that top leaders in Congress were able to be briefed ahead of the Osama bin Laden strike and should have been consulted this time. Published June 10, 2014

One of the email addresses of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy apparently has been scrubbed. (Associated Press)

Watchdog rebuffed on EPA data turns to NSA

A pro-business watchdog group sued the National Security Agency on Monday, demanding that the spy agency turn over metadata logs for some phones registered to top EPA officials in a pioneering legal maneuver that seeks to use the government's own secret data to check up on other agencies. Published June 9, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 9, 2014, before signing a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt. The president said the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education. Obama signed a presidential memorandum he says could help an additional 5 million borrowers.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Critics, Obama spar as child border crossings spike

Top Obama officials on Monday rejected accusations that their policies have invited the surge of young children trying to jump the U.S.-Mexico border and enter the country illegally, saying the cause is violence in Central America, not the promise of legal status here. Published June 9, 2014

"We're taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement (Associated Press)

Holder seeks legal team for children on border

The Obama administration announced a program late last week that would provide attorneys for the young illegal immigrant children crossing in waves over the U.S.-Mexico border, saying they want to make sure the unaccompanied minors are getting fair legal representation. Published June 8, 2014

Deputy Attorney General James Cole told the Senate intelligence committee that the administration is looking to end bulk data collection while allowing for enough flexibility to get large volumes of records if they are necessary to investigations. (Associated Press)

NSA phone snooping end in sight

The Obama administration vowed Thursday to end bulk collection of data if Congress passes a Patriot Act reform bill winding its way through the Senate, which is designed to end the NSA phone snooping program revealed by Edward Snowden. Published June 5, 2014

** FILE ** U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Manuel Padilla, left front, walks with other agents and media during a tour in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, near Sasabe, Ariz. Padilla and other Border Patrol officials spent the day discussing the dangers for immigrants trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico into the U.S. (AP Photo/Brian  Skoloff)

Surge in kids illegally crossing into U.S. alone strains Border Patrol

The flood of young children pouring across the southwestern border is worse than the administration has previously acknowledged, and efforts to deal with unaccompanied minors are overwhelming the Border Patrol, distracting it from going after smugglers and other illegal immigrants, according to an internal draft memo from the agency. Published June 5, 2014