Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 12, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 764

IRS Logo 2World, New Details Emerge in IRS Targeting Scandal:

It’s been a little more than two years since a Treasury Department Inspector General report found the Internal Revenue Service used “inappropriate criteria” to target conservative nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny.

“It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” said President Barack Obama in a statement issued May 15, 2013, the day after the report. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”

The investigation into what happened and who is responsible has unfolded slowly, but lost amid ISIS, presidential campaigns, and international crises, congressional probes continue to uncover new information. This week, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Republican lawmakers honed in on an IRS official’s disclosure that the agency established a “special project team” to handle all information requests related to the targeting issue.  

Republicans were instantly suspicious because the arrangement apparently involved the IRS chief counsel and acting commissioner—the only two political appointees at the agency. Mary Howard, IRS director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure, said the team included hundreds of attorneys assigned to gather information for both congressional and public inquiries. ...

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has taken a lead on investigating the targeting, said it could be just as Howard said, but “obviously I’m suspicious based on the track record. “ ...  Jordan said Howard’s testimony raised many new questions the committee decided to formally ask the IRS in a letter sent today.  ...

The two-year-old controversy involves conservative groups who were singled out for extra scrutiny when they applied for 501(c)4 nonprofit status. The Government Accountability Office is currently studying whether the IRS also singled out existing conservative nonprofit groups through the auditing process. Jordan said lawmakers anticipate a report in the near future.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


Let me see if I understand this. The House and Senate committees made repeated, overlapping, and duplicative demands for hundreds of thousands of pages of investigatory materials, most of which consist of taxpayer return information that is confidential by statute. And the House and Senate committees want these documents immediately, if not sooner. So the IRS set up a dedicated–“special” if you will–team, pulling employees from various parts of the agency (including lawyers from its Chief Counsel’s office), to process these congressional demands for information as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now the House and Senate committees want to know why the IRS didn’t process these requests through the regular FOIA channels? What am I missing here?

BTW, don’t allow our twelve paragraphs of questions to slow down your efforts to comply with our earlier document demands.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jun 12, 2015 8:00:45 AM