Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 8, 2022

WSJ: Comey|McCabe IRS Audits AND ProPublica Tax Leak Should Be Investigated


New York Times, I.R.S. Asks Inspector General to Review Audits of Comey and McCabe:

The agency said its commissioner asked the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration to look into the audits after The Times raised questions about them.

Wall Street Journal, Comey, McCabe and IRS Audits:

The press corps is aflutter at the New York Times report this week that former FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe faced burdensome tax audits under a Trump appointee. We’re glad to see the new attention to the Internal Revenue Service, and welcome to the cause if you mean it.

Messrs. Comey and McCabe were rotten public servants, but any abuse of the IRS for political purposes has to be punished and deterred.

But some Democrats aren’t waiting to jump to Trumpian conclusions. “Trump has no respect for the rule of law,” said Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden in a statement. “If he tried to subject his political enemies to additional IRS scrutiny that would surprise no one.” Mr. Trump says he knew nothing about the audits.

Too bad Mr. Wyden has shown little interest in the rule of law concerning other IRS abuses. One example is last year’s leak of tax records to the progressive website ProPublica. The site published the detailed records of such billionaires as Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos in June 2021, the same time Democrats were making the case for a wealth tax. The leak was a federal crime, and ProPublica hasn’t disclosed its source or how the files were obtained.

A year later the IRS still hasn’t offered information about the leak to Congress. Not that Mr. Wyden’s committee or Democrats on House Ways and Means seem eager to know.

The same was true during the Obama years when the IRS subjected conservative nonprofits to undue scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status.

By all means find out if the two audits were politically motivated, and fire those responsible. But let’s not have a double standard depending on who is the IRS target.

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