The Internal Revenue Service has an interesting publication which might come in handy to Justice Department lawyers, assuming the Attorney General does his job. It describes some of the many crimes it seems federal employees working at the IRS may have committed. The big question now is whether Attorney General Eric Holder will do anything about it.
Don’t hold your breath. The most corrupt Attorney General since Warren Harding’s Harry M. Daugherty has distinguished himself by using his office to advance an ideological agenda, punish political enemies and reward friends.
Describing the deja vu legacy of Richard Nixon, the IRS document notes:
By the mid 1970s, there was increased congressional and public concern about the widespread use of tax information by government agencies for purposes unrelated to tax administration. This concern culminated with the enactment of section 6103, passed as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1976.
Then the IRS document reminds us of Nixonian behavior that sounds so fresh and new:
Concern over tax return confidentiality remained after revocation of the two executive orders. The Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (Watergate Committee) hearings revealed that former White House counsel John Dean had sought from the IRS political information on so-called “enemies.” Furthermore, it was disclosed that the White House actually was supplied with information about IRS investigations of Howard Hughes and Charles Rebozo. The Committee noted that tax information and income tax audits were commonly requested by White House staff and supplied by IRS personnel.
And here is the good stuff, which implicates whether or not Eric Holder will faithfully execute the duties of his office. There are:
Criminal penalties, including a felony for the willful unauthorized disclosure of returns or return information and a civil cause of action for the taxpayer whose information has been inspected or disclosed in a manner not authorized by section 6103. I.R.C. §§ 7213 (criminal penalty for unauthorized disclosure) and 7431 (civil damages provision).
If the post-Watergate protections weren’t enough, there is the appropriately named Taxpayer Browsing Protection Act of 1997. Again from the IRS document, it:
created a misdemeanor for the unauthorized inspection of returns or return information (section 7213A). In addition, in 1996, Public Law 104-294 provided that the unauthorized access of returns or return information in government computer files is a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(B). Pub. L. No. 104-294, 110 Stat. 3488 (1996).
So snap to it Mr. Holder. Officials at your own IRS have all but admitted someone on the GS scale has committed various federal crimes. When will your Criminal Division open an investigation? Given your administration is spinning that low level employees, some in Cincinnati, are responsible, I’m sure U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart will be right on the case. After all, he has been so vigilant in prosecuting Meloweese Richardson, the woman who said on camera that she voted for your boss at least six times.