Why Did the IRS Give the FBI 1.1 Million Pages of Taxpayer Info from Non-Profits?
June 10, 2014 - 1:48 pm
And why did they wait a year after Congress requested the information to tell them about it?
Sounds “smidgeony” to me, Mr. President.
The IRS acknowledged that some non-public taxpayer information was shared in the documents but said a tiny fraction of the data at issue was “inadvertently” shared.
Shucks, why didn’t you tell us it was “inadvertent”? So, what tiny fraction of the data was shared?
During the course of its probe into the IRS tea party targeting scandal, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it learned the tax agency sent 1.1 million pages of tax return data about 501(c)(4) organizations to the FBI just before the 2010 midterms, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The IRS responded that it identified issues with 33 tax returns out of more than 12,000 that included confidential taxpayer information. The majority of those groups “do not appear to have any connection to political activity,” the IRS said.
The two Republicans said they are “extremely troubled by this new information, and by the fact that the IRS has withheld it from the Committee for over a year,” noting that despite two subpoenas the IRS has not “produced material relating to these 21 disks and all associated information.”
Such (c)4 groups, also known as social welfare organizations, are organized under a section of the tax law that lets them engage in a limited amount of political activity
I’m still not feeling it. The IRS says it sent 33 tax returns out of 12,000 inadvertently to the FBI. All Tea Party groups or not? Right before the 2010 mid terms?
Are there any dots to connect?
The information was transmitted in advance of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s meeting the same month with Justice Department officials about the possibility of using campaign-finance laws to prosecute certain nonprofit groups. E-mails between Lerner and Richard Pilger, the director of the Justice Department’s election-crimes branch, obtained through a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder, show Lerner asking about the format in which the FBI preferred the data to be sent.
“This revelation that the IRS sent 1.1 million pages of nonprofit tax-return data — including confidential taxpayer information — to the FBI confirms suspicions that the IRS worked with the Justice Department to facilitate the potential investigation of nonprofit groups engaged in lawful political speech.”
The IRS says that the disks “involve publicly available material that is easily and routinely accessible.” Except when it isn’t and the disks “can sometimes inadvertently include material that should have been redacted.”
The juxtaposition of “routinely accessible” and “inadvertently” does not fill me with confidence.
Chairman Issa wants some answers:
In the context of its tea party targeting scandal investigation, the lawmakers wrote that the agency sending this data to the FBI “shows that the IRS took affirmative steps to provide sensitive evidentiary material to law-enforcement officials about the political speech of nonprofits.”
“At the very least, this information suggests that the IRS considered the political speech activities of nonprofits to be worthy of investigation by federal law-enforcement officials,” they wrote in the letter.
The IRS still hasn’t answered the $64,000 question: Why give the FBI any information on the political activity of any group? What business is it of theirs?
Any aspect of this scandal involving Lois Lerner needs to be thoroughly examined.