Senator Moran: 'IRS Committed Felony'
Moran said he is still waiting to hear who released the information, and what will be done with them:
Part of my inquiry to Secretary Lew was "have the employees who released this information, have they been challenged, have they been admonished, have they been treated appropriately for what clearly seems to be an inappropriate release of private taxpayer information?"
The information ended up in the hands of ProPublica. This organization then published this information despite what I understand to be a felony. Again, I'm not able to confirm that any action has been taken, any recommendation from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department that anybody be prosecuted.
Moran said the three instances cited above became all the more outrageous when the news surfaced that these were far from isolated instances:
These are alarming in and of themselves, and become more significant to me having learned that there is a bias, a different treatment of one taxpayer over another.
Moran also said -- on the floor of the Senate -- that whoever is responsible needs to be tracked down and prosecuted if it is ultimately determined a crime has been committed:
I also think it's important for us to pursue the issue of the release of information that comes from one organization's filing ... ultimately used by another organization that apparently has a different political perspective than the organization whose application is pending.
There is more to be discovered as we look at how this information was released: were people who released it punished? Is there any pending criminal action (pending against the leakers)?
Moran said he has serious concerns about the lack of progress on the part of the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the Justice Department in pursuing the apparent breakdown in taxpayer protection:
Tax return information should not be used for political gain, regardless of the political leanings of both the taxpayer and the tax administrator.