The IRS Scandal is alive and kicking. Although it is being drowned out of media attention by the Obamacare and Benghazi scandals.
Two important revelations this week related to the targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.
First, Lois Lerner has been caught feeding confidential tax information to the Federal Election Commissions, including the infamous questionaires. Via Judicial Watch, which obtained the documents, IRS’ Lerner Disclosed Confidential Information about Tax Status of Conservative Groups to FEC:
Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained email exchanges between former Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC in violation of federal law. Included with the email exchanges were IRS questionnaires to a conservative group that contained questions of a hostile nature….
The bulk of the records obtained by Judicial Watch consist of extensive materials from the IRS’ files sent from Lerner to the FEC containing detailed, confidential information about the organizations. These include annual tax returns (Forms 990) and request for exempt recognition forms (Form 1024), Articles of Organization and other corporate documents, and correspondence between the nonprofit organizations and the IRS. Under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, it is a felony for an IRS official to disclose either “return information” or “taxpayer return information,” even to another government agency.
Earlier in the week Eliana Johnson at National review detailed the results of IRS leaks about the National Organization for Marriage to its political opponent, the pro-gay marriage Human Rights Campaitn. Most outrageous is how the the law protects the identify of the illegal leaker. Investigation IDs IRS Leaker:
A House committee investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of right-leaning groups has identified the IRS agent who leaked the confidential donor list of the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative organization that opposes gay marriage. NOM’s donor list, contained in a Form 990 Schedule B, which it is required by law to file with the IRS, was obtained in March 2012 by its chief political opponent, the Human Rights Campaign, and subsequently became the subject of several national news stories that centered on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s donation to the group.
Though the House Ways and Means Committee, which began investigating the scandal in the wake of revelations that the IRS had inappropriately singled out conservative groups, has identified the individual who divulged the information as an employee in the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division, it can’t divulge his name to the public or to NOM. It can’t even confirm when the leak took place, whether the perpetrator was disciplined, or even whether he is still employed by the IRS or the U.S. government. That’s because of a peculiarity of the Internal Revenue Code’s section 6103, which is intended to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information. The law makes it a felony to disclose tax returns or related information to the public, but in an odd twist, the results of investigations conducted by congressional committees or by inspectors general are considered the confidential tax information of the alleged perpetrator.
Yet another week in which all of our fears about a politicized IRS are verified.
Remember, the IRS is involved in enforcing Obamacare. Yet another reason to worry.