News Roundup on IRS Scandal: Lawsuit Alleges IRS Improperly Seized 60 Million Personal Medical Records
With so much news breaking on the IRS scandal in the wake of recent revelations that the agency unfairly targeted conservative groups, we’ve rounded up links to some of the most relevant coverage on the topic for Legal Insurrection readers.
We start with big news this morning. As suspicion of the IRS and worries about the government’s potential abuse of power grows, a few outlets are now reporting that an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California filed a class action lawsuit alleging that “some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents.” The suit could potentially bring compensatory damages that start at a minimum of $250 billion, according to reports.
From a Forbes article titled The IRS Raids 60 Million Personal Medical Records:
In a story reported by Erin McCann of Healthcare IT News, (You can follow her on Twitter @EMcCannHITN), the IRS is alleged to have improperly accessed some 60 million medical records from 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, which first reported on the action, an unnamed healthcare provider in California is bringing the lawsuit against the IRS and 15 of its agents. The personal health information was allegedly seized by the IRS on March 11, 2011.
More from the Healthcare IT News report:
“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
According to the case, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the John Doe company, however, “it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter,” the complaint read.
Given the current scandal in which the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups, combined with this new news about the IRS allegedly abusing its power to seize ten million private citizens’ medical records, the pushback from lawmakers against funding Obamacare seems wholly warranted.
It was also reported yesterday that the IRS released confidential info on conservative groups to ProPublica, an investigative-reporting organization. These were groups with applications that were not yet approved; a move that IRS official Lois Lerner previously told a congressional oversight committee would be a violation of federal guidelines to disclose publicly.
The Treasury inspector general’s report found that “ineffective management” facilitated the “inappropriate criteria” that targeted conservative groups and placed burdensome reporting requirements upon them.
President Obama responded to the report, calling its findings on the actions of the IRS “intolerable and inexcusable.”
Attorney General Eric Holder followed suit by announcing that the Justice Department has opened a criminal probe of the IRS’s treatment of tea-party groups. “The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the IRS,” Holder said.
Karl Rove has since weighed-in, stating that low level IRS employees were doing what people on Capitol Hill (namely Democrats) wanted them to do.
“The administration is blaming this on low-level bureaucrats in Cincinnati and that turned out not to be true. We know people at the [IRS central headquarters] in Washington were involved. But we are missing something else. Remember, they were doing what people on Capitol Hill wanted them to do,” Rove said on Fox News on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Center for Public Integrity is reporting that IRS employees backed Obama and Democrats during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, contributing more than $110,000 to the president.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
what. Going off the Jon Stewart clip on here last night, this is especially bad for “Liberals” because it isn’t just justifying cries about Tyranny, Obama was the “right guy” that do the right thing
This could be close to spiraling out of control for the IRS and the WH. I hope the truth doesn’t get buried or obfuscated by overactive partisan efforts. For example, IRS employee donations to Obama could be a shiny object. I would expect government employees and bureaucrats to vote Democrat over Republican by some margin. After all, it assures lifetime employment. So is there any evidence the IRS was more active in donating than other agencies?
Disclosing information to ProPublica, commandeering health records, and REAL data about non-Tea Party scrutiny if fair game and possibly damning.
Although the population of the “media guards” is shrinking for the WH, they shouldn’t be given extra ammunition to protect him or by spinning it as a simple partisan attack.
All of these revelations are flowing so thick and so fast, I am starting to wonder if the IRS and the AP phone taps aren’t the “”Shiny Objects”” in the room. I wonder if we’re being ‘played’ again….
The Democrats can read, amazingly enough, so they are aware of the conservative complaints about the MSM – biased, prejudiced, etc. How better to divert everyone’s attention with revelations about the corruption in the IRS and then, just to make sure it gets covered properly, spill the beans about the AP wiretaps. The media would be outraged and be sure to cover a perceived anti-Obama story – just for payback, forget a strong bond with veracity.
What is going on in the background though? Benghazi, yes….but what else? Another question is, why is John Boehner blocking a full investigation of Benghazi while talking about people being imprisoned for the IRS mess? Ambassador Stevens – what was he doing in Benghazi anyway?
Apparently the IRS has become the political and enforcement arm of the Democrat Left and Progressives. Let them be the first government agency
that is disbanded, renamed, and reorganized with vetted employees. Of course, this should take place after the criminals are investigated, charged, sentenced and jailed where appropriate. We either do this or the Republic is history.
A serious effort to purge and jail the IRS criminals will most likely produce the smoking gun (direct link) that will impeach the White House occupant.
NEW ITEM 15MAY13: “IRS Faces Lawsuit After Stealing 60 Million Medical Records”
Can there be any doubt that the chief penalizer and enforcer of the OBOZOCARE atrocity, the IRS, will also target Republicans/conservatives/patriots/tea partiers/etc for extra special harassment and fines and paperwork and penalties to pay the enormous OBOZOCARE bill, while letting unions, leftist groups, radicals, etc. off FREE.
Bottom Line: If you are a conservative with a medical condition, expect OBOZO’s IRS to release your confidential medical records to every leftist “journalist” in the country.
Hint on that initial e-mail:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the health summit, February 25, 2010:
“It’s about jobs. In it’s life, it [the health bill] will create 4 million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”
You mean Government isn’t my friend? Day it ain’t so!
Is this a pop-quiz on RICO ?
It is long past the time to demand that leftist media stop with the specious references to the CIA, the IRS, or other executive branch departments — or worse, the “U.S.” — as the culprit perpetrating malfeasance, and start calling it what it is:
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.
Good morning, Mr. President! How is everything today?
Oh, everything’s impeachy, just impeachy!
If we assume all the WH excuses are true, it ought to be an impeachable offense to mismanage the IRS so badly that a couple low-level pencil pushers in Cincinnati can wreak so much havoc.
Obama to chief legal advisor:
“If I get impeached do I get my senator job back?”
Hahahahaha. Why yes, I AM enjoying the crap out of this.
At a minimum, it should be an impeachable offense to be completely ignorant of everything that is going on in one’s own administration is doing. This man is beyond amazing. He just knows nothing about anything, and it’s never his fault. He’s done next to nothing since taking office except for that night when he got on a plane, flew to Pakistan, and personally took out Osama bin Laden.
Just like Sargent Schultz of Hogan’s Heros fame, Obama is saying, “I know nothing”. He has plausible deny-ability until someone comes forward and will testify against him. Then the floodgates will open and many will join in to distance themselves from the abomination in the W. H.. Then even the Obama true believers will turn against him.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is the worst thing you can do about government, is undermine the basic trust. That although it could be tough and tax rates could be tough on you they roughly fair; that they’re not out to screw some group. Now anybody out there in the country can say, hey, I don’t trust these guys. They were targeting us. The gun people can say it, everybody on the right can say it. The Republican party, I’m telling you, this is worth five or ten points to everybody out there who was ready to lose an election next year. And I’ll tell you, this is Mitch McConnell’s ticket to ride. He will not have a serious opponent, And you got to see Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania have a real chance to get re-elected. Cuccinelli is loaded for bear down with this, baby, down in southern Virginia. This is his ticket right now.
There, there, Chwissy – you did as much as anyone to damage the brand.
This is unfathomable – 60,000,000 records stolen by 15 IRS agents? Why would the IRS want medical records? Things are becoming unhinged and unglued very fast.
I agree with El Rushbo – no matter what direct involvement Obama has in this, there is simply no way a Halfrican American will get impeached.
The victim here is a CA ‘unnamed HIPAA covered entity’, which means it’s probably either a medical provider like a hospital or clinic or an health insurance company. Whatever it is, if it opposed Obamacare in some way, it became a target for the IRS Intimidation Unit.