IRS emails show collusion with White House
Earlier this week, the House Oversight Committee asked Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel some hard questions about the shifty, irresponsible, and possibly illegal transmission of confidential taxpayer data through private email accounts held by such key scandal figures as Werfel’s predecessor, Douglas Shulman, and Tax Exempt Organizations head Lois Lerner.
It turns out these emails were part of a collaboration between IRS officials and the White House, a discovery that would have triggered “Countdown to Impeachment” news specials under a Republican Administration, but barely even rates media attention during the Great Shutdown Drama. Try to imagine left-wing groups mounting a legal challenge to Bush Administration policies, only to discover IRS officials were sending their confidential tax data to White House advisers, to assist the Bush team in preparing a defense.
The Daily Caller describes this as an effort to combat lawsuits from religious organizations opposed to the ObamaCare contraception mandates. That’s not something the IRS should be involved with. The key operative from the corrupt Tax Exempt Organizations Division in this fresh outrage was Sarah Hall Ingram:
Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.
The emails provided to Oversight investigators by the IRS had numerous redactions with the signifier “6103.”
Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code forbids a federal employee from “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”
Federal employees who illegally disclose confidential taxpayer information could face five years in prison.
“Thanks, David. Thanks for the information on ,” White House official Lambrew wrote to IRS official David Fish in a July 20, 2012 exchange. “I am still hoping to understand whether the 50 percent rule is moot if the organization does not offer goods and services for sale to the general public. Do we assume that organizations like  do offer goods and services for sale?”
Ingram claimed she couldn’t recall these documents when House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked her about them – the “amnesia” permutation of the trusty Incompetence Defense routinely deployed by Obama Administration figures. Sure, why should a highly-compensated, immensely powerful official of the Internal Revenue Service recall a few emails that may have violated federal law, as part of an eye-popping collusion that turned the IRS into a wing of Barack Obama’s political operation?
Here’s Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) trying to jog Ingram’s memory about her relationship with a White House aide she was cleared for 75 meetings with. You can see how she’d forget about a little thing like that. Hey, I’ve got a great idea: let’s give this collection of incompetents, amnesiacs, and political dirty tricksters control over our health care!
Update: If you’re wondering what the IRS has to say about all this… well, you can keep wondering, because they’re not taking questions during the shutdown.