Treasury improperly accessed confidential tax records

The saddest thing about this story might be that it’s not surprising any more:

A government watchdog has found for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Its investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Service “targeted for audit candidates for public office,” the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.

In a written response to a request by Mr. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Mr. George said a review turned up four cases since 2006 in which unidentified government officials took part in “unauthorized access or disclosure of tax records of political donors or candidates,” including one case he described as “willful.” In four additional cases, Mr. George said, allegations of improper access of IRS records were not substantiated by the evidence.

The story doesn’t identify whose records were improperly accessed, but I think we can assume that the victims were opponents of the Obama administration.

ASIDE: Could one of the victims have been the Koch brothers? The White House claimed knowledge of their tax returns, which they had no legitimate access to. Another victim appears to be Christine O’Donnell.

It’s one thing for the misconduct to take place. A few bad apples and all that. It’s quite another for the Justice Department to refuse to prosecute. By so doing, the Obama administration has approved the misconduct after the fact. Worse, they are encouraging it to happen again.

(Previous post.)

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