Obama administration a conspirator in IRS scandal?

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

The Obama administration is reportedly caught in the midst of yet another scandal, this time for allegedly conspiring with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect confidential taxpayer data used by the White House to try and inflict damage against its political enemies.

A Closer LookAn attorney for President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department — the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) — wrote a letter to the IRS watchdog group Cause of Action last week informing it that it found the information it was looking for.

“[We have found the] 2,509 pages of documents potentially responsive to your request,” TIGTA informed.

It was then noted, however, that laws forbids it [TIGTA] from handing over the revealing paperwork.

“These pages consist of return information protected by 26 U.S.C. § 6103 and may not be disclosed absent an express statutory exception,” the attorney stated. “Because no such exception exists here, we are withholding those.”

Wait a minute …

TIGTA’s explanation did not sit well with Cause for Action, which filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit once Obama’s Treasury Department refused to confirm or deny whether an independent investigation took place into former White House Senior Economics Advisor Austan Goolsbee. The probe was to find out if Goolsbee gained unauthorized access to the tax returns of brothers Charles and David Koch, two wealthy libertarian philanthropists who own Koch Industries.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed an inquiry about the case last week.

“[The Obama administration] has been very rigorous in following all of the rules and regulations that govern proper communications between treasury officials and White House officials and the Internal Revenue Service,” Earnest reported.

This response did not sit well with Cause of Action Executive Director Dan Epstein, who argues that the mere existence of the records proves that unlawful activity took place.

“We know for a fact that the IRS broke the law,” Epstein communicated to Fox News.

At the end of November, TIFTA admitted for the first time that the records did exist, however, it refused to oblige requests made under the FOIA to conduct an investigation.

Back in September, a federal judge’s ruling indicated that TIGTA was prohibited from refusing to declare whether or not an investigation took place — one that the agency already admitted publically speaking about.

“The fact that TIGTA has publicly announced that it has investigated unlawful disclosures of, or access to, that body of information protected by statute as ‘return information’ strongly suggests that the fact of an investigation is not, itself, ‘return information,’” the judge declared.

U.S. Treasury Department Special Agent Daniel K. Carney also indicated that things had already been set in motion.

“The final report relative to the investigation of Austan Goolsbee’s press conference remark is completed, has gone through all the approval processes,” Carney emailed, according to the Washington Examiner.

Here we go again …

Incidentally, Goolsbee has been involved in similar scandals before, such as the time he accused the Koch brothers of not paying income taxes during a background press briefing in 2010.

The Koch brothers, who have been verbal over the years in their criticism of the Obama administration, are considered by conservative lawmakers and advocates alike as being discriminatorily singled out as a political foe by the President, who is using his ties with the IRS to illegally access confidential IRS tax information.

After six Republican senators sent an inquiry to TIGTA, the agency responded by proclaiming that Goolsbee’s comments were under investigation. No investigative report was ever issued to the senators or the media.

Backtracking, TIGTA followed up by refusing to confirm or deny whether the investigation responding to numerous FOIA requests from Koch Industries, Cause of Action and the Washington Free Beacon ever took place.

Now, TIGTA is saying it is caught up in dealing with the ongoing investigation of the latest dimensions of the IRS scandal.

Not this time

American Center for Law and Justice Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy Matthew Clark says this latest scandal is just another piece of the puzzle being laid out uncovering an unethical administration.

“As the whole process drags out, it further exemplifies the problems not only of rampant corruption in a runaway, politically charged IRS, but the inherent problem of allowing the Obama Administration to continue to investigate itself as evidence of wrongdoing piles up,” Clark contends. “If [it is] true that the White House was seeking and obtained confidential taxpayer information from the IRS in stunning violation of federal law, it would further explode an already burgeoning IRS scandal.”

Clark just wants the President to have to play by the same rules as everybody else without being shielded by whatever loophole he can gasp.

“The IRS cannot be allowed to be the political enforcement wing of the Obama Administration,” Clark concluded.

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