Did the IRS Commit a Federal Offense?

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 05:47 PM

By Reince Priebus

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The IRS scandal has raised more questions than we can count about our overreaching, unaccountable government. Yet last week, during hearings on Capitol Hill, even more startling questions were raised.

The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, it seems, may go beyond just harassing those groups applying for 501(c)4 tax-exempt status — the letters, the ridiculous demands, the intrusive questions. They may also have been leaking (illegally) private tax information about certain groups as well.

That was the charge from National Organization for Marriage Chairman John Eastman. A list of the organization’s donors and other confidential information appeared on another political group’s website last year. Eastman says there’s no way they could have gotten that information without someone at the IRS providing it.

If that’s true, it’s an insidious violation of the First Amendment, which should bother Americans of all political stripes — especially if the IRS takes no action in response to it.

And indeed, it doesn’t look like they will. NOM asked the IRS for information about the leak, but the IRS refused to cooperate. They said they can’t talk about such private information.

As Eastman observed, “I ask you to think about the irony of that.”

It’s an obvious abuse power if the IRS, under the Obama administration, is handing out confidential information for the political benefit of certain organizations. And if it goes unchecked, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent. If all the allegations are true, this is a federal offense going unpunished.

Surely the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in history” isn’t comfortable with that happening on their watch. So why do they refuse to get to the bottom of it?

On Sunday, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was interviewed about the IRS scandal and said that “the case is solved.” It’s understandable that President Obama’s allies would like to sweep this all under the rug. But the case won’t be “solved” until the questions have been answered.

Reince Priebus was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee on Jan. 14, 2011, and re-elected on January 25, 2013, putting him on track to become only the seventh person to serve four years as Republican party chairman. In his first term as chairman, Reince oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances, rebuilding the operations and implementing the best ground game effort the RNC has ever organized.

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