Lois Lerner caught breaking federal law so serious it was the first article of Nixon’s impeachment
Sharing confidential tax returns with government agencies is a federal crime.
It’s so unethical and such a threat to freedom, that, had he not resigned, the U.S. Senate was planning to impeach President Richard Nixon for – among other things – conspiring “to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law.”
So it should come as no surprise the Obama administration has been caught doing the same thing.
Investigators have uncovered documents showing that former IRS Exempt Organization head, Lois Lerner, had illegally handed 1.25 million pages of tax returns to officials in Obama’s Justice Department.
The IRS can share tax returns with the Justice Department if it is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
If it’s not, it’s illegal.
And it wasn’t.
National Review reports:
Documents suggest that Lerner’s massive document transfer to the DOJ didn’t meet any of those exceptions, including one that allows the agency to disclose returns for use in criminal investigations — if they’ve been requested in relation to “an actual investigation about a person to whom the investigation is related,” says O’Connor. Both Lerner and the DOJ were interested in figuring out how to prosecute non-profit groups they believed were engaging in improper political activity, and Lerner sent the documents over to the department days before an October 8 meeting with several of her IRS colleagues, an FBI agent, and attorneys from the DOJ’s public-integrity section. There they discussed their mounting “concern that certain 501(c) organizations are actually political committees ‘posing’ as if they are not subject to FEC law, and therefore may be subject to criminal liability,” according to a DOJ summary of the meeting.
A lawful transfer of the documents would have required a formal request from the DOJ to the IRS, but DOJ trial attorney Stephanie Sasarak told Cause of Action in a March 9, 2016, letter that the department did not make any requests to the IRS for the documents it received. Alternatively, the secretary of the Treasury could have turned the documents over to the DOJ. In either case, section 6103 requires the Treasury secretary to disclose the transfer to the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which releases publicly a list of disclosures each year. But the Joint Committee on Taxation’s 2010 disclosure report does not show a transfer to the Department of Justice that matches the one Lerner sent in October of that year.
Lerner handed over the confidential documents at the same time she was meeting with Justice Department official Richard Pilger.
With polls showing that the Democrats stood to lose control of Congress, the two openly discussed arresting conservative activists just weeks before the mid-term election.
In order to be held accountable for her crimes, Lerner would have to be investigated, charged, and prosecuted by the same Justice Department with which she illegally conspired.