Obama Administration decides not to hand over documents on IRS abuse

Obama Administration decides not to hand over documents on IRS abuse

Hey, remember how a watchdog group called Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to the investigation of taxpayer information handed over to the White House by the IRS, and the request went nowhere, so they sued, and a judge told the Treasury Department they had to cough up the documents, and then the Treasury Inspector General was all like, “Oh, wow, we’ve got 2,500 pages of documents on this deal, so we need a little more time to finish going through them before we hand them over?”

Never mind about seeing those documents, peons.  The Administration has decided not to hand them over after all, citing a statute that basically says the privacy of the people whose privacy the White House violated would be violated by revealing details of the White House violation to the public.  It all sounds pretty fishy to Cause of Action, as quoted in the Washington Examiner:

Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using “sophisticated” lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents. And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into “potential liability” that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House.

Epstein said that either Treasury was “stonewalling” his group, or that Lew “is incompetent” for just now looking at potential lawbreaking by his team on the case that is two years old.

It is just the latest twist in the taxpayer advocate’s effort to prove allegations of political harassment of conservative taxpayers and groups. The documents are not related to the larger IRS harassment of Tea Party groups, but could show a pattern of targeting by the White House.

The fact that there are over 2000 pages of documents pertaining to the White House asking questions about taxpayer filings would suggest that quite a few such questions have been asked, as Epstein said in a Fox News interview: “Now we know that the White House has, for whatever reason, been accessing our private tax information.  It’s taken my organization, Cause of Action, two years to fight for transparency of these records.  If it wasn’t so bad – if there wasn’t a ‘smidgen of corruption’ – why try so hard to keep these records silent?”