Scandal: Leaking taxpayer information to the White House isn't new, just as the email shell game in the IRS fiasco no longer shocks. But the discovery of data "lost" on backup tapes may expose the extent of administration guilt.
We recently noted how former White House senior economics adviser Austan Goolsbee had been identified as the official who had told reporters "on background" that the Koch brothers "do not pay corporate income tax" through their company, Koch Industries.
Goolsbee could not have made his claim without access to the Kochs' private tax data, something a White House official is not supposed to have.
We've also noted peculiarities in redacted emails provided by the IRS to Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee between Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division from 2009 to 2012, and White House officials, including health policy adviser Ellen Montz and Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy.
Some of the redactions were marked "6103," referring to private taxpayer information.
"So it was OK for (a) political White House to get the un-redacted version from the same entity that targeted groups who came into existence because they opposed the Affordable Care Act, but Congress can't get it?" Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointedly asked Ingram, who went on to run the IRS office responsible for enforcing ObamaCare. "That's unbelievable."
Similarly, as Matthew Boyle has reported at Breitbart News, Obama's re-election campaign co-chairmen used a leaked document from the IRS to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, according to the National Organization for Marriage, a targeted conservative group that opposes the president on gay marriage.
Now, the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) has announced that 30,000 of the lost emails of Lois Lerner — the person at the heart of the tax collectors' culture of corruption and author of Tea Party-targeting by the IRS — found on 744 disaster recovery tapes, include some that seem to indicate these incidents were the tip of a corruption iceberg.
This discovery came from a lawsuit by the group Cause of Action, which has sought release of all documents related to IRS targeting of conservative groups.
Under court pressure, some of the documents were scheduled to be released Dec. 1 and the rest by Dec. 15.
In an email from the Department of Justice's tax office requesting a delay in the delivery date of the formerly "lost" documents, it noted that TIGTA "has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents" and needed extra time "to make any necessary withholdings."
"Potentially responsive" means they could relate to the release of private taxpayer information by the IRS to administration officials, including the White House. As Vice President Joe Biden might say, this could be a very big deal indeed.
President Obama's insistence there was not even "a smidgeon of corruption" at the IRS may have been spot on. There may in fact be a mountain of it.
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