An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consultant was finally charged today for leaking confidential tax material belonging to former President Donald Trump and thousands of other individuals beginning in 2018. The unauthorized disclosure raises concerns about targeted political leaks by the IRS geared towards supporting Democrats’ effort to supercharge the agency and weaponize tax information against political enemies. Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement:
“Today’s news is the result of years of House Republican demands for an investigation and eventual prosecution on the largest breach of confidential tax information in American history. The American people deserve to know the facts about this breach of trust, and TIGTA, IRS, and Treasury must explain to the American people what happened and what is being done to make sure it never happens again.”
“Rather than join Republicans in condemning these leaks, including the September 2020 release of President Trump’s returns designed to impact an election, Democrats celebrated them, with the Biden campaign making inaccurate claims about how the former President did his taxes. Committee Democrats even held a hearing – not to learn more about the breach, but to attack the President.
“Such a serious felony crime should not have taken five years to investigate, and yet President Biden and Democrats rewarded the agency with $80 billion in new funding instead of demanding answers. A recent GAO report illustrates that the IRS has repeatedly squandered the public’s trust by failing to protect taxpayer privacy and in some cases willfully ignoring recommendations rather than shoring up the vulnerabilities that put taxpayers at risk. Not a single dollar in additional funding should go to the IRS until it explains to the American people how this happened and what it will do to prevent more political leaks in the future.”
Background: Politicized Leaks Have Been Rampant at the IRS
- June 2021: In response to the leak of confidential taxpayer information published by ProPublica that appeared to come from inside the IRS, Republican tax writers called for transparency and an investigation. Then Republican leader of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, Rep. Mike Kelly, demanded answers on the breach as well.
- September 2020: After President Trump’s confidential tax information was leaked to the New York Times, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee raised concerns about the breach.
- Flashback: ProPublica previously received (and published) leaked taxpayer information from the IRS in 2012 that just so happened to include critics of the Democrat administration.