Issa Committee uncovers IRS providing confidential taxpayer information to White House
Rep. Darrell Issa must be at the top of the White House's enemies list. His House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has released copies of emails from former IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram indicating exchange of information with White House officials that is by law confidential.
The Daily Caller has broken the story:
Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare's contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials - including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew - contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.
The emails released by the committee contain numerous redactions of the names of specific groups, containing the notation "6103" which refers to section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Service code, which:
forbids a federal employee from "disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee."
That means that Ingram was discussing specifics with the White House that she was forbidden by law to disclose to anyone.
The exact content of the redactions remains unknown at the moment, but Rep. Issa has requested unredacted copies of the emails, "citing a prohibition from misusing Section 6103 'for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry,'" according to the Daily Caller.
During her testimony, Ingram claimed she couldn't remember the contents of the redacted portions, as opposed to taking the Fifth Amendment, like her former colleague Lois Lerner.
This scandal has explosive potential. Disclosure of confidential taxpayer information is a felony.