Confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly accessed by government officials, but the Justice Department declined to prosecute any of the officials involved, even in one “willful” violation of the law, an IRS watchdog reported.
In a July 3 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the Treasury inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) J. Russell George acknowledged that government officials had illegally accessed tax records of candidates and donors in four instances since 2006.
TIGTA determined that in three of the cases the access was “inadvertent.”
“In the fourth case, we presented evidence of a willful unauthorized access to the Department of Justice, but the case was declined for prosecution,” George wrote.
Grassley has sent a letter to the Justice Department asking why it declined to prosecute in the case of willful unauthorized access.
“Any agency with access to tax records is required to act with neutrality and professionalism, not political bias,” Grassley said in a statement. “The Justice Department should answer completely and not hide behind taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid accountability for its decision not to prosecute a violation of taxpayer confidentiality laws.”