Yet again, the Obama White House is mixed up in potential Internal Revenue Service violations that have some making the comparisons to the Nixon Watergate scandal.
It appears that the top IRS official in charge of Obamacare, Sarah Hall Ingram, may have released confidential taxpayer information to the White House, which would be in violation of the law, and also inappropriately counseled White House officials on the “legal challenges from groups who claimed Obamacare infringed on their religious liberties,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Emails between Ingram and White House officials discussing the contraception mandate were given to U.S. Rep. Darrel Issa’s House Oversight Committee, but redactions in the emails, using IRS code “6103 – which prohibits the IRS agents from releasing tax return information,” suggest confidential taxpayer information was, indeed, disclosed, the article said.
Issa has demanded the unredacted emails be sent to the committee, which also determined that the “emails show Hall Ingram and others at the IRS violated the agency’s role as an impartial administrator of the tax code by advising the White House on a politically controversial subject.”
During testimony before the committee Wednesday, Ingram said she “could not recall what was underneath the redactions,” and the following exchange between U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and Ingram was reported by the Free Beacon:
“In that correspondence that resulted in most of those cases being dismissed, you shared personal taxpayer information with the White House,” Jordan said. “And now under the Affordable Care Act, Americans have to give personal information to the IRS—to the same organization that potentially shared all kinds of information with the White House political people. That’s what people are nervous about. That’s what scares a lot of people.”
“I cannot answer what is under those blocks, so I can’t answer whether that information originated with the White House,” Hall Ingram responded.
“So it was OK for political White House to get the unredacted 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?” Jordan continued. “That’s unbelievable.”
Dan Epstein, executive director for Cause of Action, a non-profit government accountability group, made the comparison to Watergate to the Free Beacon saying, “If in fact the White House received confidential taxpayer information, then we have a White House that is complicit in the biggest violation of the law since Nixon.”