The Treasury Department has admitted for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.
Its investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Service â€œtargeted for audit candidates for public office,â€ the Treasuryâ€™s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.
In a written response to a request by Mr. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Mr. George said a review turned up four cases since 2006 in which unidentified government officials took part in â€œunauthorized access or disclosure of tax records of political donors or candidates,â€ including one case he described as â€œwillful.â€ In four additional cases, Mr. George said, allegations of improper access of IRS records were not substantiated by the evidence.
Mr. Grassley has asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to explain why the Justice Department chose not to prosecute any of the cases. The Iowa Republican told The Washington Times that the IRS â€œis required to act with neutrality and professionalism, not political bias.â€
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