IRS sent database with non-profits’ info to FBI – in violation of federal law

IRS sent database with non-profits’ info to FBI – in violation of federal law

[Ed. – Another thing your government was never, ever supposed to do to you.]

The Internal Revenue Service may have been caught violating federal tax law: In October 2010, the agency sent a database on 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups containing confidential taxpayer information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to documents obtained by a House panel.

The information was transmitted in advance of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s meeting the same month with Justice Department officials about the possibility of using campaign-finance laws to prosecute certain nonprofit groups. E-mails between Lerner and Richard Pilger, the director of the Justice Department’s election-crimes branch, obtained through a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder, show Lerner asking about the format in which the FBI preferred the data to be sent. …

The Justice Department never prosecuted social-welfare groups, and e-mails from IRS officials show their awareness that, as a result of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed unlimited amounts of money from nonprofit groups and labor unions to flow into the political process, the law did not favor a crackdown on anonymous donations to politically orientated nonprofits, which sprouted up on all sides in the wake of the ruling. “We don’t have the law to do something,” an IRS official responsible for tax-exempt organizations said in a September 2010 e-mail. …

Issa and Jordan have requested from the IRS all documents relating to the transmittal of the database. “This revelation likely means that the IRS — including possibly Lois Lerner — violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Department of Justice in 2010,” they said.

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