House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) criticized IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for his continued failure to protect the personal financial information of American citizens by allowing an “IRS Snowden” to continue leaking information to the media. Earlier this year Ranking Member Comer wrote the IRS about the leak, but no actions have been taken to find the culprit and information has continued to be leaked to the media. The IRS’ failure to act makes the organization seemingly complicit in the campaign to release tax information of American citizens. Ranking Member Comer also called out Chairwoman Maloney for similarly ignoring illegal leaks by IRS personnel and failing to schedule an Oversight hearing to investigate the issue.
Upon learning of the original leak of taxpayer information published by ProPublica, Republicans urgently called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the IRS leak and bring those responsible to justice. Republicans previously called on Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to hold a hearing on the leaks, but to date she has ignored the request. In late July, Comer demanded IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig answer questions about the continued leaking of taxpayer information. The Commissioner has ignored the request, and ProPublica has continued publishing confidential information.
“The IRS’s failure to prioritize this lapse in security is unacceptable. Your agency must commit to cooperating with Congress in this investigation of its compromised security. ProPublica has explained it will continue to illegally publish taxpayer information—likely without consequence. The IRS, therefore, must take every measure to avoid participating in such campaigns and should attempt to put an immediate end to the unlawful leaks and publications,” wrote Ranking Member Comer to IRS Commissioner Rettig.
“An investigation conducted by Committee Republicans has revealed that this information was likely provided to ProPublica by an ‘IRS Snowden.’ This has allowed ProPublica to capitalize on criminal behavior and encourage future acts of criminal conduct—all in the name of serving the public interest. . . This breach of privacy should be alarming to the hundreds of millions of Americans who pay federal taxes. In addition, many of America’s wealthiest citizens, whose tax information ProPublica has been splashing across its pages for months, live in Manhattan, Queens, and Kings Counties in New York. Indeed, the Twelfth Congressional District has the highest per capita income by congressional district in the entire country.” wrote Ranking Member Comer to Chairwoman Maloney.
-House Oversight GOP