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Chairman Neal Requests Immediate Investigation into the Exploitation of the IRS by Trump Appointee

In a letter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) requested a full investigation into allegations that two former directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under a Trump-appointed Commissioner.

“The American people need to have full faith in the IRS and the fair administration of our tax laws,” Chairman Neal emphasized. “I am very concerned about the impact on public confidence resulting from allegations that the IRS has been used to exact revenge on political enemies.”

He continued with: “These allegations are reminiscent of another time when a president inappropriately used the IRS to target his enemies. In a recorded conversation in the Oval Office on May 13, 1971, Richard M. Nixon laid out for his aides the job qualifications for the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. ‘I want to be sure he is a ruthless son of a [b----], that he will do what he’s told, that every income tax return I want to see I see, that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends,’ the president told H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman, according to a transcript published years later in the Washington Post.”

“The possibility that the former President or someone in the White House, his cabinet, his appointees, or leadership working under the Trump-appointed IRS Commissioner may have requested an audit of those deemed disloyal is alarming,” Neal concluded. “It is unconscionable that someone within the IRS may have acted on this request out of loyalty to the Trump administration or fear of retaliation for failing to act.”

Neal asked TIGTA for a full investigation and to respond to the following questions:

  • How were the former FBI directors selected for the exceedingly rare NRP audits?  Was it truly random? 
  • Did the Commissioner or the former Chief Counsel, both political appointees, or their staffs know of the selection of the former FBI directors for the NRP?  If they did know, when did they know and what action was taken by them?
  • Which employees within the IRS or the Department of the Treasury can add taxpayers to the NRP or remove taxpayers from the NRP once selected?

Chairman Neal’s full letter is available HERE.



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