Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chairmen and senior Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee, met with the IRS whistleblower earlier this month. Follow-up interviews will further investigate the claims of the whistleblower.
The extent to which the senators consider the whistleblower to be a credible source could not be determined. Trump Administration officials have previously downplayed the meaning of the complaint and suggested that it was politically motivated.
The whistleblower, a career IRS official, initially filed a complaint in July, reporting that he had been told that at least one political representative of the Treasury had attempted to improperly influence the annual audit of the President or Vice President's tax returns , In recent weeks, the whistleblower submitted additional documentation related to the original complaint handed to the convention officials in July. These individuals spoke of the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the complaint, which relates to a confidential IRS review that can not be disclosed under federal law.
The content of the additional information provided by the whistleblower was unknown. [1
9659002] The IRS whistleblower complaint was first published in a court petition filed in August by Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. This suggests that the Trump administration officials in the Ministry of Finance were trying to avoid disrupting the IRS review process properly. This process should be protected against political interference.
Neal made the disclosure in court records as part of his struggle with the Trump administration for the tax returns of the president, which the Ministry of Finance rejected. At the time, Neal stated that the complaint about whistleblowers raised "serious and urgent concerns" about the integrity of the IRS review process. A person near Neal speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the position of the Office on the complaint was unchanged and that the investigation had not been completed.
The Inspector General of the Ministry of Finance has launched a review of dealing with House Democrats Request for tax return of Trump. Asked whether this review would address the IRS whistleblower's complaint, Rich Delmar, the acting Inspector General, said in an email: "The investigation is ongoing and takes into account that aspects of the underlying case are the subject of litigation . " The whistleblower previously told the Washington Post that he had sent his complaint to Grassley, Neal and the Tax Inspector General's Inspectorate of Treasury, a separate watchdog.
Grassley and Wyden spokespersons refused to confirm their meeting with the whistleblower. The White House, the Ministry of Finance and the Inspector General of the Ministry of Tax Administration refused to comment.
In a statement in October, Grassley seemed to criticize Neal for not doing enough. Review the Complaint Before Disclosing Details It is irresponsible to take the time to talk to the whistleblower or the complaint of the whistleblower. "
Wyden called for a Senate inquiry into the whistleblower's complaint in early October and wrote on Twitter:" A bipartisan committee is trying to achieve the reason for that should have been months ago.
The IRS whistleblower's investigations in Congress came to light when a separate whistleblower emerged, claiming that Trump had detained military funds and other support for the newly elected president of Ukraine in return for the announcement of Ukraine's investigation into the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. These allegations sparked a House House impeachment inquiry that began public hearings last week.
The IRS whistleblower is addressing a more technical but still controversial issue: the handling of the annual tax audits of the President and the Vice President. The first IRS complaint, filed by a career IRS official, reiterates the concern of another IRS official that at least one Treasury Policy Officer has tried to unduly disrupt Trump's or Pence's annual tax audit.
There was an extreme focus on Trump's tax returns and less control of Pence, but the presidential exam program applies to both offices. It was not possible to know which audit was the subject of the complaint. It violates federal law to disclose details of the status of the taxpayer information.
"Obviously it is serious every time an assertion of this kind is refuted." That is, it must be justified and there must be an understanding of what contacts have taken place, "said Mark Everson, who served as IRS Commissioner during the administration of George W. Bush.
Trump faced demands to release his tax returns since the presidential elections of 2016, when he broke with decades of precedents and refused to release them. He has alleged that he is under examination and that it would be inappropriate to publish the returns as long as this is the case.
Trump also faces a continuing lawsuit from the House Ways and Means Committee, which has demanded access to his returns, as well as investigations by other House panels.
Democrats have argued that the Treasury is required to hand over Trump's tax returns under a 1924 law that explicitly grants the House and Senate Tax Panel access to tax records. If this turns out to be true, the IRS complaint about whistleblowers could raise concerns that the Trump administration has been trying to strip the president of the long-standing rules on tax information for IRS career staff on a person's private audit.
"In the past, the tax administration is entirely up to the IRS," said John Koskinen, a former IRS officer working in the administrations of Obama and Trump. "It is an important policy that the administration of the tax code is impartial, that everyone is treated fairly and that there is no outside interference." Information about confidential IRS audits. Even those who talked to the whistleblower betrayed very little.
"I am aware of public reports of a whistleblower complaint related to the mandatory audit program of the President and the Vice President," Wyden said in a statement Discussion of this matter may result in the privacy requirements of Section 6103 or the protection of whistleblowers , I can not comment on that. "