Rep. Issa blasts Justice inaction on tax snooping, sees dangers in health care law

by Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times  |  published on July 19, 2013

Darrell E. Issa
House oversight committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa said Thursday he’s baffled that the Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly pried into tax records of a political candidate or donor, and said there should be a way for victims to know their rights have been violated.

He also said letting state officials have access to federal tax records can be dangerous, and that’s one reason to try to rein in the health care law, which will expand access to states that plan on running their own insurance exchanges.

Mr. Issa made the comments after The Washington Times reported this week that the Treasury inspector general for tax administration had found at least four cases in which a candidate’s or donor’s tax information was accessed improperly.

In one case, the investigator said the violation was willful and referred it to the Justice Department, which declined to pursue the case — a move Mr. Issa said was worrisome.

“We are not just disappointed, but dismayed,” Mr. Issa, California Republican, told The Times, speaking just after he finished a hearing with Inspector General J. Russell George looking at the intrusive IRS scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.