Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515
Hatch and Ryan Demand IRS Turn Over White House Emails
Chairmen Continue Oversight Efforts Regarding Private Taxpayer Information
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) today sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen demanding that the agency turn over all communications between the IRS and the Executive Office of the President (EOP) from January 1, 2010, to present. The letter comes as the chairmen continue their oversight efforts to determine how private taxpayer information is shared between the tax enforcement agency and the White House. In February, the White House Counsel refused a request from Senate Finance Committee Republicans, as well as one from Chairman Ryan, asking for the White House to turn over all communications with the IRS.
“As you know, §6103(g) provides the President of the United States and certain White House officials access to this information in limited circumstances and with certain required procedures. In carrying out our oversight obligations, we are seeking to determine the degree to and manner in which the Internal Revenue Service shares taxpayer information with the Executive Office of the President,” the chairmen wrote.
The full text of the letter is below and a signed copy is available here.
March 4, 2015
The Honorable John Koskinen
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224
Dear Commissioner Koskinen:
As Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Finance and House Committee on Ways and Means, we have the obligation to conduct oversight of the administration of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes compliance with IRC §6103, which establishes rules governing the use of confidential tax return information and governs the manners in which it may be disclosed. As you know, §6103(g) provides the President of the United States and certain White House officials access to this information in limited circumstances and with certain required procedures. In carrying out our oversight obligations, we are seeking to determine the degree to and manner in which the Internal Revenue Service shares taxpayer information with the Executive Office of the President.
You will recall that former Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp requested that the IRS provide all communication between the IRS and Executive Office of the President on April 30, 2014. You responded that your agency would be unable to provide the requested communication because of limited resources. In light of your response, our committees sought these records from the White House in two separate letters earlier this year. On February 17, White House officials responded to our requests, refusing to provide the documents and redirecting the request to the Internal Revenue Service. In light of the White House Counsel’s refusal to comply with our request, we ask that you provide the documents – originally requested in April of last year – without delay. This production will include all electronic communication in the agency’s possession from or to an “eop.gov” email address, or regarding White House communication, from January 1, 2010 through the date of this letter.
Please contact our committee staffs to establish the production schedule and necessary §6103 authorizations. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
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