The IRS is at it again. After three months of investigation, new findings suggest that undisclosed emails were sent between the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), indicating potential foul play on behalf of the two federal agencies.
The vice chairman of the FEC, Don McGahn, said on Monday that an investigator from the FEC contacted an IRS employee regarding a conservative political group, the American Future Fund. Following the email, Lois Lerner of the IRS emailed an inquiry to the conservative group. The inquiry could be interpreted as harassment. The IRS claims that these actions were the work of a few rogue employees, yet the extended investigation is suggesting otherwise.
While McGahn, a Republican commissioner, said the communication "could be benign (or) could be more sinister," recent IRS controversies stress the importance of the issue to the American people. If the allegations are true, the IRS could found be guilty of targeting specific political groups with the support of the FEC. The effects of such communication create not only a scandal for the Obama administration, but an undercurrent of corruption that targets that heart of the democratic process.
It is unclear if political motivation prompted the strand of emails or if there was a request for private information. If confidential tax information was released, the IRS would be in violation of federal law and a political firestorm would be well underway. Ellen L. Weintraub, the Democratic chairwoman of the FEC, echoed McGahn's uncertainty of the situation. She stressed its severity, however, by saying "If there was any evidence of targeting based on ideology, that would be extremely serious."
While the last IRS scandal dropped from the media, the spotlight on the IRS should remain as inconsistencies continue to be exposed. The IRS will continue to argue the incident is isolated, but the American people should be persistent with their questions regarding targeting specific political ideologies. The American people deserve federal officials who are going to abide by the laws and trust that political ideology won't affect the protection of confidential information. While Americans have become used to dishonesty within Congress, they should continue to hold high expectations for individuals appointed to office, including the IRS.
Although conservatives are pointing fingers at Democrats, the blame within the scandal could cross party lines. Political targeting at this level could suggest to the American people that the election process is far more corrupt that ever before. As the investigation continues, it is crucial for the American people to hold the story with the highest importance and demand answers from the people who are expected to lead our country.