Confidential IRS attorney memo says IRS must turn over tax returns

This sure sounds a lot like obstruction…

Deep state! All will be revealed on J4.

I forget is that June, July or January… I really wish the code names were more clear… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Start holding people in contempt and levy out fines and/or jail time. It’s either that or Congress is a pointless branch of government.

1 Like

Need a non paywall one

Do people not know how to open a link in incognito/private mode?

1 Like

The times found a way around that

I thought the OP’s article was from the Washingtonpost. My mistake.

You can leave your snark someplace else

Well, that’s the thing. It’s a separation of powers issue.

Congress has the power to declare someone in contempt. They have the power to declare what the punishment will be.

They don’t have the power to execute the punishment they have declared. Executing the law is firmly the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch - and while Congress can refer someone they’ve held in contempt to the U.S. Attorney, they can’t force the U.S. Attorney to prosecute, because the DoJ is part of the Executive, and they don’t report to Congress.

That’s why Congressional subpoenas and contempt charges are only chess moves when they’re against another branch of government- but hold the full force of law when they’re directed towards private individuals or corporations.

1 Like

Who does the Sergeant at Arms report to?

The Speaker.

But the Capitol doesn’t have any jail cells - and even if they did, habeas corpus is still a thing.

What about fines? How would those be enforced?

Imposing fines would be as simple as voting on it.

Collecting those fines is a different question.

This is, unsurprisingly, a very complicated subject in law.

From the article:

The IRS said the memo, titled “Congressional Access to Returns and Return Information,” was a draft document written by a lawyer in the Office of Chief Counsel and did not represent the agency’s “official position.” The memo is stamped “DRAFT,” it is not signed, and it does not reference Trump.

Precisely who wrote the memo and reviewed it could not be learned. The agency says IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and current chief counsel Michael Desmond, who was confirmed by the Senate in February, were not familiar with it until a Post inquiry this week. The IRS says it was never forwarded to Treasury.

Sounds a lot like much to do about nothing.

The argument being made is a Constitutional issue of whether the subpoena involved is supported by the authority given to the legislature by the Constitution. Is this a legislative power to look through tax returns for political purposes?
The memo was apparently made on the basis of the statutes involved, and gave no consideration to Constitutional questions…at least from the brief summary included in the CNN article, which I could access.
In any case, where is this idea that some memo forces the head of an agency to follow it?

Trump supporters still fighting for less transparency huh?

Oh no! Its contempt of Congress! This is serious!!!

No. For privacy. This is private financial information for which Congress has no serious legislative purpose. Transparency if for governmental actions.