In a scathing letter to congressional oversight committees, attorneys representing the IRS whistleblower shed light on the partisan maneuvers of the Democrat-controlled Senate Finance Committee. But they also presented a solution to House Republicans, urging them to utilize Section 6103(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code as a way to circumvent Senate Democrats’ efforts to obstruct the whistleblower’s testimony.
According to the letter obtained by The Federalist, the IRS whistleblower’s attorneys revealed that the Senate Finance Committee leadership had been unwilling to consider a joint interview, despite the whistleblower’s commitment to work with them. Even after scheduling the whistleblower’s private testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee refused to commit to interviewing the whistleblower on consecutive days, prompting the attorneys to declare “enough is enough.”
Significantly, the attorneys extended an invitation for appropriately designated Senate staff to join and participate in the House hearing. This invitation carries weight because Section 6103(f)(4) grants the House Ways and Means Committee chair the authority to designate agents to receive confidential tax information.
By leveraging their control of the House Ways and Means Committee, Republicans could designate Senate staffers, including those from the Senate Finance Committee, to participate in the whistleblower’s House-transcribed interview. This move would ensure a bipartisan and bicameral questioning process, including the involvement of Senator Chuck Grassley’s top investigator, whom Democrat Ron Wyden, the Senate Finance Committee chair, had been blocking.
If the Democrat-controlled Senate Finance Committee does not swiftly reverse its course and agree to a joint or consecutive interview, the Republican House Ways and Means chair will take charge. Whether the whistleblower’s letter prompts a response from Wyden and his fellow Democrats remains uncertain. However, designating Senate staffers, including Grassley’s investigator, would maximize the exposure of the IRS whistleblower’s testimony, sending a message that political games with whistleblowers will not be tolerated.
This situation serves as a lesson for Democrats who engage in partisan tactics with whistleblowers. The whistleblower had originally reached out to both Republican and Democrat leaders, offering testimony regarding alleged misconduct in the investigation of a politically connected individual. Despite the whistleblower’s commitment to bipartisanship, the Senate Finance Committee’s delays and disconcerting tactics were exposed in the letter. However, Chairman Smith of the House Ways and Means Committee has the power to address the situation.
It is hoped that Chairman Smith seizes this opportunity and heeds the call presented in the letter to take appropriate action. The ball is now in the court of House Republicans, and their response could shape the outcome of this contentious battle.