IRS LIED to hide leads taken from surveillance program
IRS doctored records and claims practice is legal
Evidence has surfaced that the IRS has doctored affidavits and other records related to Drug Enforcement Agency cases in which they have been included. According to a report by Reuters, a program that feeds tips to the IRS from the DEA features altered evidence.
According to Reuters, "A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA's Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007."
The IRS has refused to comment, but the Justice Department, previously unaware of the practice, has said it is reviewing the practice. In addition, Republican leaders have also raised questions about the procedure.
Reuters reported on Monday that "the Special Operations Division of the DEA funnels information from overseas NSA intercepts, domestic wiretaps, informants and a large DEA database of telephone records to authorities nationwide to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans."
In essence, the Special Operations branch of the DEA is providing tips to the IRS so the agency can pursue people suspected of drug activity and seize their assets. The program is fed by domestic surveillance. To protect the program, field agents were instructed to cover up details of how they obtained their tips, to the point of lying.
The IRS calls their trail of lies in each case "parallel construction."
The IRS claims the procedure is entirely legal and has been practiced since the mid 1990s. According to the investigative report, IRS agents were required to find alternative sources for the information provided by the DEA before the leads could be used.
The article quoted the IRS as saying, "Usable information regarding these leads must be developed from such independent sources as investigative files, subscriber and toll requests, physical surveillance, wire intercepts, and confidential source information. Information obtained from SOD in response to a search or query request cannot be used directly in any investigation (i.e. cannot be used in affidavits, court proceedings or maintained in investigative files)."
In other words, to use the evidence provided by the DEA, the IRS was required to lie.
House intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), and Rand Paul (R-KY) have both vowed to investigate.
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