Jordan Investigating IRS Corruption Claims: Is Agency Spying on Taxpayers ‘En Masse’?

This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh 

Feds accused of watching bank accounts without legal justification

A new investigation has been launched by Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., into allegations of IRS corruption, that the feared and powerful federal bureaucracy is using artificial intelligence to spy on taxpayers’ bank accounts and financial records “en masse.”

And without a legal reason.

The two members of Congress have written Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland requiring their cooperation with a review of the situation that was brought on after the IRS itself boasted of using AI technology in its hunt for tax money.

The members explain, in an announcement about their review, “Recent reporting alleges that the IRS’s use of AI has also included actively monitoring American citizens’ bank accounts en masse and without legal process.”

They explained that video footage obtained by an investigative media outlet, James O’Keefe’s O’Keefe Media Group, “appears to capture Alex Mena, an IRS official working in the agency’s Criminal Investigations Unit, admitting that the IRS has ‘a new system’ that uses AI to target ‘potential abusers’ by examining all returns, bank statements, and related financial information for ‘potential for fraud.’

“Mena asserted that the new AI system has the ability to access and monitor ‘all the information from all the companies in the world.’ In the video, Mena suggested that the AI-powered system can ‘see the amount’ in every American’s bank account, adding that this ‘invasive’ system is ‘working really well nationwide.’ Mena also noted that IRS agents ‘have no problem, like, going after the small people, you know, putting people in prison. Like destroying people’s lives, they have no problem doing that.’ When asked whether the system is constitutional, Mena replied, ‘I doubt it,'” the members of Congress charge.

Investigating are the Committee on the Judiciary and its Select Subcommittee reviewing the Biden administration’s weaponization of the federal government against those it sees as enemies in America.

“The committee and its select subcommittee have reason to believe that the IRS and Department of Justice are actively monitoring millions of Americans’ private transactions, bank accounts, and related financial information – without any legal process – using an AI-powered system” they charged.

Those actions raise “serious doubts about the federal government’s respect for Americans’ fundamental civil liberties.”

They also want to interview Mena.

The members of Congress said, “The Committee and Select Subcommittee have reason to believe that the IRS is working with other federal agencies to conduct this AI-powered warrantless financial surveillance. In the video, Mena stated that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and ‘Inspector General’ control this AI-powered warrantless surveillance system, ‘not the IRS.’ Additionally, the Treasury Department’s February 28, 2024 press release makes clear that the Treasury Department’s Office of Payment Integrity (OPI) has a ‘strong partnership with federal law enforcement agencies,’ which has ‘led to multiple active cases and arrests.’ These allegations are particularly concerning given the IRS’s track record of targeting, harassing, and intimidating American taxpayers and journalists and history of ignoring due process requirements when investigating taxpayers.”

The letters require the government offices to provide to Congress a long list of documents and evidence.

“This letter serves as a formal request to preserve all existing and future records and materials relating to the topics addressed in this letter. You should construe this preservation notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentionally or negligently, of all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that are or may be responsive to this congressional inquiry. This instruction includes all electronic messages sent using your official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software.

“The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction to conduct oversight of matters concerning ‘civil liberties’ to inform potential legislative reforms. In addition, H. Res. 12 authorized the Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate ‘issues related to the violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States.’ H. Res. 12 also authorized the Select Subcommittee to investigate ‘how executive branch agencies work with, obtain information from, and provide information to the private sector, non-profit entities, or other government agencies to facilitate action against American citizens.'”

Copyright 2024 WND News Center

 

Thanks for sharing!