O’Donnell: IRS ‘Set Up A Back Door’ for Political Opponents to Access Tax Records

by Lindsey Grudnicki

Christine O’Donnell, the former Tea Party–backed Senate candidate from Delaware, was interviewed on Sean Hannity’s radio program today about the renewed investigation into whether she was targeted by the IRS during her 2010 campaign. She alleges that the IRS “set up a back door for people working in partisan offices to get into the IRS database” and use confidential tax information to influence elections.

On the day she announced her 2010 Senate bid, O’Donnell said, the IRS erroneously issued a tax lien against her on a home she didn’t own anymore, which held that she owed the government $12,000. While the IRS later admitted that the lien was an error, her flawed record was somehow accessed by an employee in the Delaware tax-collection office and released to the media.

As Politico explains, “the lien is significant because O’Donnell’s opponents cited it as evidence that she was financially irresponsible even though she espoused financial stability for the federal government.” She tried to find out who had accessed her records and why, but received no answer. In January 2013, investigators from the Treasury inspector general’s office notified O’Donnell that her tax information may have been illegally accessed, but they did not pursue the matter further. 

O’Donnell told Hannity that other candidates and donors had their records accessed and used inappropriately during the campaign season as well. She recently contacted Senator Chuck Grassley’s office asking that he request that the Treasury IG look into the 2010 events as it continues to investigate IRS abuses. The IG’s office has now reportedly scheduled an interview with the former candidate.

The IRS’s violations put “a handcuff on democracy,” O’Donnell said, arguing that the IRS’s corrupt practices will have a “long-term impact” on American freedom.