You may recall that when the IRS political-persecution scandal first started to become public, the agency’s story was that the trouble was the result of the misguided, overly enthusiastic actions of a few obscure yokels in Cincinnati. That turned out to be a lie, as we all know. But the IRS made a similar case successfully in the matter of its criminal disclosure of the confidential tax records of the National Organization for Marriage, whose donor lists were leaked to left-wing activists in order to use them against the Romney campaign. The IRS admitted that an employee leaked the information, but said it was an accident, that it involved only a single employee making a single error, etc., and the court agreed that NOM could not show that the leak was the result of malice or gross negligence.
Truly, the IRS must be the unluckiest agency in the history of the federal government. Oops! It’s leaking confidential taxpayer information to political activists. D’oh! It’s improperly and illegally targeting conservative organizations for harassment and investigation and misleading Congress, investigators, and the public about the scope and scale of that wrongdoing. Dang! It cannot produce the emails that investigators have demanded as part of the inquiry into its actions. Rats! Its employees are openly campaigning for Barack Obama’s reelection while on the IRS’s clock, using IRS resources, and holding taxpayers hostage. And, who could have seen it coming? The IRS violated the Federal Records Act by refusing to archive relevant documents. With a string of bad luck like that, sure, accidentally releasing NOM’s confidential taxpayer information to left-wing activists seems right at home.