Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Opinion | A rogue IRS manager’s work needs scrutiny

Opinion | A rogue IRS manager’s work needs scrutiny

The Supreme Court long ago made clear that the Constitution requires the government to disclose exculpatory information in its possession to a defendant in a criminal case. In words inscribed outside the U.S. attorney general’s office, the United States wins not when it achieves a conviction but “whenever justice is done its citizens in the courts.”

Buried deep in the Oct. 3 front-page article “Hunter Biden probe frayed trust between IRS, Justice” was the admission of an IRS manager that he was out for conviction and had no regard for the defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial. As the article reported, the IRS manager told congressional investigators he “wanted to make sure” the agents on his team did not fully document their investigation of Hunter Biden. Rather, the IRS manager said facts that might “somehow affect the viability of the case” were documented only in his manager files on the theory that his notes would escape discovery and not have to be produced to the defendant. He was, in other words, hiding evidence that might help a defendant by keeping it in a place where none of the lawyers would think to look.

At a minimum, the government needs to reopen every criminal case investigated by this manager and his team to find out how often they hid evidence that should have been produced.

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