Jeff Hauser runs the Revolving Door Project, an effort to increase scrutiny on executive branch appointments and ensure that political appointees are focused on serving the public interest, rather than personal professional advancement.
Today’s announcement that the Trump Administration would install David Kautter as the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service on November 12th, 2017 without a Senate confirmation process marks a further erosion of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent” power and a great day for all tax evaders, past and future.
Kautter, a tax avoidance professional, has no history of work at the IRS, which many people have incorrectly assumed is (as it ought to be) a precondition for an ostensibly temporary hire.
However, Kautter does have experience with the IRS. When Kautter was Director of National Tax at EY (formerly Ernst and Young) National Tax practice, their practices were so abusive that they ultimately had to pay $123 million to avoid criminal indictment.
Why would the American people trust Kautter to rein in tax evasion when his firm behaved so egregiously under his ineffective and/or malevolent watch?
Kautter must immediately answer questions about whether he has any ties to controversial billionaire Robert Mercer as the public remains unaware of the status of the IRS’ seven-year pursuit of $7 billion from the hedge fund of which Breitbart’s Mercer is co-CEO, Renaissance Technologies LLC.
It is also deeply troubling for someone to have a political policymaking role at Treasury while also running the IRS. Kautter is a political appointee who survived the "don't say overly mean stuff about Trump" scrub for Administration appointees.
Trump’s team appears certain of Kautter’s loyalty to Trump, which could have real implications for Trump’s hidden tax returns and apparently complex ongoing audits.
The various investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible conspiracy with Russia will necessarily implicate IRS resources and records, as is common in white-collar criminal investigations pursuing complicated financial connections.
Why should the public assume Trump’s team is wrong about Kautter’s loyalties?