The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees met on Friday for what was characterized to CBS News as a “proffer session” to create the basis for what the whistleblower could reveal to investigators and how he could do so without violating taxpayer privacy protections. The meeting was initially reported by CNN.
The lawyer, Mark Lytle, claimed in a letter to Congress last month that his client, a criminal supervisory special agent for the IRS who shall remain nameless, could give insight on how the lengthy, public inquiry had been hampered by “preferential treatment and politics.” Lytle asserted that his client was unable to divulge “certain information” due to tax payer privacy rules.
“My client wants to come forward to Congress,” Lytle said to Jim Axelrod, top investigative correspondent for CBS. Under the appropriate legal safeguards, he is prepared to be questioned about what he knows and what he has gone through.
In his letter from April, Lytle stated that the material provided by his client would “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee.” Lytle did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
Attorney General Merrick Garland swore not to obstruct David Weiss, the Delaware U.S. attorney who is in charge of the investigation, during a Senate hearing in March. Garland addressed the IRS whistleblower charges in a recent, unrelated news conference.
The United States attorney for the District of Delaware is in charge of this case and has the authority to make any judgments he deems appropriate. “Yes, it’s still the case, I stand by my testimony, and I refer you to him,” Garland said.
While denying that the meeting took place, a spokesperson for the House Ways and Means committee told CBS News in a statement that “Chairman [Jason] Smith is working to ensure all necessary steps are taken in this specific investigation to receive and assess the claims and information this whistleblower shares with Congress and has publicly pledged that the committee will go where the facts lead.”
Every week and day offers a fresh chance to develop this specific whistleblower claim and give the American people additional clarity and transparency.