Jordan Opens Inquiry Into IRS Use Of AI Surveillance

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday announcing that they are launching an investigation into whether the IRS is using artificial intelligence (AI) to surveil American taxpayers.

“The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government are conducting oversight of the federal government’s use of AI technology to surveil American citizens’ financial information,” the letter stated.

“Based on recent reporting and other information obtained by the Committee and Select Subcommittee, we believe that the Department of the Treasury possesses information necessary for our oversight and we request your full cooperation.”

Video footage obtained from James O’Keefe’s undercover investigative media outlet appeared to show an IRS official by the name of Alex Mena admitting that the IRS has a “new system” that uses AI to target Americans — quickly examining all tax returns, bank statements and other financial documents for what he called “potential fraud.”

Mena discussed the idea that with AI, the IRS can target anyone and that they have no issue going after “the small people…like destroying people’s lives.” He works in the agency’s Criminal Investigations Unit.

The IRS, on the other hand, has pledged not to increase audit rates for people making under $400,000 per year.

On Feb. 28, the Department of the Treasury announced that it recovered more than $375 million as a result of enhanced fraud detection utilizing AI.

“We are using the latest technological advances to enhance our fraud detection process, and AI has allowed us to expedite the detection of fraud and recovery of tax dollars,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

After the announcement from the Treasury Department and the video footage of Mena discussing the agency’s use of AI, House Republicans want increased scrutiny of the way the IRS uses this technology to surveil Americans.

“The use of AI technology to actively monitor millions of Americans’ private transactions, bank accounts and related financial information—without any legal process—is highly concerning,” the letter said.