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Senators Praise DOJ Tax Division Nominee Cono Namorato

July 23, 2015, Tax Notes Today
Tax Notes Today quoted Caplin & Drysdale's Cono R. Namorato regarding his July 22, 2015 Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing. Lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties praised Mr. Namorato's nomination to become the next assistant attorney general in the Justice Department Tax Division. For the complete article, please visit Tax Notes Today's website (subscription required). To view the complete testimony, please visit the Senate Judiciary Committee's website. For additional coverage, please visit Congressional Quarterly's website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article "Senators Praise DOJ Tax Division Nominee Namorato" by Nathan J. Richman for Tax Notes Today.

"If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will focus on advancing the mission of the Tax Division and zealously representing the United States in all of its activities, while adhering to the law, promoting integrity, listening to all sides of an issue, providing candid advice, treating everyone I encounter with fairness and respect, and honoring, supporting, and advancing the efforts of the career professionals who are the core of the division," Namorato said in his opening statement 2015 TNT 141-27: Testimony Other Than IRS and Treasury.


Namorato, currently a member of Caplin & Drysdale Chtd., served in the Tax Division throughout the 1970s, including as deputy assistant attorney general, and he directed the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility from 2004 to 2006. Namorato's government service began in the 1960s when he served as a special agent in the precursor to the IRS Criminal Investigation division. Obama nominated Namorato on February 24.


Sessions noted the history of politicization of tax enforcement, mentioning both President Nixon and former IRS official Lois Lerner, and asked Namorato about the importance of the Tax Division appearing apolitical. Namorato replied, "The Tax Division should be viewed as a pinnacle of integrity, there to protect as well as prosecute." He said that a part of that appearance should be selecting cases that shouldn't be prosecuted, echoing earlier questions by both Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sessions on the difference between mistake and fraud and between civil and criminal fraud.

Namorato said that if he is confirmed, "There will never be any political consideration in any case that crosses the threshold of the Tax Division." Sessions noted public concerns over political enforcement of the tax laws, but said, "I do think your appointment can help restore public confidence in the Tax Division."



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