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Videos: IRS agent says he ‘doubts’ warrantless searches are constitutional in undercover video: Report

Internal Revenue Service Federal Building. (U.S. General Services Administration)
March 07, 2024

The O’Keefe Media Group recently exposed an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent who said he “doubt[s]” the agency’s use of artificial intelligence programs and warrantless searches of U.S. bank accounts are constitutional.

In a recent post on X, formerly Twitter, James O’Keefe shared an undercover video recorded by an O’Keefe Media Group citizen journalist who spoke with Alex Mena, an IRS official who works for the agency’s Criminal Investigations division.

In the video, Mena told the journalist that the IRS has “no problem like going after the small people, putting people in prison. Like destroying people’s lives, they have no problem doing that.”

The IRS official admitted that the agency uses artificial intelligence to access the bank accounts of U.S. citizens.

“They see the amount in your bank account,” he said.

In September, the IRS announced it would expand the agency’s use of artificial intelligence to ensure compliance with the IRS.

Asked whether it was constitutional for the IRS to access everyone’s back accounts with artificial intelligence, Mena said, “I doubt it.”

He explained that the IRS does not need evidence to obtain a warrant for viewing American citizens’ bank accounts.

“They can audit like whoever they want,” he said.

Mena also told the citizen journalist that the IRS told him he would remember the first person he shot, “but after that, you’re gonna shoot like a hundred people, you’re not gonna remember any of them.”

Less than a week after O’Keefe released the undercover video footage of the IRS agent admitting that the FBI’s warrantless AI program was likely unconstitutional, O’Keefe personally confronted Mena in Manhattan.

O’Keefe showed Mena the undercover video taken by the citizen journalist as the two men left a New York cafe. “Are you Alex Mena with the IRS?” O’Keefe asked the IRS agent. “You’re part of an undercover investigation talking about [the IRS] going after small people, destroying people’s lives.”

READ MORE: IRS worker who leaked Trump tax returns sentenced

In response to O’Keefe’s question, Mena said, “That’s not me.” While the IRS agent attempted to get away from O’Keefe, he added, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m sorry.”

As O’Keefe continued to question Mena regarding his admission that the IRS AI program was “unconstitutional,” Mena accused the investigative journalist of harassment before running away and leading O’Keefe on a fast chase through the streets of New York.

At the end of the chase, O’Keefe said, “I’ve seen a lot of crazy things in my life, but an IRS individual running like Forrest Gump after he’s caught on camera saying that the warrant program was unconstitutional?”