New documents confirmed that the IRS targeted individual donors giving to those causes who aligned with lists of conservative tax-exempt organizations. Not only did the IRS use the donor lists of tax-exempt organizations for audits, but also the documents highlight that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may have come under “high scrutiny.” The IRS would not produce the documents until required by a Freedom of Information lawsuit, Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220).
July 22nd, Judicial Watch announced,
The documents show that the IRS had not enforced the gift tax since 1982. But then, in February 2011, at least five donors of an unnamed organization were audited.
The press release further explained,
Crossroads GPS, associated with Republican Karl Rove, was specifically referenced by IRS officials in the context of applying the gift tax. Seemingly in response to the Crossroads focus, on April 20, IRS attorney Lorraine Gardner emails a 501(c)(4) donor list to former Branch Chief in the IRS’ Office of the Chief Counsel James Hogan. Later, this information is apparently shared with IRS Estate Gift and Policy Manager Lisa Piehl while Gardner seeks “information about any of the donors.”
And House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz stated,
You have political targeting that is factual at this point. There are no ifs, ands or buts. You had groups within the IRS who were politically targeting conservatives and impeding their First Amendment rights.
In 2013, IRS official Lois Lerner pled the Fifth before the House Oversight Committee regarding the IRS targeting scandal. Although Lerner met with the Department of Justice to determine how to prosecute conservative groups, she met no consequences for turning this agency into a political weapon. No one was fired as a result of the targeting and former Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa says the IRS is still engaging in the same bad behavior.