IRS Admits to What We Already Knew: Tea Party Groups Inappropriately Singled-Out for Special Review | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

IRS admission and apology over Tea Party debacle

By Jay Sekulow1368543089000

What the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did to Tea Party groups is simply outrageous. We've been battling the IRS for more than a year now, defending nearly 30 Tea Party organizations across the country - organizations that were targeted by the IRS because of their conservative views.

What's outrageous is that the IRS demanded that groups reveal the internal workings of their organizations - including the identification of members, how they are selected, who they associate with, and even what they discuss. A sample of some of the questions are posted here. They are clearly outside the scope of legitimate inquiry and violate the First Amendment.

A year ago, the IRS denied that there was any practice like this in place. Now, a different story. Today we learn that that a top IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups admits that the IRS inappropriately focused on groups that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, singling them out for additional reviews. The IRS issued an apology and said the practice should not have occurred.

The IRS is trying to explain this away by blaming "low-level" IRS employees out of an office in Cincinnati. Ridiculous. I served as a trial lawyer with the Office of the Chief Counsel for the IRS earlier in my career and I know that's not the way it works. This intimidation strategy had to have the approval of IRS superiors and it was not just confined to a small office in Ohio.

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, we are handling 27 cases from 17 different states. To date, 15 groups have been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS, the others are pending and no organization has been denied. We are demanding that the IRS immediately approve the pending applications for the remainder of our clients.

What really needs to happen is Congressional oversight and an inquiry to find out how this happened, the extent that it occurred, and the reasons behind it. This targeting occurred in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.

We have heard from more than 50,000 Americans who understand that the IRS needs Congressional oversight. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa calls the IRS actions "unconscionable." And in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to investigate what he called the "thuggish" practices used by the IRS.

Today's IRS admission is a significant victory for free speech and free association, but really is just the beginning to get to the bottom of what happened inside the IRS and why.

Jay Sekulow

 

Latest in
Free Speech

BREAKING: Senate Judiciary to Subpoena Twitter CEO Over Censorship

By Jordan Sekulow1602798084449

The Senate Judiciary Committee is going to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over censorship. On today’s Jay Sekulow Live , we discussed the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing its intentions to subpoena the Twitter CEO over censorship of conservatives and even the press and to hold a hearing next...

read more

The Johnson Amendment’s Continued Impediment to the Church

By Mark Goldfeder1600960199483

The Johnson Amendment is the controversial provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from participating or intervening in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” As it relates to churches and other...

read more

Big Tech Censorship and Bias – What Do We Do About It?

By Craig Parshall1591794000000

On May 28th, 2020 President Donald Trump released his Executive Order (“EO”) titled, “Preventing Online Censorship.” In releasing the full text of the EO, mainstream media outlets like NBC news were quick to criticize the Presidential order, characterizing it as just a “response to Twitter,” which...

read more

Leftist Doxing of Conservatives and the First Amendment

By Laura Hernandez1570115343105

Last week, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed an amicus brief in two related cases, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) v. Becerra and Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) v. Becerra. Both cases began in California when the Attorney General required all charities to submit lists of...

read more