New e-mails, obtained via Judicial Watch, show the IRS didn’t just target conservative non-profits but also donors who gave to those organizations. So far none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to report on these latest revelations in the IRS scandal.
On Wednesday, Judicial Watch announced that the documents revealed that in 2010: “The IRS considered the issue of auditing donors to 501(c)(4) organizations, alleging that a 35 percent gift tax would be due on donations in excess of $13,000. The documents show that the IRS wanted to cross-check donor lists from 501(c)(4) organizations against gift tax filings and commence audits against taxpayers based on this information....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 Judicial Watch July 22 press release went on to detail the actions of IRS officials:
The documents show that 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.”
Emails to and from Lorraine Gardner also suggested bias against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. An IRS official (whose name is redacted) emails Gardner on May 13, 2011, a blog post responding to the IRS targeting of political and other activities of 501(c)(4), (5) and (6) organizations:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) organization and may find itself under high scrutiny. One can only hope.
The subject line of the email highlights this anti-Chamber of Commerce comment: “we are making headlines notice the end regarding 501(c)(6) applicability enjoy.” This critical comment is forwarded to other IRS officials and shows up attached to another Gardner IRS email chain with the subject line “re: 501(c)(4)” that discusses a pending decision about a tax-exempt entity.
“These documents that we had to force out of the IRS prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the snarky comments about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the obsession with Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS show that the IRS was targeting critics of the Obama administration. President Obama may want to continue to lie about his IRS scandal. These documents tell the truth – his IRS hated conservatives and was willing to illegally tax and audit citizens to shut down opposition to Barack Obama’s policies and reelection.”