We already know that under Biden, the IRS is once again aggressively coming after conservative groups. And we know that Senate Dems and their activist allies are coordinating and providing materials. But the sheer level of totalitarian pettiness and the search for any pretext for mounting an investigation that are revealed in this Daily Signal report are truly breathtaking.
(Senator) Whitehouse asked IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to revoke the tax-exempt status of Turning Point USA because the conservative organization held an event at then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club without masking and social distancing.
“Tax-exempt status provides a substantial benefit to charitable organizations and reflects the federal government’s endorsement of an organization’s activities,” Whitehouse wrote to the IRS chief. “Organizations that knowingly put in danger minors entrusted to their care should not enjoy the benefits of tax-exempt status. Accordingly, I urge the IRS to review whether it should revoke Turning Point USA’s tax-exempt status.”
Rettig’s response to Whitehouse, dated March 28, 2021, asserts that the IRS wouldn’t tell him if it were investigating or otherwise acting against the conservative youth organization. The reply was not available before the FOIA request.
“You shared your concern about reports that the organization hosted COVID-19 super-spreader events in violation of local regulations,” Rettig told Whitehouse. “You urged the IRS to review and consider whether we should revoke its tax-exempt status.”
A portion of Rettig’s response was redacted. The letter then goes on to say: “Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code protects the privacy of tax returns and tax return information of all taxpayers. Therefore, we cannot disclose any actions we may or may not take on this information.”
Rettig is leaving which means that the new leadership will have much more scope for going after conservatives using the power of the IRS.
The final letter the IRS made available was an inquiry from Whitehouse to Rettig, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Attorney General Merrick Garland about why his concerns had not been investigated.
“I have described to you flagrant and persistent instances in which 501(c)(4) organizations engage in political activity—and report that political spending to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) or its state equivalents—while telling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they did not engage in any political activity,” Whitehouse wrote in the letter dated May 5, 2022.
The Rhode Island Democrat referenced a 2012 report by the left-leaning investigative reporting website ProPublica, which found that 32 nonprofits reporting electioneering to the Federal Election Commission and state equivalents did not also report it to the IRS.
He said a 2022 report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group, found about two dozen nonprofits doing the same.
So we have pretty clear coordination here with leftist nonprofits to suppress conservative nonprofits, not because they’re violating regulations, but because he wants them gone for political reasons.
And this is just a snapshot of what’s going on.