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Judicial Watch Obtains 695 Pages of Obama IRS Scandal Documents -- Records Not Produced in Initial Congressional Investigation

Contact: Jill Farrell, Judicial Watch, 202-646-5172
 
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2017 /Standard Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch today released 695 pages of new documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that contain admissions by IRS officials that the agency used "inappropriate political labels" to screen the tax-exempt applications of conservative organizations. Other records reveal that the IRS was going to require 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations to restrict their alleged political activities in exchange for "expedited consideration" of their tax-exempt applications.

The documents were produced after a revelation by the IRS that it had located "an additional 6,924 documents of potentially responsive records" relating to a 2015 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit about the Obama IRS targeting scandal. The FOIA lawsuit seeks records about the IRS' selection of individuals and organizations for audits based upon applications requesting nonprofit tax status filed by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)).

Of the 695 pages of documents released by the IRS, 422 (61%) were withheld in their entirety. These newly identified records are not records that were contained in the "Congressional Database," which the IRS created in 2013 to house records responsive to congressional inquiries into the IRS scandal.

Included among the newly released a material is a June 20, 2013, memo from Karen Schiller, then-Acting Director, EO Rulings and Agreement, suspending use of the controversial Be on the Lookout (BOLO) and Touch and Go (TAG) lists:

    EO Rulings and Agreements is undertaking a comprehensive review of screening and identification of critical issues. We intend to develop proper procedures and uses for these types of documents. Until a more formal process for identification, approval and distribution of this type of data is established, Rulings and Agreements will not use this technique to elevate issues.

In an August 9, 2013, memo, Schiller admitted the IRS used political labels in targeting the groups for special scrutiny and possible audit and that, going forward, the agency would screen organizations based only on their activities, "not words" or "labels of any kind:"

    As Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel has said, the IRS has taken decisive action to eliminate the use of inappropriate political labels in the screening of 501(c)(4) applications. IRS policy is now clear that screening is based on activity, not words in a name. The new steps and current policies were outlined in the June 24 report, which noted: "In the absence of BOLO lists, the Determinations Unit will continue to screen for information affecting the determination of applications for tax exempt status, including activity tied to political campaign intervention, but it [will] be done without regard to specific labels of any kind." The 30-day report also reflects the June 20, 2013 memorandum, which was issued to officially suspend the use of the BOLO list in the screening process.

The documents also include a "Dear [Applicant]" letter which offers an "expedited process" for 501(c)(4)s in exchange for restriction on their activities:

MORE:
www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-695-pages-obama-irs-scandal-documents-records-not-produced-initial-congressional-investigation


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