Judicial Watch to Sue IRS Over Improper Screening

Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 04:46 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Watchdog Judicial Watch says it is suing the Internal Revenue Service to obtain documents showing how conservative groups were screened for nonprofit status — and to "cut through the Obama administration cover-up of its IRS scandal."

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 9 and reported Tuesday by The Washington Times, demands the release of copies of "all communications relating to the review process for organizations seeking 501(c)(4) nonprofit status since January 1, 2012."

The group also wants the District Court for the District of Columbia "to order the IRS to provide records of communications by former IRS official Lois Lerner concerning the controversial review and approval process."

Lerner, who retired from the agency in September, had headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status.

On May 14, a Treasury Department inspector general report revealed the IRS had singled out groups using conservative-sounding terms such as "patriot" and "tea party" in their names when applying for tax-exempt status.

But Lerner refused to testify at a hearing before the House Oversight Committee, headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., demanding immunity regarding her role in the targeting scandal.

Eventually, the agency acknowledged that while Lerner was in charge, agents improperly targeted tea party groups.

“One of the most pressing questions, of course, is, ‘What did the president know and when did he know it?’" Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, charging that former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and aide Jonathan Davis "visited the White House hundreds of times during the Obama IRS witch hunt."

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