The Clinton Foundation misrepresented itself to the IRS in the years after it was first granted tax-exempt status in 1997, according to a new report.
An investigation by The Daily Caller reveals Clinton officials initially registered the foundation as an organization that would construct and maintain the Clinton Library after President Bill Clinton's second term was complete.
However, the documents show that the foundation continued to be registered as such even as it grew into an international charity that allegedly conducted a pay-to-play scheme involving high-dollar donors, favors, and access to the Clintons.
A 1997 letter from the IRS obtained by The Daily Caller showed the Clinton Foundation was granted tax-exempt status. But the organization was required to tell the government if it were to "change your sources of support, your purposes, character or method of operation … so we can consider the effect of the change on your exempt status and foundation status."
From 1998-2004, however, as the foundation grew in size and power, nothing changed in the eyes of the IRS.
On the foundation's 2002 tax return, there were two changes that indicated it had changed — it was taking on "research and educational activities on policy and historical issues" and it created the Clinton Health Access Initiative. These changes showed the foundation was moving away from being a tax-exempt organization, but it did not request a status change.
Over the years, the foundation — according to The Daily Caller — answered "no" on its tax returns when asked if it had any previously unreported activity to tell the IRS. That stipulation was in the original 1997 letter.
Clinton critic and non-profit expert Charles Ortel told The Daily Caller, "To informed analysts, the Clinton Foundation appears to be a rogue charity that has neither been organized nor operated lawfully from inception in October 1997 to date. … [It] has never been validly authorized to pursue tax-exempt purposes other than as a presidential archive and research facility based in Little Rock, Arkansas."
Critics such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called the Clinton Foundation a "racketeering enterprise." Others said emails that show favoritism prove the organization is corrupt.
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