The Internal Revenue Service continues to target tea party, conservative and religious groups in their applications for tax-exempt status, Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell said Saturday.
"It is still going on," Mitchell, who represents several groups that have sued the agency and the Obama administration over the targeting, told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his Fox News program. "In August of last year, two of my clients received even more letters — asking intrusive, burdensome questions that they had already been asked and had answered before."
Mitchell said one of her clients, True the Vote, received its tax-exempt status last November, 3½ years after applying, while another, the Tea Party Patriots, has yet to be approved by the IRS.
The Tea Party Patriots filed its application more than three years ago, Mitchell told Huckabee.
She made the same contentions to members of a House oversight subcommittee on Capitol Hill this week. She told stories of groups she represented who had been singled out by the IRS
between 2010 through the presidential election last year.
In her Hucakbee interview, Mitchell disputed comments by President Barack Obama
in his interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News before the Super Bowl that not even a "smidgen" of corruption existed in the IRS.
"It is not the truth," she said. "Remember, this is the same man who declared last summer that the IRS scandal was a phony scandal. He's done everything he can to divert attention from what really has been going on and is still going on at the IRS."
Mitchell added that she believed that the White House was targeting such groups because "the government is afraid of the people — and because they were afraid of the people rising up as they did in 2010 to fight Obamacare, to fight out-of-control spending, that's exactly what they're afraid of in 2014.
"That's why they have been trying to silence political opposition and philosophical opposition all over the country," she said.
Mitchell also called for a special independent counsel to investigate the IRS and that legislation needs to be brought forth to "get the IRS out of the whole process" of granting tax-exempt status to organizations.
"I don't think you should have to ask the federal government — Mother may I? — before you can function as a nonprofit, exempt organization," she said.
"We should repeal the law that makes organizations tell the IRs who their donors are," Mitchell added. "I don't think the government has any business knowing that."
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