Tags: Fox News | IRS Scandal | Media Bias | Tea Party | Ted Cruz | Breitbart | IRS

Breitbart Draws an Audit From the IRS

By    |   Wednesday, 10 September 2014 01:04 PM

Breitbart News Network says it has been audited by the Internal Revenue Service — a move the company suggests is harassment.

The conservative media group says the IRS looked into its 2012 corporate filings, but noted such a government inquiry will only serve to deepen its resolve to continue hard-hitting coverage, Fox News reported.

Breitbart has been aggressive in its coverage of the IRS amid charges that emails from officials were lost and computers were destroyed to hide targeting of certain tea party groups, who faced their own audits. It also has been critical of the Obama administration.

"The Obama administration's timing on this is exquisite, but try as they might through various methods to silence us, we will only get more emboldened," Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, noted in a statement.

Added his colleague, CEO Larry Solov: "We stand ready to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service on its audit of our company, but this will not deter us in the least from continuing our aggressive coverage of this president or his administration."

Such a move by the IRS drew the ire of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who wrote IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to question the government's motives, Politico noted.

The GOP senator wrote: "For the IRS to behave like a partisan political organization, targeting media organizations whose views differ from the president's, would represent a gross abuse of power. I very much hope that is not the case."

Cruz sent Koskinen a list of seven questions, according to The Blaze, seeking answers to specifics about the Breitbart case.

The questions are:
  • How many other news organizations have been audited since President Obama has been in office?
  • How many of them could be identified as conservative- or liberal-leaning?
  • Have any other news organizations been subjected to this sort of far-reaching and oppressive inquiry, including requesting the personal tax records of editors and reporters?
  • At what point does the IRS decide to take action to audit a news outlet?
  • Does the IRS worry that its extremely burdensome auditing process could effectively silence the press?
  • Previously, Senator Durbin wrote the IRS asking that it examine the tax-exempt status of Crossroads GPS, a Republican organization that spends money electing Republicans. Did the IRS ever receive any communications from any elected official asking it to examine Breitbart News Network, LLC?
  • Who, precisely, is responsible for making the decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC?
The IRS, in its response about the Breitbart audit, noted it could not address claims about a specific case, citing federal privacy laws.

In a statement, the agency noted: "The IRS stresses that audits are based on the information related to tax returns and the underlying tax law — nothing else. Audits are handled by career, nonpartisan civil servants, and the IRS has safeguards in place to protect the exam process."

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Breitbart News Network says it has been audited by the Internal Revenue Service — a move the company suggests is harassment.
Breitbart, IRS, audit, conservatives, Cruz, Republicans, Obama
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 01:04 PM
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