This afternoon, it was reported that Breitbart News has been notified they are the targets of an IRS audit (Fox News).
Breitbart News Network, a California-based company which runs several conservative websites, says the IRS recently audited its 2012 financial information.Never mind that Media Matters for America, (aka Media Mutters) is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, even though it violates the rules of such a classification in that it engages in political advocacy.
"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, said in a written statement.
The audit comes as the agency faces sustained complaints that it targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought nonprofit status, before the agency ended the practice last year.
Since the practice was made public – by the IRS itself and the inspector general’s office – other conservative groups have come forward claiming they were subjected to unwarranted scrutiny by the agency.
In this case, it remains unclear whether the apparent audit of Breitbart News is anything out of the ordinary. The IRS conducts audits of tens of thousands of businesses every year.
The agency said in a statement: "Federal privacy laws prohibit the IRS from commenting on specific taxpayer situations. 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, non-partisan civil servants, and the IRS has safeguards in place to protect the exam process."
A copy of the IRS notice to Breitbart News, obtained by FoxNews.com, asked about the company’s financial information for calendar year 2012.
Next, we find out that an aide at the Department of (Racial) Justice accidentally called Republican Congressman Darrell Issa's office, wanting to help spin the scandal surrounding the IRS (Breitbart).
The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming's staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.But wait, that's not all. We also find out that the Obama White House knew about the "missing" IRS e-mails two months before Congress was informed of their status (American Thinker).
According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”
Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.
Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.” “At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a 'change in plans' and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early.
Fallon “proceeded to pitch the idea that the Department and the Committee should 'help one another' while simultaneously saying that 'you need to say what you need to say.'”
In the letter, Issa told Holder the phone call suggests ongoing coordination between DOJ aides and Cummings' staff to undermine oversight committee investigations.
Congressional investigators have released testimony showing that an attorney for the IRS told the Treasury Department counsel of the destroyed emails, who then passed the information on to the White House. The conversations took place in April – two months before the IRS told Congress of the destruction of evidence.Democrats can go out and write their "reports" clearing the IRS of wrongdoing, but all they are doing is engaging in the same kind of cover-up they wanted to impeach Richard Nixon for merely suggesting. Because anyone with common sense would see that there is a collusion between the IRS and the White House on this scandal, with the DO(R)J and the Democrap Party acting as gatekeepers.
Republican lawmakers have suggested that the agency collaborated with the Treasury Department and the executive’s office to control the damage of the IRS targeting scandal.The White House learned about the e-mail issues in April, two months before the IRS informed Congress about the matter.
In closed-door testimony with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff, IRS attorney Catherine Duval said she told Treasury counsel Hannah Stott-Bumsted about the missing e-mails, which were requested by congressional committees. A Fox News affiliate first revealed the conversation in a report Monday.
Darrell Issa, you'd better get a spine and start getting tough on this.