Though the White House has insisted the IRS stopped formally targeting Tea Party and conservative organizations in May of 2012, two attorneys representing conservative organizations have claimed the IRS’s targeting may still be ongoing.
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and Cleta Mitchell, the attorney representing True the Vote, have evidence their clients are still being targeted.
According to National Review, Sekulow “plans to file suit in federal court in the coming weeks on behalf of more than two dozen conservative groups that claim their harassment at the hands of the nation’s tax authority continued long past the White House’s purported end date.”
At least ten organizations the ACLJ is representing still have not received their determination letters. National Review notes the Albuquerque Tea Party applied for 501(c)(4) status in December of 2009 while Linchpins of Liberty applied in January 2011. Both organizations still have not received their letters.
Sekulow told the publication that “to suggest this tactic ended a year ago is not only offensive, but it is simply inaccurate as well.” He said the White House’s timeline of events “simply does not square with the facts.”
True the Vote, the nonprofit that trains workers to find and report voting fraud, is waiting for approval as a tax-exempt organization three years after initially filing its application with the IRS. In addition, the group’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, “saw her family’s manufacturing firm audited by the IRS and visited by OSHA, the ATF, and the FBI.”
Mitchell, the attorney representing True the Vote, said that even though the IRS wants everyone to believe that all of the targeting was “stopped in 2012,” “many, many organizations’ applications are still locked within the IRS.” The organization filed suit in federal court last week.
Mitchell said that before the IRS targeted conservatives in 2010, “her clients seeking 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) exemptions typically received letters of determination within six weeks.” Now, Mitchell says those letters–if they ever arrive–take years.