The White House’s assertion that the International Revenue Service's misconduct of targeting conservative groups ended in May 2012 is a contradiction of the facts, says the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
During Monday's daily news briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters: "The misconduct had stopped in May of 2012."
"It's apparent this White House continues to try and create a narrative that simply does not square with the facts," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. "Without question, the IRS misconduct of harassing and abusing our clients was still in high gear from May 2012 through May of this year. The intrusive and unconstitutional questions continued, with the IRS demanding donor lists and even requesting lists of what reading materials that organization used. To suggest this tactic ended a year ago is not only offensive, but it is simply inaccurate as well."
In the past year, the ACLJ has received reviewed 26 IRS questionnaires sent to 18 clients demanding further intrusive and intimidating questions. The latest inquiry came just days before the IRS admitted to the public its targeting scheme.
Several of the letters sent to these groups demand minutes of all board meetings, a list of issues that are important to the organization, a list of press releases, interviews with the media, blog posts and all activity on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the IRS raised questions about the groups' goals, content of courses, workshops and seminars organized by the groups, and curriculum for young people.
The ACLJ is finalizing a complaint and adding plaintiffs to the federal lawsuit they plan to file early next week in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit will be filed on behalf of a number of organizations and groups, both current clients and new groups.
Despite the assertion by the IRS that this scheme originated with a couple of rogue agents out of the Cincinnati office, the ACLJ's clients have not only received letters from Cincinnati, but also from two offices in California, El Monte and Laguna Niguel, as well as the national office in Washington, D.C. In fact, the Washington office sent a letter to an ACLJ client as recently as one month ago.