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Sen. Cruz: IRS Fails to Answer our Questions

IRS responds to Sen. Cruz’s inquiry about the audit of Breitbart News

October 30, 2014

  |  

(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement in response to the Internal Revenue Service’s reply to the senator’s inquiry about its decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC.
 
See the IRS’s response here.
 
“It is sad to see the Obama IRS continue to devolve into an unaccountable agency, and dangerous to see it become weaponized as a tool for partisan warfare.  Following its wrongful targeting of citizen groups for their political views (and destruction of emails concerning the same), the IRS has taken it to a new level by now singling out conservative media organizations for disparate treatment as well.
 
"In response to the serious questions raised by the IRS’s targeting a media organization for a deeply intrusive audit, the IRS has chosen to stonewall.  Hiding behind 'taxpayer confidentiality,' the IRS refused to answer the following questions:

  1. How many other news organizations have been audited since President Obama has been in office?
  2. How many of them could be identified as conservative- or liberal-leaning?
  3. Have any other news organization been subjected to this sort of far-reaching and oppressive inquiry, including requesting the personal tax records of editors and reporters?
  4. At what point does the IRS decide to take action to audit a news outlet?
  5. Does the IRS worry that its extremely burdensome auditing process could effectively silence the press?
  6. Did the IRS ever receive any communications from any elected official asking it to examine Breitbart News Network, LLC?

"None of these questions implicates taxpayer confidentiality.  All of them are policy questions, well within Congress’s oversight responsibilities.  In response, the IRS has simply said, colloquially speaking, ‘pound sand.’ No executive agency should demonstrate such contempt for Congress, much less for the First Amendment.
 
"Citizens deserve to know the policies and procedures the IRS has in place so they can be certain it has ceased partisan targeting. Every Member of Congress – whether Democrats or Republicans – should be calling for the IRS to answer these simple questions about the illegal partisan targeting of conservative groups that have now gone unanswered for over a year. 

"And every media organization, whether liberal or conservative, should be outraged by the targeting of other media organizations for their political views.  As Pastor Niemoller observed, if the media remains silent, there may be no one left to speak for them.
 
"Accordingly, when Congress reconvenes in January, it is my hope that the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene hearings—with subpoena power, if necessary—to compel the IRS to answer these questions."
 
See Sen. Cruz’s letter here.

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