Oversight Leaders Probe IRS Coordination with Federal Election Commission

August 7, 2013

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, today wrote a letter to the Federal Election Commission seeking documents related to potentially inappropriate coordination between the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission related to tax exempt organizations.

“Documents recently produced to the Committee demonstrate that FEC personnel communicated with IRS personnel about tax-exempt groups engaged in political activities,” the Chairmen write. “For instance, William Powers, an FEC official in the Office of the General Counsel, e-mailed Lois Lerner, then-Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, on February 3, 2009, seeking information about the American Issues Project and the American Future Fund.”

The letter continues: “In particular, Mr. Powers asked about the status of these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status and the IRS review process.  In the course of the e-mail, Mr. Powers referenced prior conversations with Ms. Lerner from the previous July concerning the American Future Fund.”

The letter also cites a recent CNN report where current FEC Vice Chairman Donald McGahn characterized these communications as “out of the ordinary.”

“Mr. McGahn’s comments, in conjunction with documents produced to the committee, raise the prospect of inappropriate coordination between the IRS and the FEC about tax-exempt entities,” Issa and Jordan write.

The Committee is seeking the following information:

  1. All documents and communications between or among any FEC official or employee and any IRS official or employee for the period January 1, 2008, to the present;
  2. All documents and communications between or among any FEC official or employee and an official or employee of any federal government entity referring or relating to applications for tax-exempt status or tax-exempt entities for the period January 1, 2008, to the present;
  3. All records of telephone calls between or among any FEC official or employee and any IRS official or employee for the period January 1, 2008, to the present; and
  4. All documents and communications referring or relating to applications for tax-exempt status or tax-exempt entities for the period January 1, 2008, to the present.

You can read the full letter here.

 

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