For Immediate Release: Monday, April 20, 2020
Contact: David Armiak, Research Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON, WI – The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in federal court on Friday, April 17, 2020, for illegally withholding public tax documents for 18 right-wing non-profit organizations and funders.
CMD filed the complaint after exhausting all avenues over several months to obtain the 2018 tax returns (Forms 990) for the organizations from the IRS, and argues that the agency’s actions have violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
In December 2019, CMD requested the 990 forms for the following 18 non-profit organizations:
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Citizens for Self-Governance
- Citizens for Self-Governance Action
- Convention of States Action
- Donald J Trump Foundation
- Donors Capital Fund
- Ed Uihlein Family Foundation
- Focus on the Family
- Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust
- Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
- JM Foundation
- Judicial Education Project
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- Mercer Family Foundation
- Sarah Scaife Foundation
- Searle Freedom Trust
- Stand Together Foundation
Over the next month and a half, CMD’s requests for the 18 were denied with generic letters from the IRS stating, “We can’t provide you copies of the forms you requested. We don’t show any organizations with the name or taxpayer identification number you provided.”
CMD used the names and taxpayer identification numbers listed on the IRS’s own database of tax-exempt organizations to file the requests.
“The IRS responses to my requests were unprecedented,” said CMD’s research director David Armiak. “I have never been told that organizations do not exist, and the media relations contact at the IRS refused to provide me with a satisfactory reason as to why I received these letters.”
CMD followed up with a FOIA request to the IRS in January for the same documents and met with similar obstructive tactics by the agency.
After exhausting its administrative options, CMD retained Davis Wright Tremaine LLP to take the issue to court.
“By making false claims and procedural dodges to avoid releasing important public tax documents, the IRS is undermining core principles of government transparency that are enshrined in the law,” said Courtney T. DeThomas at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
A full copy of CMD’s complaint against the IRS is available here.
I don’t know why you choose a character color that’s damn near invisible.
Keep doing what you are doing!! These right wing groups are destroying this country! They know it and they do not care. If Trump is involved you know it is corrupt!You can see what is happening to our country. George Washington and The Founding Fathers have turned over in their grave to find how destructive these right winger and leaders in the Republican Party are to our democracy. I have said since the time of Ronald Reagan that if we do not get rid of the Republican Party as it is constituted, America will fail!! I happen to know American History and American Government. I taught it for 35 years. We are at the lowest point this country has been since 1789.