The Wall Street Journal
has a good story
today about how an Exxon-funded nonprofit appears to have goaded the IRS into auditing Greenpeace.
What does the IRS say?
Eric L. Smith, an IRS spokesman, said that under federal law, he can't discuss the Greenpeace case. He said a nonpartisan IRS panel of career professionals reviews allegations against nonprofit groups to determine whether an audit is warranted.
If that sounds familiar, that's because it is: it's what the IRS told
us about the audit it was prompted to conduct of Texans for Public Justice, the group which hounded former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) about his questionable fundraising practices.
TPJ filed for -- and received -- all the IRS documents pertaining to its audit. Guess what? There was no evidence their case had been considered by this "panel of career professionals," even though all of the panel's decisions are supposed to be recorded on paper.
So we called Greenpeace and spoke with their legal department. It turns out that they too requested and received all IRS documents pertaining to their audit. And, you guessed it -- there's not a scrap that shows their case was considered by a panel before the audit was begun. Curious, no? Where are these records?