The House Government and Oversight Committee said it appears the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission inappropriately coordinated their scrutiny of groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio want a hefty amount of information about the communication between the two agencies.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the FEC, which regulates campaign finance legislation, the two lawmakers asked for “all documents and communication” between IRS and FEC employees dating back to 2008 and all documents between or among FEC employees and any other federal agency that make reference to groups that are tax exempt or seeking tax-exempt status.
Issa and Jordan said their demand for information is based on documents the IRS has already turned over that “demonstrate that FEC personnel communicated with IRS personnel about tax-exempt groups engaged in political activities.”
Issa points to an email to the former head of tax-exempt groups, Lois Lerner, from FEC lawyer William Powers seeking information about the American Issues Project and the American Future Fund, both conservative groups that are exempt from paying taxes.
“In particular, Mr. Powers asked about the status of these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status and the IRS review process,” Issa and Jordan say in the letter to the FEC. “In the course of the e-mail, Mr. Powers referenced prior conversations with Ms. Lerner from the previous July concerning the American Future Fund.”