A watchdog group says the IRS is withholding documents between the agency and the White House that show inappropriate requests for taxpayer data, according to multiple reports.

ADVERTISEMENT
Cause of Action, a nonprofit group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for all correspondence between the IRS and White House about requests for tax returns of businesses or individuals.

The Treasury inspector general for tax administration has told the group that there are more than 2,000 documents potentially related to the request.

A court has said the agency must hand over the documents. But IRS officials have said that they will not release the documents, citing a part of the tax code that protects the confidentiality of individual tax returns.

It is not clear what is contained in the documents, but Cause of Action said they might be evidence of White House misdeeds.

“That indicates scandal,” said Daniel Epstein, a spokesman for the group.

"Now, potentially, there's confidential tax information going from the IRS to the White House. Potentially — we don't know, we'd like to see," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has been a critic of the IRS under the Obama administration, said late Wednesday on Fox News.

The White House denied any wrongdoing to Fox News.

“I can tell you that, as a rule, that the Obama administration has been very rigorous in following all of the rules and regulations that govern proper communication between Treasury officials and White House officials and the Internal Revenue Service,” press secretary Josh Earnest told the outlet.

Cause of Action is nonpartisan, but has received significant funding from the conservative Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

Republicans have repeatedly alleged that the IRS has unfairly targeted conservative groups under President Obama.