IRS chief refers GOP allegations against Clinton Foundation to internal office

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Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen has forwarded House Republicans’ allegations against the Clinton Foundation to the agency’s exempt organizations office for consideration.

“This program considers all referrals and will send you a separate acknowledgement letter when it receives your information,” Koskinen said last week in a letter to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

Blackburn and dozens of other Republican House members sent a letter to Koskinen and the heads of the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month asking the agencies to investigate the Clinton Foundation. The lawmakers said that media reports and IRS filings “portray a lawless ‘Pay to Play’ enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated.”

The Republicans’ letter stated that the foundation’s initial application with the IRS for tax-exempt status in 1997 does not mention that it would conduct activities outside of the United States. “As a result, the foundation’s global initiatives appear to be unlawful pursuant to IRS guidance,” the lawmakers said.

The lawmakers also expressed concerns in their letter about the fact that Laureate International Universities has donated to the foundation and an entity run by Laureate’s founder received millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. They also are concerned that the chairman of a uranium-mining company donated money to the foundation, and Clinton was among the Obama administration officials who approved the company’s sale to the Russian government.

The IRS said Wednesday that it is standard procedure to direct referrals from outside groups to offices within the agency. “We forward all referrals to the appropriate area for consideration of whether there are issues that justify further review,” the agency said in a statement. 

Koskinen said that the IRS can’t disclose actions it might take based on the information the lawmakers provided due to a statute that protects the privacy of taxpayers’ information.

The Daily Caller first reported Koskinen’s letter Wednesday.

A Clinton campaign spokesman told Fox News the House Republicans’ request for an investigation is a “baseless attack” and recycles claims made by a widely discredited book.

Tags Hillary Clinton Marsha Blackburn

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