Count us skeptical that, as head of the IRS’s legal shop, Mr. Wilkins wasn’t aware of the questions and evolving procedures for handling 501(c)(4) applications. When he was appointed to the IRS job in April 2009, the White House announcement emphasized his expertise in “counselling non-profit organizations.”As a partner at Washington D.C. law firm WilmerHale in 2008, Mr. Wilkins helped lead the defense of Chicago Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s United Church of Christ when the IRS investigated then Senator Barack Obama’s involvement with the church for any violations of its 501(c)(3) status. “We were so interested in the case we offered to do it pro bono,” Mr. Wilkins told The American Lawyer at the time.
By Bernie BeckerWith its newest release, the GOP is looking to raise fresh questions about the IRS’s treatment of conservative groups after Democrats stressed that the current congressional inquiry hasn’t found any evidence of political motivation.The IRS chief counsel is — along with the commissioner — one of only two presidential appointees at the agency, a point that was prominently raised by Republicans in Wednesday’s letter.
By Lauren FrenchUp against Democrats who accused him of willfully ignoring evidence that both liberal and conservative groups were flagged for extra review at the IRS, George came out swinging.He accused his spokeswoman of misspeaking to the press last month, said he was “disturbed” that documents calling on IRS staffers to scrutinize progressive groups only recently made it into his hands and insisted he hasn’t blocked key details from Congress.
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHERThe investigator who wrote a scathing report about the Internal Revenue Service targeting tea party groups says he is “disturbed” the agency withheld newly-released documents showing progressive groups may also have been singled out for additional scrutiny.In prepared testimony, J. Russell George told a congressional panel Thursday the IRS did not provide the documents to his office during a yearlong audit. George said he just received the documents last week.
They are pushing to require FEC staff members to obtain prior permission before disclosing information to federal prosecutors.Host Crystal Park spoke with Hans Anatol von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow and manager of the Civil Justice Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation, to discuss the issues.
By KEN LOVETTIn some cases, donors used a part of the law that allows limited liability corporations to skirt the $5,000 donation limit for corporations by treating them as individuals. That has allowed people to give far more than the law usually allows. Developer Leonard Litwin, for instance, has given Cuomo through the LLCs he set up $625,000 this election cycle.In other cases, big-time donors skirted normal contribution limits by donating to the Cuomo-controlled state Democratic party’s housekeeping account that in the past six months spent more than $5 million on ads pushing the governor’s agenda.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has tapped attorneys from Jones Day and Holland & Knight to replace the legal team handling state and federal investigations over his alleged acceptance of improper gifts.