The Internal Revenue Service wants to audit the conservative-leaning Breitbart News Network, who vows not to be silenced.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has asked Commissioner John Koskinen to explain the decision, given its obvious political overtones and possible partisan implications.
In a letter posted on his congressional website Tuesday, Cruz posited a series of tough questions to Koskinen including:
- Which other news organizations have been audited?
- Were they subjected to such far-reaching scrutiny including editors’ tax records?
- Does IRS worry its burdensome process could silence the press?
- Did IRS receive any communication from an elected official to do this?
- Who, precisely, made the decision to audit Breitbart News Network?
The executive chairman of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, said in a written statement, “The Obama administration’s timing on this is exquisite, but try as they might through various methods to silence us, we will only get more emboldened.”
This sentiment was echoed by the president and CEO of Breitbart, Larry Solov, who said. “We stand ready to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service on its audit of our company, but this will not deter us in the least from continuing our aggressive coverage of this president or his administration,” according to Fox News.
The scandal-plagued federal agency would not comment on the publicity claiming privacy laws, but its copious demand for minutiae from the news organization, to include “a written narrative” of the business, has raised red flags across the conservative spectrum.
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