Logan Clements got a rude surprise.
The director of an anti-Obamcare movie called, “Sick and Sicker: Obamacare Canadian style,” Mr. Clements was hit with an IRS audit. The IRS is not making this a simple audit either. It is demanding documentation on expenses going back years.
Mr. Clements is not the only one feeling the wrath of the IRS. Breitbart News is also being audited. In 2013, all of the 501C4 organizations selected for auditing by the IRS were conservative groups.
That’s 100 percent of them.
Mr. Clements called the audit, a “fishing expedition.”
He is right. It is.
Presidents have used the IRS against their enemies almost since there was an IRS. Lyndon Johnson did, as did Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and of course, Barack Obama.
One of the proposed Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon was using the IRS against his enemies.
Every time the IRS is used against a president’s enemies, the calls go out that this should never happen again. No one ever goes to jail and nothing happens until the next president abuses the powers of the IRS.
The Fourth Amendment states, in part, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”
An IRS audit is a textbook example of an unreasonable search and seizure. When the IRS sends a note and tells a taxpayer to show up with all of his or her papers, that is unreasonable.
Republicans in Washington have denounced the IRS witch hunts against conservatives but have done little more. Next year, the Republican Party should control the Senate as well as the House. They can do something to control not only the IRS but other government agencies that use audits as a way of striking back at political opponents.
The Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant if it wants to conduct a search. Thanks to the Fourth Amendment, the FBI under President Obama or the Department of Homeland Security cannot simply come to a person’s home, demand access and search.
It is time to give Americans that protection against the IRS.
In order to obtain a search warrant, the government must go to a judge and show probable cause. The IRS and other agencies should be held to the same standard.
Next year, the Republicans in the Senate and the House should attach a provision to a must pass piece of legislation that says before any agency can conduct an audit, it must have some probable cause to believe there is some wrong doing. That application for a warrant must be presented under oath to a judge and no audit may take place until the judge has signed the application.
Anyone targeted for an audit should also have the right to challenge that audit in court, much as defendants in criminal cases have the right to file motions to suppress evidence from illegal searches.
The only way to stop these kind of abuses is to permanently deny government agencies like the IRS the ability to abuse American citizens.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights exist to protect Americans against an oppressive government.
An IRS audit is the textbook example of an oppressive government at work. It’s time for the Republicans in Congress to stand up for what they believe and end the IRS’ ability to torment American citizens.