House Republicans on Tuesday demanded the IRS open an investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s tax-exempt status, questioning whether the organization has broken faith with its charitable mission by hiding some donations.
The foundation, associated with former President Bill Clinton, his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, and their daughter, has been in the news as Mrs. Clinton’s campaign ramps up.
Foundation officials have admitted they made an “error” in inaccurately reporting certain types of grants, and have had to correct their filings.
“Media reports containing specific allegations have cast a cloud over the Clinton Foundation and call into question whether it is acting within the scope of its charitable mission for which it was originally granted tax-exempt status,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, who led the letter, signed by 51 other House lawmakers.
The letter was to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, and accused the foundation of using “the cloak of philanthropy” to facilitate major business deals for Clinton pals — including during the time Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state in the Obama administration.
The Clinton Foundation didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Ms. Blackburn and her colleagues, who included several committee chairmen, asked for a reply from the IRS within 30 days.
Relations between the House GOP and the IRS have been strained of late, with Mr. Koskinen saying Congress has hurt his agency’s ability to do its job by cutting funding, and lawmakers saying they cut funding in order to send a message that the IRS needs to clean up its act after repeated reports of bad spending, billions of dollars paid out in bogus tax credits and evidence that agency employees targeted tea party groups for special scrutiny in their tax-exempt applications.
The Clinton Foundation is organized as a 501(c)(3), which means donations are tax-deductible.