Dear Commissioner Koskinen:
I write to express deep concern over the recent announcement by Breitbart News that the Internal Revenue Service recently notified the Breitbart News Network, LLC that it would be subject to a far-reaching, burdensome, and open-ended audit.
As you know, the Breitbart News Network LLC is a conservative-leaning press outlet. It has editors and reporters who cover daily political news and regularly breaks stories that are critical of the Obama Administration’s policies. To conduct this audit, Breitbart News Network, LLC was asked to provide the IRS with all of its organizational documents, financial records, W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, and K-1s filed, personal income tax returns for each member of the company, payroll tax forms, information regarding properties and assets acquired by the company, bank statements, and array of other records documenting revenues, expenses, and depreciation costs.
This media audit, coupled with the recent proposal of 49 Senate Democrats to amend the Constitution to give Congress plenary power to regulate political speech, paints a disturbing picture of a coordinated assault on the First Amendment. …
I would therefore like to ask you the following questions:
How many other news organizations have been audited since President Obama has been in office?
How many of them could be identified as conservative- or liberal-leaning?
Have any other news organization been subjected to this sort of far-reaching and oppressive inquiry, including requesting the personal tax records of editors and reporters?
At what point does the IRS decide to take action to audit a news outlet? …