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 For Immediate Release
Jul 20, 1999 Contact: Press Office

IRS smoking gun documents: White House tied to improper political audit of Western Journalism Center

IRS documents show audit "originated" with complaint forwarded by Clinton White House; Documents Should Have Been Turned Over Years Ago, Proves Clinton IRS Untruthful

(Washington, July 20) Just released IRS documents show that an audit of the Western Journalism Center, a non-profit, "originated" with a complaint forwarded to the IRS by the Clinton White House. The forwarded complaint had been faxed by a California resident directly to Bill Clinton. The smoking gun IRS/Department of Treasury documents were released to the Western Journalism Center last week, as a result of lawsuits brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of Western Journalism Center. Judicial Watch represents the Western Journalism Center in its cases concerning the politicized audit, which caused the Center great harm and continuing damage. The Internet news site, which has done extensive reporting on this continuing scandal, is currently a service of the Western Journalism Center

The documents note how a "Special Inquiry" by the Department of Treasury found that "the audit originated from a taxpayer who faxed a letter to the White House expressing his concern over a one-page advertisement paid for by WCJ (Western Center for Journalism) that asked for contributions to investigate (White House deputy counsel Vincent) Foster's death. The fax was forwarded to the EO (Exempt Organizations) National Office and then to the respective Key District Office for appropriate actions."

Once the audit began, an IRS agent told representatives of the Western Journalism Center that the audit was "political" and that decisions on the audit were being made out of the "national office." Indeed the newly-released IRS documents show that the IRS's national office did take an interest in the Western Journalism Center audit. The documents also call into question the sworn affidavits of IRS officials submitted in federal court recently in Judicial Watch's lawsuit on behalf of the Western Journalism Center.

"The IRS and the Clinton Justice Department told us they had turned over the entire case file on the Western Journalism Center. This was not true, as many smoking-gun documents were suppressed. On behalf of its client, Judicial Watch will be pursuing appropriate remedies with the Court for this apparent obstruction," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.

The Clinton White House long had the Western Journalism Center in its sights. A White House document, created by then-White House lawyer Jane Sherburne, shows that the Center was a concern as far back as 1994. Reports by the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio have shown that under the Clinton IRS, an unusually large number of organizations critical of the Clinton Administration had been audited, while no liberal organizations had been examined.

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