The IRS will be tested in coming months after a U.S. senator asked the federal agency to investigate the Southern Poverty Law Center, predicts the president of an organization targeted by the SPLC.
As reported by OneNewsNow and other media outlets, Sen. Tom Cotton is requesting the IRS investigate the tax-exempt status of the SPLC, with the Republican lawmaker suggesting the controversial group should be punished.
Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, alleges the SPLC has been improperly enjoying tax deductible contributions for decades.
“Because they've been in the business of defaming people,” Gaffney says, “and as [Cotton] pointed out, defamation is not a tax-exempt purpose under the tax code.”
The Alabama-based organization, which is often praised by the media for vilifying right-wing organizations as “hate groups,” describes Gaffney and the CSP as a “conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement” in the U.S.
Gaffney, who worked on national defense in the Reagan administration, is quite public about the influence of groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington, D.C.
The SPLC, meanwhile, is under intense scrutiny over charges of racism and sexism, and in recent weeks its co-founder was forced out and the president stepped down.
A review of the SPLC could drain its coffers and put it out of business, Gaffney predicts, but there is a big question mark over whether the IRS will perform its duty. He sees Cotton’s letter as a test of not just the IRS but the Trump administration.
“And I think it's the right kind of challenge to put them in,” he says, “because it's their job, after all, making sure that people are not obtaining taxpayer subsidies that are underserved --- to say nothing of being abused, which is the case in the Southern Poverty Law Center."