The IRS confirmed it would investigate accusations of corrupt "pay-to-play" practices at the Clinton Foundation brought by over 60 Republican lawmakers who asked the agency to review potential "public corruption" in the organization.
In a July 22 letter, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), who is leading the probe, saying he had referred the congressional charges to the agency’s Exempt Organizations Program based in Dallas, the Daily Caller first reported this week.
Blackburn joined 63 other Republican House members demanding in a letter to Koskinen, FBI leaders, and the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month that the agencies probe the Clinton Foundation. The lawmakers charged that IRS filings "portray a lawless ‘pay-to-play’ enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated."
"The Clintons have used their foundation to personally enrich themselves at the expense of American foreign policy," Blackburn said in a statement Tuesday. "At a minimum, the Foundation’s tax-exempt status needs to be reviewed and revoked immediately."
Koskinen’s response came to Congress on Monday, the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton was officially coronated as the party’s presidential nominee.
An unnamed Clinton Foundation source rejected media reports that the letter implied the IRS was deploying an investigation.
"Nowhere does this letter say that there’s an investigation, or that the IRS is even considering an investigation," the source told Fox News.
The agency said in a statement that the IRS "receives referrals from a variety of sources" and refers those referrals "to the appropriate area for consideration." The agency did not comment specifically on the Clinton Foundation case, citing privacy protections.
The Hill reported:
The lawmakers … expressed concerns in their letter about the fact that Laureate International Universities has donated to the foundation and an entity run by Laureate’s founder received millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. They also are concerned that the chairman of a uranium-mining company donated money to the foundation, and Clinton was among the Obama administration officials who approved the company’s sale to the Russian government.
A Clinton campaign spokesman called the allegations "another baseless political attack from House Republicans."