“It is our claim, in the suit, that by virtue of the IRS’ demand and receipt of confidential information from True the Vote, which was not necessary for purposes of ascertaining whether or not the organization qualifies for exempt status, that that constitutes an unlawful inspection of True the Votes’ proprietary information as a taxpayer,” Mitchell said, adding that they are seeking $1,000 per unlawful inspection, but do not yet know how many unlawful inspections the IRS made.
The third charge True the Vote is pursuing against the IRS is a claim for a redress of True the Vote’s constitutional right to free speech and association under the First Amendment.
“That violation of our Constitutional rights does constitute a civil rights claim, we are arguing, and we have sued these IRS agents and employees not only in their official capacities but in their individual and personal capacities for engaging in this conspiracy to violate True the Vote’s rights,” she said.
Mitchell explained that through this lawsuit they hope to get real answers.
“We hope to get through discovery the answers to the questions of what they were doing, why they were doing it, who was doing it, and by naming these individual agents assigned to True the Vote’s case or application, we’ll find out who told them what it was that they were supposed to be doing,” she added.
“Once the IRS denies an application then you have the remedy to take that denial to federal court and have it reviewed by the court and either affirmed or overturned. But just holding all these 501(c)(4) organizations’ applications in limbo, it denied the groups the opportunity to go to court and have the court sort it out. So all the 501(c)(4) organizations, and there were hundreds of them, are still sitting out there. Those applications have not been granted for most of the organizations who applied since this unlawful process was put in place by the IRS, so this is not in the past tense,” she said.
Anyone whose name True the Vote knew, who had potentially touched the group’s application is named in the suit, Mitchell said. She added that as they learn of more individuals who were involved, True the Vote and its lawyers will add those people to the suit as well.
Engelbrecht has explained that since filing the group’s application, her family and family business have been audited by the IRS twice, subject to two unscheduled audits by ATF, one by OSHA, and the Texas-branch of the EPA.
“All of that has happened in a very short amount of time and in my opinion it really begs the question, what is so different now that was not different before we filed that application?”