Did Chuck Schumer try to use the IRS to sidestep the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling — and stick a dagger in the heart of conservative groups?
That’s the gist of a complaint filed this week with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.
In Citizens United, the court held that bans on independent political expenditures by corporations, associations and labor unions are bans on speech.
The Center for Competitive Politics is asking that Schumer and nine other Democratic senators be investigated for trying to use the IRS to suppress the free speech of political opponents.
The complaint notes Schumer signed letters asking the IRS if it was investigating “social welfare organizations” to see if they were improperly campaigning.
Turns out the IRS did investigate. And — surprise! — almost all the groups singled out for special IRS scrutiny were conservative.
It also points to a Schumer speech made earlier this year called “The Rise of the Tea Party and How Progressives Can Fight Back.” The speech, says the complaint, explains how the IRS could be a tool “to stamp out Tea Party organizations.”