When news stories surfaced on the way the IRS was selectively targeting conservative and religious groups, Bill Donohue decided the time had come to reveal his story.
Just weeks after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Donohue was notified by the IRS that the Catholic League was under investigation for violating the IRS Code on political activities as it relates to 501(c)(3) organizations. What the IRS did not know was that Donohue had proof who contacted them to launch the investigation: Catholics United, a George Soros-funded Catholic organization.
The IRS was contacted on June 5, 2008 to launch a probe of the Catholic League, and the letter sent to Donohue was dated November 24, 2008. The June 5 letter was sent to the IRS by lawyers from Catholics United; one of the persons who it was mailed to was Lois G. Lerner, the woman cited in the current IRS scandal.
The “evidence” was nothing more than news releases and articles that Donohue had written during the presidential campaign on various issues. The lawyers also asked the IRS to question the source of new funding we had received, implying that we received illegal contributions.
The timing was not coincidental. On October 20, Donohue issued a news release, “George Soros Funds Catholic Left,” and on October 23, he wrote another one, “Catholic Left Scandal Mounts”; both mentioned Catholics United. The same day, October 23, he was asked to go on CNN, and when Catholics United found out, they contacted the station trying to spike the interview.
The person who did this was the head of Catholics United, Chris Korzen. He said Donohue was not “an authentic Catholic commentator and representative of the Catholic Church,” and that they should either drop him altogether or put him on with Alexia Kelley of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (Catholics United is listed on the 990 of Catholics in Alliance as a related organization; Soros greases this group, and by extension, Catholics United).
The bid to keep Donohue off TV failed. But here’s the key: Korzen was dumb enough to share with CNN the complaint issued by his group to the IRS. The document, which was leaked by someone at CNN, matches nicely with the IRS complaint of November 24.
In the end, the IRS concluded that although the Catholic League had “intervened in a political campaign,” it was “unintentional”; thus, our tax-exempt status remained intact.