The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exempt status of a conservative-aligned charity for engaging in political activity as far back as the 2004 presidential election — including statements opposing Hillary Clinton for president.
The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, based in Manassas, Va., “has shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications,” according to a written determination released by the IRS Friday.
Although the name of the group was redacted from the determination, the facts of the case match statements made by the Patrick Henry Center’s founder. A separate IRS noticeconfirms that the Patrick Henry Center’s tax exemption was revoked in February.
The group’s founder, Gary Aldrich, did not return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Aldrich, a former FBI agent, established the group after publishing a book critical of President Bill Clinton in 1996 — alleging, among other things, that First Lady Hillary Clinton decorated the White House Christmas Tree with crack pipes and condoms. The purpose of the Patrick Henry Center was to represent government whistleblowers, and its first client was Linda Tripp, the Pentagon employee whose recorded phone calls with Monica Lewinsky launched an effort to impeach Clinton.
[...] The center’s most recent tax return disclosed $343,503 in revenue for tax year 2012. In recent years, it’s become aligned with the Tea Party movement, contributing to at least one of the groups targeted for extra scrutiny by the IRS beginning in 2010. Also in 2010, the Patrick Henry Center merged with Liberty Central, an advocacy group headed by Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese serves on the center’s board.
By Susie Madrak — April 25, 2014