Just a few weeks after Special Counsel John Durham revealed significant failures to investigate allegations against Hillary Clinton’s family charity, a U.S. Tax Court judge has once again breathed new life into a years-long whistleblower case alleging IRS improprieties involving the controversial Clinton Foundation.
U.S. Tax Court Judge David Gustafson has already once before denied an IRS request to dismiss the whistleblower case, first brought in 2017. And three years ago, he ordered the tax agency to reveal whether it criminally investigated the foundation, citing a mysterious “gap” in its records.
The IRS filed a new motion to dismiss, and all parties filed arguments over the last year. But on Monday, Gustafson postponed ruling on those motions, instead asking for new arguments in light of three recent precedent-setting court rulings, once again frustrating IRS efforts to make the case go away.
The three recent rulings in other tax cases “may affect the parties’ positions as to the pending motions,” Gustafson wrote. “We will order further filings so that the parties may address those recent opinions.”
The judge gave whistleblowers John Moynihan, a former federal agent, and Larry Doyle, a corporate tax compliance expert, until June 30 to update their arguments and the IRS until July 28 to respond. That means the case will almost certainly stretch on for many more months.
The judge also noted the IRS hasn’t responded to a request to update the court record with new evidence.
Monday’s ruling adds new intrigue in a case that first surfaced nearly five years ago when Doyle and Moynihan, two respected forensic financial investigators, revealed the existence of their 2017 IRS whistleblower complaint against the foundation during a congressional hearing.
(…) Judge Gustafson’s new request gives Moynihan and Doyle a fresh opening to incorporate Durham’s bombshell allegations in their court filings due next month.
The judge also called attention to a specific recent ruling in a Tax Court case titled Berenblatt vs. IRS Commission that he said might be relevant.
In that ruling last week, the court decided that IRS whistleblowers may be entitled to discovery they ordinarily would not be granted if they could show the agency had engaged in earlier bad faith conduct to keep information out of the case.
“Whistleblowers may be granted limited discovery if they make a significant showing that there is material in the IRS’s possession indicative of bad faith on the IRS’s part in connection with the case or of an incomplete administrative record compiled by the IRS,” the court ruled.