RNC asks IRS to audit Clinton charity's finances

The Republican National Committee asked the IRS Tuesday to audit the finances of one of the Clinton family's charities following its initial refusal to re-file tax forms even after acknowledging errors in reporting donations from foreign governments.

Reuters reported that the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) said this week it had decided against re-filing so-called Form 990s because the errors "had no impact" on the total amount of income it reported to the IRS. The charity claimed that the total amount of income was correct, but the breakdown of government and private funding was not. As a result, CHAI spokeswoman Maura Daley initially said the organization "does not believe a re-filing is necessary."

The group apparently reversed course by Wednesday, with Daley telling Politico that following "media interest" in the matter it will refile two years' worth of forms.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in response, said "re-filing erroneous returns 7 months after the fact amid political pressure is hardly a show of good faith," and continued to call for an IRS audit.

Priebus first requested the audit in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

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    "Given CHAI’s history of repeatedly failing to accurately report the amount of money it received from foreign governments ... there is no way to tell whether there exists other undisclosed foreign government grants without the IRS conducting a full audit of CHAI’s financial records," Priebus wrote. "The American people deserve to know whether the largest philanthropic arm of the Clinton Foundation continues to misreport the funds it receives from foreign governments, and whether this might lead to the potential for further conflicts of interest.

    In April, Reuters reported that the CHAI had failed to note grants from foreign governments separately from total revenue on its Form 990s in 2012 and 2013. At the time, the organization said it would re-file the documents for both years. It had previously re-filed returns from 2010 and 2011 for over-reporting the amount received in government grants by more than $100 million.

    The Clinton Foundation also said it would re-file its Form 990s after wrongly reporting that it had received no money from foreign governments on its tax returns for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    Reuters reported, citing tax experts, that it was unusual for a charity to make such large mistakes several years in a row. An IRS spokesman told the news agency that charities should re-file a Form 990 if it becomes aware of an error.

    The Clinton Foundation and its affiliated charities have come under increased scrutiny as Hillary Clinton has cemented her status as the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. She resigned from the foundation's board earlier this year ahead of announcing her candidacy, but her husband Bill and daughter Chelsea remain directors.

    Republicans and ethicists have repeatedly criticized the foundation for being less than forthcoming with its ties to foreign governments, especially during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Earlier this year, the charities admitted that they had not fully complied with an ethics agreement limiting donations from foreign governments that the Obama administration insisted Clinton agree to before becoming secretary of state.

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