Sen Sheldon Whitehouse urges IRS to research pro-Trump turning level USA

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) speaks to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the United States, on October 14, 2020 on the third day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Candidate Amy Coney Barrett.

Drew Angerer | Reuters

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., has urged the head of the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of Turning Point USA, a dark money organization led by pro-Trump activist Charlie Kirk.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Tuesday, Whitehouse said that charitable tax group 501 (c) (3) should have its tax exemption status reviewed as it believes it has violated Covid regulations as it reports held two major events in Florida.

One of these gatherings was held in Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club, according to The Washington Post.

Read the letter here.

“According to press reports and social media posts, many participants gathered indoors without wearing masks in violation of Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 regulations.” Whitehouse said Rettig in the letter.

“In hosting these ‘superspreader’ events, Turning Point USA knowingly exposed the hundreds of young people and employees working at the events at serious risk of infection,” he added.

“Accordingly, I urge the IRS to consider revoking Turning Point USA’s tax exemption status.”

A Turning Point representative did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.

US President Donald Trump (left) shakes hands with moderator Charlie Kirk after a discussion at the Generation Next forum in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Whitehouse is the youngest member of the Senate Finance Committee calling on the IRS to investigate conservative dark money organizations that fail to disclose their donors.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who is expected to become chairman of the committee after the Democrats take a majority this week, urged the IRS to look into groups involved in organizing the Jan. 6 rally that were to led to a riot on Capitol Hill.

Democrats will have control of the committees following their victories in the Georgia Senate runoff elections. There will be a 50:50 split in the Senate, but the Democrats will have a groundbreaking vote in Kamala Harris, who becomes vice president on Wednesday.

Turning Point Action, a 501 (c) (4) group affiliated with Turning Point USA brought followers to the rally. A spokesman for Turning Point Action previously told CNBC that the students got back on their buses after the rally, did not participate in the march and condemned the violence in the US Capitol.

Whitehouse has previously targeted dark money organizations, including with laws that would disclose their donors. Whitehouse, who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee that recently targeted the groups during a confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, which was eventually confirmed in the Supreme Court.

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