Press

PRESS
September 15, 2015

CREW Calls on IRS to Investigate Center for Medical Progress

Washington, DC - Following the public admission by the founders of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that the organization was designed from the beginning to infiltrate Planned Parenthood, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed a supplement to its complaint with the IRS alleging that CMP knowingly misled the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status.  At the same time the organization was working working on undercover videos, CMP presented a false and very different account of themselves to the IRS, leading them to be classified as a biomedical research organization. 

In a recent interview with Fox News, CMP co-founder and board member Troy Newman said the organizations was founded after “discussing all the various techniques that [co-founder David Daleiden] would have to use in order to infiltrate Planned Parenthood.”  Of their attempt to hide their true motives, Newman admitted that CMP is “one of these vague-sounding names, but it could mean many things.”  While CMP leaders were forthcoming with Fox News about their purpose and activities, they told the IRS in their application instead that they were developing educational materials about “medical advances, such as stem cell research, and other bioethical issues.”

“We knew the people behind the Center for Medical Progress had taken deliberate steps to hide their true goals from Planned Parenthood,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.  “Now we know that they also were working to mislead the IRS.  Nothing in their IRS forms hint at their sole focus: infiltrating Planned Parenthood.”

In an even more deliberate falsehood, the website CMP supplied to the IRS existed only to hide their true actions.  During the period the organization was under review by the IRS, CMP added no less than 19 posts on regenerative medicine and therapies, with titles such as “‘Transdifferentiation’: Bone Marrow to Neural Progenitor,” which discussed a scientific discovery that was “noteworthy not only because it is a stunning application of direct lineage conversion, but also because it was achieved through the introduction of just one trigger.”  While filling CMP’s website with posts like this, Daleiden and Newman were in fact already working on their undercover videos.

On its tax exempt application, the Center represented that it would not attempt to influence legislation.  However, if someone from the IRS were to go to their website today, they would be encouraged to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to vote to defund Planned Parenthood—which would require legislation—something Daleiden has similarly advocated in media appearances.

“Their own clear statements on Fox News suggest violations of both federal tax law and criminal law,” Bookbinder said.  “The IRS should conduct a thorough investigation.”

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or jlibowitz@citizensforethics.org.

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