Christopher Rizek Comments on Federal District Court Orders IRS to Improve Response to Nonprofit's FOIA Requests

Tax Notes Today
The Daily Tax Report quoted Christopher S. Rizek concerning a March 31 memorandum opinion by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia which found the IRS's response to an anti- whaling nonprofit's Freedom of Information Act request was inadequate and that the agency did not justify its decision to withhold documents sought in connection with an audit.  For the complete article, please click on the link above to view a PDF.
Excerpt taken from the article. 

Important Opinion

Christopher Rizek, a member of Caplin & Drysdale and counsel on the Sea Shepherd case, said the court's opinion is important from a FOIA perspective because "it's significant
enough that we got the court to do in camera review, deny the IRS summary judgment, and remand the case to the IRS for further review."

Speaking to Bloomberg BNA April 1, Rizek said it is also key because the court noted what he called "pretty good evidence" that the U.S. government may have encouraged the IRS to launch an audit of Sea Shepherd as a result of its negotiations with the Japanese government on the controversial question of whaling.

While the court wasn't asked to decide on that question, "If there was a potentially improper purpose for starting an audit, the public has a right to know that," Rizek said.

Sea Shepherd has maintained that in response to its campaigns against Cetacean, the Japanese government and Cetacean have targeted the conservation group diplomatically and in court.

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