letter writing

Torres calls for review of nonprofit status of extremist groups

Torres plans to send the letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig today

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) speaks at a press conference endorsing New York City Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang on January 14, 2021 in New York City. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) will send a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig today, asking them to review and consider suspending the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt status of several “extremist and hate groups” highlighted in a recent Anti-Defamation League report.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Jewish Insider, references several organizations identified in the ADL report as potentially “misrepresenting themselves,“ including the Oath Keepers Educational Foundation, American Phoenix Project and American Patriot Vanguard Iii Mc. — militia groups with ties to the January 6 Capitol riot — and the Sovereign American Project — a white nationalist group.

“These organizations crowd out legitimate 501(c)3 protections and fuel social discord,” Torres wrote in his letter. “Allowing this critical program to be used by bad faith actors reduces tax revenue, abuses our regulatory system, and could empower bad actors by providing them a tax advantage.”

“Domestic violent extremism is on the rise, and hate groups may be abusing tax laws to enrich themselves and amplify their hate,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “This letter from Congressman Torres is a perfect example of just the type of action we need to take clear, precise action to mitigate the extremist threat. I thank Congressman Torres for his leadership.”

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