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History of IRS Abuse
American Communists

FBI Director Hoover receives the National Security Medal from President Dwight Eisenhower on May 27, 1955. Then-Vice President Richard Nixon and others look on. 


During the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s the FBI had free rein to access tax returns and other financial information about suspected members of the Communist Party, other “extremists” and communist sympathizers. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover regularly  provided President Truman and his aides letters labeled "Personal and Confidential" that contained political and personal intelligence on groups as diverse as the John Birch Society, the NAACP, and the liberal National Council of Churches. The program, named COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Project) was revealed in a 1976 congressional report to have had “unlimited access to tax returns: it never told the IRS why it wanted them, and IRS never attempted to find out.” 


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