WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - On Tuesday, the last day to file taxes, the Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit against the IRS for withholding records sought by the RNC's 2013 Freedom of Information Act request.

"We're filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

"The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records. On Tax Day especially, Americans deserve to know whether they can trust the agency to which they're sending their taxes."

RNC's initial FOIA request came May 21 and sought to review documents and correspondence related to criteria used for reviewing and approving 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations.

The request followed revelations that the IRS had been targeting conservative organizations, and the RNC sought to shed light on who had ordered actions to be taken against those groups and why, according to a RNC blog post.

Throughout the past year, the IRS requested several extensions in order to complete the RNC's request, but has yet to present the information. The RNC believes the delay in producing the requested documents is unacceptable and inexcusable, given that many of these documents have been already produced to other requesting entities, the blog post states.

"If the IRS and the Obama administration don't have anything to hide, why not answer the request?" Priebus said.

"Their delays and distractions make Americans think they're trying to cover up their actions ... we're going to keep fighting to hold the IRS and Obama administration accountable because Americans deserve a government that treats them fairly and not one that harasses them because of their beliefs nor an administration that goes after its perceived political enemies."

Legal Newsline: Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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