WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court in Washington Tuesday approved an Internal Revenue Service summons for documents held by the public interest group Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch claimed the summons prior to an audit was politically motivated.
The group was founded as an "educational" organization in 1994 by attorney Larry Klayman, and was exempt from taxation.
Judicial Watch was extremely critical of the Clinton administration, and filed a number of suits against its officials. However, the group, along with the Sierra Club, has argued before the Supreme Court that Vice President Dick Cheney's energy policy group records should be made public. A decision in the Supreme Court case is expected shortly.
The IRS's attention was drawn to Judicial Watch in 1996 when the recipient of a fundraising letter questioned the group's non-political status.
Two investigations by the Treasury Department inspector general have found no political motivations behind the audit.