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American Muckrakers PAC Files IRS Complaint Against Church for Hosting Lauren Boebert, Defamation Suit Against Boebert

Lauren Boebert
Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, American Muckrakers, a political action committee based in North Carolina, filed a defamation lawsuit against Colorado congressional representative Lauren Boebert for comments she made about the PAC in an interview with Sean Hannity and in other instances. 

In that lawsuit, it was revealed that American Muckrakers founder David Wheeler has also filed a complaint to the IRS against Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt, Colorado, where Boebert delivered a now famous address wherein she expressed that she is “tired of this separation of Church and State junk.”

“The church is supposed to direct the government,” said Boebert in that address, which occurred in June, just ahead of the primary election. “The government is not supposed to direct the church.”

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In the IRS complaint against Cornerstone Christian Center, which was obtained by Aspen Times, Wheeler alleged that he had reached out to pastor Jim Tarr via email to see if he would be willing to allow Boebert’s Republican opponent in the primary race, Don Coram, to speak either before or after Boebert’s address. In Coram’s absence, Wheeler also offered to speak himself. 

While Wheeler emailed Tarr nine days prior to Boebert’s appearance at the church, Wheeler said that Tarr never replied to his email. 

The basis of the IRS complaint filed by Wheeler and American Muckrakers is that tax-exempt entities are prohibited from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” Because Boebert’s political opponents were denied a space on the church’s platform while Boebert was promoted, the complaint alleges that Cornerstone Christian Center violated the terms of their tax-exempt status. 

Also in June, American Muckrakers publicly accused Boebert of having had two abortions and previously working as an escort. Boebert denied the claims and threatened to sue American Muckrakers, though she has yet to do so. She did, however, file a protection order against Wheeler, whom Boebert claimed had “repeatedly stalked, contacted, harassed and threatened” her. The complaint was dismissed in August. 

Following American Muckrakers’ public accusations of Boebert, the Colorado Congresswoman told Sean Hannity in an interview that Wheeler had no evidence to support his claims and that he was knowingly publishing false information. She further referred to Wheeler as a “hack.”

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Boebert reportedly made similar comments to the Washington Examiner and conservative commentator Tomi Lahren.