Former U.S. attorney Todd Graves files tea party lawsuit against the IRS

The Washington headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service.
The Washington headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service.

Kansas City lawyer Todd Graves, the former U.S. attorney for western Missouri, has filed suit in Cincinnati against the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of a California tea party group.

Graves’ suit was filed Monday in the district that’s home to the IRS office embroiled in a national controversy for its targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status. He said it was the first suit to be filed in connection with the much-criticized handling of applications for 501 (c)(4) status.

His client is the Northern California Tea Party Patriots, but Graves said other tea party groups interested in joining the suit have contacted him.

“We will be adding others,” he said.

The suit alleges a violation of privacy and a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of association.

“It’ll be a significant case for a while, for sure,” Graves said.