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Report: ProPublica Excluded Its Major Donors From Expose On Billionaires

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ProPublica didn’t include its largest donors in its report on how the wealthiest billionaires avoid paying large amounts of taxes for years, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.

ProPublica published an investigation June 8 showing the wealthiest Americans paid $13.6 billion in taxes between 2014 and 2018 while their wealth increased to a total of $401 billion. Billionaires paid only 3.4% of their total wealth.

The most significant donors of the publication, Laurene Powell Jobs, David Filo, and Pierre Omidyar, were missing from the report on whether they do similar tax avoidance schemes, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“Like most news organizations—maybe even yours—we don’t discuss the subjects of stories we haven’t yet published,” a spokesperson for ProPublica told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

Filo’s non-profit organization, The Yellow Chair Foundation, donated $1.8 million in 2019, Jobs’s Emerson Collective gave $4.6 million in 2018, and Democracy Fund, founded by Omidyar, gave $3 million in 2017, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

ProPublica received tens of millions from individual billionaires, the family charities of billionaires, or multibillion-dollar corporations over three years, according to Influence Watch.

ProPublica covered Filo in another project unrelated to the IRS leak.

“I would note that our first story contained information about George Soros, who is similarly situated, but about whom you didn’t ask,” ProPublica president Richard Tofel said to the Washington Free Beacon when questioned about excluding their donors in the report.

Soros is not a significant funder of ProPublica despite Tofel referencing him, and the report alleges he paid no federal income tax three years in a row, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Open Society Foundations, an organization supported by Soros, said on its site that it gave $500,000 in 2016 to ProPublica.

High-profile Republican senators called on the Justice Department and FBI to investigate the report by ProPublica. “Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law,” the senators wrote in a June 14 letter.

A division of the IRS in 2013 sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to ProPublica,

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