Another James O'Keefe NPR Video: Keeping Donations Secret

James O'Keefe and Project Veritas have followed up on the video that got NPR's chief executive, Vivian Schiller, fired. O'Keefe released his second undercover NPR video today.

This one reproduces a phone conversation in which NPR Senior Director of Institutional Giving Betsy Liley discussing how donations can be concealed, with one of the undercover videographers posing as a member of a Muslim group funded by the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We would certainly, if that was your interest, want to shield you from that," Liley tells the Muslim-group-poser when he asks if his group can keep their proposed $5 million donation secret, and avoid letting the federal government find out about it if NPR's books are audited.

Liley suggests that the group can keep its donation secret by giving anonymously.

"It sounded like you were saying that NPR would be able to shield us from a government audit--is that correct?" asks the undercover videographer.

"I think that is the case, especially if you were anonymous, and I can inquire about that," Liley tells him.




Here's why this video probably won't be as explosive as the first one: Nonprofit groups, including political advocacy groups who file as nonprofits with the IRS, often don't disclose their donors. This is a standard practice, and, if a group isn't required to publicly share the names of its donors, it typically won't, even though it will supply those names to the IRS on tax forms. This is seen with 501(c)4 political groups, on both the left and right.

Liley does not suggest NPR can shield the fictitious group from all federal scrutiny; rather, she suggests the donation can be kept secret from federal auditors, if the government examines NPR's books. The video does not speak as directly to NPR-funding politics, as the first one did.

Here's why it might be a little bit explosive: At the time of these phone conversations, Liley would have known that the group is funded by the Muslim Brotherhood. The undercover videographers disclosed that at the previous (videotaped) lunch meeting. Insofar as it's controversial to discuss taking donations from such a group, Liley is doing something controversial. NPR, however, has said it repeatedly refused the $5 million donation, even though it was offered with "no strings attached."

O'Keefe's website says there's more to come...

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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