Two Televangelists Left in Financial Probe

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Two televangelists have still refused to disclose financial records to an investigation led by the Senate Finance Committee over how tax-exempt donations are used.

Sen. Charles Grassley originally sent letters to six Christian ministries on Nov. 5, requesting financial records by the following month.

After a slow response, Grassley extended the deadline to March 31. He said he did not want to resort to a "compulsory process," hinting at the use of subpoenas.

Since then, all but Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar have submitted the requested information. The probe is to determine if the ministries were funding lavish lifestyles through tax-exempt donations.

"It's good to see the majority of the ministries offering information," Grassley said in a press release. "The ministries' sharing of material with the Senate committee in charge of tax policy shows an interest in accountability for their special tax status."

Kenneth Copeland ministries said they have nothing to hide, but would prefer to turn financial records over to the IRS instead of the Senate, as a way of protecting their First Amendment rights.

Dollar contends that donations to the church belong to God and should not be evaluated by the Senate.

"As much as we would like to provide information to the senator, we simply must do everything within our power to protect our Church and its members from public scrutiny and a Congressional evaluation of the validity of our beliefs," he wrote.

Bishop Eddie Long and Paula and Randy White were the latest to agree to submit information to the Senate committee.

Senators involved in the investigation said they have offered to protect confidential information of the churches.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press, Baptist Press

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