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The lead counsel for the “We The People Foundation For Constitutional Education has quit just weeks before he was to represent the group in an historic confrontation between federal government officials and leaders of the “tax-honesty movement” in Washington, D.C., WorldNetDaily has learned.

Robert Bernhoft, chief legal counsel for the foundation, told WND he is “not at liberty” to discuss the reasons for his withdrawal, but he says the hearings are “a long time coming” and he still supports the cause.

“I wish the foundation and the other interested Americans success,” he said yesterday afternoon. “The federal income tax is a slave tax. We’re a free people, we’re not slaves. There are so many constitutional violations and legal problems with the current tax as it’s imposed and collected that the tax will unwind eventually, somehow.”

“In terms of my office’s and my personal legal, constitutional and philosophical sympathies, they’re certainly still with the ‘We The People Foundation,’” he added.

Mike Bodine, a spokesman for the foundation, confirmed Bernhoft’s departure, and likewise would not elaborate on the reason for the split. He did admit, however, that there were some “personality differences.”

“It’s complicated,” he told WND, adding that the hearings “are still on.”

“We have had [the hearings] re-confirmed,” Bodine said.

When asked who would be taking over as lead counsel for the hearings scheduled Sept. 25-26, Bodine said: “I’m going to have to let Bob [Schulz] answer that.”

Schulz did not return calls before press time.

A long-time tax reform advocate, Schulz staged a hunger strike that began July 1 and ended three weeks later, in an apparently successful effort to draw attention to what he characterizes as unfair government tax practices.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Dan Bryant and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., signed a written agreement July 20 that commits the government to send their top tax and legal experts to the two-day hearing, which is to be conducted on Capitol Hill and which will be covered by WorldNetDaily.

Related stories:

Plaintiff seeks high court tax review

IRS bashes ‘frivolous’ tax arguments

Tax activists refute IRS claims

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