Politics

The IRS admits to ‘targeting’ conservative groups, but were they also ‘leaking’?

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”

Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.

“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

Recent reports indicate the IRS may have begun targeting conservative groups as early as 2010.

In a 2012 speech, Sen. Mitch McConnell noted, “The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS.”

And so, the next question may be this: If the IRS was targeting conservative groups — as they now admit to doing — were they also leaking information?

UPDATE: In December of 2012, ProPublica wrote that they had obtained the application for recognition of tax-exempt status for Crossroads GPS, filed in September of 2010.

As the ProPublica story noted:

“‘As far as we know, the Crossroads application is still pending, in which case it seems that either you obtained whatever document you have illegally, or that it has been approved,’ Jonathan Collegio, the group’s spokesman, said in an email.

 

“The IRS sent Crossroads’ application to ProPublica in response to a public-records request. The document sent to ProPublica didn’t include an official IRS recognition letter, which is typically attached to applications of nonprofits that have been recognized. The IRS is only required to give out applications of groups recognized as tax-exempt.

 

“In an email Thursday, an IRS spokeswoman said the agency had no record of an approved application for Crossroads GPS, meaning that the group’s application was still in limbo.

 

(Emphasis mine.)