In response to allegations that the Internal Revenue Service improperly leaked financial information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the IRS told The Daily Caller that it takes the laws requiring it to protect the confidentiality of documents submitted to it seriously.
Last week, The Huffington Post obtained financial reports filed by NOM that showed that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had donated to the organization in 2008. TheDC’s Matt Lewis first reported that NOM was alleging that it was an employee of the IRS who was responsible for leaking their financial documents to The Huffington Post, due to the presence of the “Official Use” seal on the leaked documents.
Reached by the TheDC, the IRS did not directly deny the allegations, but said that they take confidentiality requirements very seriously.
“Federal law, Internal Revenue Code 6103, protects the confidentiality of taxpayer return information,” IRS spokesman Dean Patterson emailed. “IRS takes this confidentiality of return information very seriously. Any allegations of improper disclosures of taxpayer information are investigated by the Treasury Inspector General.”
The IRS declined to address the issue of the “Official Use” seal, or to say whether the Department of the Treasury inspector general was indeed beginning an investigation.
“We are very confident that the IRS is taking this seriously, that the administration is taking this seriously,” NOM President Brian Brown told TheDC. “This is a felony to do this, and we trust that the admin will investigate.”
But, he said, they are not sitting idly by and have been approaching members of Congress about the issue.
“Frankly, a lot of people, when they first hear, it’s tough to believe — it was tough to believe for me,” he said. But, he added, after extensive research by NOM, they had concluded that there was no other way that somebody could have obtained the document with the stamp since even NOM itself did not have a copy of that.
“I have no doubt that we will have an investigation,” Brown told TheDC, and he said that he is equally certain that the investigation will end in “prosecution.”
“It is a felony,” he told TheDC, both to leak the information and for The Huffington Post and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to post the information online. HRC has since removed the documents.
“We are working with our lawyers to make sure justice is done,” he said.
“The public deserves to know,” he concluded, that regardless of ones politics, “the IRS is not going to get your personal information and give it to your political opponents to punish you.”