The chairman of the group National Organization for Marriage, John Eastman, says he has evidence the IRS leaked his group’s donor list to their political rivals on the opposing side of the marriage debate, the pro-same-sex marriage group, the Human Rights Campaign. Fox News is reporting today that Eastman stated this at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee in Washington D.C. Eastman describes the leaking is a “felony” and demanded full investigation of it.
Speaking at the hearing, Eastman said, “This just smells and I hope the committee gets to the bottom of it.”
Eastman testified with activists from other Tea Party and conservative groups that were also targeted by the IRS during the process of applying for tax-exempt status.
The Fox News story said in addition to the issue of IRS targeting, “Eastman shed light on another potential controversy involving the IRS — the unauthorized disclosure of tax document information. He recalled how information on their donors was leaked last year and published on the website of the Human Rights Campaign, which Eastman described as their “principal political opponent” on the marriage issue. The documents showed Mitt Romney’s political committee as a donor.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked Eastman if he had proof of the leaking and he said he does have it.
Fox News reported, “Eastman explained that while some information was redacted in the posted version, his group’s “forensic” specialists were able to strip layers from the document and found “the original document that was posted there had originated from within the IRS.” He said the version had “internal IRS stamps,” which “only exist within the IRS.”
Eastman suggested the information was “deliberately” leaked to the Human Rights Campaign and added, “You can imagine our shock and disgust over this…We jealously guard our donors.”
The IRS targeting is believed to have effected more than 500 Tea Party and conservative groups and may have suppressed millions of votes in the 2012 elections, having an impact on the presidential race and several races for U.S. Senate seats, and some state ballot initiatives.