Conservatives Blast IRS Over Ruling to Pay $50K to Marriage Group

Friday, 27 Jun 2014 09:15 AM

By Todd Beamon

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House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp has blasted Eric Holder's Department of Justice for declining to pursue a case against the IRS after a judge ruled the agency illegally exposed a non-profit's donor list and ordered $50,000 in damages.

The Michigan Republican, who has been calling for a special prosecutor to be assigned to investigate the IRS, said it was clear that Attorney General Holder could not be trusted to adequately investigate the IRS targeting scandal.

"While the administration prefers to sweep this under the rug, it is time that the American people have a special prosecutor into this matter so the full truth can come out," Camp said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the judge ordered the IRS to pay $50,000 to the National Organization for Marriage over the leaking two years ago of its confidential tax documents to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group that is a political rival.

"Congress made the disclosure of confidential tax return information a serious matter for a reason," John Eastman, NOM's chairman, told The Daily Signal. "We're delighted that the IRS has now been held accountable for the illegal disclosure of our list of major donors from our tax return."

Others who blasted the DOJ included The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins who suggested Holder is refusing do his job and launch a criminal investigation against the IRS employee responsible. In a blog in The Patriot Post, Perkins quotes radio personality Rick Moran who also slammed the administration:

"So the gay activist who conspired with an IRS employee to deliberately try and damage the reputation of a nonprofit group refuses to divulge the name of his co-conspirator and the donors to NOM are open to all kinds of personal and professional pressure to toe the pro-gay marriage line or suffer the consequences," said Perkins.

"Just another day in Obama's America."

The settlement, which also included an IRS admission of guilt, stemmed from a lawsuit NOM filed last year in federal district court against the agency.

The IRS was represented by the Justice Department. The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge James Cacheris. The agency declined to comment on the action.

In 2012, the HRC published confidential tax documents listing NOM's donors in 2008.
NOM, founded in 2007 and based in Princeton, N.J., supports traditional marriage. HRC, the Washington-based group founded in 1980, backs same-sex marriage.

NOM's 2008 donors included former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who later became the Republican presidential nominee. The Huffington Post and other mainstream, liberal news organizations republished the list, the Daily Signal reports.

That month, Joe Solmonese quit as the HRC's president to work on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign as national co-chairman. He then attacked Romney for backing NOM's efforts — charging that he helped finance "a hate-filled campaign."

An investigation that led to the lawsuit discovered that the confidential data had been given to Matthew Meisel, a Boston gay-rights activist. Documents presented showed emails between Meisel and an IRS colleague, the Daily Signal reports.

Meisel invoked his Fifth Amendment rights at a deposition hearing in the case and declined to identify his IRS source.

Justice has said it will neither pursue prosecution of nor offer immunity to Meisel, the Daily Signal reported.

The agency said the release was an inadvertent mistake because employees did not redact the confidential data. But the Meisel emails showed that he claimed to know a "conduit" within the agency, Eastman said.

He said the organization was considering whether to take any further action in the case.

"We urge other groups that have suffered similar problems with the IRS to keep pressing until they, too, are fully vindicated," Eastman told the Daily Signal.

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