The Conversation

National Organization for Marriage Representative: We Have Smoking Gun Proof the IRS Leaked our Confidential Donor Information to our Chief Political Rival, the Pro-Gay Marriage Human Rights Campaign

This is nothing like Watergate.  Watergate involved a politically-motivated crime which grew out of an Animal House-like hyperpartisan atmosphere in the White House, nurtured by an extremely thin-skinned President who could not abide criticism, demonized his opponents, and had employed Dirty Tricks throughout his political career, and then involved a cover-up, stonewalling, and perjury by high officials.

So, as you can see, this is nothing like that at all.  This is completely different.

Whatever you do, don't overreach. Because "overreaching" would be the real crime here.

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.

Asked by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., if he had "proof" that the IRS leaked that material, Eastman said that he did.

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 added: "You can imagine our shock and disgust over this. ... We jealously guard our donors."

He later alleged the information was "deliberately" provided to their opponents.

"If that's inadvertent, the word no longer means anything," he said, claiming his group has been "stonewalled" in its request for an investigation.

Let me observe something obvious: An organization that has nothing to hide -- an organization which really has been betrayed by a few rogue low-level frontline employees -- does not need to stonewall on an investigation.

If someone's betrayed you and made you look bad, you want to find them and fire them and maybe prosecute them.

When someone refuses to find the culprits, that's is strong evidence that the lawbreaking goes pretty far up the chain.

 

Corrected:  I erroneously wrote the recipient of the leak was "Human Rights Watch." It's actually the Human Rights Campaign.

 

 


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