Tuesday, June 24, 2014

IRS Admits Felony, Gets Wrist Slapped

IRS Admits Wrongdoing, to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group’s Tax Return
The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival.

“Congress made the disclosure of confidential tax return information a serious matter for a reason,” NOM Chairman John D. Eastman 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.”
Doug Shulman, former IRS Commissioner
The $50,000, determined to be NOM legal costs and not punitive damages, should be taken out of the former Commissioner of the IRS's pension for permitting such shenanigans.
In February 2012, the Human Rights Campaign posted on its web site NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of the marriage group’s major donors, including soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites.

HRC’s president at the time, Joe Solmonese, was tapped that same month as a national co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Eastman said an investigation in the civil lawsuit determined that someone gave NOM’s tax return and list of major donors to Boston-based gay rights activist Matthew Meisel. Email correspondence from Meisel revealed that he told a colleague of “a conduit” to obtain the marriage group’s confidential information.

Testifying under oath in a deposition as part of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Meisel invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and declined to disclose the identity of his “conduit.”
So the investigation is shut down for lack of information, again.  Somehow, I'll bet those e-mails are lost too. The NOM has requested that Meisel be offered immunity and forced to reveal his IRS source, but Eric Holder would have to agree to that, so that's almost certainly a no starter.
Unauthorized disclosure of confidential tax information is a felony offense that can result in five years in prison, but the Department of Justice did not bring criminal charges.
Hey, remember when even trying to use the IRS as a political weapon against your enemies was worth a mention in articles of impeachment?  Good times!

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