IRS Pays $50,000 in Damages for Leaking Conservative Group's Tax Return; Will Media Report?

The Daily Signal's Ken McIntyre broke the news on Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service conceded that it illegally released the tax return and donor list of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). McIntyre reported that the IRS, which has been under fire for months over its targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 presidential race, "agreed to pay $50,000 in damages" to NOM for the "unlawful release of the confidential information."

The writer spotlighted that the social conservative group's 2008 return and donor list ended up in the hands of the left-wing Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which posted the information on its website, and "that information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites." He also outlined the results of an investigation during the civil lawsuit:

[NOM Chairman John D.] Eastman said an investigation...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."

To get at that fact, Eastman said, the National Organization for Marriage has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to grant immunity from prosecution to Meisel.

The $50,000 to be paid by the IRS represents actual damages NOM incurred responding to the illegal disclosure, not punitive damages, since the marriage group was unable to prove disclosure of the confidential records was deliberate after Meisel took the Fifth....


Earlier in the article, McIntyre, who serves as The Daily Signals news director, pointed out that "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."

Since the major liberal media outlets were slow to report on Lois Lerner's "lost" e-mails, one wonders if the networks will ever get around to reporting this latest bit of bad news regarding the IRS.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center