John Eastman testified before the House Ways and Means Committee today on the IRS abuse of conservative groups. He is chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, which defends traditional marriage.
In his testimony today, Eastman dropped a bombshell, saying that his group has proof that the Internal Revenue Service went much farther than asking his group invasive and intimidating questions. Eastman says the IRS leaked confidential donor information to the leftwing Human Rights Campaign. Donors to conservative causes have been targeted by the left for years, and the Obama campaign specifically targeted Romney donors during the 2012 election.
The Human Rights Campaign is the National Organization for Marriage’s opposite number on the marriage issue, favoring gay marriage.
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.
This would be at least the second case of the IRS leaking confidential information from groups of the right to their opponents on the left. In mid-May, liberal Pro Publica outed the IRS for leaking nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. Those applications had not been approved by the IRS, so the information in them was not public — it was illegal to release them.
We have a pattern not just of insidious partisanship now, but of law-breaking. And we’re still less than a month into the scandal.