Marriage group to sue IRS over donor leak, says list went to political enemies

October 3, 2013

The National Organization for Marriage will sue the IRS on Thursday, saying it has evidence that someone within the agency leaked the organization’s private donor list to its political enemies in 2012 but that nobody has been held responsible.

Release of confidential taxpayer information is a felony, but the organization’s leaders say the Internal Revenue Service and its internal auditor, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, have stonewalled their efforts to learn who was responsible.

“Somebody did this deliberately and it was planned, and we need to know who it was,” said Cleta Mitchell, attorney for the Act Right Legal Foundation, which is handling the case for the organization, one of the most prominent groups opposing same-sex marriage. “The IRS needs to pay. Ultimately, the IRS is responsible for the damages.”

The lawsuit is being filed as the IRS faces questions about its treatment of conservative nonprofit groups that have applied for tax-exempt status. Congress and the inspector general are investigating that matter.

The inspector general also investigated the leak of the National Organization for Marriage’s donor list, but apparently closed the case without publicly identifying who was responsible.

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