WASHINGTON—The National Organization for Marriage intends to sue the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) next week amid allegations that the government tax-collecting agency leaked confidential donor information to a key political rival.
The accusation is one of many coming to light this week against the IRS, which has admitted to targeting conservative groups for audits and denying others tax-exempt status. But John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), told me Friday that his organization’s lawsuit has been in the works since 2012.
“We asked for an investigation a year ago,” he said.
On March 30, 2012, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which advocates for the legalization of gay marriage, released confidential NOM donor lists and addresses on its website. HRC attempted to conceal the source of the information, but Eastman said computer technicians were able to see redacted portions of the PDF document, proving it had originated from the IRS.
Eastman said NOM has not determined how much it will seek in damages, but he underscored the significance of the illegal disclosure. “One of the charges for impeachment drawn up against President [Richard] Nixon was the abuse of the IRS for political purposes,” he said.