You may have missed it since the news just came through on Friday, but House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa announced that he is officially investigating how NOM's confidential tax files were stolen from within the IRS and provided to the Human Rights Campaign. This is fantastic news... not just for NOM — but for every group targeted by the Obama administration and the IRS.
And this is especially good news for the American people who are rightfully concerned about abuse of power and political targeting by operatives inside the IRS, and the failure of the Department of Treasury and other enforcement agencies to hold those responsible to account. NOM has worked closely with Chairman Issa and the House Oversight Committee for many months to ensure they have all the information and legal authority they need, including confidentiality waivers, to compel the IRS and the Treasury Department to cooperate with the Committee's investigation.
As Chairman Issa told National Review Online last week:
These waivers allow the committee to get information the IRS is currently withholding. This information will give us a better sense of why these groups faced delays, what questions they were asked, and what sort of communications were occurring within the IRS in regards to the inappropriate delays and the apparently politically driven leak.
NOM has been whining ever since July that its tax information was leaked by the IRS to the Human Rights Campaign in 2012 and this alleged action is connected to President Obama's re-election campaign.
However, while NOM spins its conspiracy theories, its own former chairperson, Maggie Gallagher, earlier wrote that a lower level employee accidentally leaked the information.
Interestingly enough, she later backtracked and claimed that she was only guessing. But according to Equality Matters:
(Gallagher's) explanation was corroborated during the May 17 House Ways and Means Committee's hearing on the recent IRS controversy. When Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) asked Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller about NOM's accusation, Miller responded by explaining that an investigation had determined that the release of NOM's Form 990 had been "inadvertent" . . . Miller's testimony was echoed by Treasury Department Inspector General Russell George, who explained that a review of NOM's claims had been conducted but was no longer ongoing.
So basically, this "controversy" is much ado about nothing. However, with Congressman Issa's talent with wasting taxpayer money on conspiracy theories and pointless investigations (i.e. Benghazi, other investigations of the IRS), it would seem that NOM has struck gold in its attempt to create a huge blowup over this incident.
However, if you ask me, the news of a government investigation isn't exactly the sort of thing people are happy about hearing in the middle of a government shutdown, particularly if its the latest chapter of an investigation (i.e. the IRS) which has basically proven nothing.