The Spectacle Blog

What Did Arianna Huffington Know, and When Did She Know It?

By on 5.15.13 | 9:49AM

The IRS scandal involves much more than the targeting of Tea Party groups according to what the inspector general's report calls "inappropriate criteria." As Ross Kaminsky points out, the liberal investigative journalism project Pro Publica has admitted getting confidential information on conservative groups from inside the IRS.

Monday, after the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) complained of its confidential donor information being leaked, I posed the question: What did Arianna Huffington know and when did she know it?

This is not a joke; One of HuffPo's contributors, Joe Solomonese, a co-chair of the Obama re-election campaign, was directly involved in obtaining those IRS documents, which were first published at Huffington Post. Breitbart.com's Matthew Boyle reports that this information was used to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign:

At that time, Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor, was the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Solmonese was also a 2012 Obama campaign co-chairman.
Both the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and HRC described the leak as coming from a “whistleblower.” The Huffington Post used the document to write a story questioning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support for traditional marriage. The document showed Romney donated $10,000 to NOM. HRC went a step further than the Huffington Post in its criticism of Romney and accused him of using “racially divisive tactics” in a press release.
Solmonese, then still the HRC’s president, said in the release he felt Romney’s “funding of a hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable.”
“Not only has Romney signed NOM’s radical marriage pledge, now we know he’s one of the donors that NOM has been so desperate to keep secret all these years,” Solmonese added.
Solmonese resigned his position at HRC the next day and took up a position as an Obama campaign co-chair. ...
NOM announced Tuesday that it will sue the IRS for this alleged leak. Under immense political pressure, Attorney General Eric Holder launched a criminal investigation into the IRS’s actions. Congress will conduct ts own investigation.
In early April 2012, NOM published documents which it said showed this leaked confidential information did not come from a “whistleblower” but “came directly from the Internal Revenue Service and was provided to NOM’s political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).”

A crime was evidently committed -- the unauthorized release of confidential information -- and Huffington Post was apparently an active accomplice in that crime. NOM has announced its intent to sue the Internal Revenue Service, but isn't the Huffington Post, a media property for which AOL paid more than $300 million, also a fair target for litigation?

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