GOP lawmaker says IRS may have leaked Romney tax info to Reid, liberals

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said Thursday there is "reason to believe" the Internal Revenue Service gave away information about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax history in the run-up to the 2012 election.

In a speech on the floor, McClintock noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested he had information about Romney's tax records, and that former Obama administration official Austan Goolsbee suggested he had information about the tax records of two conservative activists. 

"There's now reason to believe that IRS officials leaked confidential tax information to top officials in the Obama campaign, and to liberal groups such as ProPublica and the Huffington Post, which may then have illegally published that information," McClintock said on the House floor.

"During the campaign, Austan Goolsbee and Harry Reid referenced confidential tax information from Charles and David Koch and Mitt Romney, only to back off when they were pressed for their sources," he said.

Reid claimed several times before the November election that Romney paid no taxes for the last 10 years, and that Romney was "hiding something" about his taxes. But Reid never revealed how he knew about Romney's tax returns.

Romney's staff said Reid's comments were "not true." Because Romney's campaign only released two years of tax returns during the campaign, many Republicans wondered how Reid could know anything about those returns.

In 2010, Goolsbee was Obama's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. In a press briefing in August of that year, Goolsbee accused the Koch brothers of failing to pay corporate income taxes. That accusation has many conservatives wondering this week if Goolsbee had confidential tax information.

The Koch brothers are large donors to Republicans and conservative groups.

McClintock said on the floor that the IRS scandal shows that IRS officials were guilty of telling a "deliberate and premeditated lie" when they told Congress that the IRS was not targeting groups based on politics.

Like others, he called for a full investigation of IRS activities related to applying extra scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

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