- Media Matters, a nonprofit organization, is prohibited from directly participating in any political campaign
- Media Matters violated this prohibition when they leaked Donald Trump’s convention speech to the Clinton Campaign on July 21st
- Per IRS regulations, the penalty for a nonprofit participating in a political campaign is the revocation of the nonprofit’s tax-exempt status
On July 21st, just hours before Donald Trump’s convention speech, it was widely reported that Correct the Record Super PAC obtained and distributed Trump’s planned remarks.
A new email discovered in DC Leaks database reveals that Correct the Record wasn’t alone in distributing the leaked documents.
Shortly afterward, at 4:44 PM, Christina Reynolds forwarded Trump’s remarks to a distribution list containing a large list of Clinton Campaign operatives, eventually working its way to Huma Abedin.
This email can be downloaded directly from the DC Leaks database using this link.
If Correct the Record obtained the leaked documents, How did Media Matters get ahold of them?
Simple: Correct the Record shares office space with Media Matters.
The timing is Critical
Politico reported on July 21st that Trump’s leaked transcript began circulating in political and journalism circles soon after 5 PM. But Media Matters provided the transcripts to the Clinton Campaign sometime before 4:44 PM.
This proves that Media Matters provided the documents to Clinton’s Campaign before notifying the press. By providing advance notification, Media Matters provided Clinton with a clear strategic timing advantage.
Why does this matter?
The fact that it was Bradley Beychok of Media Matters who provided Trump’s leaked transcript to the Clinton Campaign is a subtle yet incredibly significant revelation.
Media Matters is a nonprofit, section 501(c)3 organization. IRS regulations state that, “all section 501(c)3 organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly participating in any political campaign.” The IRS states that violations, “may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”
Media Matters directly participated in Clinton’s political campaign when they forwarded Trump’s leaked transcript to her Deputy Communications Director – a clear violation of the prohibition put in place by the IRS. If that’s not enough, take into account the timing. Media Matters provided the document to the Clinton Campaign before disbursing it to the press, granting them a clear strategic advantage.
Despite everything that’s come out about Media Matters over the past couple years, this could be the straw that breaks the camels back.
Enough is enough – Media Matters directly participated in a political campaign. They no longer deserve to be recognized as a tax-exempt organization. At the very least, they should be held liable for back taxes for all of 2016.
Want to help? Please sign our petition to the Department of Justice to Audit Media Matters.