Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and five other New York House Republicans have demanded the Justice Department launch an investigation into state Attorney General Letitia James after Nikki Haley accused her office of leaking a list of donors to her not-for-profit political group to the media, according to a report.
Haley, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, alleged in August that James’ office had leaked an unredacted copy of Stand For America’s tax returns that was obtained by a watchdog group called Documented.
The list, bearing a stamp from James’ office, was shared with the news outlet Politico.
“The release of Stand For America’s donor records is extremely concerning,” Malliotakis told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Not only does it jeopardize protections non-profits are afforded under federal law, but it also sets a dangerous precedent of political weaponization by a state Attorney General.”
“This leak warrants an immediate investigation by the Department of Justice,” added Malliotakis, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
The Republicans wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland to share their ”distinct concern” of the “potential illegal delivery, receipt, and publication of” private donor information that is by law confidential.
“As reported by Politico’s Alex Isenstadt on August 26, 2022, a political watchdog organization called Documented ‘obtained an unredacted copy of Stand For America’s 2019 filings, which it then shared with Politico,’” the sextet say in the letter, obtained by Fox News Digital.
“‘The group did not share the original source of the filing, but it bears a stamp from the charity office of the New York State Attorney General,’” the letter says.
“It is imperative that the DOJ evaluate and ascertain whether protections extended to organizations such as SFA were violated with political motivation to mitigate potential erosions of the rights to free speech afforded under the First Amendment,” the lawmakers continued.
“Willful disclosure” of the “schedule of contributors” IRS forms to unauthorized persons “is considered a felonious offense punishable by fine, imprisonment,” or both, the letter says.
“As the [state attorney general’s office] would normally be tasked with the investigation of such a matter and the office’s potential involvement in this troubling situation, the DOJ must conduct an immediate investigation to avoid any impartiality and ensure equal justice is afforded to SFA and any other nonprofit organization that may be impacted by similar matters in the future,” it says.
In addition to Malliotakis, the five other signees include Reps. Elise Stefanik, John Katko, Andrew Garbarino, Claudia Tenney and Chris Jacobs.
James’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.