A secretive conservative group that helped Sen. Orrin Hatch win re-election in 2012 is suing the Internal Revenue Service, claiming government bureaucrats targeted it based on its political views.
Freedom Path wants the IRS to pay for any damages. It also wants a federal judge to strike down rules the agency uses to decide if an advertisement is advocating a public policy goal or helping a political candidate.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Dallas, focuses on tax documents that Freedom Path believes the IRS leaked to the online investigative reporting website ProPublica. Those documents were used in a series of stories, including in The Salt Lake Tribune, that explored how social welfare groups, such as Freedom Path, use their tax-exempt status to hide their donors as they seek to help candidates. Freedom Path said those articles resulted in bad publicity.