The Department of Justice on Friday charged an IRS consultant for allegedly leaking tax information to media outlets.
Charles Edward Littlejohn was charged with one count of disclosing information from a tax return for an unidentified government official to an unspecified news organization, according to a court document. Littlejohn also allegedly was responsible for passing on returns from wealthy individuals to another unidentified news organization, the Justice Department said in a release.
The New York Times obtained ten years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and published an article based on those returns in 2019. In 2017, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow also received some of Trump’s tax returns.
ProPublica received and published tax information on some of the wealthiest people in America in 2021, eight years after a similar leak to that outlet of tax data from multiple conservative organizations occurred.
“A corrupt IRS official stole the tax returns of a ‘high-ranking government official’ (presumably Donald Trump) and stole the returns of “thousands of the nation’s wealthiest individuals” and leaked it all to two media organizations (presumably NYT and ProPublica),” Sean Davis, founder of The Federalist, posted on Twitter. “DOJ is charging him with a single count of unauthorized disclosure of tax return information. One count. For stealing and leaking thousands of returns, and potentially those of a U.S. president. And DOJ is charging him with one count.”
The agency came under fire for targeting the Tea Party and other political opponents of former President Barack Obama during his first term in office. Lois Lerner, a central figure in the scandal, avoided criminal charges for her alleged role in the scandal.
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