February 20, 2024

Leaker of Trump Tax Returns Gets Slap on Wrist From Biden Admin

 “I made my decision with the full knowledge that I would likely end up in a courtroom,” former IRS contractor Charles Littlejohn mentioned.

Littlejohn didn’t simply leak years of Donald Trump’s tax returns to The New York Times within the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. He additionally leaked the tax returns of hundreds of different rich Americans, together with different non-public monetary details about them, to a different left-leaning “news” outlet, ProPublica.

Littlejohn’s crime has been referred to because the “greatest heist in IRS history.” After all, he stole and disclosed the tax returns of about 7,600 people and 600 entities. 

But federal prosecutors alleged that Littlejohn stole and leaked tax info of about 18,000 people. The prosecutors mentioned that “the tax returns are just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Justice Department alleges that Littlejohn took his job as a contractor for the Internal Revenue Service with a watch towards leaking Trump’s tax returns and concocted an elaborate scheme to keep away from detection. He “engaged in multiple discussions, including in-person meetings” with New York Times reporters, and as one report noted, “after initially handing over the trove of tax records, he then stole more records and provided the reporters with more information.”

What did Littlejohn get for his egregious conduct?  A sweetheart plea deal from the Biden Justice Department, which is run by his appointee, Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

Despite his possible committing many felony offenses, the Justice Department agreed to cost Littlejohn with, and permit him to plead responsible to, just one rely of unauthorized disclosure of tax information.

This inconceivable charging choice has sparked widespread outrage.  

Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said that “the single-count charge DOJ brought in this case was wildly insufficient based on the defendant’s multiple thefts and disclosures.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., whose tax info was stolen and leaked by Littlejohn, said: “By only charging Mr. Littlejohn with a single crime, instead of the thousands he committed, Biden’s DOJ completely underscored the reckless partisan political abuse of our justice system under the Biden administration. By harassing prominent Republicans and embarrassing Americans, Mr. Littlejohn’s crimes were entirely aligned with the agenda of the Biden administration.”

Even the Biden-appointed federal decide tasked with sentencing Littlejohn, District Judge Ana Reyes, asked prosecutors to “[m]ake it make a little bit more sense” that he confronted just one rely regardless of all of his egregious conduct. 

 “The fact that he did what he did, and he’s facing only one felony count—I have no words for it,” Reyes mentioned.

Neither will we.

Fortunately, the decide imposed the utmost sentence of “five years in prison with three years supervised release and a $5,000 fine.”

Reyes said that though Littlejohn may need thought of himself as man for doing this, he wasn’t. His “targeting the sitting president of the United States,” she mentioned, “was an attack on our constitutional democracy.”

Of course, Littlejohn’s actions might have been anticipated as a result of of the IRS’ lax protocols and inexcusable follow of rehiring those that have violated its insurance policies. 

The Government Accountability Office studied the IRS’ follow and found that between fiscal years 2012 and 2021, the company investigated practically 1,700 cases of “alleged willful unauthorized access of tax data by employees” with violations being present in not less than 27% of these circumstances. 

The report additionally discovered that since 2017, the IRS has not met its purpose of “investigating and closing unauthorized disclosure cases in 180 days.”

More outrageously, in 2017, then-Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George discovered that the IRS rehired 200 staff “between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.” 

The Washington Free Beacon reported that one worker had a “do not rehire” be aware in his file, however “the IRS rehired the employee anyway.”

Littlejohn’s lawyer asked for leniency in sentencing, saying that he acted “out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information.”  But the very fact is, Littlejohn deliberately broke the regulation many instances over many months, affecting many individuals.

Given the gravity of his crimes and the duplicitousness and deliberateness of his actions, the Biden Justice Department definitely didn’t ship a powerful message that this sort of conduct received’t be tolerated.

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