Jim Jordan to investigate DOJ plea deal for Trump tax return leaker
Did the former IRS contractor who leaked thousands of tax returns, including former President Donald Trump’s, get a sweetheart plea deal?
That’s what House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan claims, and he’s now looking into how the DOJ decided to charge Charles Littlejohn with one count of disclosing tax return information without authorization.
Between August 2019 and August 2020, Littlejohn stole the tax returns of more than 7,600 people and leaked them to the New York Times and Propublica, which used them to collectively publish more than 50 articles.
The returns belonged to some of America’s wealthiest individuals, including then President Trump, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Senator Rick Scott.
Jordan wrote in a letter to Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri:
“The Department’s decision to pursue just one charge for “thousands” of separate criminal acts is highly concerning, and we worry that the Department’s decision may be politically motivated.”
Jordan is now requesting all documents and communications related to the case, both internally at the DOJ and between DOJ and IRS employees.
The government said in its sentencing memorandum: “The scope and scale of Defendant’s unlawful disclosures appear to be unparalleled in the IRS’s history. There simply is no precedent for a case involving the disclosure of tax return and return information associated with ‘over a thousand’ individuals and entities. . . . the human impact of Defendant’s crimes is enormous.”
He received the maximum possible sentence of five years. According to Jordan’s letter, the district judge said at the sentencing hearing: “The fact that he is facing one felony count, I have no words for.”
Afterward, the Department said: “This sentence should serve as a warning to anyone who is considering emulating Mr. Littlejohn’s actions. TIGTA relentlessly investigates individuals who illicitly access and disclose taxpayer information, regardless of their personal motivation. ”
Jordan said his investigation into this plea deal is in an effort to understand what he calls: “the Department’s unusual and questionable leniency towards Mr. Littlejohn.” Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.