The top of the Internal Revenue Service, Charles Rettig, has asked the agency’s inspector general to research why former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were each chosen to undergo rare, invasive audits in recent times
“The IRS has referred the matter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for review,” the agency said in an announcement to The Latest York Times, adding that the IRS commissioner had “personally reached out” to the watchdog.
The request got here a day after The Latest York Times first reported that each Comey and McCabe were subjected to the intensive audits, that are alleged to be random. The newspaper noted that just 5,000 people were chosen in 2017 out of153 million returns, or about 1 in 30,600. Each men, who didn’t know the opposite had been targeted for the method until the Times informed them, raised questions on the randomness of the audits as each were seen as enemies by former President Donald Trump.
Each Trump and the IRS have denied any impropriety.
“I don’t know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and the way badly Trump desired to hurt me during that point, it made sense to attempt to figure it out,” Comey said in an announcement to the Times on Wednesday. “Possibly it’s a coincidence or perhaps someone misused the I.R.S. to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump desires to proceed to play in our country, we must always know the reply to that query.”
McCabe added to CNN on Thursday that referring the difficulty to the IRS watchdog was the “right step.”
“But let’s see if the IG moves on it after which makes their findings public,” he said.
Trump, who appointed Rettig in 2018, exerted unprecedented levels of pressure over sectors of the federal government while in office. Top Democrats pointed to his tenure within the White House as evidence of their concern, also calling for an independent investigation.
Today I’m again calling on Pres Biden to fireside trump’s IRS head Charles Rettig. IRS auditing trump’s enemies is a titanic scandal. In case you imagine this was random I actually have a bridge to sell you in North Jersey.
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@BillPascrell) July 7, 2022
“Donald Trump has no respect for the rule of law, so if he tried to subject his political enemies to additional IRS scrutiny, that may surprise nobody,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told the Times.
Republicans defended Rettig, with Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the highest Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, saying the commissioner had “stated unequivocally he has had no communication with President Trump, and the research audits are statistically generated.”
“I support investigating all allegations of political targeting,” Brady said in an announcement.
Following allegations of IRS political targeting, @RepKevinBrady:
“As we learned from the repeated targeting of conservative groups & dangerous leaking of personal tax returns under the Obama & Biden Admins, the IRS should never be used as a weapon against political opponents.” pic.twitter.com/peRFejHIFd
— Ways and Means GOP (@WaysandMeansGOP) July 7, 2022