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Trump foes James Comey and Andrew McCabe were reportedly subjected to rare and rigorous IRS audits

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Andrew McCabe, left, and James Comey.

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Former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were subjected to rare and rigorous IRS audits of their 2017 and 2019 returns, respectively, in line with letters from the IRS each men provided to The Latest York Times.

Comey was informed of the audit in 2019, while McCabe learned in 2021, in line with the Times.

McCabe took the reins of the FBI in 2017 within the turbulent days after then-President Donald Trump abruptly fired Comey, and he himself was fired the following 12 months. Comey’s removal led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to steer the federal government’s investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 election.

Trump has relentlessly attacked each men over the Russia probe, and publicly called for each to be prosecuted.

“Your federal income tax return for the 12 months shown above was chosen at random for a compliance research examination,” the IRS letters to each men and their spouses said, in line with copies of the letters published by the Times. “We must examine randomly chosen tax returns to raised understand tax compliance and improve fairness of the tax system. We’ll provide you with the chance to elucidate any errors we may find throughout the examination.”

The letters said Comey’s audit referred to a 2017 return and McCabe’s was for a 2019 return.

Typically, returns filed inside the last three years might be included in an audit, the IRS website states.

Comey didn’t immediately return an NBC News request for comment, but he addressed the audit in a press release to the Times. “I do not 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,” he said. “Possibly it is a coincidence or perhaps any person misused the I.R.S. to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump desires to proceed to play in our country, we should always know the reply to that query.”

Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, has led the IRS since 2018.

The audit reportedly found that Comey and his wife had overpaid in 2017. They subsequently received a $347 refund, in line with the Times.

McCabe didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from NBC News, but told the Times that the outcomes of his audit showed that he and his wife owed a small sum that the couple paid.

“The revenue agent I handled was skilled and responsive,” McCabe said. “Nevertheless, I actually have significant questions on how or why I used to be chosen for this.”

For all returns filed for tax years 2011 through 2019, the IRS examined 0.55 percent of individual returns filed, the agency said in its data book published in September.

When reached for comment a spokeswoman for the IRS cited federal privacy laws, which she said precluded the agency from discussing specific taxpayer situations.

“Audits are handled by profession civil servants, and the IRS has strong safeguards in place to guard the exam process — and against politically motivated audits. It’s ludicrous and unfaithful to suggest that senior IRS officials by some means targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits,” spokeswoman Jodie Reynolds wrote in an email to NBC News. “We cannot comment on specific situations. Each time allegations of wrongdoing are raised on a tax matter, we routinely reach out to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for further review.”

Trump’s spokespeople didn’t return an NBC News request for comment. The Times said a Trump spokeswoman said the previous president had “no knowledge” of the audits.

Comey was abruptly fired in 2017 while his agency was looking into whether people involved with Trump’s presidential campaign had undisclosed ties to Russia. McCabe became acting director after Comey’s firing, only to be terminated months later inside days of becoming eligible for full pension advantages.

Trump had incessantly derided the 2 officials, blasting them and others for his or her investigation into election meddling and obstruction of justice within the 2016 presidential election. Trump accused each Comey and McCabe of treason and claimed the FBI and Justice Department officials had launched the Russia probe to harm him politically.

An internal Justice Department watchdog report later found that the Russia investigation stemmed from evidence that Moscow was using cutouts to succeed in out to the Trump campaign as a part of its efforts to influence the election.

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