IRS asks Treasury IG to probe ‘invasive’ FBI audits of McCabe and Comey

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig has reached out to the Treasury Department’s watchdog for answers regarding the “invasive type of random audit” the two former Federal Bureau of Investigation employees faced.

Ex-FBI Director James Comey and ex-Acting Director Andrew McCabe’s 2019 and 2021 tax returns, respectively, were selected for the same type of audit and now the IRS wants to know why. According to spokesperson  Jodie Reynolds, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has been alerted to the matter, but reinforced that it is “ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits.”

This information comes just one day after The New York Times reported that the former FBI employees were randomly selected for auditing, with the Times noting just how rare that would be.

As American Wire previously reported, “Comey was fired as FBI director in 2017 by then-President Donald J. Trump. He was informed two years later that his tax return for that year would be audited.” McCabe’s audit was a similar story, and neither were notified that they were being audited until a New York Times reporter made them aware. But as was noted, the sheer coincidence of both men being selected for this type of audit is enough to make officials at the IRS wonder if it really was as random as it was supposed to be.

“The minuscule chances of the two highest-ranking F.B.I. officials — who made some of the most politically consequential law enforcement decisions in a generation — being randomly subjected to a detailed scrub of their tax returns a few years after leaving their posts presents extraordinary questions,” read a section of the report.

In a statement, Rettig denied any involvement in the selection or auditing process, as well as being in contact with the White House.

“Commissioner Rettig is not involved in individual audits or taxpayer cases; those are handled by career civil servants. As I.R.S. commissioner, he has never been in contact with the White House — in either administration — on I.R.S. enforcement or individual taxpayer matters. He has been committed to running the I.R.S. in an impartial, unbiased manner from top to bottom.”

Pre-empting any accusations of foul-play on his part, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump also denied that he had any involvement in the matter.

“I have no knowledge of this,” he said bluntly.

The audit selection method, otherwise known as the National Research Program, is a carefully guarded secret at the IRS, so it’s unclear how much information will be released to the public once the Inspector General concludes the probe.

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