Andrew McCabe, left, and James Comey.
Former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have been subjected to uncommon and rigorous IRS audits of their 2017 and 2019 returns, respectively, in keeping with letters from the IRS each males supplied to The New York Times.
Comey was knowledgeable of the audit in 2019, whereas McCabe discovered in 2021, in keeping 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 yr. Comey’s elimination led to the appointment of particular counsel Robert Mueller to guide the federal government’s investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 election.
Trump has relentlessly attacked each males over the Russia probe, and publicly known as for each to be prosecuted.
“Your federal income tax return for the year shown above was selected at random for a compliance research examination,” the IRS letters to each males and their spouses stated, in keeping with copies of the letters revealed by the Times. “We must examine randomly selected tax returns to better understand tax compliance and improve fairness of the tax system. We’ll give you the opportunity to explain any errors we may find during the examination.”
The letters stated Comey’s audit referred to a 2017 return and McCabe’s was for a 2019 return.
Typically, returns filed inside the final three years may be included in an audit, the IRS web site states.
Comey didn’t instantly return an NBC News request for remark, however he addressed the audit in a press release to the Times. “I don’t know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out,” he stated. “Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the I.R.S. to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question.”
Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, has led the IRS since 2018.
The audit reportedly discovered that Comey and his spouse had overpaid in 2017. They subsequently obtained a $347 refund, in keeping with the Times.
McCabe did not instantly reply to a request for remark from NBC News, however advised the Times that the outcomes of his audit confirmed that he and his spouse owed a small sum that the couple paid.
“The revenue agent I dealt with was professional and responsive,” McCabe stated. “Nevertheless, I have significant questions about how or why I was selected for this.”
For all returns filed for tax years 2011 by way of 2019, the IRS examined 0.55 % of particular person returns filed, the company stated in its information ebook revealed in September.
When reached for remark a spokeswoman for the IRS cited federal privateness legal guidelines, which she stated precluded the company from discussing particular taxpayer conditions.
“Audits are handled by career civil servants, and the IRS has strong safeguards in place to protect the exam process — and against politically motivated audits. It’s ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits,” spokeswoman Jodie Reynolds wrote in an e mail to NBC News. “We cannot comment on specific situations. Whenever 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 remark. The Times stated a Trump spokeswoman stated the previous president had “no knowledge” of the audits.
Comey was abruptly fired in 2017 whereas his company was trying into whether or not individuals concerned with Trump’s presidential marketing campaign had undisclosed ties to Russia. McCabe turned appearing director after Comey’s firing, solely to be terminated months later inside days of changing into eligible for full pension advantages.
Trump had ceaselessly derided the 2 officers, 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 officers had launched the Russia probe to harm him politically.
An inner Justice Department watchdog report later discovered that the Russia investigation stemmed from proof that Moscow was utilizing cutouts to achieve out to the Trump marketing campaign as a part of its efforts to affect the election.