Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said late Wednesday that it was “nerve-wracking” and “scary, really, to be … targeted” after he was selected for an intensive IRS audit of a tax return. 

“There was no penalties, there was no fines or anything like that, it was really pretty minimal thing in the end. But it’s nerve-wracking, you know, it’s really, it’s really, kind of, you know — it’s scary, really, to be … targeted like that,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“I don’t know what happened here. And like I said, I think they handled the business OK, you know, the person I dealt with was fine, but the question remains, how was I selected for this?” he asked.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that both McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey had been apparently selected by the IRS to have to have specific tax returns audited.  Their involvement in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as any connections between the Trump campaign and Moscow, has been heavily has been criticized by former President Trump.

The newspaper noted that McCabe owed a small sum after the audit of his 2019 tax return was performed, while Comey received $347 back afterward.

McCabe said on CNN that the official he spoke with was “very professional and very responsive” but he suggested that the audits be investigated.

“I had no idea — I certainly didn’t know anything about Jim Comey’s situation until I was contacted by this reporter,” McCabe told CNN. “But I was immediately, you know, got in touch with the person who they said I should call and it began. It’s pretty — it’s an incredibly rigorous process.”

The IRS told The Hill in a statement on Wednesday regarding the Times’s report that federal privacy laws preclude it from “discussing specific taxpayer situations.”

“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,” the agency added. “It’s ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits.”

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