On March 9th Matt Taibbi testified before the House Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
At the same time, he was testifying before the committee the IRS paid a visit to his house–an almost unheard-of tactic used by the agency. Usually, they use the mail.
The weaponization of Government? Not a thing, we are told. And if you disagree the IRS will remind you of that fact, forcefully and in person.
John did a write-up yesterday that lays out the facts, although I admit to being more cynical than he. I need to get a few beers or bourbons in him and straighten him out! I no longer ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by pure malice when it comes to the government!
One thing I’ve learned from previous IRS scandals is that they always have an answer. So I’m sure we’ll be hearing what that is maybe next week. Until then it’s just an odd coincidence that they decided to make a house call on the same day Taibbi was testifying before congress about the federal government’s efforts at social control. That’s probably all it is, a weird coincidence, but it does give you the chills thinking about it.
John John John. I beg to differ. It was no coincidence at all you sweet summer child.
Of Note…he was testifying at the ‘Weaponization of the Federal Government’ subcommittee…when the IRS Showed up at his house…
They aren’t even hiding their intentions anymore. https://t.co/yNmKSl2sQd
— Jason Robertson (@JRobFromMN) March 28, 2023
Democrats are denouncing the House GOP investigation into the weaponization of government, but maybe that’s because Republicans are getting somewhere. That includes new evidence that the Internal Revenue Service may be targeting a journalist who testified before the weaponization committee.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter Monday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellenseeking an explanation for why journalist Matt Taibbi received an unannounced home visit from an IRS agent. We’ve seen the letter, and both the circumstances and timing of the IRS focus on this journalist raise serious questions.
The very day Taibbi was testifying about how the government was colluding with social media companies to censor speech that government didn’t like, one of the most feared government agencies showed up at the door to a government critic.
Or not so odd. The IRS has been used quite a bit over the years to intimidate and shut down political enemies of the regime. Remember Lois Lerner? I had an experience myself during the Obama Administration where the IRS audited the nonprofit I ran based upon a “tip” that we were somehow violating the law.
We spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting with them. It was awful. And political.
Now Mr. Taibbi has told Mr. Jordan’s committee that an IRS agent showed up at his personal residence in New Jersey on March 9. That happens to be the same day Mr. Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government about what he learned about Twitter. The taxman left a note instructing Mr. Taibbi to call the IRS four days later. Mr. Taibbi was told in a call with the agent that both his 2018 and 2021 tax returns had been rejected owing to concerns over identity theft.
The IRS doesn’t even question his tax returns themselves. They owe him money, not the other way around. There is no question of illegality. And certainly, there was no reason to show up at his house instead of contacting his accountant, who files his taxes. That is how things are done. Even in the era of Lois Lerner they at least pretended to be following normal procedure.
The bigger question is when did the IRS start to dispatch agents for surprise house calls? Typically when the IRS challenges some part of a tax return, it sends a dunning letter. Or it might seek more information from the taxpayer or tax preparer. If the IRS wants to audit a return, it schedules a meeting at the agent’s office. It doesn’t drop by unannounced.
The curious timing of this visit, on the heels of the FTC demand that Twitter turn over names of journalists, raises questions about potential intimidation, and Mr. Jordan is right to want to see documents and communications relating to the Taibbi visit.
This was a power move, not a legitimate IRS tactic to clear up a bureaucratic snafu. They aren’t even trying to hide the fact. Showing up unannounced is something you do to mafia dons, not journalists. The message is very clear indeed.
If you doubt that the government is being weaponized you are not being naive, but rather looking the other way. They have us in their sights and want you to know it.