Former IRS Contractor Pleads Guilty to Leaking Tax Information about Trump and Wealthy Individuals

Chloe Whisperwillow

Updated Friday, October 13, 2023 at 3:34 AM CDT

Former IRS Contractor Pleads Guilty to Leaking Tax Information about Trump and Wealthy Individuals

Charles Edward Littlejohn, a former contractor for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has pleaded guilty to leaking tax information to news outlets regarding former President Donald Trump and wealthy individuals. Littlejohn was charged with stealing tax return information and providing it to two news outlets between 2018 and 2020. U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes expressed deep concern over Littlejohn's actions, stating that taking the law into one's own hands disrupts society. Littlejohn pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The final sentence will be determined by the judge, with sentencing scheduled for January 29.

Trump attorney Alina Habba objected to the plea deal and called for a lengthy sentence. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement condemning Littlejohn's actions as a violation of federal law and a betrayal of the public. Charges have also been filed against an IRS analyst named John C. Fry for leaking confidential tax information related to Donald Trump's tax returns. Fry has been charged with the unauthorized disclosure of tax information.

The leaked information is said to be related to Trump's tax returns and wealthy Americans' taxes. The charges align with stories about Trump's tax returns in The New York Times and reporting about wealthy Americans' taxes in ProPublica. The New York Times report found that Trump paid $750 in federal income tax in the year he entered the White House and no income tax in some years due to significant losses. ProPublica reported on a trove of tax-return data about the wealthiest Americans, revealing that the 25 richest people legally pay a smaller share of their income in taxes compared to ordinary workers.

The outlets responsible for the stories, The New York Times and ProPublica, have not been named in the charges. Both publications have declined to comment on the charges, and ProPublica reporters have stated that they do not know the identity of the source. The stories about Trump's tax returns and wealthy Americans' taxes have sparked calls for tax reform for the wealthy and investigations into the leaking of tax information.

The IRS has stated that any disclosure of taxpayer information is unacceptable and has tightened security measures. In other legal news, former President Donald Trump plans to return to the civil fraud trial against him and his company next week. Trump will be in New York to watch the testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump is also expected to be deposed in a case involving former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Cohen is expected to take the stand in the $250 million civil fraud case against Trump and his company, with his testimony expected to last roughly two days. Cohen has stated that Trump is "scared" and "petrified" about his testimony. Trump is expected to stay for testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday. New York Attorney General Letitia James said the probe that led to the lawsuit against Trump was sparked by Cohen's testimony to Congress, where he revealed details about Trump's business practices, including inflating and deflating his assets.

Cohen was previously sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress about Trump. Trump also faces criminal charges from the Manhattan district attorney's office related to hush-money payments, with Cohen expected to be a witness in Trump's trial. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the hush-money case and denied wrongdoing in the civil case. He is expected to testify in the civil case in the coming weeks. Trump is also scheduled to be deposed in connection with lawsuits filed by Strzok and Page, who allege wrongful termination and privacy violations, respectively, in relation to their involvement in Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The civil fraud trial against Trump and his company is ongoing, and the outcome of these trials and investigations will have implications for Trump's legal and political future.

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