July 11, 2022
A top legal expert has suggested it is “no coincidence” that former FBI Director James Comey and former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—both of whom were both fired by former President Donald Trump—were selected for a rare and intensive audit by the Internal Revenue Service, reports Newsweek.
Comey and McCabe both were subjected to random tax audits in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
However, as noted by The New York Times, the odds of being selected for the audit is around one in 30,600, raising questions on the likelihood that two high-ranking FBI officials who were previously fired by Trump, and that the former wanted to prosecute, both happened to be chosen.
Responding to the news, Laurence Tribe, professor emeritus of Constitutional Law at Harvard University, dismissed the idea that both men were randomly selected and implied that Trump may have been using the IRS as a weapon against his foes.
“This kind of political targeting is a serious federal crime. No coincidence, for sure. Odds are 30,000 to 1,” Tribe tweeted.
Joe Scarborough, the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, who previously worked as an attorney, also suggested: “Did Trump use IRS to target Comey and McCabe? Looks like it.”
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, who was appointed by Trump in 2018, declined to comment. The agency later said he had no role in selecting those subjected to the intensive audit.
“As IRS commissioner, he has never been in contact with the White House — in either administration—on IRS enforcement or individual taxpayer matters,” the statement said. “He has been committed to running the IRS. in an impartial, unbiased manner from top to bottom.”
“It just defies logic to think that there wasn’t some other factor involved,” McCabe told CNN. “I think that’s a reasonable question. I think it should be investigated. People need to be able to trust the institutions of government and so that’s why there should be some… we should dig through this and find out what happened.”
In a statement, Comey added: “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.
“Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the IRS 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.”
When asked about the audits, Trump, via a spokesperson, told the Times: “I have no knowledge of this.” Trump has been contacted for further comment.
Research contact: @Newsweek