IRS Asks Treasury Watchdog to Probe Comey, McCabe Tax Audits

FILE - Former FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The IRS commissioner has asked the Treasury Department’s internal watchdog to immediately review the circumstances surrounding intensive tax audits that targeted ex-FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, frequent targets of Donald Trump’s ire during his presidency.

IRS spokesperson Jodie Reynolds said Thursday the agency has officially referred the matter to the inspector general for tax administration after Commissioner Charles Rettig, who was nominated to the job by Trump and is a close ally of the former president, personally reached out.

Reynolds insisted it is “ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals” for such audits.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the former FBI leaders were subjected to rare IRS audits of their tax returns. The newspaper said Comey was informed of the audit in 2019 and McCabe learned he was under scrutiny in 2021. Rettig, who term is set to expire in November, faced blistering criticism from Democrats for helping to shield Trump’s tax returns from the public.

Trump repeatedly attacked Comey and McCabe over the FBI’s Russia investigation that shadowed his presidency for years. Trump fired Comey in 2017 in the midst of that investigation, which ultimately was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, named to that job by Trump’s Justice Department.

The FBI inquiry began in the summer of 2016, months before Trump was elected. The bureau had learned that a former Trump campaign aide had been saying, before it was publicly known, that Russia had dirt on Trump’s Democratic rival for the White House, Hillary Clinton, in the form of stolen emails.

Those emails were hacked from Democratic email accounts by Russian intelligence. They were released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks before the election in what U.S. officials have said was an effort to harm Clinton’s campaign and help Trump’s. Trump repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

A 2019 review by the Justice Department’s inspector general knocked down multiple lines of attack against the Russia investigation, finding that officials properly opened the inquiry and that law enforcement leaders were not motivated by political bias. The watchdog did identify a number of problems in the investigation, leading the FBI to take steps aimed at fixing some fundamental operations, such as applying for surveillance warrants and interacting with confidential sources.

McCabe was fired in March 2018 after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded he had authorized the release of information to a newspaper reporter and then misled internal investigators about his role in the leak. The termination by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general at the time, came hours before McCabe was due to retire.

McCabe won back his full pension as part of a settlement of his lawsuit arising from his firing. The settlement agreement vacated that decision, expunged from his personnel folder references to the firing and entitled McCabe, who joined the FBI in 1996, to his full pension.

McCabe and Comey were not immediately available for comment Thursday.



  1. A 2019 review by the Justice Department’s inspector general knocked down multiple lines of attack against the Russia investigation, finding that officials properly opened the inquiry and that law enforcement leaders were not motivated by political bias

    What an obvious pack of lies. The evidence at the Sussman trial made it very clear that the FBI knowingly and deliberately colluded with the Clinton campaign to try to influence the 2016 election, and then to undermine the Trump administration. Sussman got off mostly because the evidence showed that he didn’t really mislead the FBI; the lies he told them were what they wanted to hear, and they always knew that they were lies, but it gave them the excuse they needed so they pretended to believe them.

    Of course the idea that the IRS would conduct audits to help Trump is ludicrous. That only ever happens in Democrat administrations. They did it for Clinton, they did it for 0bama. Every enemy of Clinton and 0bama was audited. Conservative not-for-profits were denied tax status. The IRS person in charge of this had dozens of meetings at the White House to coordinate this harassment campaign.

    But during Republican administrations if the White House should so much as suggest an audit of one of its enemies, not only would the IRS refuse, but it would immediately be all over the news.

    This goes back a long time. JFK and LBJ shamelessly and routinely used the IRS against their enemies, but when Nixon asked for the same thing the IRS refused and immediately told the Democrats about it, and it became one of the articles of impeachment against him.

  2. So they can target the President, His family, News people like James Rosen & Sharyl Attkisson & other people but don’t like it when they are targeted. Man was trump right calling it the swamp. Dirtbag no good SOB’s.