The IRS remains silent about how frequently it sends agents to people’s homes on Tuesday after journalist Matt Taibbi said he received an unannounced visit from agents at his New Jersey residence.
Taibbi is a Substack journalist who played a critical role in Twitter owner Elon Musk’s efforts to expose the social media site’s once-secret communications. The IRS visit on March 9 coincided with the day he testified before the newly GOP-created Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on what he had learned from his investigation of Twitter communications with the government.
The IRS has not responded to a series of questions from various news organizations, including how frequently agents visit people’s homes and whether the journalist’s role in “Twitter Files” had something to do with the visit.
The “Twitter Files” have provided discoveries about why and how Twitter banned former President Trump, censorship of opinions labeled as misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic, behind-the-scenes censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story, the existence of “shadowbanning,” and more.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board criticized the IRS. It noted it usually schedules a meeting at an agent’s office or sends a letter rather than making unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes.
Congressional members also have questioned the purpose of the IRS’s visit. GOP Senator Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted that it “absolutely stinks to high heaven” because the “IRS has a troubling history of targeting the political enemies of Democrats.”
Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan, House Judiciary Chairman, sent a pair of letters on Monday to attempt to get answers.
Taibbi has maintained he won’t discuss the situation at the moment. “I don’t want to comment on the IRS issue pending an answer to chairman @Jim_Jordan’s letter. I’m not worried for myself, but I did feel the Committee should be aware of the situation,” tweeted Taibbi.
“I expected them to attack us, but they were really comically inept attacks and cut off any attempt to engage in any kind of conversation about the material and really just tried to get us to…admit that Russian interference happened,” said Taibbi.
During his testimony, some Democrats were accused of pestering Taibbi to reveal his sources, including Democrat Ranking Member Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands and Representative Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Texas.
Rep. Jim Jordan sends a letter to IRS demanding an explanation
Republican Ohio Representative Jim Jordan sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding to know why the agency sent federal agents to visit Taibbi.
Jordan, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, sent the notice on Monday requesting further information on the circumstances and timing of the raid on Taibbi’s home.
According to the letter, Taibbi notified Jordan that the IRS had instructed him to call the agency four days later. He was then told that his 2018 and 2021 tax filings were being requested because of “concerns over identity theft.”
Taibbi shared his tax submission for 2018 with the Select Committee. The submission showed his filing was “electronically accepted” and that there was no problem registered with the return for “more than four-and-a-half years,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although Taibbi’s initial 2021 return was rejected twice, despite his accountant utilizing an “IRS-provided pin number,” Taibbi maintains that the issue at stake isn’t “monetary” and that the agency owes him a “considerable” amount of money.
During Taibbi’s appearance on Capitol Hill, Plaskett denounced the former Rolling Stones journalist as a threat.