Journalist Matt Taibbi faces an IRS investigation that he believes may be linked to his reporting on a number of internal Twitter communications. The potential prosecution raises concern among conservatives while an IRS whistleblower accused the Justice Department of stonewalling an investigation into Hunter Biden.
The journalist reported on the “Twitter Files” released by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk. The internal communications indicated alleged collusion between Twitter officials and members of the Democratic Party.
Taibbi released a number of the documents on Twitter late last year.
However, the journalist received a visit from the IRS in early 2023 over the agency’s alleged concerns over identity theft.
Recently revealed information from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) indicates that the agency opened the investigation on Christmas Eve, which occurred at the same time that Taibbi released information on cooperation between federal law enforcement and social media networks.
The IRS opened a case on me on a Saturday, Christmas Eve 2022, which just happened to coincide with a major Twitter Files report on FBI/intelligence community ties to tech platforms.
This is revealed in a new letter to the IRS Commissioner by House Judiciary Chair @Jim_Jordan: pic.twitter.com/WnbouNJMdQ
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) May 24, 2023
Jordan wrote that the investigation opened “the same day that Mr. Taibbi published the ninth segment of the Twitter Files,” with this installation showing coordination between the federal government and tech companies.
According to the IRS, the agency sought information regarding Taibbi’s 2018 tax return. It claimed to send two letters to the journalist, which Taibbi and his accountant both say they did not receive.
The agency arrived at Taibbi’s home in March 2023 on the same day that he testified before Congress.
There has been no evidence of the identity fraud that allegedly started the investigation.
Taibbi told Fox News that he did not owe the IRS “any money” and that the original IRS concern was three years old.
He said that the “factors combined to make the optics of this really strange.” In fact, according to Jordan’s letter, the IRS owed the journalist a “substantial refund.”
Taibbi said that there was not “a whole lot of doubt that this was somehow politically motivated. At least it has the appearance of that.”
He said that the situation could be a “kind of retaliation or an attempt to intimidate.”
“Maybe not me,” he said, “but future reporters who would look at this kind of material.”