Intimidation? IRS agent visited journalist after he testified on censorship, Jim Jordan reveals
While Taibbi was away from his New Jersey home, an IRS agent left a note asking that he contact the agency.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanded on Monday that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS account for an incident that he considers possible witness intimidation in which an IRS agent visited the home of alternative journalist Matt Taibbi.
"In light of the hostile reaction to Mr. Taibbi’s reporting among left-wing activists, and the IRS’s history as a tool of government abuse,
the IRS’s action could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate a witness before Congress," Jordan wrote to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on March 9, during which he addressed evidence that the federal government actively pressured Big Tech companies to censor user content. The alternative journalist ranks among the select few to whom Twitter CEO Elon Musk gave access to the platform's internal records.
He has subsequently released his findings as part of the "Twitter Files" series and has largely pointed to communications between federal officials and social media executives in which the former flagged posts they considered objectionable for removal by the platform.
While Taibbi was away from his New Jersey home, however, an IRS agent left a note asking that he contact the agency. Jordan recounts the episode in which the IRS claims it had rejected Taibbi's 2018 and 2021 tax filings due to identity theft concerns, years after the fact. Taibbi contends that he never received any concerns from the IRS until the day he testified.
"The circumstances surrounding the IRS’s unannounced and unprompted visit to Mr. Taibbi’s home, at the exact time that he was testifying to Congress about 'the most serious' government abuse he has witnessed in his career as a journalist, are incredible," Jordan wrote. "The IRS’s visit is all the more concerning in light of Mr. Taibbi’s assertions that the IRS informed him the problems were not 'monetary' and he had never received any prior indication of any issues with his 2018 return."
Jordan has demanded that the Treasury and IRS hand over all documents surrounding the IRS field visit to Taibbi's house and any communications or documents involving him in general.
This suggestion of witness intimidation by a federal agency comes as Jordan and other House Republicans ramp up their investigations into the federal government's alleged misuse of power for political purposes.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.
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