A former President Donald Trump tried to use the Internal Revenue Service to his advantage and repeatedly asked his chief of staff to investigate his political enemies, according to a new report.
Trump’s White House chief of staff, John Kelly, told the New York Times He was reprimanded by his boss. “get the IRS on” After being criticized by the men, James Comey, former FBI director, and Andrew McCabe his deputy.
The revelation comes after Comey and McCabe were selected for a rare and intense audit by the IRS in the years following Kelly’s departure, the newspaper reported.
Kelly, who was chief of staff from July 2017 through January 2019, said the requests were in addition to Trump’s more widely-reported attempts to use the Justice Department against his critics.
He said Trump thought he would blindly fulfill the president’s requests and be loyal to him.
“I told him we were loyal to our oath to the Constitution,” Kelly spoke to the Times.
Kelly stated that Trump did not believe this belief and continued to press others to exact revenge on his critics via their governmental powers and authorities.
“If he told you to slit someone’s throat, he thought you would go out and do it,” Kelly stated.
Trump was often determined in his desire to find those who he believes were wronged him.
“I would say, ‘It’s inappropriate, it’s illegal, it’s against their integrity and the I.R.S. knows what it’s doing and it’s not a good idea,’” Kelly claimed that he told Trump during the interview.
“Yeah, but they’re writing bad things about me,” Trump replied, according to reports.
Kelly left the White House, and Trump’s political appointee led the IRS. Both Comey & McCabe were then informed that they were being audited. McCabe received information that his 2019 returns were being reviewed in 2019. Comey was informed of his 2017 returns in 2019, and McCabe, in 2021.
Trump told the outlet that he knows nothing about the audits of Comey’s and McCabe’s taxes. Officials claim that the men were randomly selected, but the IRS has asked for an investigation by its inspector general.
Comey’s tax return was one of 5,000 tax returns selected for the invasive audit out of 153 million returns filed in 2017. McCabe was among the 8,000 selected for the audit of the 154 million, according to the Times.
Trump retains that Kelly’s allegations are false.
“It’s total fiction created by a psycho, John Kelly, who never said this before, and made it up just because he’s become so irrelevant,” Liz Harrington, Trump’s spokeswoman, said that she was speaking for the Times.
The ex-president publicly attacked Comey, McCabe and other members of his administration on a regular basis throughout his term.
Kelly stated that Trump wanted the IRS and Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton. He was also a former CIA director John Brennan. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and lead FBI agent in the Russia investigation Peter Strzok were all among those who Kelly mentioned. Lisa Page is an FBI official.
If they violate federal law, executive branch employees (including the president) are in violation “request, directly or indirectly” According to The Times, IRS audits and investigates taxpayers.
“The U.S. government, whether it’s the I.R.S. or the Justice Department, should never be weaponized or used to retaliate, and certainly not because someone criticizes you in the press or is your political opponent,” Kelly stated.