Refuting Mr. Trump’s claim that he had used both the Justice Department (F.B.I.) Kelly claimed that Mr. DeSantis was not granted any assistance by Kelly when he faced a recount in 2018. Kelly claimed that Trump was becoming more disillusioned with DeSantis during the recount. That fall, Mr. DeSantis had distanced himself from Mr. Trump’s public claim that Democrats inflated the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.

“He was insufficiently impressed with DeSantis’s loyalty to him,” Kelly stated.

Trump never denied that he believed he could use his government power for his political ends. Trump frequently said in public that the Justice Department should investigate the enemies of his and that ex-intelligence officials should not be allowed to have clearances. Congressional and Justice Department investigations, news media accounts and books relating to the Trump presidency also show that Trump tried behind closed doors the Justice Department’s power against his enemies.

Much less is known about his attempt to weaponize I.R.S.

Trump knew the I.R.S. Trump was well-versed in the I.R.S.’s auditing system. He fought a decade-long battle with the agency over the legitimacy and receipt of $72.9 million in tax refunds. This was after declaring large losses. (The audit’s current status is not known.

It is against federal law for executive branch employees — including the president, the vice president or any other White House official — “to request, directly or indirectly” Any member of the Internal Revenue Service can conduct an audit or investigation on any taxpayer.

The Times reported that the I.R.S. was in operation between 2019 and 2021. was being led by Mr. Trump’s appointee, Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe were subjected to the same type of rare audit that is so invasive it is known among tax lawyers as “an autopsy without the benefit of death.”

I.R.S. Officials at I.R.S. insist that the men were randomly selected for the audit, and that there was no political motivation behind their selection. Only 5,000 tax returns were chosen for the audit out of the 153,000,000 returns that were filed in the year Mr. Comey was audited. For the year Mr. McCabe’s audit, 154 million returns were filed. 8000 of these tax returns were selected for the audit.

Kelly claimed that Trump was particularly special. “obsessed” with Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill, who had run for Virginia’s state assembly around the time the F.B.I. was investigating Mrs. Clinton’s use of a personal email account. Trump has repeated the false claim that Ms. McCabe (a Democrat) received money from the Clintons.