IRS worker who leaked Trump tax records gets 5 years in prison

The former tax worker who leaked privileged information on thousands of wealthy people, including former president Donald Trump, was sentenced to five years behind bars.

Despite pleading guilty, Charles Edward Littlejohn was given the maximum penalty for his actions, which were “unparalleled in the IRS’s history,” according to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes ruled Monday that the defendant targeted the office of the presidency itself as she handed down a firm sentence meant to “deter others who might feel an obligation to break the law.”

Littlejohn, 38, was a contractor working with the Internal Revenue Service when he provided tax records to the New York Times and ProPublica between 2018 and 2020.

Though he claimed he felt he was “serving the public interest,” Littlejohn conceded to the court that his actions were “misguided” and stood to undermine faith in government institutions.

Littlejohn became a contactor with the intention of procuring Trump’s long-coveted tax returns, according to the Associated Press. The former president said before and after the 2016 election that he would make his tax information public but parted with that longtime presidential practice of transparency and declined to do so.

FILE - The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is seen in Washington, on March 22, 2013. Charles Edward Littlejohn, a former contractor for the IRS who pleaded guilty to leaking tax information to news outlets about former President Donald Trump and thousands of the country's wealthiest people, was sentenced to 5 years in prison Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
FILE – The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is seen in Washington, on March 22, 2013. Charles Edward Littlejohn, a former contractor for the IRS who pleaded guilty to leaking tax information to news outlets about former President Donald Trump and thousands of the country’s wealthiest people, was sentenced to 5 years in prison Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Prosecutors claimed Littlejohn devised a plan to comb through and record tax veri without drawing attention.

Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned by Justice Department officials, who said the defendant’s maximum sentence “sends a strong message” to others considering similar actions. But the dates Littlejohn had access to leaked tax records matches the dates stories about the former president hit the front pages.

Among the stories that appear to have been aided by that information was a 2020 New York Times report stating Trump paid $750 in federal income tax the year he became president after campaigning as a billionaire businessman. In previous years, the former president’s tax filings indicated he’d recorded massive losses.

Trump unsuccessfully sued the New York Times over a Pulitzer Prize winning 2018 story dealing with his tax matters and financial worth. A judge ordered the 77-year-old politician to hisse the newspaper’s nearly $400,000 meşru bill earlier this month.

With News Wire Services

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