An IRS agent made an unannounced visit to journalist Matt Taibbi’s home earlier this month on the same day that he testified before a congressional committee that is investigating the weaponization of the government.
According to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), the IRS left a note at Taibbi’s residence directing him to contact the agency. When Taibbi called, the IRS notified him that “his electronic 2018 and 2021 tax return filings had been rejected due to concerns of identity theft.”
“According to Mr. Taibbi, the IRS notified his accountant that the IRS had accepted his 2018 filing, and in the four-and-a-half years since then, the IRS has never notified Mr. Taibbi or his accountant of any issue with this return—until the day he was testifying before Congress,” Jordan wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“With respect to his 2021 return, the IRS rejected Mr. Taibbi’s electronic filing twice, even after his accountant filed with an IRS-provided pin number,” Jordan continued. “In both cases, the IRS informed Mr. Taibbi after the agency visited his home that the problems were not ‘monetary’; in fact, the IRS apparently owed Mr. Taibbi a ‘considerable’ tax return.”
Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government of the House Judiciary Committee largely due to his extensive reporting on the Twitter Files, which exposed how the government works with private companies to censor Americans’ speech.
In the wake of the alarming IRS visit, Jordan sent a letter to Werfel and Yellen demanding an explanation no later than 5 p.m. April 10.
“The Committee recently learned that during this hearing, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent visited, unannounced and unprompted, the home of one of the hearing witnesses, Matthew Taibbi, an independent journalist who has reported extensively on government abuse,” Jordan’s letter stated.
“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,” he added. “We expect your full cooperation with our inquiry.”
The IRS visit to Taibbi is a chilling reminder of how the agency was used to target specific Americans in the past. During former President Barack Obama’s administration, the IRS targeted nearly 300 conservative organizations, blocking them from obtaining tax-exempt status. The IRS also conducted far more audits on conservative nonprofits than other groups.
President Joe Biden was vice president at the time.