For a long time, Americans have understood that the work of their government occurs as much in secret as it does out in the open. We’ve been conditioned to this reality thanks to television and movies, both fictional and journalistic. We simply know that our elected officials are working clandestine channels and back alleys, and we’ve come to accept that this is sometimes the case.
But there are some lines that we don’t consider will be crossed, except for in the lesser-quality films on the subject, where the plot line can have as many holes as it needs.
Former FBI Director James Comey seems to insinuating something rather similar to the plot of a bad movie, believing that perhaps someone has weaponized the IRS against him.
Former FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe were both selected to undergo rare, intensive audits, which take months to complete and cost thousands of dollars in accountant fees, by the IRS under the leadership of Trump appointee Charles Rettig, which “presents extraordinary questions,” reports the New York Times. Basically, the “chances of the two highest-ranking FBI officials—who made some of the most politically consequential law enforcement decisions in a generation—being randomly subjected to a detailed scrub of their tax returns a few years after leaving their posts” are “miniscule.” In 2017, the chance of being selected for the audit was one in 30,600.
Comey had a rather speculative rebuke:
“You don’t need to be an anti-Trumper to look at this and think it’s suspicious,” says John Koskinen, IRS commissioner from 2013 to 2017. In the end, Comey and his wife, forced to pay $5,000 in accountant fees, were found to have overpaid $347 to the federal government. “Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy,” Comey says, adding the question needs to be answered given “how badly Trump wanted to hurt me” and “the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country.” McCabe and his wife were found to owe a small amount of money. “It just defies logic to think that there wasn’t some other factor involved,” he tells CNN.
The IRS Commissioner under Donald Trump has denied any wrongdoing, with the Trump White House proclaiming that they never spoke to the IRS on the subject.