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Tipsheet

Treasury Secretary: Yeah, the IRS Visit to Taibbi's House Was Abnormal

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Testifying in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was asked about a visit made to veteran journalist Matt Taibbi's home the day he was on Capitol Hill exposing the weaponization of the federal government. 

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While Yellen acknowledged the in-person visit was unusual, she claimed to know nothing about it in advance. 

"You’re an economist, you’re a mathematician, what are the chances of that being just luck that the IRS appeared at someone’s home while he’s testifying about the weaponization of the federal government before Congress? Cause I think it’s minuscule, I think it’s one in a million or less. And you weren’t aware of that and now I told you about it, I need to ask you, as direct oversight of the IRS, does that bother you?” Republican Congressman Chris Stewart asked. 

"It’s certainly something I would want to look into. I’m not aware that IRS agents do that except as you said in cases where there’s an investigation for law breaking that’s underway," Yellen responded. 

Over at the White House, they're flat out refusing to answer questions about the situation and punting to the IRS.

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According to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, there is no issue of criminality here. In fact, the IRS owes Taibbi money. 

“The circumstances surrounding the IRS’s unannounced and unprompted visit to Mr. Taibbi’s home, at the exact time that he was testifying to Congress about ‘the most serious’ government abuse he has witnessed in his career as a journalist, are incredible," Jordan wrote in a letter to Jordan wrote in a letter to Yellen and to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel Tuesday."The IRS’s visit is all the more concerning in light of Mr. Taibbi’s assertions that the IRS informed him the problems were not ‘monetary’ and he had never received any prior indication of any issues with his 2018 return. These facts demand a careful examination by the Committee to determine whether the visit was a thinly-veiled attempt to influence or intimidate a witness before Congress."

This post has been updated with additional information. 


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