IRS audits: Andrew McCabe says his and James Comey’s selections should be investigated
« It just defies logic to think there was no other factor involved, » McCabe told CNN’s Laura Coates on « Don Lemon Tonight » of his allegedly random selection for the audit, which he called « incredibly rigorous » and « nerve ». – « cracking » process.
« I think it’s a reasonable question. I think it should be investigated. People need to be able to trust government institutions and that’s why there should be – we should dig into this and find out what happened, » he continued. .
McCabe told CNN he was unaware of Comey’s audit when he received notice from the IRS.
Comey told The Times that his audit, which he was briefed on in 2019 when Trump was in office, found that he and his wife overpaid their 2017 federal income taxes and that he received a refund of $347. McCabe said his 2021 audit, which looked at his 2019 return, found he and his wife owed a small amount of money for an « oversight, » which they paid for.
Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, has headed the IRS since 2018. The agency said in a statement to The Times that he had no role in selecting candidates for audits.
Trump and Comey had an equally tumultuous relationship. In a stunning move, Trump fired Comey as FBI director in May 2017, triggering the appointment of a special counsel. Trump called Comey a « liar » and a « leak » and suggested his actions were a betrayal. Comey denounced Trump as a stain on American democracy.
« I don’t know if anything inappropriate happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how much Trump wanted to hurt me during this time, it made sense to try to figure it out, » Comey said in a statement to The Times. . « Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe someone abused the IRS to go after a political enemy. Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to this question. »
The IRS denied any « politically motivated audit » in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “Federal privacy laws prevent us from discussing specific taxpayer situations. Audits are handled by career officials, and the IRS has strong safeguards in place to protect the review process — and against audits. politically motivated, » the statement said.
« It is ludicrous and false to suggest that senior IRS officials have somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits, » the tax agency added.
CNN has reached out to Trump’s representatives for comment. The former president, through a spokesperson, said in a statement to The Times, « I have no knowledge of it. »
McCabe told CNN in a statement that « although the IRS investigator I dealt with was professional and responsive at all times, I have questions about how I was selected for this audit ».
CNN’s Gabby Orr and Mary Kay Mallonee contributed to this report.