Jul 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

IRS asks for probe into James Comey and Andrew McCabe tax audits

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks at Harvard Kennedy School with Harvard's Eric Rosenbach on February 24, 2020.

Former FBI director James Comey speaks at Harvard Kennedy School on Feb. 24, 2020. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday that it asked the Department of Treasury's Inspector General to investigate the tax audits of former FBI director James Comey and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, AP reports.

Why it matters: The probe comes after the New York Times reported on Wednesday that both Comey and McCabe faced invasive IRS audits, which are rare and the agency says are random.

Driving the news: McCabe, a fierce critic of former President Trump, told CNN that "referring it to the IG is the right step, but let's see if the IG moves on it and then makes their findings public."

  • IRS spokesperson Jodie Reynolds maintained Thursday that the audits were random.
  • "[It is] ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits," Reynolds said, per AP.

The big picture: Out of nearly 153 million individual returns filed for 2017, the IRS targeted about 5,000 for audits, or roughly one out of 30,600, underscoring the unlikely nature that both Comey and McCabe would be selected, the Times notes.

Catch up quick: Trump fired Comey in 2017, saying he'd lost confidence in his ability to manage the bureau.

  • Both men faced fierce criticism from the former president over the FBI's investigation into Russia and the 2016 election.

Go deeper... DOJ inspector general releases report on James Comey investigation

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