An Internal Revenue Service official is reportedly claiming in a whistleblower complaint that a Trump administration political appointee tried to interfere with an audit of President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence’s tax returns.
The Washington Post reported that the whistleblower spoke with the paper, confirming he had filed the complaint with Congress’ tax committees as well as the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration.
“I brought my concerns to my supervisors, who advised me to report the matter to the appropriate people with investigatory authority,” he told The Post.
“I steadfastly refuse to discuss the substance or details of the complaint, but I have some legitimate concerns about reckless statements being made about whistleblowers,” the whistleblower added.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts received the whistleblower’s complaint in July.
In court filings this summer, the Democratic lawmaker said the complaint contains credible evidence about “potential ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program,” claiming it raises “serious and urgent concerns,” according to The Post.
The news outlet said two administration officials, on a condition of anonymity, described the IRS complaint as hearsay and suggested it is politically motivated.
“Trump administration officials dismissed the whistleblower’s complaint as flimsy because it is based on conversations with other government officials,” according to The Post.
The Hill reported the Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit earlier this year to obtain six years of Trump’s federal tax returns, arguing it wants to view the documents because it is considering legislative proposals to address how the IRS conducts audits of presidents.
“The IRS’s internal policies require mandatory audits of the president and vice president’s tax returns, but this policy isn’t codified into law,” according to The Hill.
Bloomberg reported last week that Neal is consulting with House legal counsel regarding whether he can make the whistleblower complaint public.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, responded to the whistleblower complaint with skepticism.
“So the same bureaucrats who targeted Tea Party groups now have a gripe with President Trump? Shocking,” he tweeted.
“Here we go again,” Jordan continued. “Another so-called ‘whistleblower’ without firsthand information.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton sees the whistleblower as “deep state” actor.
“Another criminal leak — this time by IRS Deep State/Dems victimizing @RealDonaldTrump. The coup continues,” Fitton tweeted.
Reporting on the IRS complaint comes as Trump has been fending off Democratic calls for his impeachment after a separate whistleblower claimed the president sought to leverage military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the country investigating alleged wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Trump tweeted on Friday, “As President I have an obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries.”
As President I have an obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries. It is done all the time. This has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens. This does have to do with their corruption!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2019
He continued, “It is done all the time. This has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens. This does have to do with their corruption!”
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