Former President Donald Trump reportedly requested the Internal Revenue Service investigate his political foes while he was still in office, including fired FBI boss James Comey and fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, RadarOnline.com has learned.
In a development to come months after it was revealed both Comey and McCabe were selected for rare and extensive tax audits shortly after being fired from their positions within the bureau, new information suggests the audits were directly requested by then-President Trump.
That is the shocking revelation made by Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, who spoke to the New York Times this weekend and confirmed the then-president regularly pushed for both Comey, McCabe and other political foes to be investigated by the IRS.
“I would say, ‘It’s inappropriate, it’s illegal, it’s against their integrity and the IRS knows what it’s doing and it’s not a good idea,’” Kelly told Trump, according to his interview with the NYT.
“Yeah, but they’re writing bad things about me,” Trump allegedly responded.
Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017 while leading an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had any ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election, while McCabe was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March 2018 after he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation into the then-president in connection to his firing of Comey.
Because the odds of any one person being randomly selected for an IRS tax audit are around one in 30,600, questions were immediately raised regarding how both Comey and McCabe – as two of Trump’s fiercest critics – were selected to be investigated by the revenue service.
“I don’t know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out,” Comey said in a statement after another report was published by the NYT in July.
“Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy,” Comey added. “Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question.”
“It just defies logic to think that there wasn’t some other factor involved,” McCabe also said after news of the IRS audit into his and Comey’s finances first came to light earlier this year. “I think that’s a reasonable question. I think it should be investigated.”
Charles Rettig, who serves as the current head of the IRS, asked a watchdog group to investigate the decision into why both Comey and McCabe were selected for audits and whether the decision was made at the behest of then-President Trump.
“As IRS commissioner, he has never been in contact with the White House – in either administration – on IRS enforcement or individual taxpayer matters,” the service said in a statement in July regarding Rettig.
The revenue service added, “He has been committed to running the IRS in an impartial, unbiased manner from top to bottom.”