My Crazy IRS Case
A House Subcommittee investigation reveals new details about my IRS case that should unnerve any journalist, or any American, for that matter
Saturday, December 24, 2022 was one of the most memorable, and most panicked, days of my life. I spent Christmas Eve last year alone, holed up in the Parc 55 hotel in San Francisco, frantically trying to put together what I thought was the most explosive of the Twitter Files reports, “Twitter and Other Government Agencies.” My wife and children were due to arrive for Christmas the next day, and I spent the morning checking and re-checking a story I knew might make people upset.
It was based on documents passed to Twitter by the FBI-led Foreign Influence Task Force. They showed the company was receiving content recommendations in bulk from an array of federal agencies through the FBI, about a range of topics — from domestic extremist groups in the U.S. to leftist activists in Venezuela to Ukraine, Joe Biden, and the energy company Burisma. Moreover, Twitter was joining Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, and perhaps two dozen other firms in attending regular FITF-led gatherings. At that “industry meeting,” companies often received an “OGA briefing,” usually about foreign policy matters. “OGA” is generally understood to be a euphemism for intelligence services in general, or the CIA in particular.
The FBI had just denounced the Twitter Files as the work of “conspiracy theorists” whose “sole purpose” was “discrediting the agency.” If earlier reports made the Bureau unhappy, what reaction would this story inspire?
Thanks to a just-published letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, we now know an IRS investigation of me opened that day, December 24, 2022.
Ostensibly the case was about my 2018 tax return, about which even the IRS doesn’t claim to have contacted me for three years before this new “assign date.” The opening of the investigation preceded a visit to my home by an IRS agent on March 9, when I testified in Congress about the Twitter Files and government censorship.
Even more unnerving are other details in Jordan’s letter:
On January 27, 2023, the IRS assigned an agent to Mr. Taibbi’s case to initiate face-to-face contact. The IRS documents reflect that the case agent performed an extensive investigation of Mr. Taibbi, using publicly available search engines and commercial investigative software such as Anywho, Consumer Affairs, LexisNexis Accruint, and Google. The IRS’s dossier about Mr. Taibbi included information such as Mr. Taibbi’s voter registration records, whether he possessed a hunting or fishing license, whether he had a concealed weapons permit, and his telephone numbers.
When the IRS checks to see if you have a carry permit and visits your home, at a time when they owe you money, it’s time to worry.