(Ken Silva, Headline USA) House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, revealed in a letter Wednesday that the IRS opened an investigation into acclaimed journalist Matt Taibbi last Christmas Eve—the same day Taibbi published a bombshell story about the incestuous relationship between the FBI and social media companies.
This news follows another strange coincidence, where an IRS agent visited Taibbi’s home the same day he was testifying to the House Weaponization Subcommittee about his reporting on the Twitter Files, which are a trove of internal documents about the social media company’s censorship decisions.
Taibbi didn’t owe the IRS taxes, and in fact was due a refund, according to him and Jordan.
Nevertheless, the IRS conducted an extensive probe of Taibbi, checking to see if he had a concealed-carry permit, checking his voting registration records and running his name through numerous databases.
Jordan discovered this after demanding information from the IRS about its visit to Taibbi’s home. This new information raises more questions than it answers, Jordan said.
“The circumstances of the IRS’s visit to Mr. Taibbi’s home as he was testifying before Congress about government abuse and censorship raise troubling questions that demand additional information,” he said in his Wednesday letter.
Jordan asked the IRS for all documents relating to its decision to investigate Taibbi, its decision to visit his home and all documents related to the Twitter Files. In addition, he requested a transcribed interview with the IRS agent who visited Taibbi’s home.
Taibbi and Jordan both think the IRS’s visit to the reporter’s home was retaliatory.
“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,” Taibbi said.
Publications such as the Wall Street Journal agreed with Jordan and Taibbi, noting that the IRS visit came on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission demanding that Twitter turn over personal details about Taibbi and other Twitter Files reporters.
The IRS visit also took place around the same time as the Democrats on the Weaponization Subcommittee were demanding Taibbi to release details about his confidential sources.
“The fear of many Americans is that, flush with its new $80 billion in funding from Congress, the IRS will unleash its fearsome power against political opponents,” WSJ’s editorial board said. “Mr. Taibbi deserves to know why the agency decided to pursue him with a very strange house call.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.