An IRS watchdog said Thursday that it "did not identify misconduct" in the audits of former FBI Director James Comey and his top deputy, Andrew McCabe, both political adversaries of former President Donald Trump.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said in a review of the audit that the IRS organization in charge of the hyper-selective program chose tax returns for audit correctly, not using malicious code to cherry-pick a specific taxpayer.
The review was done for tax years 2017 and 2019, in which Comey and McCabe were chosen for audits, taking a deep dive into Comey’s office supplies to brokerage and bank statements.
The IG investigation was launched after The New York Times reported on the audits in July.
The Times reported Trump repeatedly asked the chief of staff to have the IRS scrutinize the two FBI officials.
Trump was very much at odds with Comey and McCabe, who had been investigating him for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
According to the IG’s report, the IRS hired an outside contractor soon after the story's publication to replicate the process for 2017 and 2019 programs. The watchdog said the returns matched the originals pinpointed by the program.
Former IRS chief Chuck Rettig told the IG that he was not involved in the process. Key officials interviewed by the watchdog denied any managers requested to intercede and target a specific taxpayer.
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