Matt Taibbi, targeted by the IRS for his work on the "Twitter Files" about federal government collusion with social media platforms to censor content, told Newsmax on Monday his case could make other journalists hesitant about doing similar investigative reporting on the federal government.
"If other reporters see that this is the kind of thing that can happen to them, or that they can end up in some kind of jam just because they do a story that mentions certain government agencies, that's a major disincentive to doing it," Taibbi told "Carl Higbie FRONTLINE."
During Taibbi's testimony March 9 in front of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government about his reporting on the "Twitter Files," an IRS agent visited Taibbi's Washington home and left a note. When Taibbi called the IRS, he found out his 2018 and 2021 tax filings were flagged for possible identity theft.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chair of the Judiciary Committee and the select subcommittee, discovered the IRS opened an investigation into Taibbi's 2018 tax return on Christmas Eve 2022, a Saturday when most federal employees are not working and the day of a major "Twitter Files" release on the intelligence community's ties to Big Tech social media platforms.
"[The IRS] gave the committee some information but it was only partial," Taibbi said. "They didn't explain what the context of it was or who ordered it or why, and why they suddenly on a Saturday on Christmas Eve in 2022 became overwhelmed with the desire to rectify a very strange minor concern that they hadn't done anything about for three years."
Taibbi said he received a letter from the IRS in late March that the case over his 2018 tax return has been resolved, although he said he is still owed money from the agency.
"My understanding is that I'm not in trouble, but you never know," he said. "I also have a significant return that they haven't given me, so I don't know what that means, either. But there's a lot about this stuff that's mysterious.
"My thinking about this isn't so much that I want to rail against the injustice done to me. But this is a rare opportunity to try to find out some answers about why does this kind of thing happen. It's possible the committee has enough authority to try to get some of those answers out, which I think would be good for the American people."
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