NEW: While Matt Taibbi Was Testifying Before Weaponization of Government Committee, the IRS Knocked on His Door

Screenshot via YouTube

While Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi was in Washington, D.C. on March 9 testifying before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, his home in New Jersey had a curious visitor — an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent. Now, the House Judiciary Committee chair, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), is demanding that the IRS explain why.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, whose editors have seen the document, Jordan sent a letter Monday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking why Taibbi was the target of the unannounced and unusual home visit.

During that hearing, Taibbi was grilled by Democrats who attempted to get him to reveal his sources, in total ignorance of the First Amendment. The same week, FTC Chair Lina Khan demanded that Twitter produce a list of all journalists who’d been given access to the Twitter Files as part of their investigation into Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, a move Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jordan pushed back on.

So, what did the IRS want with Taibbi?

The taxman left a note instructing Mr. Taibbi to call the IRS four days later. Mr. Taibbi was told in a call with the agent that both his 2018 and 2021 tax returns had been rejected owing to concerns over identity theft.

Mr. Taibbi has provided the committee with documentation showing his 2018 return had been electronically accepted, and he says the IRS never notified him or his accountants of a problem after he filed that 2018 return more than four-and-a-half years ago.

He says the IRS initially rejected his 2021 return, which he later refiled, and it was rejected again—even though Mr. Taibbi says his accountants refiled it with an IRS-provided pin number. Mr. Taibbi notes that in neither case was the issue “monetary,” and that the IRS owes him a “considerable” sum.

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When people are contacted by the IRS, generally it’s by letter — especially for a first contact. We have the same questions and concerns the Wall Street Editorial Board has:

The bigger question is when did the IRS start to dispatch agents for surprise house calls? Typically when the IRS challenges some part of a tax return, it sends a dunning letter. Or it might seek more information from the taxpayer or tax preparer. If the IRS wants to audit a return, it schedules a meeting at the agent’s office. It doesn’t drop by unannounced.

The curious timing of this visit, on the heels of the FTC demand that Twitter turn over names of journalists, raises questions about potential intimidation, and Mr. Jordan is right to want to see documents and communications relating to the Taibbi visit.

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. Mr. Taibbi deserves to know why the agency decided to pursue him with a very strange house call.

Does the IRS really want something from Taibbi, or are they simply attempting to send a message? Conservatives have been the subject of political targeting by the IRS in the not-distant past, and apparently nothing has been done to clean the agency up.

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