Inspector General To Review IRS Audits Of James Comey, Andrew McCabe

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig has asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to review the audits of former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The request comes following a New York Times report that both men were subject to intense audits on their tax returns. While the audits are supposed to be random, the Times suggested it was odd that the two men, who were both fierce critics of former President Donald Trump, would be both subject to audits.

The paper calculated the odds of being selected for an audit was about one in 30,600.

“Lightning strikes, and that’s unusual, and that’s what it’s like being picked for one of these audits,” said John A. Koskinen, the IRS commissioner from 2013 to 2017. “The question is: Does lightning then strike again in the same area? Does it happen? Some people may see that in their lives, but most will not — so you don’t need to be an anti-Trumper to look at this and think it’s suspicious.”

The audit actually worked out in favor of Comey and his wife. The agency determined they overpaid their taxes and sent them a $347 refund.

“I don’t know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out,” Comey said in a statement. “Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question.”

McCabe’s audit revealed he and his wife owed more than they paid, and they promptly resolved the issue.

“The revenue agent I dealt with was professional and responsive,” McCabe said. “Nevertheless, I have significant questions about how or why I was selected for this.”

The IRS has denied that the audits were politically motivated.

“Federal Privacy laws preclude us from discussing specific taxpayer situations. Audits are handled by career civil servants, and the IRS has strong safeguards in place to protect the exam process — and against politically motivated audits,” the agency told CNN.

“It’s ludicrous and untrue to suggest that senior IRS officials somehow targeted specific individuals for National Research Program audits,” it added.

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