WASHINGTON — An IRS consultant was charged Friday in connection with wrongfully disclosing tax return information, documents that were, according to a source familiar with the matter, the leaked the tax returns of former President Donald Tump.
Charles Littlejohn, of Washington, D.C., was working at the IRS as a government contractor when he stole tax return information linked with a public official “and thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, including returns and return information dating back more than 15 years,” prosecutors said in court documents.
A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.
Littlejohn, 38, stole and provided the public official’s tax documents to an unnamed news organization, and the tax information concerning other wealthy individuals to another unidentified news organization between 2018 and 2020, prosecutors said.
In 2020, The New York Times published a bombshell report saying that it had obtained more than two decades of Trump’s tax information and that he had paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. ProPublica in 2021 published reporting on the taxes of wealthy people in 2021.
A spokesperson for ProPublica declined to comment on the Justice Department’s announcement but said, “As we’ve said previously, ProPublica doesn’t know the identity of the source who provided this trove of information on the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans.”
The New York Times declined to comment.
Littlejohn is charged with one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted, the Justice Department said in a news release.
A Trump spokesperson and an attorney for Littlejohn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.