According to a report by NBC News on Friday, September 29, 2023, an IRS consultant from Washington, D.C., has been charged with the unlawful disclosure of tax return information, which allegedly included the tax returns of former President Donald Trump.
The charges come after a lengthy investigation into the unauthorized release of sensitive financial documents dating back over 15 years.
Littlejohn, aged 38, was employed as a government contractor at the IRS when he purportedly accessed tax return data associated with a prominent public official and thousands of the nation’s wealthiest individuals.
Prosecutors revealed that this breach of trust occurred between 2018 and 2020, during which time Littlejohn allegedly stole and provided these tax documents to undisclosed news organizations.
While the official’s identity was not initially disclosed, a reliable source confirmed to NBC News that the public official in question was indeed former President Donald Trump.
CNN was the first to break the news regarding the charges, specifically tying them to the unauthorized disclosure of Trump’s tax records.
Both the Justice Department and Littlejohn’s legal representative have declined to comment on the ongoing investigation and the charges filed against him.
The alleged misconduct involving the leak of sensitive tax information has raised serious concerns about privacy and security within the IRS.
The breach reportedly included not only President Trump’s tax returns but also confidential data from thousands of the nation’s wealthiest individuals, spanning more than a decade.
The gravity of this situation became widely known in 2020 when The New York Times published an explosive report claiming to have obtained more than 20 years of Donald Trump’s tax information.
The report asserted that Trump had paid a mere $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, raising significant public and political controversy. In 2021, ProPublica further intensified the scrutiny of wealthy taxpayers by publishing a series of articles based on leaked tax records.
In response to the recent charges against Charles Littlejohn, a spokesperson for ProPublica refrained from commenting on the Justice Department’s announcement but reaffirmed their lack of knowledge regarding the source of the leaked tax information.
The spokesperson stated, “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.”
This case raises profound questions about the security of sensitive financial information entrusted to government agencies like the IRS.
The unauthorized disclosure of tax returns not only compromises the privacy and financial security of public officials but also undermines the integrity of the tax system itself.
The charges against Charles Littlejohn serve as a stark reminder of the consequences that individuals face when they unlawfully access and distribute confidential information.
As this case progresses, it will undoubtedly attract significant attention from legal experts, lawmakers, and the public at large.
While the details of the alleged misconduct continue to emerge, this case underscores the importance of safeguarding sensitive financial data and maintaining trust in the institutions responsible for its protection.
It serves as a cautionary tale of the potential repercussions for those who violate the sanctity of taxpayer information and the legal boundaries that protect it.