A former contractor for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pleaded guilty to intentionally leaking former President Trump’s and others tax information between 2018 and 2020.
According to the Justice Department, Charles Littlejohn, 38, disclosed the tax returns of “thousands of the nation’s wealthiest individuals” to news organizations and tax information associated with a “high-ranking government official” to a second news outlet.
However, Trump is not named in the complaint.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said that Littlejohn “betrayed the public’s trust” by stealing confidential information.
“By using his role as a government contractor to gain access to private tax information, steal that information, and disclose it publicly, Charles Littlejohn broke federal law and betrayed the public’s trust,” said Attorney Garland. “In every case, the Department of Justice is committed to following the facts wherever they lead and holding accountable those who violate our laws.”
Littlejohn accessed tax returns associated with Public Official A – and related individuals and entities – on an IRS database after using broad search parameters designed to conceal the true purpose of his queries. He then evaded IRS protocols established to detect and prevent large downloads or uploads from IRS devices or systems. Littlejohn then saved the tax returns to multiple personal storage devices, including an iPod, before contacting News Organization 1. Between around August 2019 and October 2019.
He pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax return and return information on Thursday.
Fox News reported that the two organizations were the New York Times and Pro Publica, a New York City-based nonprofit investigative journalism group.
Littlejohn faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.