Breaking Monday, U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes, who was appointed by President Biden, sentenced former Internal Revenue Service contractor Charles Littlejohn to five years in prison for leaking former president Donald Trump’s tax returns. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
“You can be an outstanding person and commit bad acts,” Reyes said. “What you did in targeting the sitting president of the United States was an attack on our constitutional democracy.”
National Review reports Littlejohn pleaded guilty last year to stealing and leaking thousands of tax returns in 2019 and again in 2020, including former President Donald Trump’s tax documents. In a D.C. federal court in October, Littlejohn admitted that he used the IRS archive to obtain Trump’s and other conservative donors’ tax returns and then gave the documents to the New York Times and ProPublica.
Because Littlejohn leaked the documents to “reputable news organizations—the New York Times and ProPublica—that he knew would handle the information responsibly,” his lawyers argued, the ex-contractor should receive an even lesser punishment than the anticipated 8-14 month sentence. Both outlets used the documents to publicize how wealthy Americans pay little in federal income taxes.
The Department of Justice charged Littlejohn with one count of disclosing tax return information without authorization in September with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee asked the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia last week to hand Littlejohn the maximum sentence.
“Individuals who may be inclined to take the law into their own hands, as Mr. Littlejohn did, must know that they will be caught and that they will face severe consequences,” the committee said in a letter.
“We worry that a sentence of only 8 to 14 months does not comport with the seriousness of the crimes committed and we are concerned that a sentence in that range will fail to have the deterrent effect needed to prevent such a theft and disclosure from happening again.”
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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