Investigative journalist Matt Taibbi said Wednesday the unannounced Internal Revenue Service (IRS) visit to his house appears to be “politically motivated.”
Taibbi tweeted that the IRS opened a case against him in regards to his tax returns on Christmas Eve 2022 which “happened to coincide with a major Twitter Files report” on the FBI’s ties to Twitter executives. An IRS agent allegedly visited his home unannounced on the day he testified in front of the House Weaponization Subcommittee about the Twitter Files.
He received two letters from the agency which were not turned over to the House Judiciary Committee, though the agency later determined he didn’t owe any money to the IRS.
“Initially I was reluctant to comment about this story because I thought it was possible that this was an innocent mistake or a coincidence, but now I don’t think there’s really a whole lot of doubt that this was somehow politically motivated. At least it has the appearance of that. And I think they need to answer some questions about why they made this decision,” Taibbi said during an interview with Fox News’ “America Reports.”
The journalist released the first batch of the Twitter Files, organized by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, to disclose the FBI’s involvement and communications with Twitter in the lead-up to the suppression of the New York Post’s report on Hunter Biden’s laptop. The agency warned Twitter executives of possible state actors attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, Taibbi reported. The Post’s story was labeled “Russian disinformation” until it was later verified by major news outlets. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ron Johnson Call On IRS To Explain Unannounced Visit To Journalist Matt Taibbi’s Home)
“This whole Twitter Files experience has been a rollercoaster, it’s been eye-opening,” Taibbi added. “I think I was a little naive about how willing, maybe, some of these agencies were to try to intimidate reporters. This is quite brazen, what they’re doing. They had to know that this was going to come out. Also, visiting me at my home on the day I’m testifying before Congress, that shows you that they’re probably not worried about the optics of all this, which I think is even more concerning.”
The journalist said presidents have pressured the IRS to “engage in political investigations” and said the agency appears to be trying to intimidate future reporters investigating agencies. He warned agencies can likely conduct these types of investigations on any American.
“If this can happen to a high-profile media person, why can’t it happen … what’s the ordinary person’s protection?” Taibbi concluded.