Big Tent Ideas

GROVER NORQUIST: Biden Is Going Easy On The Left’s Favorite Thief

(Photo credit KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Grover Norquist President, Americans for Tax Reform
Font Size:

The Biden administration is letting the IRS thief off easy. The man who stole thousands of Americans’ tax returns and audits and gave them to a left-wing group is being protected and rewarded by Biden’s Justice Department.

Despite committing thousands of felonies — each punishable by up to five years in prison — the Biden Department of Justice is only charging the thief with a single count.

The message the Department of “Justice” is sending to progressive IRS employees tempted to steal your private tax files for their personal political goals? Go ahead and steal everything in sight. You won’t get punished any worse than if you stole a single 1040 form. (RELATED: CHRISTIAN WHITON: Joe Biden’s Oval Office Address Was A Mess)

Steal away. Privacy be damned.

The thief is an IRS contractor named Charles Littlejohn. He was rooting around in IRS systems for years, supposedly undetected. He stole thousands of household tax returns going back decades. He took sensitive personal information, audit files and stock trades. DOJ even acknowledges he “obstructed the forthcoming investigation into his conduct by deleting and destroying evidence of his disclosures.”

Obstruction of justice is in normal times a crime itself.

After evading IRS systems he stored the cache on numerous personal devices. Then he presented the “vast trove” on a platter to a left-wing political organization, ProPublica. The “progressive” group coincidentally (cough) unveiled the data on the very same day Senate Democrats ramped up a major tax hike campaign.

Littlejohn also stole Donald Trump’s tax returns and gave them to the New York Times. Tax returns for high-profile individuals are supposed to be guarded in the IRS with additional layers of security. The Obama-era IRS chief once said the Trump tax returns were stored in a special vault to prevent theft. But these supposed controls were easily bypassed by the thief. Or his accomplices.

America’s tax system can only function if the citizens trust the IRS to safeguard their personal information. The Biden DOJ less-than-wrist-slap tells taxpayers that their privacy is not a priority for the government.

A long-running feature of IRS culture is a flagrant disregard for taxpayer privacy, as documented in dozens of audits published by the official IRS watchdog, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

A recent TIGTA audit found that the IRS has lost millions of personal tax files, “as a result of the lack of adequate inventory controls.” The IRS was also caught storing sensitive data cartridges on open shelving in IRS warehouses.

TIGTA wrote: “The personal taxpayer and tax information included on these backup cartridges is key information that can be used to commit tax refund fraud [and] identity theft.”

This neglect of taxpayer privacy has persisted throughout the decades regardless of funding level or party control.

The IRS culture of sloppiness is also evident in their method of shipping sensitive tax files between IRS offices. Because IRS employees can’t be bothered to fill out a simple form documenting the contents of sensitive parcels, the agency is unable to notify taxpayers when the files get lost in transit.

So your personal information could be blowing in the wind or stolen in transit and you’d have no way of knowing you were at risk of having your identity stolen.

The IRS was also caught destroying 30 million active taxpayer documents submitted by taxpayers attempting to resolve their taxes. Because the IRS was backlogged, they just decided one day to physically destroy the documents and not tell anyone about it. The only reason we know? A drop-in visit from the Inspector General.

By the way, Americans who had their documents destroyed in the 30-million-high pile have received audit letters from the IRS asking why they didn’t submit the very documents the IRS destroyed.

Taxpayers can only imagine what else the agency is doing when nobody is looking.

Yet this is the same agency that wants to spend large amounts of taxpayer dollars to get into the tax preparation business. There is an obvious conflict of interest with the IRS seeking to become tax preparer, tax collector, and tax auditor. The IRS does not have congressional authorization for this expenditure. Congressional Democrats authorized only a study, and even there, the IRS cooked the books to exaggerate support for inserting themselves as tax preparer. (RELATED: EJ ANTONI: The People In Charge Of Our Money Supply Can’t Even Buy A Clue)

The Biden administration supersized the IRS with tens of billions of your tax dollars. The funding came with zero new taxpayer protections. Zero.

So the IRS is rewarded and given the okay to continue its culture of callous disregard for our privacy.

And now the most significant theft in IRS history is going largely unpunished. Why? Who made this decision?

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact