Others, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board, raised concerns about Matt Taibbi (one of the journalists behind “Twitter Files”) being visited by an IRS agent following his testimony before Congress. One Republican said it stunk to the “high heavens.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board reported Monday that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, and Daniel Werfel, IRS Commissioner, asking why an agent was sent Taibbi.
According to the letter, Taibbi was visited by the agent at his residence on March 9. This is the same day that he testified before the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of Federal Government on his reporting on the Twitter Files. Four days later, the taxman left a note instructing Taibbi to call IRS. Taibbi was told by the taxman that his 2018 and 2021 tax returns had been rejected because of “concerns about identity theft.”
The WSJ stated that “The strange timing of this visit, following the FTC demand Twitter turn over names and journalists of journalists, raises doubts about possible intimidation and Mr. Jordan has right to ask for documents and communications relating the Taibbi trip.” Many Americans fear that the IRS, with its $80 billion funding from Congress, will unleash its fearsome power on political opponents. Mr. Taibbi should know the reason why the IRS pursued him with a bizarre house visit.”
Taibbi was criticized by liberal journalists for his work, drawing the ire of some Democratic politicians. Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) blasted him for being a “so-called journalist”.
Taibbi replied, “Ranking Member Plaskett. I’m no so-called journalist.” “I have won the National Magazine Award, I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and 10 books including four New York Times bestsellers.
The WSJ reported that Taibbi presented documentation to Jordan’s committee proving that his 2018 tax returns were accepted. It also pointed out that the IRS had never notified Jordan of any issues. Taibbi also stated that the issue was not monetary, even though his 2021 tax return had been rejected initially.
The WSJ reported that the IRS sends a letter to the agent or schedules a meeting there rather than making unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes.
“What an amazing coincidence,” said Michael Shellenberger (a fellow Twitter Files journalist), who also testified the same day. Musk agreed that it was “very strange.”
“This stinks to high heaven. “The IRS has a troubling track record of targeting political enemies of Democrats,” Senator Ted Cruz, R. Texas, tweeted.
Another person said that it was “ironic” and “highly suspicious.”
Coincidences happen, but the fact that the IRS showed up at Matt Taibbi’s house the same day he testified before the new committee investigating weaponization of the federal government is both ironic and highly suspicious https://t.co/MnsLz3jyzA
— Jenin Younes (former handle @leftylockdowns1) (@JeninYounesEsq) March 28, 2023
After posting the first of a series of “Twitter Files”, Taibbi became more prominent in December. This revealed the site’s attempts to suppress stories by journalists and reveal behind-the-scenes revelations about why it banned President Trump and cracked down on COVID-19 opinions it considered misinformation.