The tax authority sent an agent to the independent journalist's New Jersey home earlier this month
Republican Congressman Jim Jordan has demanded the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service explain why an agent of the tax authority visited the home of journalist Matt Taibbi while he was testifying about government abuses in Washington.
Taibbi testified before Jordan's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government earlier this month.
Jordan described the circumstances of the IRS visit "at the exact time [Taibbi] was testifying to Congress about 'the most serious' government abuse he has witnessed in his career as a journalist" as "incredible." In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel on Monday, Jordan also suggested the visit was a "thinly-veiled attempt to influence or intimidate a witness before Congress."
The congressman requested any documents the agencies had "referring or relating to the IRS's field visit" to Taibbi's New Jersey property on March 9 and any internal communications referencing the journalist, a former contributing editor at Rolling Stone who is now a freelancer.
Upon returning home from Washington, Taibbi told Jordan he found a note asking him to call the IRS, which subsequently told him his 2018 and 2021 tax filings had been rejected because of "concerns over identity theft."
Taibbi provided Jordan's committee with proof his 2018 filing had in fact been electronically accepted with no issues until the agent's visit nearly four years later, and explained that while his 2021 return had been rejected twice, the issue was not "monetary" by the agency's own admission, and the IRS allegedly owed him a sizable amount.
The journalist was selected by Twitter CEO Elon Musk to report on the 'Twitter Files', which are internal communications between employees of the platform, government agencies, and other third parties that appear to reveal unconstitutional collusion to censor undesirable narratives. Along with fellow Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, Taibbi was called to testify before Jordan's committee about that collusion.
Taibbi's latest Twitter Files report, released ahead of his testimony, exposes what he calls a sprawling "censorship-industrial complex." This includes not only the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies previously implicated, but also ideologically motivated think tanks such as the Atlantic Council, and intelligence cutouts such as the National Endowment for Democracy, all of which could request to have specific "misinformation" suppressed.
In 2017, the IRS officially apologized for disproportionately targeting conservative political groups for enforcement, years after an agent admitted the tax authority went after groups with certain key words in their names.