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IRS contractor who leaked Trump tax returns receives 5-year sentence

By Stew Davidson
|
January 30, 2024

Charles Littlejohn, a former contractor with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), received a five-year prison sentence for the unauthorized disclosure of former President Donald Trump's tax returns. 

The sentence, passed down by Judge Ana Reyes on Monday, includes a term of 36 months of supervised release following his imprisonment and a financial penalty of $5,000, as Fox News reported.

Details of the Sentencing

Judge Reyes, in her remarks, strongly condemned Littlejohn's actions. She referred to the incident as "an intolerable attack on our constitutional democracy." 

Emphasizing the importance of lawfulness in the pursuit of transparency, she remarked, "The press tells us Democracy dies in darkness. It also dies in lawlessness.

"There are numerous lawful means to bring things to light. Trump was under no obligation to expose his returns. People could vote for someone else. They could run against him," she added.

The Motivation Behind the Leak

Prosecutors in the case highlighted Littlejohn's specific motive and planning behind the leak. 

They asserted that he deliberately sought employment as an IRS consultant with the intent to access and distribute Trump's tax information.

Littlejohn had previously worked at Booz Allen between 2008 and 2013.

However, he re-entered the company in 2017, this time as an IRS consultant.

Prosecutors allege that this career move was a deliberate attempt to gain access to confidential tax information, with the intention of leaking President Trump's tax returns.

The Department of Justice asserts that Littlejohn viewed Trump as a threat to democracy.

During the trial, prosecutors accused Littlejohn of misusing his access to sensitive data for his political agenda.

"[Littlejohn] weaponized his access to unmasked taxpayer data to further his own personal political agenda, believing that he was above the law," they claimed.

"A free press and public engagement with the media are critical to any healthy democracy, but stealing and leaking private, personal tax information strips individuals of the legal protection of their most sensitive data," the prosecutors added.

Gravity of Littlejohn's Actions

Judge Reyes reiterated the prosecution's statements while delivering the verdict, emphasizing that Littlejohn had undeniably devised a well-thought-out strategy to infringe upon President Trump's privacy over an extended period.

"He did not make a snap judgment. He made a series of decisions," said the judge.

She added, "This court cannot let others view this conduct as acceptable. I need to send the strongest possible message that we are a nation of laws."