An Internal Revenue Service watchdog said it "did not identify misconduct" in the audits of former FBI Director James Comey and his top deputy Andrew McCabe, both of whom former President Trump saw as political enemies. The Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration said that the IRS unit in charge of the program chose tax returns for audit correctly and did not use malicious code that would have chosen a specific taxpayer. The review was for tax years 2017 and 2019, periods where both Comey and McCabe were chosen for detailed audits of their brokerage, and bank statements, reports Politico. Comey and McCabe drew a steady stream of outbursts from the former president for the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice by Trump.
Later, Trump repeatedly asked his chief of staff to retaliate by getting the IRS to scrutinize the two FBI officials. “The credibility and integrity of the IRS are foundational to the success of our tax administration and this report alleviates some concerns,” said House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), who has asked the IG to expand its investigation of Trump’s possible use of the IRS to target his political foes. Neal hopes to get more information from the watchdog soon. According to the IG's reports, the IRS hired an outside contractor to replicate the process for the 2017 and 2019 programs. The watchdog said the returns produced by that review matched the returns from the original program. Former IRS chief Chuck Rettig told the IG that he was not involved in any of the program's selections, and key officials interviewed by the watchdog denied that any manager asked them to intercede in the audits to target a specific taxpayer.