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Chairman Smith Applauds Decision to Hand Down the Maximum Allowable Sentence on the ProPublica Leaker

January 29, 2024 — Oversight    — Press Releases   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after Internal Revenue Service (IRS) leaker, Charles Edward Littlejohn, was sentenced to the maximum allowable sentence, based on the Department of Justice’s charging decisions, for the crime he committed; a crime referred to as “the greatest heist” in IRS history. Littlejohn unlawfully disclosed thousands of Americans’ private tax information to ProPublica, and disclosed the tax information of President Donald Trump to The New York Times.

Chairman Smith said“I commend Judge Reyes for imposing the maximum sentence of five years. While the single-count charge DOJ brought in this case was wildly insufficient based on the defendant’s multiple thefts and disclosures, punishing Mr. Littlejohn with the maximum allowable sentence still sends a strong message that the U.S. judicial system takes these crimes seriously.

“Mr. Littlejohn’s crimes were premeditated, calculated, and committed entirely in an attempt to smear the sitting President of the United States, and thousands of other Americans that he disagreed with, in the media. The Ways and Means Committee remains focused on protecting taxpayer privacy and on working to make sure a future theft and disclosure like this never happens again.”

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), whose own confidential taxpayer information was stolen and subsequently leaked by Littlejohn, said, “I attended today’s hearing on behalf of the thousands of Americans who have been victimized by Mr. Littlejohn’s crimes. Biden’s DOJ agreed to an extremely lenient plea deal and I urged the judge today to reject it. By only charging Mr. Littlejohn with a single crime, instead of the thousands he committed, Biden’s DOJ completely underscored the reckless partisan political abuse of our justice system under the Biden Administration. By harassing prominent Republicans and embarrassing Americans, Mr. Littlejohn’s crimes were entirely aligned with the agenda of the Biden administration. I also requested that Attorney General Garland be present at the sentencing hearing to take responsibility for what the Biden Administration has done to undermine faith in our justice system, which he unfortunately declined to do.”

The sentence follows a letter sent by Republican Members of the Ways and Means Committee last week requesting the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia sentence Mr. Littlejohn to the maximum sentence.

READ:Ways & Means Republicans: “Throw the Book” at IRS Leaker

READ: Smith: DOJ’s Weak Prosecution of ProPublica Leaker Makes Robust Guardrails to Protect Taxpayer Information Even More Vital

READ: Ways and Means Republicans Demand DOJ Answer for Inadequate Charging Decisions for ProPublica Leaker

READ: Smith Demands Timely and Public Answers from IRS Watchdog on Investigation into Leak of Taxpayer Private Data