The IRS targeted journalist Matt Taibbi on two occasions while he was exposing information about censorship efforts by the government and Twitter.
The agency launched an investigation into Taibbi, a liberal journalist who has criticized left-wing censorship of conservative and moderate voices, on December 24, 2022, according to a Wednesday letter from House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio). On that same day, Taibbi was publishing some of the "Twitter Files," internal Twitter emails that show the company coordinating with the government to censor so-called misinformation.
Just months later, on March 9, 2023, Taibbi was testifying in Congress when an IRS agent visited his home. The agency was performing "an extensive investigation" of Taibbi, looking into the journalist's "voter registration records, whether he possessed a hunting or fishing license, whether he had a concealed weapons permit, and his telephone numbers," Jordan's letter revealed.
The investigation, which ostensibly concerned Taibbi's 2018 tax filing, ultimately concluded that Taibbi "did not owe the IRS anything," according to the letter. On the contrary, the IRS owed Taibbi "a substantial refund."
"When the IRS checks to see if you have a carry permit and visits your home, at a time when they owe you money, it's time to worry," Taibbi wrote Wednesday.
These occurrences are not the only times that government officials have targeted Taibbi. Democratic congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (V.I.), the ranking member on the House subcommittee on the weaponization of government, last month threatened Taibbi with prison time for mixing up the names of two organizations.
Taibbi's "Twitter Files" revealed extensive censorship at Twitter before Elon Musk took over the company last year. During the 2020 presidential election, former FBI official James Baker advised Twitter to "censor an article about emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop," while federal agencies pressured Twitter to regulate conversation "related to the coronavirus vaccines, Russia, and the January 6 attack on the Capitol."
Jordan said in March that his committee would investigate whether the IRS agent's visit to Taibbi's home "was a thinly veiled attempt to influence or intimidate a witness before Congress." Jordan's Wednesday letter demands that the IRS turn over any documents about its probe into Taibbi by June 7.