IRS contractor sentenced to 5 YEARS IN PRISON for illegally leaking tax records of Trump
01/31/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

A former contractor for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who leaked the tax records of former President Donald Trump and several others has been sentenced to a five-year prison term.

U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes of the D.C. District Court handed down the sentence to Charles Littlejohn, 38, on Jan. 29. He had entered a guilty plea in October, and had appeared before Reyes for his sentencing hearing. Aside from jail time, the federal judge also fined Littlejohn $5,000.

The erstwhile IRS contractor made headlines by leaking Trump's tax records to the New York Times (NYT). The former president wasn't the only one victimized in the scheme, as billionaires like Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Tesla's Elon Musk also found their tax details leaked to ProPublica.

Reyes condemned the defendant's actions during the hearing, describing the leak as an "attack on our constitutional democracy. "When you target the sitting president of the U.S., you target the office," said Reyes. "It cannot be open season on our elected officials."

Prosecutors pressed for the maximum statutory sentence of five years, according to the Daily Mirror. They emphasized that Littlejohn had "abused his position by unlawfully disclosing thousands of Americans' federal tax returns and other private financial information to multiple news organizations."

According to prosecutors, Littlejohn breached the trust placed in him by the U.S. government as a contractor for the IRS. They also argued that he "weaponized his access to unmasked taxpayer data to further his own personal, political agenda – believing that he was above the law."

"Littlejohn stole thousands of individuals' tax returns and tax information for the purpose of publicizing that information in service of his own political agenda," said Department of Justice Public Integrity Section Chief Corey Amundson in a court filing. "He fully understood, indeed intended, that his disclosures would damage his victims’ reputations and hoped that such reputational damage would affect our nation’s political process."

Littlejohn uses "moral belief" to justify leaking tax documents

Reyes noted that Littlejohn seemed to have a "sincere moral imperative" with his actions of leaking the tax documents of various personalities. Nevertheless, she stressed that he was not above the law.

In a brief address to the court before his sentencing, Littlejohn said he "acted out of a sincere but misguided belief that I was serving the public." He ultimately acknowledged that his "actions undermined the fragile trust we place in government."

Lisa Manning, one of Littlejohn's attorneys, argued that her client acted "out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information, and sharing it was the only way to effect change." Despite acknowledging the inexcusable nature of Littlejohn's conduct, she and the other defense lawyers highlighted that a "strong message of general deterrence" had already been sent to the public.

According to a court filing by Manning, Littlejohn was disturbed that Trump refused to release his tax returns even after being elected president despite a 50-year tradition of disclosure. The IRS contractor eventually gained access to 15 years' worth of the former president's tax returns.

Littlejohn then turned over these tax returns to the NYT in August 2019, with the paper publishing articles about these documents more than a year later in September 2020. But the former IRS contractor did not stop there.

As he learned that billionaires typically paid lower effective tax rates than average American taxpayers, he downloaded tax returns for the wealthiest 500 Americans during the same 15-year period, the filing stated. These filings were then forwarded to ProPublica, which proceeded to publish stories about these documents in September 2020. (Related: IRS consultant charged with leaking Trump's tax returns to media.)

He contended that taxpayers deserved to know about the ease with which the wealthy could avoid paying into the system. Littlejohn expressed his belief that Americans make their best decisions when properly informed, acknowledging that he anticipated the legal consequences of his actions.

Head over to for more stories like this.

Watch Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton as he talks about why the probe on Trump's tax returns amounts to unprecedented abuse by the IRS below.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

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Ex-IRS consultant took job with intention of stealing Trump's tax returns: DOJ.

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