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Tag: IRS

Florida House Candidate Banned from Twitter over Call to Shoot FBI, IRS, ATF Agents

By Steve Neavling

A Republican Florida state house candidate was banned from Twitter after suggesting he wanted to legalize shooting federal agents. 

“Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops on sight,” Luis Miguel tweeted. “Let freedom ring.”

Miguel defended his statement, telling Florida Politics that violence is justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces.” He didn’t try to justify shooting other federal agents.

Miguel also made the statement on Instagram and Facebook. 

In the Aug. 23 primary election, Miguel will incumbent Rep. Bobby Payne. A predominately GOP district, the winner of the primary is expected to win the general election. 

Threats of violence against the FBI have increased after agents searched the home of former President Trump earlier this month.

IRS Asks Inspector General to Investigate Rare Tax Audits of Comey, McCabe

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

The head of the IRS asked the Treasury Department’s internal watchdog to investigate the circumstances surrounding the rare, exhaustive and supposedly random audits of former FBI Director James Comey and his then-deputy Andrew McCabe. 

The FBI leaders drew the ire of former President Trump before they were selected for the audit.

“The I.R.S. has referred the matter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for review,” the agency said in a statement. 

The IRS said its commissioner, Charles P. Rettig, “personally reached out” to the inspector general’s office after the audits came to his attention. 

Democrats also called for an internal investigation. 

“Donald Trump has no respect for the rule of law, so if he tried to subject his political enemies to additional I.R.S. scrutiny, that would surprise no one. We need to understand what happened here because it raises serious concerns,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said. 

Comey, McCabe Underwent Rare, Intensive Audit After Tiff with Trump

James Comey (Twitter photo)

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey and his then-deputy Andrew McCabe were selected by the IRS for an intensive, rare and purportedly random audit, The New York Times reports

Comey and McCabe both received letters from the IRS indicating it was conducting National Research Program audits of their tax returns. 

“We must examine randomly-selected tax returns to better understand tax compliance and improve the fairness of the tax system,” the letters state.

The audits drew suspicion because they are extremely rare, and Comey and McCabe had both drawn the ire of former President Donald Trump. 

In fact, the odds of being selected for the audit is about one in every 30,600. 

“Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy,” Comey told The Times. “Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question.”

As a result of the audit, Comey received a $347 refund, and McCabe owed a small amount of money. 

“The revenue agent I dealt with was professional and responsive,” McCabe said. “Nevertheless, I have significant questions about how or why I was selected for this.”

FBI Raids UAW Locations As Part of Ongoing Corruption Probe

UAW’s Detroit headquarters.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ongoing investigation of corruption within the auto industry led to raids four states targeting the United Auto Workers on Wednesday.

FBI and IRS agents raided the homes of UAW President Gary Jones and former  President Dennis Williams, the union’s northern Michigan conference center, and at least three other locations, The Detroit News reports.

The raids come as the union is renegotiating labor contracts for 158,00o auto workers.

The four-year federal investigation has already netted convictions of UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives accused of bribery and misusing funds.

FBI Raids City Hall, Homes of Baltimore Mayor in Kickback Investigation

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents raided Baltimore City Hall and two homes owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh as part of an investigation involving the mayor’s self-published children’s books.

The FBI and IRS executed additional search warrants Thursday, targeting her attorney, a former mayoral aide and the Maryland Center for Adult Training, a nonprofit job training program that the mayor once led, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Pugh received kickbacks from her books using bulk sales.

Hours after the raid, Gov. Larry Hogan and other elected officials called for Pugh to immediately resign.

“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead,” Hogan declared in a statement. “For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

Feds from 3 Agencies Conduct Nighttime Raid at Cleveland City Hall

Cleveland City Hall, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents from three agencies conducted a nighttime raid on Cleveland City Hall on Wednesday night as part of a criminal probe.

The IRS, FBI and HUD were involved in the raid, but it wasn’t immediately clear what the agents were investigating, Cleveland.com reports

The feds declined to provide details on the raid and the investigation.

Cleveland FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson would only say that agents were at city hall “after business hours for authorized law enforcement activity.”

The city also declined to comment on the raid.

Check back for updates.

IRS Finally Discloses Tax Information to Special Counsel about Trump Campaign

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After clashing with the special counsel investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, the IRS is now sharing information with Robert Mueller, the head of the ever-growing probe.

CNN reports the IRS Criminal Investigation division is disclosing tax records about campaign aides, including former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former White House national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 

The disclosure of information to special counsel happened after the IRS and Mueller’s team met with officials at the Treasury Department.

CNN wrote:

CNN has learned the IRS Criminal Investigation agents had been working with the FBI to investigate Manafort since before the election in a similar probe that centered on possible money laundering and tax fraud issues, according to the sources. It’s unclear if Flynn is now or was previously under investigation by the IRS. CNN has reported that Mueller’s team is examining Flynn’s payments from Turkey and Russia.

A former high-level Justice Department official says the information shared would include anything tax return-related such as real estate and banking records. The former official added the IRS is very restricted in what information it can share under Title 26 US Code and would normally need a specific grand jury subpoena in order to share tax returns with another agency.

The new information about the depth of IRS involvement renews questions surrounding the controversial issue of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, which he refused to release during the campaign despite decades of precedent by presidential candidates.

Other Stories of Interest

Mueller Taps IRS for Help with Trump-Russia Investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has enlisted the IRS to help investigate whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the presidential election.

The IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit, known as CI, is an investigative group that specializes in financial crime, from tax evasion to money laundering.

One of Mueller’s top deputies, Andy Weissmann, headed the Justice Department’s investigation of Enron.

Mueller likes working with CI.

“From the agents, I know everyone has the utmost respect for both Mueller and Weissmann,” Martin Sheil, a retired IRS Criminal Investigations agent, told the Daily Beast. 

“The FBI’s expertise is spread out over so many statutes—and particularly since 9/11, where they really focused on counterintelligence and counterterror—that they simply don’t have the financial investigative expertise that the CI agents have,” Sheil continued. “When CI brings a case to a U.S. Attorney, it is done. It’s wrapped up with a ribbon and a bow. It’s just comprehensive.”

News that Mueller is working with CI came one day after it was discovered that Mueller enlisted the help of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.