John Kelly: Trump Sought to Use IRS Against Enemies

Former chief of staff's allegation comes after Comey, McCabe were singled out for rare audits
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 9:45 AM CST
Former Aide: Trump Sought to Sic IRS on His Enemies
Donald Trump and James Comey.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Andrew Harnik)

When Donald Trump was president, two political enemies were singled out for rare special audits by the IRS. Trump has insisted he knew nothing about the audits of then FBI leader James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe. But it was an odd fluke, given that the New York Times calculated the odds of it happening at 82 million to 1. Now, former Trump chief of staff John Kelly adds a new wrinkle to the narrative, telling the Times that Trump repeatedly pressed him to get the IRS to investigate his enemies, Comey and McCabe included. "He initially thought I would do it," Kelly says. "He thought I would be loyal and obedient to him. I told him we were loyal to our oath to the Constitution."

Kelly adds that he rebuffed Trump's requests on legal and ethical grounds. But the audits went forward after Kelly was out of his post, and both were conducted while the IRS was led by Trump appointee Charles Rettig, per the Hill. The agency denies the audits were politically motivated, though an internal investigation is underway. A Trump spokesperson denies that Trump ever talked with Kelly about using the IRS to go after enemies. "It's total fiction created by a psycho, John Kelly, who never said this before, and made it up just because he's become so irrelevant," said Liz Harrington. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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