IRS Contractor Who Leaked Trump’s Tax Returns Gets Prison Time, and the Sentence Is a Joke

The IRS contractor who leaked Donald Trump’s tax returns and thousands of others was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday. 

Charles Littlejohn pleaded guilty to the unauthorized disclosures back in October. He gathered the documents and uploaded them while working for a consulting firm with contracts with the IRS. 


The man who stole and leaked former President Donald Trump and thousands of others’ tax records has been sentenced to five years in prison.  

In October, Charles Littlejohn, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosures of income tax returns. According to his plea agreement, he stole Trump’s tax returns along with the tax data of “thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people,” while working for a consulting firm with contracts with the Internal Revenue Service.  

The national press obsession with Trump’s tax returns no doubt helped motivate Littlejohn, though, none of the outlets behind the lies and misrepresentations about what they contained will ever be held accountable. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow began to spin conspiracy theories as early as 2017, asserting they contained Russian blackmail material.

In the end, it was all a waste of time as the returns showed nothing nefarious, something I noted after the tax returns were made public. Don’t hold your breath waiting for any apologies.

READ: CNN’s Trump Taxes Takes Aged Like a Turd in the Sun

It wasn’t just CNN, though. That supposition has been the mainstay of every single moment of consternation among media members in demanding Trump’s taxes. Rachel Maddow has created a cottage industry out of speculating that the Russians have blackmail material on the President and that his taxes would reveal vast debts that compromise him.

But that’s not what the Times revealed at all. There are no connections to Russians included in Trump’s taxes. There’s also no indication of any illegal activity at all. All they show is that Trump is smart enough to not pay taxes he doesn’t owe. In fact, the President has never been shy about the fact that he’s lost money running for president and while being president. That he’d take losses and not pay income taxes on income he didn’t make isn’t surprising at all. It’s certainly not a scandal.


The judge in the case didn’t mince words about Littlejohn’s actions, calling them the “biggest heist in IRS history” and saying what he did was a threat to democracy.

Judge Ana Reyes highlighted the gravity of the crime, saying multiple times that it amounted to an attack against the US and its legal foundation.  

“What you did in attacking the sitting president of the United States was an attack on our constitutional democracy,” Reyes said. “We’re talking about someone who … pulled off the biggest heist in IRS history.”  

She is correct, which is why it’s a joke that Littlejohn was able to get away with pleading to just one count of unauthorized disclosure of information, which carries a maximum of just five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He illegally released thousands of tax returns, and the DOJ absolutely could have hit him with multiple counts. Instead, they gave him a sweetheart deal.

Judge Reyes pointed out the absurdity of it all in her closing remarks on the matter, saying she has “no words” for how lenient the DOJ went. 

Reyes was also critical of the Justice Department’s decision to only bring one count against Littlejohn.  

“The fact that he did what he did and he’s facing one felony count, I have no words for,” the judge said. Prosecutors argued that the one count covers the multitude of Littlejohn’s thefts and leaks.  


So is this justice? I suppose on some level, Littlejohn going to prison is better than nothing, but the details matter, and he got off easy. Once again, the DOJ appears to have let politics influence its prosecutorial decision-making. Had this been someone who released Barack Obama’s tax returns, does anyone think the charges would have included just one count? If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. 

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