The IRS said Thursday that it has asked one of its watchdogs to investigate how two former senior FBI officials frequently criticized by former President Donald Trump were chosen for intense audits.
The agency said in a statement that Commissioner Chuck Rettig had personally contacted Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration on the matter.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that former FBI director James Comey and his one-time deputy, Andrew McCabe, both received National Research Program audits in recent years. As few as several thousand tax returns a year are chosen for those audits, out of tens of millions of those filed to the IRS.
The IRS also said it was “ludicrous and untrue to suggest” that agency officials targeted Comey and McCabe for those audits, which help the service gauge taxpayer compliance and refine its tools for collecting more unpaid taxes.
But senior lawmakers said Thursday that it was hard to believe that Comey and McCabe’s audits were coincidental, even if the IRS does have strong safeguards in place to guard against politically motivated audits.