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Feds seek 5-year prison term for IRS contractor who leaked Trump's tax records

Government prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty.
The Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington.
The IRS building in Washington.Graeme Sloan / Sipa USA via AP file

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence a former IRS contractor to five years in prison for leaking the tax records of former President Donald Trump and other wealthy Americans to the media.

In court papers Tuesday, prosecutors urged the judge to impose the statutory maximum of five years in prison for Charles Littlejohn of Washington, D.C., after he pleaded guilty in October to one count of disclosing tax return information without authorization. Littlejohn also admitted to leaking tax records belonging to “over a thousand” other wealthy people.

In a plea agreement last year, government attorneys estimated eight to 14 months’ imprisonment based on federal sentencing guidelines, with both parties reserving the right to seek a deviation from those guidelines, prosecutor Jonathan Jacobson said in Tuesday’s filing.

But he also called the sentencing range “flatly inconsistent with the gravity of the offense."

“The scope and scale of Defendant’s unlawful disclosures appear to be unparalleled in the IRS’s history,” Jacobson contended. “There simply is no precedent for a case involving the disclosure of tax return and return information associated with ‘over a thousand’ individuals and entities.”

In 2020, The New York Times published a report saying that it had obtained more than two decades of Trump’s tax information and that he had paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. The following year, ProPublica published reporting on the taxes of wealthy people.

Attorneys for Littlejohn did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29 before District Judge Ana C. Reyes of Washington.

Daniel Barnes reported from Washington and Zoë Richards from New York.