The Wall Street Journal editorial board and others sounded off on Matt Taibbi, one of the journalists behind the "Twitter Files," being visited by an IRS agent after his testimony before Congress, with one Republican saying it stunk to "high heaven."
The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board reported that Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio., sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel on Monday to ask why an agent was sent to Taibbi’s home.
According to the letter, the agent came to Taibbi’s personal residence on March 9, the same day the journalist testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on his reporting of the Twitter Files. The taxman left a note instructing him to call the IRS four days later. Taibbi was allegedly told that both his 2018 and 2021 tax returns were rejected due to "concerns over identity theft."
"The curious timing of this visit, on the heels of the FTC demand that Twitter turn over names of journalists, raises questions about potential intimidation, and Mr. Jordan is right to want to see documents and communications relating to the Taibbi visit," the WSJ wrote. "The fear of many Americans is that, flush with its new $80 billion in funding from Congress, the IRS will unleash its fearsome power against political opponents. Mr. Taibbi deserves to know why the agency decided to pursue him with a very strange house call."
Taibbi drew the ire of some Democratic politicians during his testimony, and he has been attacked by liberal journalists for his work. Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., notably blasted him as a "so-called journalist."
"Ranking Member Plaskett, I'm not a so-called journalist," Taibbi responded. "I've won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I've written 10 books, including four New York Times bestsellers."
In response to the IRS visit, the WSJ reported that Taibbi provided Jordan’s committee with documentation proving that his 2018 tax returns had been previously accepted, pointing out that the IRS never notified him of any issues at the time. In addition, while his 2021 tax return was initially rejected, Taibbi said the issue was not "monetary."
The WSJ noted that the IRS normally sends a letter or schedules a meeting at the agent’s office rather than make unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes.
"What an amazing coincidence," tweeted fellow Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, who also testified that same day. Musk chimed in it was "very odd."
"This absolutely stinks to high heaven. The IRS has a troubling history of targeting the political enemies of Democrats," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted.
Another said it was "ironic and highly suspicious."
Taibbi grew more prominent in December after posting the first in a long line of "Twitter Files" that exposed efforts by the social media site to suppress certain stories and journalists, as well as behind-the-scenes revelations about why it banned former President Trump and cracked down on COVID-19 opinions it deemed misinformation.
Fox News' Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.