Revenue Contractor Who Leaked Ex-President, Donald Trump’s Tax Record Bags Five-Year Jail Term

Aformer Internal Revenue Service contractor who leaked former United States’ President, Donald Trump’s tax record to The New York Times, as well as billionaires, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s records, was sentenced to five years in jail on Monday.

The contractor, Charles Littlejohn, pleaded guilty in October, and prosecutors sought the maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, claiming that he “abused his position by unlawfully disclosing thousands of Americans’ federal tax returns and other private financial information to multiple news organisations.”
Prosecutors claimed Littlejohn “weaponised his access to unmasked taxpayer data to further his own personal, political agenda, believing that he was above the law.”

Littlejohn was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ana C. Reyes at a hearing at the federal court in Washington. He will also face a $5,000 fine.

“You can be an outstanding person and commit bad acts,” Reyes said. “What you did in targeting the sitting president of the United States was an attack on our constitutional democracy,” she was quoted by NBCNews.

Reyes compared Littlejohn’s actions to other recent attacks and threats against elected officials as well as to Jan. 6 defendants she has recently sentenced. She described his actions as a deliberate, complex, multiyear criminal scheme, but said she believed he “sincerely felt a moral imperative” to act as he did.

Littlejohn’s attorney argued that he had committed the offense “out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information and sharing it was the only way to effect change” and that he believed he was right at the time.

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While Littlejohn’s actions were “inexcusable,” according to his attorney, and “breached the trust placed in him by the United States government and violated the privacy of thousands of taxpayers,” a “strong message of general deterrence” had already been given to the public.

Littlejohn, 38, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, spoke briefly to the court before getting his sentence, saying he “acted out of a sincere but misguided belief that I was serving the public.”

Taxpayers deserved to know how easy it was for the wealthy to avoid paying into the system, Littlejohn added, saying he believes that Americans make their best decisions when properly informed.
“I made my decision with the full knowledge that I would likely end up in a courtroom,” he said.

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