A former IRS contractor was sentenced to 5 years in prison for leaking Trump’s tax records

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Republican presidential candidate, former US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on January 06, 2024 in Newton, Iowa.

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WASHINGTON – The former IRS contractor who leaked former President Donald Trump’s tax records to New York times As well as the tax records of billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk ProPublica On Monday, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Charles Littlejohn Admission of guilt In October, prosecutors to request The statutory maximum is five years in federal prison, saying He “abused his position by illegally disclosing thousands of Americans’ federal tax returns and other private financial information to numerous news organizations.” Littlejohn “used his access to undisguised taxpayer data as a weapon to advance his personal and political agenda, believing he was above the law,” prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Ana C. Reyes sentenced Littlejohn at a federal court hearing in Washington. He will also have to pay a $5,000 fine.

“You can be a privileged person and commit bad things,” Reyes said. She added: “What you did by targeting the current President of the United States was an attack on our constitutional democracy.”

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

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

His attorney said that while Littlejohn’s behavior was “inexcusable,” “violates the trust placed in him by the United States government and violates the privacy of thousands of taxpayers,” a “strong message of general deterrence” had already been sent to the public.

Littlejohn, 38, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, addressed the court briefly before receiving his sentence, saying he “acted out of an honest but misguided belief that I was serving the public.”

Littlejohn added that taxpayers deserve to know how easily the wealthy can avoid paying into the system, saying he believes Americans make their best decisions when they are properly informed.

“I made my decision knowing full well that I would likely end up in a courtroom,” he said.

This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com

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