President Donald Trump responded to a strange house call that the IRS made to notable journalist Matt Taibbi.
President Trump posted on Truth Social, “The IRS Makes a Strange House Call on Matt Taibbi—An agent shows up at the home of the Twitter files journalist who testified before Congress.”
Taibbi received the unexpected visit from an IRS agent at his home on March 9. Taibbi, well known for his honest reporting, had testified before Congress on that same day regarding leaked “Twitter files” he had obtained and written about extensively.
In fact, accompanying President Trump’s post was a link to the Wall Street Journal, which reads: “House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter Monday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeking an explanation for why journalist Matt Taibbi received an unannounced home visit from an IRS agent. We’ve seen the letter, and both the circumstances and timing of the IRS focus on this journalist raise serious questions.”
In a video President Trump made for the post as well, he states that the house call and the time of Taibbi’s testimony are far from coincidental. He said pointedly that it “is not a coincidence. It’s just plain brazen and somewhat stupid.”
This feeds into the overarching concerns that the agency could be overstepping its bounds by targeting journalists.
Journalist intimidation has taken on renewed significance in recent years, as many have raised concerns about the erosion of democratic norms and institutions. With the rise of authoritarianism and populism in many parts of the world, the role of a free and independent press has become increasingly important in holding those in power accountable.
As the debate over press freedom and government power continues, it remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken in response to the incident involving Taibbi and the IRS.