On Monday, January 29th, Charles Littlejohn, 38, was sentenced by the United States District Court in Washington, DC to five years in prison for stealing and leaking former President Donald Trump’s tax records as well as thousands of others’. Judge Ana Reyes delivered the verdict.
In October, Littlejohn pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosures of income tax returns. While working for a consulting firm possessing contracts with the Internal Revenue Service, he stole Trump’s tax returns along with the tax data of the thousands of the United States’ wealthiest individuals.
The stolen documents of information were leaked by Littlejohn to two news outlets before being deleted from his IRS-assigned laptop and returned to his superiors. He maintained anonymity by deleting all locations where he initially stored the data.
Judge Reyes was adamant that Littlejohn’s actions amounted to an attack on the US and its legal foundation, going as far as to call them “treasonous” in nature.
“What you did in attacking the sitting president of the United States was an attack on our constitutional democracy,” Reyes said. “We’re talking about someone who…pulled off the biggest heist in IRS history.”
Reyes even compared Littlejohn’s theft to the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill, calling his actions a threat to American democracy and engendering “the same fear that January 6 does.”
Reyes was more critical, however, of the Justice Department’s failure to bring more than one count against Littlejohn, stating, “The fact that he did what he did and he’s facing one felony count, I have no words for.”
Prosecutors clarified that the one count involves multiple instances of Littlejohn’s thefts and leaks. They wrote a court filing that recommended Littlejohn be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison, writing that “A free press and public engagement with the media are critical to any healthy democracy, but stealing and leaking private, personal tax information strips individuals of the legal protection of their most sensitive data.”
Littlejohn asserted that he acted in service of the country and that the people deserved to know the tax information.
“We as a country make the best decisions when we are all properly informed,” Littlejohn said in court on Monday, “My actions undermine the fragile faith [in US government institutions]”.
Littlejohn concluded by saying that he was aware of the potential consequences of his actions and would one day face federal court, but that the records needed to be seen regardless.
Image Credit: (Photo courtesy of Fox News)