Former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contractor Charles Littlejohn was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for leaking the-President Trump’s tax information.
Last October Littlejohn pled guilty to disclosing tax information without authorization. He has admitted to pursuing a job at the tax agency for the sole purpose of obtaining and leaking private tax information from the former president.
Five years is the maximum sentence for this crime. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors sought the maximum sentence in Littlejohn’s case because of its high-profile nature and potential to seriously erode the public’s trust in governmental institutions.
Judge Ana Reyes who was assigned to the case agreed with the DOJ’s point of view. She also commented on the major breach of public trust caused by Littlejohn’s actions.
“He targeted the sitting president of the United States of America, and that is exceptional by any measure,” said Judge Reyes according to a CBS report.
Littlejohn also stole and downloaded the tax information of 1,000s of America’s wealthiest people.
In 2017 Littlejohn reapplied for a job as a private contractor with access to IRS data. According to reports from earlier this month, Littlejohn took this job intending to leak Trump’s tax information.
Littlejohn wished to do this because he viewed Trump as a “threat to democracy” according to DOJ prosecutors assigned to the case.
According to the DOJ, Littlejohn accessed Trump’s tax information “after using broad search parameters designed to conceal the true purpose of his queries.”
Then Littlejohn successfully “evaded IRS protocols established to detect and prevent large downloads or uploads from IRS devices or systems.”
He downloaded Trump’s stolen tax information to a personal device before leaking it to The New York Times.
In a press release after Littlejohn’s sentencing, the DOJ applauded Judge Reyes’ decision to give Littlejohn the maximum five-year prison sentence.
“Today’s sentence sends a strong message that those who violate laws intended to protect sensitive tax information will face significant punishment.” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Judge Reyes ordered Littlejohn to surrender himself to authorities by April 30.