Top Trump Leaker Just Learned His Fate

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Charles Edward Littlejohn, a previous employee of the U.S. Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has been given a jail sentence of 60 months. Littlejohn, notorious as the “Trump Leaker,” was found guilty of unlawfully revealing the federal tax returns of several Americans, including those belonging to former President Donald Trump.

Littlejohn’s initially politically motivated conduct eventually transitioned into criminal behavior, as detailed in the punishment by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

From 2008 to 2013, Littlejohn had sporadic employment with a consultancy firm, working on contracts in collaboration with the IRS. Throughout this duration, he had unrestricted access to huge quantities of taxpayer data that was not concealed. Nevertheless, it was in 2017 that Littlejohn’s intents became malicious. Driven by his own political motives, he endeavored to obtain and reveal financial records, with a specific focus on then-President Trump, whom he perceived as a menace to democracy.

Littlejohn, utilizing his authorized access to IRS databases, executed a complex plan to clandestinely obtain and disclose Trump’s tax returns, evading notice. His scheme extended beyond Trump as he also obtained and revealed tax data belonging to several affluent Americans. These actions constituted both a betrayal of trust and a transgression of a legal statute that imposes criminal culpability for the unlawful divulgence of tax returns.

The severity of Littlejohn’s transgression was exacerbated by his attempts to impede the subsequent inquiry. The individual engaged in the act of deleting files, obliterating virtual machines utilized in their illicit plan, and implementing measures to eliminate all traces of their digital presence. According to the authorities, these conduct warranted the maximum punishment of 60 months’ incarceration as prescribed by law.

Littlejohn was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ana C. Reyes during a court procedure at a federal courthouse in Washington. Furthermore, he is obligated to make a payment of $5,000 in addition to his sentence.

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

Reyes made comparisons between Littlejohn’s behavior and other recent acts of aggression and intimidation towards government personnel, as well as with persons who were implicated in the events of January 6th and whom she has already given sentences to. She described his activity as a deliberate, complex, and extended criminal scheme, while also acknowledging her opinion that he genuinely had a moral need to carry out these crimes.

Littlejohn’s attorney argued that his acts were motivated by a profound moral conviction that the American public had a legitimate entitlement to the information, and that sharing it was the sole means to bring about change. The attorney emphasized Littlejohn’s unwavering belief in the righteousness of his actions at that particular moment.

While recognizing that Littlejohn’s actions were “unforgivable” and constituted “a violation of the trust placed in him by the US government, encroaching on the privacy of numerous taxpayers,” the lawyer emphasized that the case had already effectively communicated a “powerful deterrent message” to the wider population.

38-year-old Littlejohn, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, briefly spoke to the court prior to his sentencing. He expressed that his actions stemmed from a “sincere but misguided belief that I was serving the public.”

Littlejohn further elaborated that taxpayers needed awareness of the ease with which affluent individuals could evade contributing to the system. He held the view that the best decisions by Americans are made when they are adequately informed.

“I made my decision with the full knowledge that I would likely end up in a courtroom,” he stated.

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