Trump Committed 'Serious' Crime If Found To Have Used IRS As Weapon: Tribe

A top legal expert has suggested it is "no coincidence" that former FBI Director James Comey and former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who were both fired by Donald Trump, were selected for a rare and intensive audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Comey and McCabe were both subjected to random tax audits in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

However, as noted by The New York Times, the odds of being selected for the audit is around one in 30,600, raising questions on the likelihood that two high-ranking FBI officials who were previously fired by Trump, and that the former wanted to prosecute, both happened to be chosen.

Responding to the news, Laurence Tribe, professor emeritus of constitutional law at Harvard University, dismissed the idea that both men were randomly selected and implied that Trump may have been using the IRS as a weapon against his foes.

"This kind of political targeting is a serious federal crime. No coincidence, for sure. Odds are 30,000 to 1," Tribe tweeted.

James Comey and Andrew McCabe
In this combination image, Former FBI Director James Comey speaks at Harvard Kennedy School on February 24, 2020 and Andrew McCabe presents onstage at the American Jewish University on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Getty

Joe Scarborough, the co-host of Morning Joe who previously worked as an attorney, also suggested: "Did Trump Use IRS to Target Comey and McCabe? Looks like it."

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, who was appointed by Trump in 2018, declined to comment. The agency later said he had no role in selecting those subjected to the intensive audit.

"As IRS commissioner, he has never been in contact with the White House — in either administration—on IRS enforcement or individual taxpayer matters," the statement said. "He has been committed to running the IRS. in an impartial, unbiased manner from top to bottom."

Comey was subjected to the audit the same year he was fired by Trump in 2017 while he was leading an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia amid the 2016 Election.

At the time, the former president gave his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as a reason for the firing.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russian interference probe, later cited Comey's firing after the former president reportedly asked the FBI director to back away from investigating then-national security adviser Michael Flynn as an example of potential obstruction of justice.

McCabe was fired in March 2018 two days before he was due to retire. McCabe said he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump's firing of Comey.

McCabe has called for an investigation into where he was personally selected for the audit.

"It just defies logic to think that there wasn't some other factor involved," McCabe told CNN. "I think that's a reasonable question. I think it should be investigated. People need to be able to trust the institutions of government and so that's why there should be some... we should dig through this and find out what happened."

In a statement, Comey added: "I don't know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out.

"Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question."

When asked about the audits, Trump, via a spokesperson, told The Times: "I have no knowledge of this."

Trump has been contacted for further comment.