The report said that those individuals in higher tax brackets are more likely to be picked. It did not say which tax bracket Mr. Comey fell into — but if Mr. Comey was in the highest tax bracket, he would have had a one in 138 chance of being selected. If he was in middle stratum, he would have had a one in 4,828 chance of being picked.
For 2019, the year Mr. McCabe was audited for, the agency conducted about 4,000 taxpayer audits out of the 154 million returns that were filed. If Mr. McCabe was in the highest tax bracket, he would have had a one in 202 chance and a one in 4,410 if he was in the middle stratum.
Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump spoke publicly and privately about how he wanted to use the powers of the federal government — particularly the Justice Department — to investigate Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe. He privately pressured department officials to prosecute them and erupted in anger when they failed to follow through on what he wanted.
In the interview with The Times last month, Mr. Kelly said that when he worked as White House chief of staff from the middle of 2017 through the end of 2018, Mr. Trump repeatedly said behind closed doors that among those “we ought to investigate” and “get the I.R.S. on” were Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe.
Mr. Kelly said that when he worked for Mr. Trump, he was able to lead him away from trying to use the powers of the federal government to punish his political rivals.
After firing Mr. Comey in 2017, Mr. Trump, furious over what he saw as the former director’s lack of loyalty and his pursuit of the Russia investigation, continued to rail against him. Mr. Trump accused him of treason, called for his prosecution and publicly complained about the money Mr. Comey received for a book.
Mr. McCabe was later dismissed by the Trump Justice Department after its watchdog accused him of misleading internal F.B.I. investigators. Like Mr. Comey, he had come to be perceived as an enemy by Mr. Trump, who assailed him, accused him of treason and raised questions about his finances long after pushing for his dismissal and prosecution, a pattern that continued even after Mr. Trump lost the 2020 election and began trying to overturn the results.
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