Rick Scott wants Merrick Garland at sentencing for contractor who leaked tax returns
Rick Scott

Rick Scott
Charles Littlejohn pleaded guilty to releasing tax returns for Scott, Donald Trump and others.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott says the Justice Department negotiated a lenient deal for the man accused of leaking the Senator’s tax returns.

The Naples Republican intends to say as much as Charles Littlejohn’s sentencing hearing. Scott sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding he attend as well.

“By harassing prominent Republicans and embarrassing Americans, Mr. Littlejohn’s crimes were entirely aligned with the agenda of the (Joe) Biden Administration,” Scott alleged in the letter. “And now the Biden Justice Department will allow him to plead to just a single criminal count.”

The federal government says Littlejohn leaked tax information for Scott, former President Donald Trump and prominent business leaders including Tesla and X owner Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Littlejohn, an IRS contractor, in October pleaded guilty to one count of publicly disclosing tax return information without any authorization. He faces a sentence of up to five years, though guidelines signal prosecutors will seek an eight- to 14-month prison term.

“By using his role as a government contractor to gain access to private tax information, steal that information, and disclose it publicly, Charles Littlejohn broke federal law and betrayed the public’s trust,” Garland said in a statement after Littlejohn pleaded guilty. “In every case, the Department of Justice is committed to following the facts wherever they lead and holding accountable those who violate our laws.”

Prosecutors say Littlejohn stole information from an IRS database and evaded protocols to cover up that he sought the information. The contractor then stored the information and leaked it to news media, according to the Justice Department.

The New York Times published information from the returns in September 2020, a couple months before the Presidential Election.

Scott said the leniency with Littlejohn stands in contrast to the Justice Department’s actions against Republicans. Many conservatives, including Scott, have categorized two federal investigations of Trump as a “weaponization” of the Justice Department.

“As President Biden brags about his ability to ‘use power,’ and under your tenure at the Justice Department, Americans are witnessing reckless partisan political abuse of our justice system,” Scott wrote in his letter to Garland.

“The Littlejohn plea bargain is just one example of today’s politicized justice, but it is one that touched me personally. Since you have steered the Justice Department down this partisan political path, you should be on hand personally to in some way be accountable. I urge you to not just hide behind the staff prosecutors in the case. Attend in person and take personal responsibility for the things you and President Biden are doing to undermine faith in our justice system.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    January 25, 2024 at 6:09 pm

    Rick Scott doesn’t get what he wants!

  • Margie B

    January 27, 2024 at 11:13 am

    This is not Okay, he set out to maliciously expose IRS information and knew exactly what he was doing was wrong. Now he is going to be held responsible for his crimes and this self righteous vigilante is whining and crying. This country needs to make an example of these criminals!

  • Martin

    January 27, 2024 at 11:54 am

    Thank goodness garland never made it to the Supreme court!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704