The former IRS contractor accused of leaking former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and stealing tax information on thousands of the wealthiest people in the US pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday.
Prosecutors say Charles Littlejohn of Washington, DC, sent Trump’s tax returns and other data to two media outlets that “published numerous articles describing the tax information they obtained from the Defendant.”
Littlejohn pleaded guilty to the one count of disclosing tax information, which he was charged with in late September.
The contractor’s crime affected so many individuals that prosecutors plan to create a public website to notify the victims of any developments in the case.
During the plea hearing, an attorney for Trump gave a victim impact statement, calling the crime “an egregious breach.”
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said that Trump’s returns were “kept in a vault at the IRS” and suggested that the leak may have cost Trump votes in the 2020 election.
Habba said Trump was opposed to the plea deal and called for the maximum sentence of five years in prison for Littlejohn.
Judge Ana Reyes, the federal judge overseeing the case, said she agreed “completely that anyone taking the law into their own hands is unacceptable.”
“I cannot overstate how troubled I am by what occurred,” Reyes said. “Make no mistake, this was not acceptable.”
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 29.
This story has been updated with additional developments.