IRS Chief Who Opposed Nixon’s Efforts to Audit ‘Enemies,’ Dies at 100

 Randolph W. Thrower, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service who opposed the Nixon Administration’s efforts to punish President Nixon’s political “enemies” by auditing their tax returns – and who was fired as a result – has died at 100.

Thrower made clear that he objected to the Nixon Administration’s efforts to audit opponents of the Vietnam War, leaders in the civil rights movement, journalists, members of Congress, and others for political reasons. In a January 21, 1971 memo, President Nixon wrote, “May I simply reiterate for the record that I wish Randolph Thrower, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, removed at the earliest feasible opportunity,”

After Thrower was fired, Nixon said (as his tapes recorded), that “I want to be sure” that Thrower’s replacement “is a ruthless son of a bitch,” “that he will do what he is told, that every income tax return I want to see I see,” and “that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends.”

Learn more: Paul Vitello, Randolph W. Thrower Dies at 100; Ran I.R.S. Under Nixon, N.Y. Times, available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/19/us/randolph-w-thrower-dies-at-100-ran-irs-under-nixon.html.

 Contact the author at smeyerow@optonline.net

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