On Sunday, the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof responded to a tweet by Matthew Yglesias, and encouraged IRS employees to commit a felony by leaking Pres. Donald Trump’s tax returns, Breitbart.com reported Tuesday morning.
“But if you’re in IRS and have a certain president’s tax return that you’d like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eighth Ave, NY NY 10018,” Kristof wrote.
But if you're in IRS and have a certain president's tax return that you'd like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eighth Ave, NY NY 10018. https://t.co/ujYe100Tn9
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 6, 2017
According to Katherine Rodriguez:
Kristof, who writes about global affairs for the Times, responded to a Twitter post from Vox.com executive editor Matthew Yglesias, who said that “it’s impressive that the IRS never leaks”:
According to the IRS Internal Revenue Manual, the “unauthorized release” of a tax return is a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Leakers would also face professional sanctions, including termination of employment.
Trump has not released his tax returns, claiming they are under audit.
Naturally, Kristof got hammered on Twitter:
— Covfefe USMC, Esq (@PruneHamp) March 6, 2017
You do realize, that request, is Unlawful?
— Jon 🇺🇸⚓️🇺🇸 ⚓️USN (@SSNjl) March 6, 2017
The Hill added:
Releasing an individual’s unauthorized tax returns is a felony. While reporters who publish illegally obtained information that they did not solicit are traditionally not prosecuted, the legal picture becomes less clear if the reporters are involved in the leaking of the information.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to whom any return or return information (as defined in section 6103(b)) is disclosed in a manner unauthorized by this title thereafter willfully to print or publish in any manner not provided by law any such return or return information,” according to the U.S. code on unauthorized disclosure of information.
“Any violation of this paragraph shall be a felony punishable by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution,” the law reads.
The Harvard-educated Kristof has covered global affairs for the paper since 2001.
You’d think that after more than 15 years, Kristof would know better… Or maybe he just doesn’t care…
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