How far is the Democrat-media complex willing to go to get Hillary Clinton elected? Try this… On Saturday, the New York Times published some of Donald Trump’s state tax returns from 1995, prompting the campaign to accuse the “news” outlet of engaging in illegal activity, the Daily Caller reported.
“The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests,” the campaign said.
The Daily Caller added:
On Saturday evening, the New York Times — which recently endorsed Hillary Clinton for president — published three pages of Trump’s 1995 income tax documents.
“The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances,” the paper explained in the story. “The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return.”
The newspaper wrote in its story that Marc E. Kasowitz threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” against the Times if they published the records because Trump did not give permission for the records to be disclosed.
But it seems the Times is more concerned with getting Hillary elected than following the law.
The bottom line, according to the Times, is that Trump “declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.”
The operative phrase here is “could have.”
More Accurate Headline Would Be "Trump Declared a $916 Million Loss on 1995 Taxes" pic.twitter.com/YXIYObnKec
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) October 2, 2016
This is remarkable — for how the Times took something ordinary, given the contours of the U.S Tax Code, and made it sound sinister. https://t.co/LnYf0hogqt
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) October 2, 2016
Honest reporter to reporter question. Is this legal? https://t.co/A5StidR13w
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) October 2, 2016
Something tells me it’s not legal.
Back in September, the Washington Post wrote:
Q. So what prevents a curious IRS employee from taking a peek or passing Trump’s return to a reporter?
A. For one thing, it’s a felony to disclose confidential tax information. Federal employees could lose their job, pension, freedom and reputation.
The IRS says its 84,000 employees must attend annual training on taxpayer confidentiality. To identify snoopers, IRS computers track the electronic movements of all employees and contractors. Even an employee who legitimately opens the tax return of a neighbor of a high-profile taxpayer such as Trump could be flagged, former IRS officials say.
What about alleged “news” outlets like the Times?
The Post further explains:
Q. Would a news organization that received the returns get in trouble?
A. Federal law prohibits “any person” from printing, publishing or soliciting tax-return information without the taxpayer’s authorization.
The penalties for improperly disclosing tax information were strengthened in the late 1990s, putting new restrictions, new procedures and an internal tracking system in place to address concerns about unauthorized tax-return browsing.
First Amendment experts note that while the media could be prosecuted for publishing Trump’s tax returns, a news organization could also assert a First Amendment defense. In the case of the Pentagon Papers, for example, The Post argued that publication served an important public interest.
Will Trump now push for prosecution against the Times? We’ll see.
And the plot thickens, according to some on Twitter:
— Robert (@ItsRobertOchoa) October 2, 2016
And of course, the Clinton campaign is giddy over this. But is it a game-changer? Time will tell.
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