from 90s and speculate about his taxes
In this deeply corrupt age of a weaponized IRS and FBI, there may be no legal recourse for Trump. But I imagine a lawsuit may be in the offing.
Does anyone think that the Times would have risked legal consequences if it was not worried about a possible Trump victory?
The lede paragraph reveals the astonishing lack of factual reporting and descent into mere speculation, speculation that supports the latest Hillary Clinton attack line on Trump, that he pays “no taxes” (a recapitulation of the Harry Reid lies on the Senate floor about Mitt Romney’s taxes. When confronted with his lies, Reid said, “It worked, didn’t it?”). Presumably, in the eyes of NYT executive editor Dean Baquet, if this speculation succeeds in defeating Trump, his own criminality and descent into speculation is also justified by the results.
Donald J. 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, records obtained by The New York Times show.
“Could have” is the operant admission that the Times does not know what it reports. As Sundance notes:
The anti-Trump political angle is easily identifiable within the extensive article use of: “could have”, “might be”, “may have”, phrases used throughout the woven narrative. Journalistic “narratives” are rarely based on facts.
Nowhere in its breathless report of non-facts does the Times stop to note that in 1995 Bill Clinton was president and Hillary Clinton was, in her own previous words, “co-president.” They were responsible for the tax laws, along with the Democrat congressional majority 1992-94, and could have changed the tax law.
Callum Borchers of the Washington Post explains the legal jeopardy that could await the Times:
Dean Baquet wasn't bluffing.
The New York Times executive editor said during a visit to Harvard in September that he would risk jail to publish Donald Trump's tax returns. He made good on his word Saturday night when the Times published Trump tax documents from 1995, which show the Republican presidential nominee claimed losses of $916 million that year — enough to avoid paying federal income taxes for as many as 18 years afterward.
Federal law makes it illegal to publish an unauthorized tax return:
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. 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.
Baquet said during a panel discussion at Harvard that if the Times' lawyers advised him not to publish Trump tax returns, he would argue that such information is vital to the public interest because the real estate mogul's "whole campaign is built on his success as a businessman and his wealth."
This makes it appear that Baquet’s violation of the law was intentional and done for partisan reasons.
The New York Times Paid No Taxes in 2014
The New York Times Paid No Taxes in 2014
The implication, reinforced by CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday morning, is that Trump “avoided” paying taxes, when in fact his tax liability was zero.
But the Times itself has “avoided” paying taxes — in 2014, for example.
As Forbes noted at the time:
… for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again.
New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Trump on Sunday, telling NBC News’ Meet the Press that Trump was a “genius” in business who was simply doing what the tax code allows every American to do by counting losses against tax liabilities, and bouncing back from failure to success.
That would include the New York Times — which, however, is still struggling.
As Jazz Shaw of HotAir.com notes, the Times — or whoever was its source — likely obtained Trump’s tax document illegally.
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