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A Republican lawmaker is calling for an investigation into the sources of The New York Times story that detailed two decades worth of President Trump‘s tax records.
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, responded to the “bombshell” story that claimed Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 by suggesting a “felony crime was committed” in the release of his private financial records.
“While many critics question the article’s accuracy, equally troubling is the prospect that a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information of an individual – in this case the President’s,” Brady said in a statement.
“To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken,” he added.
President Trump responded Sunday to the Times article to say it was “fake news.”
“That’s just fake news. The New York Times tried it — same thing,” he said at a press conference. “They tried to create a little bit of a story, they’re doing anything they can. The stories I read, they are so fake, they are so phony.”
On Monday, Trump commented further on Twitter to question the “intent” of the story, and say it was based on “illegally obtained information.”
The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent. I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020
Brady was not the only Republican to call for a probe into the Times’ sources.
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., released a statement on Twitter:
“The unethical, perhaps illegal, leaking of any American’s tax returns is a stunning breach of public trust. That doesn’t change because it happened to [Trump.] The joint political hit piece between the New York Times and Democrats just weeks before an election shows no wrong doing by @POTUS but leaves Americans wondering if their own private tax information can be weaponized against them for political gain. There must be an investigation into who turned over confidential tax records to the press to determine if the law was broken.”
..shows no wrong doing by @POTUS but leaves Americans wondering if their own private tax information can be weaponized against them for political gain. There must be an investigation into who turned over confidential tax records to the press to determine if the law was broken.
— Rep. Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyPA) September 29, 2020
Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, also questioned the legality of the leaked information behind the Times story.
Calling the report a “leftist disinformation campaign” — it wasn’t by accident that the story came out three days before the first presidential debate — Fitton added: “The big question is whether the purported tax documents were obtained as a result of a criminal leak.”
The “reporting” by the @NYTimes on President @RealDonaldTrump‘s taxes is a leftist disinformation campaign. The big question is whether the purported tax documents were obtained as a result of a criminal leak.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) September 29, 2020
In fact, the legality of Trump’s released tax records was on the minds of a lot of folks, outside the mainstream media, of course.
Here’s a quick sampling from Twitter:
Notice the timing of this with the New York DA looking into it. Illegal leaks? It is against the law to disclose tax returns. https://t.co/dl7WkwRI90
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) September 27, 2020
Who leaked Trump’s tax returns to The New York Times?
26 U.S. Code § 7213 makes it illegal to disclose unauthorized information, including tax returns
If true—there should be felony charges leveled.
RT if DOJ should immediately investigate the Times and their sources!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) September 28, 2020
This tax story is a bust.
1. Like the tea party groups this release is illegal and corrupt
2. Trump is not "in debt" he has debt bc he is always making deals
3. He is not owned by Russians
4. He paid little taxes some years bc he overpaid taxes on assets in previous years.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) September 29, 2020
So… The only illegal act in the NY Times Trump taxes story is the illegal leak of Trump's taxes?
— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) September 28, 2020
Whoever leaked Trump’s tax returns without his consent almost certainly violated the law, despite the Times’ assertion that “all of the information The Times obtained was provided by sources with legal access to it.” https://t.co/XyzB1HHsoT
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) September 28, 2020
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