NYT columnist urges IRS employees to unlawfully leak Trump’s tax returns

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A veteran columnist at the New York Times urged IRS employees Sunday to leak Donald Trump’s tax returns to his publication. 

“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,” Nicholas Kristof wrote on Twitter.

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.

{mosads}”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. 

Last September before the election, the Times was sent Trump’s 1995 tax documents anonymously. After verification, the paper printed the documents in full a few days later. 

Shortly thereafter, Trump’s attorney sent a letter to the paper’s editors stating that publishing the tax documents was “illegal” because “Mr. Trump has not authorized the disclosure of any of his tax returns.” 

New York Times editor Dean Baquet had stated publicly earlier in September that he was willing to risk going to jail to publish Trump’s tax returns. 
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