Trump’s leaked 2005 taxes show $153M in earnings
Associated Press | 3/17/2017, 7:36 p.m.
As a candidate and as president, President Trump has refused to release his tax returns, breaking a decades-long tradition. Although he initially promised to do so, he later claimed he was under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and said his attorneys had advised against it, although experts and IRS officials said such audits don’t bar taxpayers from releasing their returns.
The White House pushed back even before the release of the documents Tuesday night, saying that publishing the information was illegal.
“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the White House said in a statement issued on condition that it be attributed to an anonymous official, although the president has decried the use of anonymous sources.
The unauthorized release or publishing of federal tax returns is a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail. But Ms. Maddow argued that MSNBC was exercising its First Amendment right to publish information in the public interest.
President Trump long insisted the American public wasn’t interested in his returns and said little could be learned from them. But his full returns would contain key details about things like his charitable giving, his income sources, the type of deductions he claimed, how much he earned from his assets and what strategies he used to reduce his tax bill.
The issue was a major point of attack from his election rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, who suggested he had something to hide.
The White House has not said whether the president plans to release his returns while he’s in office. More than 1 million people have signed a White House petition urging the president to release them.