Rachel Maddow released a news report in which she revealed President Donald Trump’s 1040 tax return from 2005. This was a grave error on her end because she disclosed personal information and obtained that information illegally.
Releasing or publishing federal tax returns without the explicit permission of the owner is a criminal offense. If found guilty, it is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of $5,000. MSNBC might try to minimize their liability by exercising the First Amendment and claiming that it was in the public’s best interest to know that President Trump paid a higher percentage of taxes than his socialist counterparts, Bernie Sanders or Former President Barack Obama.
The White House confirmed the 1040 tax return was real just before Maddow’s show aired. Trump made more than $150 million in income in 2005, the same year he married Melania Trump, and paid $38 million in taxes that year. “Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans,” the White House said in a statement, adding that Maddow must be “desperate for ratings” to break the law. The partial tax return did not reveal any information about Trump’s alleged business ties with Russia or other foreign countries, but the Washington Post reports the majority of Trump’s taxes paid were in the form of an “alternative minimum tax.” He paid $31 million to the AMT, a supplemental tax that Trump has pledged to eliminate as president. The documents also revealed Trump continued to benefit from the $916 million loss he claimed in 1995, converting it into a tax credit. Trump reported a $105 million write-down in business losses in 2005.