Friday, March 17, 2017

Did Trump leak his own tax return?

Is Trump the leaker?   Well, of course he is.  I have no direct proof, but here are some facts that lead to this being the most likely explanation.

1.  The two page Form 1040 is stamped "Client Copy."    This means that it did not come from the IRS copy,  It had to come from the Trump family or their lawyers and tax preparers.

2.  The leaked copy was for the year 2005 .  Why?   It was a very good year for Trump.   He made a lot of money and paid a lot of taxes, unlike what we suspect from some other years.   So, if he was going to choose one year to leak, this would be it.   If you were a hostile leaker, wouldn't you choose one in which he looked bad, not good?

3.  A reason for him to have "played by the rules" in 2005 is that it was the year he and Melania married.  She was going to apply for citizenship in 2006, which requires a copy of your last 3 years' tax returns.  For Melania in 2006, that would be her individual returns for 2003 and 2004 and their joint return for 2005.  So this was the one of Donald's that was going to be scrutinized.

4.  A frequent Trump tactic in public image management is distracting from a disaster by releasing something else to dominate the news.   On the day this was leaked, there was the fallout from the CBO health plan analysis and the escalating story about Russian connections.   And on tap were the start of the new immigration ban 2 days later and the release of the draconian budget cuts 3 days later.

It's all circumstantial.   But I would bet on the leak coming from Trump's own camp.


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