In what has already proven itself to be an election year unlike any other, the newspaper that boasted a reputation as “the nation’s newspaper of record” for more than a century ran a breathless headline exposing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as having broken… no laws.

The New York Times, which has acknowledged its anti-Trump bias claiming it has a duty to the public to prevent his election to the presidency, printed three pages of Trump’s 1995 tax return showing that the billionaire businessman’s CPAs advised him to take every deduction he is entitled to – just as every tax preparer in the country does with his or her client.

Trump took advantage of a provision in the U.S. tax code allowing a business to use its net operating loss as an offset to taxable income in the future.

The 1995 return showed a $916 million loss, which may – or may not – have reduced Trump’s taxable income for as many as 18 years thereafter.

The New York Times relied on innuendo to suggest that the provision allowed Trump to avoid paying taxes altogether, stopping short of making the claim outright.

Hillary Clinton herself made that allegation during the first presidential debate on Monday night, saying Trump was reluctant to release his tax returns because, “maybe he doesn’t want you to know he hasn’t paid any taxes,” which suggests that the Democrat knew of the upcoming New York Times article.

Although the source of the leaked IRS return is unknown, Times reporter Susan Craig, who claimed she received it anonymously, said the envelope was postmarked in New York City and the return address read: “The Trump Organization.”

Clinton’s campaign was jubilant as the article got top billing on the Sunday news shows, but soon had to deal with some inconvenient truths.

First, it was revealed that Clinton used the same IRS provision in 2015 using a loss of $700,000 to avoid paying taxes.

Then the Times itself was “outed” for using the tax code to its advantage when it was able to turn a $29.9 million profit into a tax refund of $3.6 million for… you guessed it, net operating losses.

Of even more immediate concern, for the formerly venerable paper may be 26 United States Code 7213, the provision in federal law that makes it a felony to willfully print or publish the tax return of another if it is obtained unlawfully.

Dean Baquet, the editor of the New York Times, has said publically that he would risk jail to print Trump’s tax return.

He may get that wish.

 

 

 

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