Trump’s October surprise has come a few days early, with The New York Times publishing a lengthy report on the president’s tax information spanning two decades. The Times reports Trump often paid little or no federal income taxes during the period the information covers, that his companies are hemorrhaging money, and that he is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
The report also contradicted years of mainstream speculation that Trump’s tax returns would reveal evidence of Russian collusion if made public.
“They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia,” the Times reports.
So it looks like the president is every bit the corrupt kleptocratic oligarch that everyone has always suspected, except the roots of his deception lie not in Moscow but in home-grown, American-as-apple-pie end-stage capitalism.
Any update on this? https://t.co/8P57bvi2QN
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 28, 2020
These revelations by the Times are certainly newsworthy and most certainly should have been published, and this would be the case even if the information they are based on was obtained illegally. Powerful people like the president of the United States have no business keeping secrets from the public; the more power you have over people, the fewer secrets you should be allowed to keep from them. This report served the public interest and it would be criminal for the Trump administration to prosecute the Times for publishing it, regardless of how it was obtained.
You can probably guess where I’m going with this.
As the liberal commentariat applauds The New York Times for its journalistic accomplishment, it’s worth remembering that across the pond another journalist is being prosecuted in a pervasively corrupt and deceitful show trial for exposing not mere tax information, but evidence of actual war crimes.
I am of course speaking of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being prosecuted by the Trump administration for the 2010 Manning leaks which revealed US malfeasance in its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.