The word “leaks” does not begin to describe President Donald J. Trump’s problem. “Geysers” is more like it. He should apply a giant wrench to this deluge.
The latest apparent leak involved two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hyperventilated Tuesday night over this “absolutely historically unprecedented” news. She looked absolutely historically foolish when these records confirmed that Trump earned some $150 million that year and paid $38.4 million in federal taxes. His 25.3 percent effective rate trumped the 22.5 percent average for his income level, the 18.7 percent that Obama paid in 2015, and the 13.5 percent that Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vt.) chipped in for 2014. So, Trump actually is rich and pays more of his “fair share” than do these two leftists who have denounced people like Trump as “the top 1 percent.”
While this presumed leak benefited Trump, it still reeks of stolen goods. If, in fact, an IRS staffer or another federal employee swiped Trump’s return, he perpetrated a felony under 26 U.S. Code § 7213. Punishment could include a $5,000 fine, five years in the slammer, or both.
President Trump should instruct the Justice Department to investigate how this document surfaced. Anyone at the IRS or elsewhere in the swamp who released it should be handcuffed, tried, and, if convicted, catapulted into a federal penitentiary.
Even more worrisome are the leaks that have scattered state secrets to the winds. Since Trump’s inauguration, the entire planet has read details about his phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, the communications of former National Security Council chief Mike Flynn with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the CIA’s possible reopening of overseas interrogation sites, its eerily high-tech surveillance methods, and much more.
Trump haters in the bureaucracy may think they are harming him. In fact, they are wounding America.
Why would foreign leaders want to call Trump, knowing that their confidential words might get splashed across the world’s front pages within days? Why should Great Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, or Japan’s PSIA share intelligence with Washington? Why not skip the middleman and simply hold a press conference on such matters?
Never mind heads of state. Why should pro-American chauffeurs, secretaries, or soldiers abroad approach or cooperate with U.S. intelligence agents, given the risk that their identities might be exposed?