Trump Campaign Threatens To Sue NY Times For Sharing His 1995 Tax Returns

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

It's kind of amazing how quickly Donald Trump's lawyers seem to threaten any media outlet for publishing information about him that he doesn't like. The latest target is the NY Times which ran a big story over the weekend with some leaked pages of his 1995 tax returns, suggesting that the guy who repeatedly claims he's great at business, reported personal losses of $916 million. We'll leave the analyzing of the tax returns to those who do that sort of thing (though I will recommend reading this analysis, which suggests that it's likely a key part of the NYT article is wrong concerning Trump's ability to use those losses to avoid taxes for 18 years), but we did want to focus in on something more relevant to what we discuss here at Techdirt. The legal threat that the Trump campaign sent to the Times in response:
Separately, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Marc E. Kasowitz, emailed a letter to The Times arguing that publication of the records is illegal because Mr. Trump has not authorized the disclosure of any of his tax returns. Mr. Kasowitz threatened "prompt initiation of appropriate legal action."
Unlike most of the nine other times (at least) during this campaign that Trump has threatened to sue a media property for their reporting, this one may at least have some tiny marginal legal basis -- though it's certainly not a slam dunk. What is true is that publishing someone's tax return without authorization is a federal crime.

But, it's not that simple. The NY Times would have a pretty strong First Amendment defense that what they're doing here is very much in the public interest. After all, Trump himself has made his tax returns (and his supposed acumen as a business man) an issue in this campaign by refusing to release them, despite every other major party candidate for President releasing tax returns going back decades (and even Trump himself mocked Mitt Romney for taking too long to release his own tax returns in 2012). So there's no argument here that this isn't newsworthy. It clearly is, and that certainly helps the NY Times's case. To me it seems like it should be a clear First Amendment win for the Times -- and plenty of others agree.

Plus, there's the fact that if Trump actually did sue, he'd have to admit the returns are really his and are accurate.

On top of that, Trump himself is regularly talking about getting information out there that hasn't been disclosed through authorized means. Remember, he's "joked" about asking hackers to release Hillary Clinton's emails. And just a few days ago, he tweeted for people to go searching for a former Miss Universe's sex tape in order to discredit her comments about how Trump had treated her.

Who knows if Trump is seriously going to pursue legal action -- in the past he's happily admitted to filing SLAPP lawsuits designed to cost whoever he sues money, even if he knows there's no chance of succeeding -- but if he does, it could become a pretty important First Amendment case... from someone who has already made it clear that he has no respect at all for the First Amendment.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:29am

    The man who gained such satisfaction in knowing that his opposing national committee was hacked, and who publicly called for foreign nations to see what else they could uncover doesn't like it when his personal information is leaked?

    Of all days for my tiny violin to be in the shop.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      James Pattison, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      haha i find it funny that people think these tax returns are some kind of revalation...

      if you read some of Trump' books, he openly talks about his unsuccessful ventures. In his TV series, the Apprentice, he openly states that he was at one point in time, nearly a Billion dollars in personal debt.

      This tax return was apparently return addressed to Trump Tower... This old tax return was intentionally sent by Trump's to NYT. For what purpose?

      To have the liberal main stream media bring up his past debts, so that his campaign can show that he rebuilt his wealth, even after being in such a difficult position.

      In fact, NYT wrote an article on Trump in the 90's calling him the "Comeback King" precisely because he was able to rebuild his business empire even after such a dramatic period of struggle.

      NYT, liberals, and the large media corporations have fallen head first into this trap set by Trump.

      Now you have articles coming out that say the NYT has used the same exact tax loopholes that they accuse Trump of using... As well as the Clinton Foundation...

      As I see it, and the majority of the American people, Trump has yet again tricked the left and the large media corporations into actually helping him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. As long as he isn't cheating the taxes but playing by the system then he doesn't owe anyone an explanation. I certainly take every deduction I legally can and so do the limousine liberals.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Highly unethical" is not always "illegal." That doesn't mean its not relevant and that the voters aren't owed an explanation.

          Trump obviously agrees with this.

          I say that not just because he's demanded that other candidates release their tax returns. (Mitt Romney for example.) And not just because he repeatedly promised to do so himself.

          It's because if his "playing the system" is "smart", then why is he the first candidate in 40 years NOT to release his taxes? If there's nothing wrong, then why not?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 5:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet he still wags his finger at those who follow the IRS code taking deducts legally calling them moochers and cheats, not unlike Romney, it is ok for him but not other less fortunate people - no they are the takerz. And they do not even see their own hypocrisy in this.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re:

        This is not about the story so much as Trump SLAPPing NYT for bringing it.

        As much as the story kindles the conspiracy theory of mainstream media hating him, the legal threatening would seem completely unnecessary to keep such a story boiling.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:30am

    The NYT market cap is around $2 billion. If Trump really wanted to go on a crusade here, he could definitely cripple that paper with an expensive legal fight that goes on for years.

    I bet C-level Times people are asking their subordinates about what they published and why. Taking on Trump is a big deal, but is it worth risking everything for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:49am

      Re:

      Isn't that a question to ask the electorate? No one seems to have any illusions as to what sort of person is and how he behaves - does the US really want a person like this as president?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re:

        No, it's a question for the courts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re:

        Don't worry about him becoming the president, where what he can do is prescribed by law and the constitution. Worry about him becoming the dictator, where he is only limited by his own desires and ability to get people to carry out his own orders.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          kallethen, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's still be within the bounds of the law and constitution for him to insult and alienate foreign leaders via his late night tweet tirades...

          Which is a plausible scenario we should be concerned about.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To become dictator
            Step 1 provoke or create an emergency.
            Step 2 use it to seize power.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              art guerrilla (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              um, as too many are unaware, we are STILL under the 'state of emergency' declared after nine one one...
              it has been reauthorized about every six months with nary a peep from the media...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Actually the US has been under a 'state of emergency' since long before 9/11. It's under something like thirty separate emergencies.

                Congress addressed this problem in the early 1970s, and finally passed a law in 1976 to limit the President's 'emergency' powers. Since then, presidents have declared at least 53 states of emergency - not counting disaster declarations for events such as tornadoes and floods. Many are still in effect, like one declared by Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis.

                The 1976 law requires each house of Congress to meet within six months of an emergency to vote it up or down. That's never happened.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Exactly. They are pretending that laws like those passed after 9/11 are valid, but taking away constitutional rights requires an amendment. It really doesn't matter if either of the two candidates wins. They represent the same power base and that isn't the interest of the people of this country.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              George W. Bush, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best." He he he. I have successfully Patented that business model. You will cease and desist immediately.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:40am

        Re: Re:

        great question. will the country be better off in the hands of Trump? Hes a wily business man. Hes an arrogant, rich, asshole who goes off without filter and says things that are not politically correct.

        Hillary Clinton on the other hand, has been committing treason against this country for an extended period of time. Selling access, favors, and decisions by the Federal Government for personal enrichment...

        Yeah i wonder who would be worse - the candidate who has no filter and says crazy things, or the candidate that has been openly committing treason against this country for her own personal gain...

        great question you bring up

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet for all those vague and often wingnutty ("treason?") accusations, Republicans can't find any problem with Hillary that don't also apply to any remotely qualified Republican presidential candidate in the last few election cycles.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Uh, the FBI listed a whole bunch of things she could be charged with just around her email but the Obama & Democrat run DOJ refused to prosecute. So there's that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, how does that set her apart from Republicans? Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice used private accounts for classified emails. In fact Colin Powell advised Hillary to do so.

              Then there's Bush II, Cheney, Rove and everyone else connected to the Bush White House email controversy, tens of millions of White House emails sent through private servers. Millions of them lost. The security issues were no different.

              And Jeb!, who as governor used his own server against the rules and as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants.

              2016 candidates Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal each have their own email scandals. Mitt Romney too.

              And of course there's all those Congressman who claim that they "don't use email", while having their aides use their private accounts to avoid FOIA requests.

              It was standard procedure for pretty much everyone to avoid government email servers. If the DOJ were to prosecute, it would be "DOJ vs. Washington."

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                AJ, 4 Oct 2016 @ 4:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You keep spouting off this information like it's relevant. This whole "look over there, they did it too" attitude is childish and misleading.

                "There are two very important differences among Clinton, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, and former secretaries Powell and Rice when it comes to email practices.

                The first is that Clinton is the first and, to date, only secretary of state to exclusively use a private email address and server to conduct her business as the nation’s top diplomat. All of the other names above maintained both a private and a government-issued email address. That alone doesn’t make her guilty. But it does make her unique. [The Washington Post, The Fix, 5/25/16]"

                http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/05/27/reporting-hillary-clinton-media-get-facts-wrong -colin-powells-private-email-use/210613

                "Like Clinton, Powell used a personal email address. However, there’s a big difference: Clinton hosted her email on a private server located in her home. Powell did not."

                http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/09/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton- said-my-predecessors-did-same-thin/

                She hosted her own server, and when she got caught, she tried to delete her emails to cover her ass. I expect they all sent email from a private email address, that at one time or another could be considered classified. Shame on them all. But SHE was the only one that did so from an email server hosted at her house, then tried to delete the evidence when she got caught. THAT is the difference, that is what makes her a criminal and a liar.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  AJ, 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  .. In furtherance. If any Republican politician or politician from any other part, and I'm sure if you go back far enough you can find one, did the same thing... then send their lying asses to jail with her.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Roger Strong (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:45am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I gave you a long list. You simply moved the goal posts - right into the 5th dimension - to attempt to exclude Republicans.

                    I'm not saying not to prosecute. I'm only saying that it should be done on a level playing field. It would be "DOJ vs. Washington."

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 10:12am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I didn't move shit. Your post is a clear attempt to justify what she did by tossing out "the Republicans are doing it too". It's bullshit and part of the reason we have these ridiculous political problems in the first place.

                      If they are guilty, then they need to be prosecuted Democrats, Republicans.. the lot of them. Hillary was doing it, and then lied about it and tried to cover it up by deleting emails. The only reason she doesn't have a contempt charge on her right now is, the FBI did not have her under oath when she lied. BUT SHE STILL LIED!!! Roger, She's a lying ass politician that got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Someone who is running for President RIGHT NOW. If Bush, Rice.. or any of those other people were running for president right now, and they had done the same thing... I would be screaming at the top of my lungs to go after them. But they are not... If they broke the law and we can go after them all these years later, then great.. but they aren't running for president right now so hopefully they can't poison the well any more than they already have.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Roger Strong (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 3:01pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        All of them can still be prosecuted; being out of office doesn't change that. Your complaint about being dishonest / being caught applies to every single one of them. Some of those in the list above are still in office. Some were candidates for President in this election cycle.

                        But no, you want to bend space so that you can place the goal posts where it affects ONLY a Democrat, and ignore Republicans even when that fails.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          AJ, 4 Oct 2016 @ 4:33pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "But no, you want to bend space so that you can place the goal posts where it affects ONLY a Democrat, and ignore Republicans even when that fails."

                          Holy Shit Roger. Stop being a victim of this ridiculous two party system. Just because I think Hillary is a liar and a criminal, does not mean I favor or condone the behavior of the Republicans. I have repeatedly stated that we should be going after the Republicans as well. If they are guilty, then lets prosecute them. My focus is on Hillary, not because she is a Democrat, but because of all the people you mentioned in your post with a history of this crooked behavior, she is the only one currently running for President.

                          Stop being part of the problem. She's a fucking crooked politician. So are many Republicans. Lets hold them accountable.... all of them, Democrat, Republican... whatever.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Roger Strong (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Powell used an AOL account. Do you honestly believe that it's more secure than a private server? Should he have used Yahoo instead?

                  Bush II, Cheney and the rest in the White House email controversy used a private server at the Republican Party headquarters. (Again, millions of emails went missing.) Do you HONESTLY think it makes a difference whether the server is in your own home or at your friends' place?

                  Does it make any difference for Jeb!'s private server or all the others mentioned above?

                  Hillary and her staff routinely deleted spam. Apparently this wasn't against the rules.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 10:17am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    There you go again Roger.. No it's not ok. It's not ok for Bush, It's not ok for Chaney, it's not fucking ok for Rice or any of them.. NOT AT ALL. But those guys are not running for President right now either... Right?


                    I totally hear you. I understand your frustrated because some of these other people got away with it.. or not.. whatever. If we can go back and prosecute them, then lets do it man... lets go get them. But that doesn't change the fact that Hillary got caught, fucking lied about it, tried to cover it up, and now she's RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! WTF!

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  John Mayor, 4 Oct 2016 @ 10:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  First of all... if she was using a server that was a personal server, she has every Right to do with the server what she wants!... IT WASN'T GOVERNMENT ISSUED, AND IT WASN'T "GOVERNMENT MANAGED"!
                  .
                  Secondly, the FACT is, if the "Commercial Server" can't be trusted to ENSURE S-E-C-U-R-E I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N M-A-N-A-G-E-M-E-N-T of its contents, then, W-H-A-T T-H-E H-*-L-L D-O-E-S T-H-I-S S-A-Y A-B-O-U-T T-H-E R-E-S-T O-F U-S? Why aren't our "Security Advisers" ALL OVER the inefficient and ineffective Commercial OEMs re their inability to produce a V-I-A-B-L-E P-R-O-D-U-C-T?... A-N-D F-O-R E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y? And!... W-H-Y T-H-E H-*-L-L I-S S-U-C-H C-O-M-M-E-R-C-I-A-L I-N-E-F-F-I-C-I-E-N-Y A-N-D I-N-E-F-F-E-C-T-I-V-E-N-E-S-S H-E-R P-R-O-B-L-E-M?
                  .
                  In other words, if the Commerical Server she was using (add in, her cellphone!) was to a REASONABLE STANDARD, then I wouldn't be having this "text-off" with you! And!... frankly!... if government information was inadvertently leaked, or hacked, I wouldn't be blaming HER, I W-O-U-L-D-B-E B-L-A-M-I-N-G W-H-O-E-V-E-R A-L-L-O-W-E-D S-U-C-H S-H-*-T T-O B-E S-O-L-D A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E I-N A-M-E-R-I-C-A! And!... if such sh*t is to be sold, it's to be sold with a M-A-N-D-A-T-E-D W-A-R-N-I-N-G, T-H-A-T T-H-E U-S-E O-F S-A-M-E C-A-N-'-T B-E T-R-U-S-T-E-D!
                  .
                  Please!... no emails!

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:22pm

              It's my understanding that they weren't very GOOD charges.

              (and granted, I get this from John Oliver who may have been lying) that the FBI reviewed all the incidents of classified material on the Clinton server, and didn't find anything that was damaging enough to be worthy of prosecution. Yes, Clinton was stupid and acting dangerously, but it's a no-harm-no-foul situation, and many many other people (including common peons) evade prosecution based on the same philosophy.

              Yes, what Clinton did (using a private server for public records) was unethical, but this is a means by which many many officials avoid having their dialogs become public record. That, the political culture, is what needs to change, and probably through a compromise other than having the Russians surprise hack-and-publicize server data for us.

              Trump bypasses it by having an aide send and receive emails on his or her account, which is an other bypass and is just as unethical.

              And while Clinton may have committed various kinds of treason as an official (as noted in the West Wing early on, it is somewhat hard to avoid), Trump is probably going to (literally!) nuke someone he doesn't like, because he can't understand why we don't use our nuclear weapons.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 3:48pm

                Re: It's my understanding that they weren't very GOOD charges.

                "That, the political culture, is what needs to change"

                One good way of changing political culture is to refuse to elect those who behave in ways you don't like, you know.

                "Trump bypasses it by having an aide send and receive emails on his or her account, which is an other bypass and is just as unethical."

                Trump is not yet an elected or appointed official, and thus FOIA requirements do not apply to him... do they?

                "And while Clinton may have committed various kinds of treason as an official (as noted in the West Wing early on, it is somewhat hard to avoid"

                WHAT??? It's hard to avoid committing TREASON???

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:04pm

                  Treason is such an... ugly word.

                  WHAT??? It's hard to avoid committing TREASON???

                  Actually a better way to say it is that it's very easy for someone with prosecutorial discretion to interpret an action as treason, to the point that it might be difficult to find national officers who couldn't be so prosecuted.

                  We just, generally don't.

                  FOIA requirements do not apply to him... do they?

                  You know, I don't know. Most of the people we elect to national office are already (allegedly) subject to FOIA requests because they are in other public positions. So I don't know what of his campaign records (if any at all) become public record if he should become elected. I believe the laws are set up to collect a lot of it for historical records, at least to go into presidential libraries. But I'm guessing in that regard. Still, even though accountability and historical records are recognized as good reasons to capture communications of public officials, they don't like to be held accountable, and they may not like their lives (though relevant) to go down in history, so it is very common practice to try to circumvent those regulations. I doubt seriously that Donald Not paying taxes makes me smart Trump would be any different.

                  One good way of changing political culture is to refuse to elect those who behave in ways you don't like, you know.

                  Aaand once again, thanks to our first-past-the-post election system and the consequential two parties we have, you get one vote against the guy you want the least, not for the guy you want the most. Voting for a third party is gambling on a microscopic chance that your guy will get a plurality, but at the expense of your vote against the guy you least like.

                  History has demonstrated the laws of probability are way against a third party getting elected at a national level.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 10:25am

                Re: It's my understanding that they weren't very GOOD charges.

                Agreed, no harm no foul.. that is until she lied about it and tried to cover it up by deleting evidence? That stupid shit about the "C" on the documents being an alphabetical classification or some bullshit... seriously?

                How fast would you and I get slapped with destruction of evidence and making false statements charge if we had done that?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:16pm

                  How fast would you or I get indicted?

                  Extremely fast.

                  And I'm just as outraged that our society has castes especially when we were promised a state of equals.

                  That also seems to be a norm regarding our candidates. Trump was still never prosecuted for raping a thirteen year old (more accurately coercing sex from her under threat of extortion). Even famous Hollywood directors so accused have to flee to France, but Trump can still be a major party candidate for President of the United States.

                  Well, he won't be short of interns there.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2016 @ 4:44am

                    Re: How fast would you or I get indicted?

                    This is our fault. We have allowed ourselves to be corralled into a 2 party system where criminals seem to be allowed to participate.

                    If Trump did what you say he did, then we need to prosecute him. Hell, Bill Clinton was accused 17 times of sexual harassment or flat out rape, but we still voted him as president.... TWICE! Lets stop being stupid and start holding these people accountable!!!

                    If they are guilty, then they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Trump, Clinton (both Clinton's), Rice, Kermit the Frog.... whoever.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Thad, 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:22am

                      Re: Re: How fast would you or I get indicted?

                      This is our fault. We have allowed ourselves to be corralled into a 2 party system where criminals seem to be allowed to participate.

                      What do you mean, "our" and "we"? The US has had a two-party system since 1792. (And given that Aaron Burr was a major-party nominee in 1800, allowing criminals to participate isn't exactly a new trend either.) The only way I "allowed myself to be corralled into" that is by being born here.

                      If Trump did what you say he did, then we need to prosecute him. Hell, Bill Clinton was accused 17 times of sexual harassment or flat out rape, but we still voted him as president.... TWICE!

                      Again, what do you mean by "we"? I was born in 1982. I never voted for Clinton, Bush, Dole, *or* Perot.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2016 @ 5:16am

                        Re: Re: Re: How fast would you or I get indicted?

                        "Again, what do you mean by "we"? I was born in 1982. I never voted for Clinton, Bush, Dole, *or* Perot."

                        We the people. It means exactly what I said. Just because some of these things started before your born, doesn't mean your void of responsibility. It is every citizens duty to hold their Government accountable.

                        "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:00am

      Re:

      I have sat in a large paper's editorial room during the decision process on stories. It is 90%+ guaranteed that the publisher both knew about the story, likely approved it being written in the first place and that it was heavily vetted by their legal team. The only executives who would reasonably be unaware of the article being published would be the ad side. They normally would not be able to question that type of stuff anyways.

      This does not prevent them from being sued of course.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nerd bert (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:02am

      Re:

      The First Amendment doesn't mean that the press isn't free to shoot itself in the foot. Gawker won on invasion of privacy under a state law, and it seems that the NYT is vulnerable on similar grounds.

      I'm not sure who I'm cheering for here. I like transparency, but at some point people deserve some privacy, even at the level of the Presidency. "It's just sex and everyone lies about that" was Clinton's excuse that got him off impeachment, but he still lost his license and was disbarred because he made that lie in a court filing and to me that was the appropriate punishment. It may be that the NYT is doing the public a favor about pointing out Trump's use of tax loopholes (although I will point out Clinton has used the same loophole), but in doing so it may well face serious consequences and I'm ok with that.

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      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re:

        "but at some point people deserve some privacy, even at the level of the Presidency."
        No they don't. Especially when you champion yourself as a good guy, are marketed to children, but go around banging you friend's wife while cheating on your own wife.

        Was PeeWee Herman's masturbation in a porn theatre not news?

        "got him off impeachment"
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Even the President should have some privacy for matters not of national importance. Clinton getting a BJ for example was declared to be of vital national importance by the Republicans.

          Contrast that with something NOT of national importance. 9/11 for example, and the investigation into what warnings the President received.

          The White House wanted to limit any appearance by the president to just one hour spent with two of the commissioners. Bush II did eventually meet with the Commission, but only under stringent conditions: Bush had to have Dick Cheney at his side, testifying at the same time; testimony was given in private and NOT UNDER OATH; no press coverage was allowed; and no recordings or transcripts were made of what they said.

          Surely you can see the difference.

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          • identicon
            I.T. Guy, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Contrast that with something NOT of national importance. 9/11 for example, and the investigation into what warnings the President received."
            Wat??? What they knew, when they knew about it, and what they did or didn't do isn't a matter of National Security??? Do tell.

            "even the President should have some privacy for matters not of national importance."
            When the point has been proven that just not Hills but others as well have set up private email servers to avoid scrutiny... I agree if Hills wants to talk with Chelsea about life matters then that should be private. The second you send an official email from that address/server then the privacy issue goes out the window.

            You have to accept that as a public figure allegedly serving the public, your rights as an ordinary citizen are diminished. It's part of the job. Do you expect privacy using work email? Any normal human being at this point in the world knows and has most likely signed an agreement that the use of company email for personal use is prohibited, just as using a private email for business purposes is forbidden.

            These concepts are not new at all. If Hills was on the up and up with her email server and only used it for personal correspondence, the investigation would have said so and myself personally would have defended her rights to private conversations with non government entities.

            So if I am expected to accept the fact, as a normal citizen, that all emails sent through an ISP are captured and stored by the NSA, then Hills should accept the fact that all her emails are too. Even more-so in her case as a public figure as the NSA is capturing them and there is an archive solution in place to preserve emails. And she knew. Thats why she had a server.

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            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > Wat??? What they knew, when they knew about it, and what they did or didn't do isn't a matter of National Security??? Do tell.

              Clinton getting a BJ was declared to be of vital national importance by the Republicans. They did everything but demand that he get re-blown on the Senate floor. ("We must know exactly what happened!!!) Everything had to be done in public and under oath, and every word published.

              Bush II on the other hand could testify about 9/11 only with Dick Cheney at his side testifying at the same time; testimony was given in private and NOT UNDER OATH; no press coverage was allowed; and no recordings or transcripts were made of what they said.

              This is a crystal clear statement on where America's National Security priorities are. What more do you want?

              It's the same thing with Hillary's mail server: It's still just peachy-keen that Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice used private accounts for classified emails. In fact Colin Powell advised Hillary to do so.

              Then there's Bush II, Cheney, Rove and anyone else connected to the Bush White House email controversy, tens of millions of White House emails sent through private servers. Millions of them lost. With the same security issues.

              And Jeb!, who as governor used his own server against the rules and as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants. 2016 candidates Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal, who each have their own email scandals. Mitt Romney too. And of course all those Congressman who claim that they "don't use email", while having their aides use their private accounts to avoid FOIA requests.

              Look, I fully agree with you on why Hillary had a server and why it shouldn't be allowed. But all the cases listed above demonstrate that America in general and Washington in particular disagrees.

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    • identicon
      Noah Callaway, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      If you think this wasn't vetted by the Times legal team, you're nuts. The Times made a decision to publish fully aware of the risks involved.

      Additionally, Trump doesn't have the kind of liquid capital needed to burn the Times to the ground. He's well financed, yes, but most of his holdings aren't liquid. He's been pouring most of his liquid capital into his campaign, and talking about further spending significant chunks of capital on the campaign.

      Trump doesn't have the resources available to bleed the Times dry on this.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re:

        > Additionally, Trump doesn't have the kind of liquid capital needed to burn the Times to the ground.

        He has enough to get a case started and litigation finance groups would give him the rest if it looks like he could win. The Times is still on very shaky financial grounds and I don't think it would take much to knock them down.

        > He's been pouring most of his liquid capital into his campaign

        I don't think that's true. The reverse does seem to be true though - his campaign is spending money on Trump properties.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:37am

    hypocrites do not like being outed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      Yeah, but when you're married to slick Willie, and you're middle name is Teflon, you just can't concern yourself with words like 'Classified' or 'Benghazi', it's about that Oligarchy you espouse yourself to.

      Personally, I want to know how Bill and Hillary, in 2000, were so 'broke' (as they claimed at the time) that they bought a 1.2-million dollar home without cash. I mean, I've been between paychecks and 6-packs before, and I've never ONCE went out and bought the Playboy mansion, scouts-honor!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re:

        It's always "them" isn't it?

        I do not see any reference to any political party in the post to which you replied, and yet you assume it was partisan ... why?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:08pm

        Re: Re:Clinton Tax return

        If only someone could search a data index for something like "Clinton tax returns year 2000", and get the tax returns for every past president and presidential candidate. I bet it would answer how someone could afford a particular house.

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  • identicon
    John Cressman, 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:53am

    Sue Them!

    Sue them! Sue them all!

    Trump should sue them. Let it go to court. And let's see what the results are. If the Times broke federal law, then they should be punished. After the Gawker loss, I would be interested to see if First Amendment trumps federal law.

    Because someone in the IRS is dirty and they need to be outed and prosecuted. The IRS is already the most powerful, most well funded terrorist organization in the world. When they start getting partisan, that makes them even more dangerous.

    But like most things with Trump, I suspect his bark is worse than his bite.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:59am

      Re: Sue Them!

      The leak was from Trump Tower...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: Sue Them!

        I have not checked Snopes yet, but I did see one story saying it was possibly his Ex wife at the time.

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    • identicon
      Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:34am

      Re: Sue Them!

      You're missing the point, Liberals don't have to follow the law. That's what this is all about. Whether you are violating HIPPA, printing IRS records without authorization, e-mailing Classified data on Yahoo or letting U.S. Sovereign Soil (US Embassy) fall while withholding military reinforcements - and not having to answer to your constituents, or be punished for your actions; you are being socially programmed to 'accept the new U.S. Monarchy'.

      Funny, if you changed the names and asked a liberal 'If Trump had done , would you want him prosecuted for it?' - amazing how that shoe suddenly fits.

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      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re: Sue Them!

        Your point is moot when you use terms like Conservative and Liberal.

        "Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights."

        As far as I have noticed in this political climate there may be one or two Liberals left. Surely there are none in this Presidential election.

        "Liberals don't have to follow the law."
        I guess you were under a rock during GWB's tenure.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Re: Sue Them!

        Yes it's all the "Lie-brawls" fault. Next your gonna tell me the Demon-rats eat babies and steal you vital bodily fluids.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam V, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:05am

    Latest buzz is that Marla Maples may have been the one to "leak" them... although if that's the case, it's not really a leak since they'd be her tax records too.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:10am

    If only Trump could get a billionaire to bankroll his attorneys. Then the little man could truly get justice!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:22am

    He doesn't have to admit they are his

    He could sue for libel.

    But I haven't heard any denials from him or his lackeys, so I doubt that's the route he'll take.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:54am

    NYT is wrong

    EVERY American citizen is guaranteed certain rights and protections by our Constitution and our laws. Doesn't matter what job they hold or what office they seek. Tax returns are protected, and that's that. Now, if Trump wants to release them, that's fine. But if he doesn't, that's his right. Marla may have the right to release her returns, but since it is a shared return, she would also need his authorization.

    Public interest doesn't matter. There's no evidence to suggest that a decades-old tax return is of any use to the public other than fodder for a political smear attempt. That's the only reason it's newsworthy (to some). There is no public "right to know" about his private life.

    Now if he had been caught by the IRS decades ago filing fraudulent returns, then we could consider that actually newsworthy to everyone. Certainly the IRS had to have crawled all over that return before accepting it. And they apparently found it okay, or there is a post-audit version that hasn't been released and that is more accurate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:51am

      Re: NYT is wrong

      There's no evidence to suggest that a decades-old tax return is of any use to the public other than fodder for a political smear attempt.

      The general public is preparing to vote for the person who will become the leader of this country for the next four years. As a member of that general public, I believe we are entitled to know whether Donald Trump is paying income taxes like (mostly) everyone else does—in other words, if Trump is giving back to the country he wishes to govern. The Clintons may not pay taxes at a rate people consider “fair” given their wealth, but as far as we know (thanks to the release of their tax returns), they do actually pay their taxes.

      We're also entitled to know whether his business interests present any conflicts of interest with his potential presidency. One report I’ve heard lately said he broke the trade embargo with Cuba to do business there; if he becomes POTUS, will he continue to ignore laws and regulations he considers too much of a burden? (And that doesn’t even get into his possible connections with Russia.)

      His charitable giving is also an issue. We know the Clinton Foundation does a heavy amount of charitable giving, and we know the Clintons personally give a sizeable amount towards charity. How much, if any, charitable giving has Donald Trump done lately? How can we expect him to be someone who cares about the people he wants to govern if he doesn’t care enough to give some of his (reportedly) immense wealth to the less fortunate?

      Trump’s tax returns are absolutely a matter of public interest. That he has kept them hidden from public view for so long, in defiance of a decades-old tradition that even his inter-party political rivals would not break, makes me think he’s hiding something that would sink his campaign (if not his public image). The general public has a right to know such things about the man they might choose to lead them for the next four years.

      If someone has made a convincing argument that says we don’t, I haven’t yet heard it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        if Trump is giving back to the country he wishes to govern.

        I am more interested whether there are some of his own chips in the taxpayers' money he is going to spend, or whether he takes no personal hit when doing yet another strategic bankruptcy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        Funny how the Clinton's personal finances were 'their own' when Bill left office and while claiming 'they were broke', managed to buy their $1.2 million home in New York (so Hillary could become a NY Senator). No one wanted ANYONE digging into THAT finance, why are you so concerned about Trump?

        Oh, and the question isn't 'whether he paid appropriate taxes', this is spoke like a traditional liberal 'redistributionist'. The real question is, 'did he meet the requirements of U.S. Tax Law, or did he violate it?' Since he hasn't been audited and found guilty of anything from that period 21 years ago, I hazard to guess this is just more Liberal Drool, coated in crusty socialist media sleeze.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:20am

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          Skeeter,

          I would like to draw your attention to the fact that turning the debate into a 'he said, she said' is precisely what the both of them want.

          The facts are pretty simple. He didn't disclose. Somebody committed a crime. NYT has compounded the effect of that crime and may be liable.

          In all probability, there are irregularities with his taxes. But any tax professional will tell you, that once you get past a a few thousand journal entries, the likelyhood of accounts balancing on first review gets pretty small.

          The idea that things are squeaky clean on the Clintonian side is just as unlikely. And if they are that clean, that is more of a red flag than if they aren't. Again, accounting for complex customers is a janitorial experience by definition.

          So the two sides throw molotov cocktails at each other, and the country watches fervently gobbling up the detritus in ever more perverse ego-gluttony.

          The other guys are stupid, irrational etc. etc. It doesn't matter who are what they are, because WE are right, and WE are loyal to (pick your candidate) and THEY will look after us ( clinching laughter ) when they win.

          What is wrong with this picture, is that this isn't how it works in this country. Loyalty here is to an idea. And if reasoned debate is neutralized, then that idea can not be served in any way. And the function of this charade, is to neutralize reasoned debate.

          Which is to say, that both sides are warring on the Constitution. The unholy trinity functions as distinct, but equally detestible henchmen in the service of that mayhem.

          You can pick from the menu, or you can walk outside and eat in the truck. Personally I prefer a pan of diesel flavored jiffy pop cooked off the engine block, than the roasted turds both of them are trying to pass off as ambrosia.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

            In all probability, there are irregularities with his taxes. But any tax professional will tell you, that once you get past a a few thousand journal entries, the likelyhood of accounts balancing on first review gets pretty small.

            He is not breaking with the disclosure standard because of "irregularities". Even while there is the potential for some smart aleck finding stuff that the IRS overlooked with such a big client, that would not be worth the political fallout.

            Nope, there obviously is an elephant in this story. And since Trump is not likely to be speculating on being able to hide an elephant from the IRS indefinitely, the elephant is likely legal, but at the same time hideous to the average voter and/or highly interesting to business competition.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:32am

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          Since he hasn't been audited and found guilty of anything from that period 21 years ago, I hazard to guess this is just more Liberal Drool, coated in crusty socialist media sleeze.

          Or, we're just wondering how someone who likely pays zero taxes has any kind of vested interest in fixing said tax code.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:24am

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          You would do well to stop flinging insults. They're not an argument, and they're not helping your argument. If you can't make an argument without sneaking in some condescension for those with whom you disagree, you probably can't make an argument worth a damn.

          As to the meat of your argument: Yes, what the Clintons have done with their finances and their taxes are as important as what Trump has done with his. But the Clintons have been as transparent as possible by releasing several years' worth of tax returns, and the lack of articles pointing out any explicit illegalities or shady dealings lead me to believe that, ethically dubious though they may be, the Clintons are no more “corrupt” or “sleazy” than any other career politician.

          Donald Trump is another matter entirely. He has avoiding releasing any tax returns—even ones not under audit!—and he has refused to discuss even the general contents of those returns. By doing so, he has hidden several things from the general public that they have a right to know about a presidential candidate (e.g., who he does business with, how much he's worth, how much he gives to charity, how much does he pay in taxes).

          The release of tax returns is meant to be a move in transparency—something that gives the general public a chance to see if this person running for president has any questionable business dealings or hasn't been paying taxes for some time. It gives the general public a chance to determine whether they think a candidate will govern in the interests of all citizens or just those who might best benefit the candidate. For all of Clinton's faults, at least we're aware that she's wealthy, that she made a lot of money via speaking engagements, and that her campaign is partially funded by Wall Street types. No one can claim similar knowledge of Donald Trump.

          At some point, you'll want to ask yourself, "Why is that?"

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          Speaking of drooling, actually no, you are more foaming at the mouth.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        The kind of guy Trump is.

        I have a relative that used to have an acoustical tile business. When Trump was doing stuff in Atlantic City, my relative was hired to do a lot of work. The poor guy sunk everything he had into this job. Well Trump declared bankruptcy and almost ruined my relatives life. Trump still made millions.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyregion/donald-trump-atlantic-city.html?_r=0

        https://www. reddit.com/r/politics/comments/4nlffd/how_donald_trump_bankrupted_his_atlantic_city/


        Both these ass-clowns are unfit to hold office.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        "The general public is preparing to vote for the person who will become the leader of this country for the next four years. As a member of that general public, I believe we are entitled to know whether Donald Trump is paying income taxes like (mostly) everyone else does—in other words, if Trump is giving back to the country he wishes to govern. "

        There is no "right to know" in the Constitution. If you're so convinced it's there, then the right thing for you to do is ask the IRS if he's paying his taxes. Just because you and others in the public are nosy doesn't mean you have the right to know any more than whether he's violating laws. Same goes with charitable giving. He can claim it, and you can believe or disbelieve, and vote your conscience. Beyond that, no one appointed the NYT or any of us to be Trump's oversight. He gets a lot of public visibility once he's in office, if elected.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          There is no "right to know" in the Constitution.

          So what? We, The People of the United States of America, have a duty to figure out if a presidential candidate is qualified to hold the office—and part of any such deliberation should be knowledge about a candidate’s finances and business dealings. We’re electing a leader, and we should know if that leader will have interests other than the American public in mind while they govern the country. It’s part of the reason why the release of such information has become something of a formality: It helps the public decide whether a candidate is trustworthy when they talk about helping the American people.

          Sure, no election has ever come down to a candidate's tax returns. But such information can only help to better inform voters about a candidate…which might be part of the reason Trump doesn’t want to release his.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

            I understand that you have good reasons for wanting to see his tax returns. That still doesn't give you the right to see them, and it doesn't give whoever leaked them the right to leak them.

            You're still free to draw inferences from the fact that he won't release them.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

          There is no "right to know" in the Constitution.

          No, but there *is* an entire amendment stating that "there's no right to ____ in the Constitution" is a bullshit argument.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 9:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

            Laws of the land. If you don't like them, you're welcome to try to change them through the appropriate processes, or to leave. But arguing "bullshit" about laws isn't changing a thing.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 4 Oct 2016 @ 12:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NYT is wrong

              What on Earth are you talking about?

              "There's no right to ____ in the Constitution" is a garbage argument because it says *right in the Constitution* that just because a right is not explicitly defined in the Constitution doesn't mean it's not a right. This is a fact you would know if you had actually, you know, read the Constitution.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:30am

      Re: NYT is wrong

      > EVERY American citizen is guaranteed certain rights and protections by our Constitution
      > and our laws. ... Tax returns are protected, and that's that.

      There's no Constitution protection for tax returns.

      Just saying.

      Arguably there's no Constitutional basis for the IRS, but that's another issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:09pm

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        Actually there is protection derived from the Constitution. The Constitution sets up our legal framework. And one of our laws prohibits release of tax documents. It's very straightforward. Unless you can convince the courts to toss that law. (which is also provided for in the Constitution)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      SteveMB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:28am

      Re: NYT is wrong

      Marla may have the right to release her returns, but since it is a shared return, she would also need his authorization.


      This is (yet another) error on your part. By signing a joint return, he already gave that authorization.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      SteveMB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:28am

      Re: NYT is wrong

      Marla may have the right to release her returns, but since it is a shared return, she would also need his authorization.


      This is (yet another) error on your part. By signing a joint return, he already gave that authorization.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re: NYT is wrong

        Sorry, but you erred twice by posting this twice. Just as both parties had to sign / authorize the joint tax return, both are protected by the law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:57pm

      Re: NYT is wrong

      EVERY American citizen is guaranteed certain rights and protections by our Constitution and our laws.

      Yes, and one of those rights is the freedom of the press.

      What we see here is Trump's right, for the privacy of his personal financial records, conflicting with the New York Times' right to publish them. And under those circumstances, in determining whose right is more important in this particular situation, yes, public interest absolutely *does* matter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:13am

    "Trump himself has made his tax returns (and his supposed acumen as a business man) an issue in this campaign by refusing to release them"

    So, to clarify, your position is that while it's illegal to release someone's tax returns without that person's consent, all that's needed for a First Amendment exemption is for that person to not consent to releasing their tax returns?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      I think you missed the part where he is not just "some person" but a person running to be President.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        Does this mean we can dig into what Bill and Hillary did in 1969, when they went to St. Petersburg, Russia, during the height of the cold war, and met with the Politburo and other VIPs at the Kremlin, supposedly as mere 'visiting students', and what Bill did during his 'extra 2-days there'?

        See, we can dig until we hit that nerve on the end of YOUR elbow, then we don't want to talk about it anymore. Right, Komrade?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually Skeeter I'd like to see someone investigate that too. Are you volunteering?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Does this mean we can dig into what Bill and Hillary did in 1969

          Yes, please do if it'll keep you busy for a while. I am completely and entirely fascinated by what light you can shed on this monumental 47 year-old international incident that shaped generations, and will have ramifications for years to come.

          /s

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 9:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hmmmm the sarcasm is deep here, inappropriately. If disclosure of 20 year old tax returns can potentially damn a candidate, then what of 20 year old draft grand jury indictments for another candidate? Which speaks more to character?

            http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/hillary-clinton-whitewater-indictment-drafts-229093

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 4 Oct 2016 @ 12:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Whitewater definitely speaks to the character of the people who have spent the past 25 years trying to find something, anything, that they could convict the Clintons of.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 1:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Hmmmm the sarcasm is deep here, inappropriately.

              No, it really isn't. If he's really that interested in something that happened in 1969, he deserves the sarcasm.

              He's not talking about 20 years. He's talking about 47.

              You know what else happened in 1969?
              The first moon landing.

              And for what it's worth, I'll bet any insight he has coincides somehow with how the US faked the moon landing.

              But if you'd like to bring up Whitewater, by all means do so. Perhaps you could convince Congress to open yet another investigation that will cost taxpayers millions, while finding nothing. Seems par for the course (Google "Benghazi Congress Waste").

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Does this mean we can dig into what Bill and Hillary did in 1969, when they went to St. Petersburg, Russia, during the height of the cold war, and met with the Politburo and other VIPs at the Kremlin, supposedly as mere 'visiting students', and what Bill did during his 'extra 2-days there'?


          Sure, go nuts. Sounds a lot less fun than going to Hawaii to investigate Obama's birth certificate, though.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      Well, that's not quite what he made an issue of.
      If he had clearly declined the release, that would have been a cheap move, but still a clear one.
      Instead, he tried finding stupid excuses like the hypocrite he is: he said that he would release his tax returns but, what a pity, he can't because he's currently being audited. (It's true that he's being audited, it's a lie that it prevents him from releasing them.)
      Tap-dancing around the truth, outright lying... That's the kind of "issue" he creates for himself.
      If he was honest about it (can anyone really believe that?), he should be thankful that someone took it upon himself to leak then. :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:35am

      Re:

      I have to agree that it's ridiculous to say he made them an issue by refusing to release them. So if he doesn't release them, then they're an issue and can be published, and if he does release them, then they're released and can be published?

      This site has published examples of police saying that refusing to consent to a search means you're suspicious and should therefore be searched. That logic and this logic are both faulty, for the same reasons.

      And if he had released his tax records, would he have released records from over 20 years ago? That seems like it's rather far back.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re:

        If anything, Trump's campaign releasing more recent tax returns might've placated the press and stopped them from digging too far back into his tax history.

        But since he didn't, he has to deal with a problem of his own making.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        You are merely supporting an attack on a fine strawman there. He isn't hurting you, as strawmen rarely do!

        By not releasing his taxes yet Trump is breaking with a tradition. Thus, people are questioning why he is breaking the tradition and as with all that is kept secret, it fuels conspiratorial FUD about him. If he cared about unwritten rules in politics he likely would have released the taxes already, but he is being consistent on that issue, I guess. That is part of why he is hated and feared by several of his peers in politics and controversial far beyond the endless digressions he puts into words: Fuck tradition and unwritten rules!

        The leak is a completely different issue and should be weighed on its own merit against the different rights involved. But usually the publisher will be allowed to bring the shit to the public, while the source would be in trouble.

        By clearlt reading more into the quoted line than intended, James has just send people out to hunt the scary scarecrow!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:29am

    Time to Decide

    It's time for us as a country to decide if we are going to continue to be a country based on the rule of law, or one ruled by populism and "social justice".

    If something is against the law, then it is against the law *no matter who does it* or *why*. If the NYT decides to break the law "in the public interest" - FINE. They can do so AND TAKE THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. Believe that strongly in something that breaking the law is necessary to out it? Publish it and then Go to Jail to show your commitment. Otherwise, you're a poser and a hypocrite.

    or

    Let's just get rid of the charade and acknowledge that anyone rich, powerful, popular or politically correct enough can do whatever they want and give up the pretense of the legal system we have now. I've visited countries like this, and let me assure you it DOES work as a form of government - as long as you are rich, powerful, popular or politically untouchable.

    This article supporting blatant illegality (the NYT SAID they would break the law to release Trump's tax records, remember?) as long as it's against Trump is another example of how TD blatantly leans left in some of it's posts.

    How about some outrage against Hillary or the NYT using the EXACT SAME LEGAL TAX BREAKS as recently as 2015? No? Doesn't fit the agenda? Instead, let's focus on how litigious Trump is for suing them for breaking the law and how it might be "justified". pffft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:56am

      Re: Time to Decide

      We know about Hillary’s usage of those tax breaks because she actually released her tax returns.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Time to Decide

        Maybe we can quit brushing aside all those lies about the e-mail scandal then, and how it looks like DOJ, FBI and the White House are determined to lie, mislead, destroy evidence and more in an effort to discredit an otherwise-credible investigation into violation of Federal Law by 'Important Hillary', who wants to be President?

        I mean, I'm sure it doesn't bother you that Hillary is blatantly lying about any or all of this, but since she's wanting to be President, you'd think that between this, and the Benghazi slaughter, you would be a little concerned.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:26am

      Re: Time to Decide

      This article supporting blatant illegality (the NYT SAID they would break the law to release Trump's tax records, remember?) as long as it's against Trump is another example of how TD blatantly leans left in some of it's posts.


      Wait... what?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:07pm

      Re: Time to Decide

      Use of numerous all-caps passages, scare quotes, and the phrases "politically correct" and "social justice"? You, sir, are clearly a serious person with ideas that are well-reasoned and worth listening to.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:37am

    The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

    Note that the NYT's piece includes -- in addition to the facts, which are not disputed by the Trump campaign's response -- a good deal of inference based off this document. It's well-informed, well-researched speculation, but it's still speculation. Look at how it's worded.

    That means that the NYT went out on a limb. Not very far, and not injudiciously, but they did.

    Trump could saw that limb off and render their reporting moot in five minutes...by releasing his full tax returns. Given his hatred for all media (modulo those who are sycophants and/or paid by him), he'd love to do that. Nothing would make his day more than embarrassing the newspaper of record.

    But he hasn't done that.

    Why?

    Because what's in his tax returns is worse.

    So he can't. As much as he wants to in-your-face the NYT, and right now he wants that as much as he wants anything, he can't.

    So the question is not IF there's something worse. The only question is what it might be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Skeeter, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:51am

      Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

      That the liberals in the White House and at the IRS haven't brought tax evasion charges against him already, tell me all I need to know - HE DIDN'T BREAK THE LAW.

      This one, simple little fact is missing from ALL REPORTING, and it absolutely STINKS! So he lost $900-million due to bad real estate deals that year. So the losses gave him a 'save' on taxes for subsequent years. The one AND ONLY question is, DID HE FOLLOW TAX LAW? The answer screams YES, the media is silent.

      If he followed tax law, that's all you can ask. He never said he was Gandhi, and he is NOT required to be a philanthropist, just pay his taxes and follow tax law. Seems he did, and the liberal media will never admit it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

        Not only that, he recovered and is doing well. I know someone who has fallen and isn't even trying to get back up. The fact that Trump recovered should say something about his character. Like you said, the fact that the IRS hasn't found anything to bust him for says he it has all been legal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

        My goodness, are you actually that incredibly stupid? I pity you. It must be hell trying to get through life with a brain that barely functions.

        Those of us who are superior to you -- which wouldn't take much -- noticed that he's being audited. When the audit is done, and it's not yet, maybe the IRS will take action. Maybe they won't. But since they are in fact auditing the tax returns of a presidential candidate (absurd though that is) they're going to take their time. They're going to be careful. They're going to triple-check everything.

        If he committed some egregious violations of US tax law, then I'm sure they'll hold him accountable. If they're minor violations, they might let him slide. (Contrary to the fear-mongering tactics of the various companies hawking their IRS negotiation services, they simply don't have the resources to pick every nit. They focus on what they have time for.)

        But -- and let me spell this out for you, because clearly you're not smart enough to figure it out on your own -- what's in his tax returns may be worse and it may be completely legal simultaneously. Thus it may be something that the IRS doesn't care about, but we, the voters, will. And he knows it.

        Now I know that in your blind frothing rage against everything you perceive as LIBERAL LIBERAL LIBERAL you have difficulty putting two cogent thoughts together, but do try to use what little brain you have to work through this. Maybe if you spend all afternoon on it you'll grasp it by dinnertime. Yay you!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        SteveMB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

        The only "one simple fact" I see is that he lost almost a billion dollars during the Clinton economy, when a monkey throwing darts at a Wall Street Journal would have picked out a profitable portfolio.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

        HE DIDN'T BREAK THE LAW

        Then he shouldn't have anything to hide.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re: The story is MUCH bigger than this single return

        So if I read you correctly, we shouldn't judge politicians on whether or not their behavior is ethical, only on whether they've been charged with anything?

        Huh.

        Out of curiosity, what's your opinion on Hillary Clinton, Skeeter?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dan (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:47am

    Legal requirement

    A little off topic, but I was actually amazed by the number of people that thought releasing tax returns was a legal requirement, rather then just a gesture of transparency to garner votes.

    I doubt any of this will effect the election.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 8:49am

    and enter Peter Thiel

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:09am

    Not a federal crime

    NYT published state returns. It is only a federal crime to publish federal returns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re: Not a federal crime

      It is a crime to publish any information from a federal return. That includes AGI (adjusted gross income), deductions, etc. The published state return includes some of the federal return information, derived and copied directly from the federal return. Hence, violation of the federal law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:18am

    I bet we find the leak came from inside the house. I bet we find it was Meleana or Ivanka that leaked the returns

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 9:26am

    Maybe the next show that Donald should host is the greatest loser. He seems to have more than the required experience.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:05am

    No true

    fter all, Trump himself has made his tax returns an issue in this campaign

    The liberal media has made it an issue, not Trump. If the media went after Hillary's private email server, Benghazi, her $150 million in earnings while she was in the State Dept, her treatment of Bill's women and her poor health like they did Trump's tax returns it would be a completely different election right now. And I say that as someone who is not pro-Trump. But I guess we should all expect your biases to be on display here as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:38am

      Re: No true

      Benghazi

      Yeah, just a few more investigations, and I'm sure you'll find something this time.

      If only we had investigated pearl harbor, 9/11, Iran-Contra, and Watergate with the same level of effort.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 2:09pm

      Re: No true

      The liberal media has made it an issue, not Trump.


      Yes, the tradition for presidential candidates to disclose their taxes was started by noted liberal Richard Nixon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 9:16am

        Re: Re: No true

        Nixon didn't start this as a tradition for pre-election. He released his returns proclaiming "I am not a crook." That was during his third run for President, for re-election to his second term. At a time when liberals were accusing him of being a crook. He didn't release any tax records in prior campaigns.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 4 Oct 2016 @ 12:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: No true

          Wait. So are you arguing that it's accurate to say that the liberal media made this an issue because they made Nixon's taxes an issue forty years ago?

          Point being, Nixon released his taxes -- and yes, he'd already run for President twice and been elected once by then; I don't see how that's relevant -- and so have fifteen out of the sixteen subsequent major-party candidates for President.

          When a major-party presidential candidate chooses not to release his taxes, yes, that's news. No, it wouldn't have been in 1968. Which would be relevant to this conversation if it were currently 1968.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:26am

    I wonder

    How many of trumps employees have got immunity, and still take the 5th on the stand???


    (oh, and that was NOT 20 years ago)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:43am

    iinteresting....

    FBI Allowed 2 Hillary Aides To "Destroy" Their Laptops In Newly Exposed "Side Agreements"
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-03/fbi-allowed-2-hillary-aides-destroy-their-laptops-newly-exp osed-side-agreements

    was this in 1995 as well?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:50pm

    You are wrong, Trump does care about First Amendment, that is, whenever it can be used as a political tool.
    Remember the transition?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 3:09pm

    False equivalency

    I'd like to mention the disinformation campaign by Breitbart and FOX "news": they're running stories claiming that the New York Times hasn't paid taxes in years either.

    1) When doing a Google search to confirm the story, the only results I got were from right-wing sites. If this were true, wouldn't sites like CNN, Time, and the Washington Post be talking about it? Oh, right, those are "mainstream media" sites out to get Trump so they won't talk about this story.

    2) This is even more false equivalency from the Trump camp. Last I looked, the NYT wasn't running for president and rejecting 40 years of tradition by not releasing its tax returns.
    The NYT didn't post a loss of over $900 million, spread it out over 18 years, and claim to be a successful businessman (that I know of).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 3 Oct 2016 @ 4:13pm

    SLAPP HAPPY

    Trump should be getting a SLAPP!... yea, a SLAP!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 4:15pm

    I Disagree With This Small Argument

    "Trump himself has made his tax returns (and his supposed acumen as a business man) an issue in this campaign by refusing to release them."

    I don't agree with that at all. Following that logic, any document I choose to remain private and confidential could be considered news because of my failure to release it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 3 Oct 2016 @ 4:36pm

      Re: I Disagree With This Small Argument

      No, only any document you choose to remain private that *every other presidential candidate for the past forty years* has disclosed.

      We're not talking about an unusual or outlandish request here (like, say, a birth certificate). We're talking about something that is so common and expected that failing to meet that expectation is a news story in itself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Derek Kerton (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: I Disagree With This Small Argument

        Thad: You yourself are arguing "Trump tax returns are an issue because it is traditional for candidates to show them." That is true.

        It is NOT an issue because he "refused to show them".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:44pm

      Re: I Disagree With This Small Argument

      When we're talking about a candidate for the leader of the free world, there is nothing about him (her) that is not an issue.

      Any refusal to disclose can be interpreted as covering up secrets.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:23am

      Re: I Disagree With This Small Argument

      Wow, I didn't know you were running for president!

      Maybe we have another "third party candidate"...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 3 Oct 2016 @ 4:22pm

    just to be clear

    I'm writing in my choice for Prez, it's a new/old choice, but should be on every ballot.



    "NONE OF THE ABOVE"

    (Just so yall can label me properly)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    coward (anon), 3 Oct 2016 @ 4:44pm

    Legalities

    The leading theory as to who leaked Trump's tax return to the NYT is his ex-wife, Marla Maples. If the return was a joint return then she has legal authority to distribute it as she sees fit. Apparently she is also on record as saying if Donald ran for President she would "burn him to the ground". But regardless of who leaked the return, the damage is done, a lawsuit would just keep it in the news longer and make the Donald seem even more thin-skinned then he already does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 5:18pm

    Yup ... takes a friggin genius to lose a billion dollars doesn't it ... hey why not make him president cause he's so friggin smart n all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:05pm

    tax returns are unimportant, what is, is a man's hair.

    If trump somehow ends up as president, I guarantee the man will have grey hairs before April 1st. Just look at that Obama guy, his dome was solid black when he entered office. Now, he's got more salt than pepper.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:47pm

    TAXING ELECTION

    What I want to know, is whether his Tax Returns are flecked with "Skittle juices", orange skin tanning solution, and strands of yellow hair!... and possibly, bullet holes!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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