Did Weaponized IRS Leak Trump's Tax Returns?
This idea will be immediately dismissed in some quarters as just another conspiracy theory concocted by the vast right wing but it is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Several items lend credence to the idea that the IRS has once become an arm of the political left targeting conservatives.
Could it really be just coincidence that Hillary Clinton focused on Trump’s failure to release his tax returns, surmising that the reason might be he hasn’t been paying any taxes, just days before the New York Times printed pages from his 1995 return showing a loss that “may have” allowed him to not pay taxes for the next 18 years? Was this Hillary’s “October surprise” for Trump?
Here is what Hillary surmised during the first presidential debate:
So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be.
Third, we don't know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody's ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax.
Compare this to the eerily similar statement released by Team Clinton almost immediately after the New York Times published the excerpts from Trump’s 1995 taxes:
There it is. The bombshell report reveals the colossal nature of Donald Trump’s past business failures and just how long he may have avoided paying any federal income taxes whatsoever. In one year, Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars. A billion. He stiffed small businesses, laid off workers, and walked away from hardworking communities. And how did it work out for him? He apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades – while tens of millions of working families paid theirs. He calls that ‘smart.’ Now that the gig is up, why doesn’t he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how ‘smart’ he really is?
Did Hillary know in advance Trump’s documents would be leaked and that this story would break within days of the debate? At this point, this can only be surmised that someone at the IRS leaked the documents, but when you consider the 2012 targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups by the IRS for the purpose of reelecting President Obama, the thought that this politicized agency might do a similar favor for Obama’s successor is, again, not so far-fetched.
As Investor’s Business Daily has noted, the adventures of Hillary Clinton and her missing and deleted emails from her private server are similar to the crashed hard drives of Lois Lerner, who masterminded the Tea Party Targeting by the IRS in 2012:
Clinton, under this administration, will likely not fear or face any criminal prosecution for violating the Federal Records Act and doing her official business on that personal server now deliberately wiped clean of records she knew were under subpoena and the subject of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
But then, Lois Lerner, poster child for hard-drive crashes and missing emails, won't face charges for contempt of Congress either. After pleading her innocence at that 2013 hearing, Lerner went on to invoke her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Both Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner used their political positions for their personal and political agendas. Both “lost” or destroyed the emails that would have proven their crimes. Lerner targeted the Tea Party. Hillary targets Donald Trump. Both benefit from acts that violated the laws. The New York Times says someone sent the documents to a reporter so they have no criminal liability. One finds it odd that if a private citizen receives stolen property, they go to jail. If a reporter receives stolen documents, they receive the Pulitzer Prize.
The IRS Chief and Lois Lerner’s boss, John Koskinen, has been the target of a move to impeach him for his role in covering up Lerner’s crimes, his obstruction of Congress, and outright lying to Congress. He is the poster child for political hacks and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that on his watch employees of a politicized agency that has the power to tax and therefore the proverbial power to destroy leaked Trump’s 1995 return for the political purpose of helping Hillary Clinton. After all, a Trump Department of Justice would not hesitate to prosecute both.
As the Washington Times notes, Koskinen has been knee-deep in the IRS corruption and its cover-up:
Among the specific charges leveled by Mr. Chaffetz and 18 of his fellow Republicans on the committee were that Mr. Koskinen, appointed by President Obama in December 2013 after the targeting scandal broke, misled Congress when he said he had turned over all of former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner’s emails and that he oversaw destruction of evidence when his agency got rid of backup tapes that contained the emails.
Lying to Congress and destruction of evidence under subpoena are federal crimes, and that includes the arrogant Mr. Koskinen, who is just one example of being an Obama donor can get you a good job with the administration. As Investor’s Business Daily noted:
Certainly it might be argued that Koskinen's current position is owed to four decades of being a prodigious Democratic donor.
Koskinen has contributed to every Democratic presidential candidate since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5,000 to Obama in 2012.
Of course, being an Obama donor with a government job in and of itself is not a crime, but how Koskinen has used that job is positively criminal. Koskinen once confessed before Congress that “obeying the law was a difficult task”.
Whenever we can, we follow the law," IRS chief John Koskinen recently told the House Ways and Committee in a Freudian slip of the truth that says it all.
Or is that whenever he could, this longtime Democratic donor and the IRS breaks the law to help President Obama and his wannabe successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton?
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.