Liberal New York Times columnist may face serious legal problems
President Trump takes a lot of flak for his tweeting, but a prominent liberal New York Times columnist may face more than criticism. Could the N.Y. Times' Nicholas Kristoff's tweet asking anyone at the IRS to criminally leak Trump's tax return be solicitation of a felony?
But if you're in IRS and have a certain president's tax return that you'd like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eighth Ave, NY NY 10018. https://t.co/ujYe100Tn9
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 6, 2017
The solicitation of a crime usually carries penalties equivalent to the crime itself. Here is a black letter-type explanation of solicitation, which suggests that a tweet qualifies, although that may or may not have been adjudicated anywhere:
A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission, he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or an attempt to commit such crime or which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission. It is immaterial that the actor fails to communicate with the person he solicits to commit a crime if his conduct was designed to effect such a communication.
With the Department of Justice now back in the business of enforcing the law against even liberals, perhaps we will be reading more about this solicitation in the future.