Monday, October 3, 2016

Did Marla Maples Leak Donald Trump's 1995 Tax Return?

Marla Maples

As political junkies and pundits wonder who might have leaked Donald Trump's 1995 tax return to the New York Times, some folks have started looking in the direction of Trump wife number two, Marla Maples.

Since she was married to the Donald at that time, her name is on the joint return, and state laws in New York and Connecticut allow taxpayers to release returns to outside parties with only one of the filers signatures.

Medium has more details:

It’s also unlikely that she would be violating her confidentiality agreement with Mr. Trump by leaking these returns. I spoke to two lawyers that specialize in family law and both told me that they have never seen a restriction around tax returns in a prenup or settlement agreement. They have seen such restrictions when it comes to financial statements, investment records but it would be hard for Mr. Trump to demand that Ms. Maples own tax information be kept private. If Ms. Maples did indeed leak these returns, it would also absolve the Times of any criminal or civil penalties.

Despite the fact that the Trump campaign said that the Times is “an extension of the Clinton campaign”, they’re not (after all they broke the email server story in March of 2015). The Times had these returns for ten days and took their reporting on these returns seriously — even going so far as hiring tax experts to analyze the returns. They sought a comment from the Trump campaign, they spoke to the accountant who prepared and signed the returns.

So it would be highly unusual for them to not contact Ms. Maples about the tax returns given that her name is on all of the returns and her signature is on the New Jersey return. Yet the Times, in their story, does not indicate that they contacted Ms. Maples. Even if she didn’t return their calls or emails, they would still indicate that they reached out to her and had not heard back.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

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