Lewandowski: Times editor Dean Baquet ‘should be in jail’ for publishing Trump tax docs – Politico
Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s first campaign manager, said Thursday that New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet “should be in jail” because the newspaper published parts of the president-elect’s tax returns during the race.
Lewandowski, who has been floated for a possible role in the White House or the Republican National Committee, had previously said he hoped Trump would sue the Times “into oblivion” for publishing several pages of his 1995 tax returns, which reported a loss of nearly $1 billion — enough that he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years as a result.
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But Lewandowski’s comments Thursday, made at a Harvard University conference that gathered campaign officials from both parties for a postmortem of the presidential race, are a step up. They now carry the weight of coming from an informal adviser and possible future employee of the next president, who already faces criticism for regularly disparaging the media and taking few questions from reporters.
“We had one of the top people at The New York Times come to Harvard University and say, ‘I’m willing to go to jail to get a copy of Donald Trump’s taxes so I can publish them.’ Dean Baquet came here and offered to go to jail — you’re telling me, he’s willing to commit a felony on a private citizen to post his taxes, and there isn’t enough scrutiny on the Trump campaign and his business dealings and his taxes?” Lewandowski asked.
“It’s egregious,” Lewandowski continued. “He should be in jail.”
The Times published the documents, obtained from an anonymous source and verified by Trump’s former accountant, in early October, after Trump broke with decades of American political tradition in refusing to release his tax returns.
In September, Baquet appeared on a Harvard panel and indicated he would be willing to risk jail time to publish Trump’s tax returns, which he argued were important because Trump was “a presidential candidate whose whole campaign is built on his success as a businessman, and his wealth.”
Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, said by email Friday that the newspaper maintains that “publishing the tax story was in fact, legal,” pointing POLITICO to a Times story arguing that Trump would have trouble bringing a case.
After the Times published the documents, Trump later acknowledged that he went years without paying federal income tax.
“That makes me smart,” he said.
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