Media

#RUSSIAGATE: TRUTH, POST-TRUTH OR DAMNED LIES?

Everybody hates fake news, right?

Then again, one man’s fake news is another man’s infallible truth.

So how to discern truth from falsehood, in the foaming churning sea of ‘narratives’ and ‘counter-narratives?’

Ever since the nihilistic professors of chaos undermined public discourse and the very foundations of language, by the ‘revolution’ of postmodernist nihilism, where everybody has a right to their own opinions and reality is whatever you make of it, the risk that facts, truth, and history would be finally reduced to mere ‘narratives’ has always loomed menacingly upon the horizon. And although the Party of Truth has often striven valiantly against the Party of Feelz, the threat of a purely subjective and emotional approach to the world has made significant inroads.

This being so, it’s a truly extraordinary sight to see those who actually invented ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ consistently railing against these very same things. The supposedly impossible election of President Donald J. Trump in November 2016 left the liberal media and the anxious elites scrambling for a way to discredit the legitimately elected President of the United States of America.

In such a context, where the noonday sun of populist truth is menaced by the midnight gloom of aristocratic falsehood, and the dusk of integrity grimly heralds forth the dawn of MSM lies, it’s comforting to remember how we’ve been here before.

Many, many times.

E-BOOK Can Be Purchased

Peter Boykin is a right-wing activist and the founder of a group called Gays for Trump, he also hosts a regular online radio show, #MagaFirstNews on MagaOneRadio.net Boykin is a prolific social media user, In 2018, Boykin ran for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Peter Boykin has been featured in multiple left and right-wing media outlets and is never afraid to debate for what he feels is just.

Peter Boykin is also an activist for the #LGBTExit / #LGBTQuit movement. The movement is to encourage Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual people to “exit” the Democratic party and follow Trump. “It’s time we #TakeBackPride and #ComeOutForAmerica it’s time for the LGBT to EXIT #LGBTexit…#LGBTQ #GayPride no longer needs to be associated with Extremism.” – Peter Boykin

#RUSSIAGATE: TRUTH, POST-TRUTH OR DAMNED LIES?

Everybody hates fake news, right?

Then again, one man’s fake news is another man’s infallible truth.

So how to discern truth from falsehood, in the foaming churning sea of ‘narratives’ and ‘counter-narratives?’

Ever since the nihilistic professors of chaos undermined public discourse and the very foundations of language, by the ‘revolution’ of postmodernist nihilism, where everybody has a right to their own opinions and reality is whatever you make of it, the risk that facts, truth, and history would be finally reduced to mere ‘narratives’ has always loomed menacingly upon the horizon. And although the Party of Truth has often striven valiantly against the Party of Feelz, the threat of a purely subjective and emotional approach to the world has made significant inroads.

This being so, it’s a truly extraordinary sight to see those who actually invented ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ consistently railing against these very same things. The supposedly impossible election of President Donald J. Trump in November 2016 left the liberal media and the anxious elites scrambling for a way to discredit the legitimately elected President of the United States of America.

In such a context, where the noonday sun of populist truth is menaced by the midnight gloom of aristocratic falsehood, and the dusk of integrity grimly heralds forth the dawn of MSM lies, it’s comforting to remember how we’ve been here before.

Many, many times.

LINKS FOR PURCHASING WILL BE UPDATED SOON.

Peter Boykin is a right-wing activist and the founder of a group called Gays for Trump, he also hosts a regular online radio show, #MagaFirstNews on MagaOneRadio.net Boykin is a prolific social media user, In 2018, Boykin ran for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Peter Boykin has been featured in multiple left and right-wing media outlets and is never afraid to debate for what he feels is just.

Peter Boykin is also an activist for the #LGBTExit / #LGBTQuit movement. The movement is to encourage Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual people to “exit” the Democratic party and follow Trump. “It’s time we #TakeBackPride and #ComeOutForAmerica it’s time for the LGBT to EXIT #LGBTexit…#LGBTQ #GayPride no longer needs to be associated with Extremism.” – Peter Boykin

#MagaFirstNews 8.30.19
https://youtu.be/m96jaREhMtk

James Comey bruised by inspector general’s ‘damning’ report — but he should prepare for worse, critics warn

The reputation of James Comey took a hit Thursday with the release of a scathing inspector general’s report on his handling of memos about contacts with President Trump. However, the fired former FBI director should be wary of what Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham may find in his probe into the origins of the Russia See More investigation, critics warn. “Obviously, today was a bad day for James Comey,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. and chairman of the influential House Freedom Caucus, on “Hannity.” He added it was unbelievable that Comey was nonetheless going on Twitter, seeking apologies from his detractors.

Republicans on Capitol Hill warned the inspector general’s report could be only the start of a series of blows to the reputations of key law enforcement figures. The inspector general report said Comey violated bureau policies by drafting, leaking and retaining memos documenting private discussions with President Trump. The Justice Department’s official watchdog concluded that the memos Comey kept were, in fact, “official FBI records,” and said he set a “dangerous example” with his actions.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s own account was hacked, used to post vulgar messages
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears to have been hacked on his own platform, with several offensive tweets posted to his account.

The tweets, posted Friday and deleted within minutes, included the use of the N-word, other vulgar comments, and one message claiming there was a bomb at Twitter’s headquarters.

Other tweets gave shoutouts to people, and pushed the hashtag “#ChucklingSquad” — the name of an online chat, according to The Daily Beast.
Another tweet read: “Hitler is innocent go follow @taytaylov3r if you want every Jew gassed.” The account also retweeted another Twitter user who wrote, “Nazi Germany did nothing wrong.”
@TwitterComms

We’re aware that @jack was compromised and investigating what happened.
Twitter released a brief statement saying, “We’re aware that @jack was compromised and investigating what happened.”
Dorsey’s compromised account immediately caused panic among some on the platform, stirring worry that President Trump’s account could also be hacked.

Video from 2005 raid on Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women

Video of a 2005 police raid of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion reveals a home partially decorated with illicit photos and imagery of young women. Inside the home, the video shows a wall covered in artsy nude photos of men and women, a painting of a nude woman lying on her back and a photo of a naked woman – reportedly Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell – lying on a sandy beach. Police also discovered a green massage table leaning against a wall under framed photos of Epstein, who was accused of molesting dozens of girls at the mansion.
By 2006, Palm Beach investigators had interviewed more than 30 young women – some of whom were minors at the time of the alleged crimes. In the end, prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers negotiated a then-secret plea deal which led Epstein to serve just 13 months in jail under work-release privileges, allowing him to visit his office six days a week.

Cadbury ridiculed over new chocolate bar meant to promote diversity

The British confectionery giant Cadbury faced backlash on social media for a new candy bar introduced in India that features four types of chocolate — dark, blended, milk and white — to promote diversity. “This is as absurd as Kendall Jenner fighting police brutality with a Pepsi,” tweeted legal analyst Imani Gandy. “Congratulations to Cadbury for solving racism,” wrote restaurant critic Tejal Rao. Cadbury rolled out the multi-flavored chocolate bars Aug. 15 — teaming up with the global advertising agency Ogilvy — to celebrate India’s Independence Day. – Reported by the New York Post

New photos taken of a North Korean shipyard suggest the country could be building a submarine that could potentially be capable of launching a nuclear missile.

officer accused in Garner case, report says

#MAGAFirstNews 8.28.19

https://youtu.be/vW5RYLtWAJk

#StraightPride in Boston in Danger of being Blocked by Mayor in Tricky way:
The Boston Police and their FBI liaison told them yesterday that if Antifa or any militant LGBT groups block out parade they will let them. Then they will let the clock run out on our permit so their speakers can’t speak on the stage they paid thousands for. If anyone did this at the LGBT parade they would immediately be thrown in jail. It is outrageous. Everyone should call Boston City Hall today at 617-635-4500 to complain. Mayor Walsh is a Fascist.

Puerto Rico prepares for Dorian’s wrath
Puerto Rico is bracing for a possible direct hit from Tropical Storm Dorian on Wednesday as forecasters say it has shifted in its path and could strengthen into a hurricane. The storm is expected to pass over or near western and central Puerto Rico, with landslides, widespread flooding and power outages possible. President Trump declared an emergency Tuesday night and ordered federal assistance for local authorities.

New photos taken of a North Korean shipyard suggest the country could be building a submarine that could potentially be capable of launching a nuclear missile, a report early Wednesday said. The photos show vessels and cranes that could be used to haul a missile out to sea for launch, according to experts at a Washington-based think tank, NBC News reported. The satellite photos seem to confirm North Korean state media reports from July about a newly built submarine. “There is no conclusive evidence at the moment that this is a near-term certainty,” an expert said of a possible missile test. Once a submarine is built, it would take at least a year before it’s ready, according to an expert.

DC consultant’s alleged affair with ‘Squad’s’ Omar detailed in divorce papers
The wife of a prominent Washington political consultant has filed for divorce, claiming her husband made a “devastating and shocking” revelation that he was having an affair with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Beth Mynett, 55, submitted divorce papers in Washington, D.C., Superior Court on Tuesday, saying her husband, Tim Mynett, 38, informed her earlier this year that he was having an affair with Omar.

The news of the divorce filing, first seen in the New York Post, comes just over a month after it was reported that Omar had separated from Ahmed Hirsi, her husband and father of her three children, and moved into a luxury penthouse in Minneapolis.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is settlement talks over opioid cases
State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis. Purdue has been cast by attorneys and addiction experts as a main villain in the crisis for producing a blockbuster drug while understating its addiction risk. Purdue Pharma and its owners are reportedly looking to settle more than 2,000 opioid cases in a deal between $10 billion and $12 billion.

NYPD arrests slump in wake of the firing of officer accused in Garner case, report says
The firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was involved in the fatal arrest of Eric Garner in 2014, appears to have already had an effect on the Big Apple, with the number of arrests dropping sharply compared to 2018 and cops warning of plummeting morale among New York City’s finest. Just between Aug. 17, when Pantaleo was fired, and Aug. 25, arrests dropped by 27 percent compared to the same period in 2018, the New York Post reported. NYPD cops made 3,508 arrests compared to 4,827 a year earlier, according to the Post.

Taking a Lesson from the left’s playbook, Conservatives WILL and ARE Exposing Leftist Journalists Hypocritical Activists Recently the New York Times reported on a new effort being undertaken by conservative activists against leftist members of the “mainstream” media. NEW FRONT IN THE WAR ON THE PRESS: TRUMP allies say they have archived embarrassing posts by hundreds of employees of @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @CNN & others. The TRUMP allies plan to disseminate the posts in

response to the coverage they consider unfair.

Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House.

https://youtu.be/xJUtRzAsmkc

A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.

According to the New York Times this is is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of “legitimate” news reporting.
This is the same news media that constantly publishes “Fake News” to clickbait Leftists into following and believing lies fed to them all because these “news” organizations used to be legit… heavy on the USED TO BE!

These so called members of the press have indignantly paraded around for years as “objective” seekers of truth with no political agenda. That’s a lie.

All it takes is just a quick look at their Twitter and other social media feeds to prove many of them are firmly planted on the left and regularly use their media platforms to advocate for leftist causes.
They’ve actively worked to destroy conservative opponents. They’ve painted conservatives as racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic cancers that must be eliminated. Further, these people have been going after conservatives and their families for years: tea party members, the Covington Catholic schoolboys, Brett Kavanaugh, Trump supporters, etc.

We go on with the article:
Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.
The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.

Operatives have closely examined more than a decade’s worth of public posts and statements by journalists, the people familiar with the operation said. Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.

It is not possible to independently assess the claims about the quantity or potential significance of the material the pro-Trump network has assembled. Some involved in the operation have histories of bluster and exaggeration. And those willing to describe its techniques and goals may be trying to intimidate journalists or their employers.
But the material publicized so far, while in some cases stripped of context or presented in misleading ways, has proved authentic, and much of it has been professionally harmful to its targets.

The information unearthed by the operation has been commented on and spread by officials inside the Trump administration and re-election campaign, as well as conservative activists and right-wing news outlets such as Breitbart News. In the case of the Times editor, the news was first published by Breitbart, immediately amplified on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. and, among others, Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and quickly became the subject of a Breitbart interview with Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director.

The White House press office said that neither the president nor anyone in the White House was involved in or aware of the operation, and that neither the White House nor the Republican National Committee was involved in funding it.

The Trump campaign said it was unaware of, and not involved in, the effort, but suggested that it served a worthy purpose. “We know nothing about this, but it’s clear that the media has a lot of work to do to clean up its own house,” said Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director.

The campaign is consistent with Mr. Trump’s long-running effort to delegitimize critical reporting and brand the news media as an “enemy of the people.” The president has relentlessly sought to diminish the credibility of news organizations and cast them as politically motivated opponents.
Journalism, he said in a tweet last week, is “nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party.”

The operation has compiled social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and stored images of the posts that can be publicized even if the user deletes them said the people familiar with the effort. One claimed that the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.

Mr. Nunberg and others who are familiar with the campaign described it as meant to expose what they see as the hypocrisy of mainstream news outlets that have reported on the president’s inflammatory language regarding race.

“Two can play at this game,” he said. “The media has long targeted Republicans with deep dives into their social media, looking to caricature all conservatives and Trump voters as racists.”
A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, said in a statement that such tactics were taking the president’s campaign against a free press to a new level.

“They are seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” Mr. Sulzberger said. “The goal of this campaign is clearly to intimidate journalists from doing their job, which includes serving as a check on power and exposing wrongdoing when it occurs. The Times will not be intimidated or silenced.”

In a statement, a CNN spokesman said that when government officials, “and those working on their behalf, threaten and retaliate against reporters as a means of suppression, it’s a clear abandonment of democracy for something very dangerous.”

The operation is targeting the news media by using one of the most effective weapons of political combat — deep and laborious research into the public records of opponents to find contradictions, controversial opinions or toxic affiliations. The liberal group Media Matters for America helped pioneer close scrutiny of public statements by conservative media personalities. This is the pro-republican group’s template: Media Matters and the way it is always never-ending opposition research that people do all the time.

As Breitbart used to say “A culture war is a war,” he said. “There are casualties in war. And that’s what you’re seeing.” at you’re seeing.”

The move presumably has something to do with Trump’s view that social media companies show a systemic bias against conservatives. According to the summary, the Trump administration has received 15,000 complaints on social media companies censoring political conversation on their platforms.

Those complaints likely came from the website the White House created earlier this year specifically asking for consumers to complain about partisan bias by social media companies.

As the law stands now, social media companies are not liable for the content posted by their users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. They also receive immunity for taking down questionable content, as long as that takedown appears to be “in good faith.” While that provision exists so internet companies aren’t the target of constant lawsuits, the executive order would remove that immunity if a user isn’t notified of the content being taken down, or if the takedown is deemed anticompetitive.

The proposed order calls for the FCC to create new regulations on how and when the law will protect social media websites, specifically when those sites decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. The summary also suggests that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should take those newly created regulations into account when it files lawsuits against companies or opens investigations into their practices.

Presuming the executive order gets filed, the FTC will also get in on the action. It will have to open a “public complaint docket,” and it will have to work with the FCC on a report on how social media companies curate content on their platforms and whether that curation is done in a neutral way.

The summary suggests that any company whose user base accounts for at least 1/8 of the U.S. population would be subject to scrutiny. That means in addition to Twitter and Facebook, companies such as Google, Pinterest, and Snapchat might also be subject to investigation. ]

What do you think? Is this a Good Idea?

Array

Twitter locked accounts belonging to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign and several prominent conservatives Monday, after they posted videos of left-wing protesters gathered outside McConnell’s Kentucky home — with one demonstrator calling for someone to stab McConnell “in the heart” and for McConnell to break his “raggedy” neck. Capitol Hill communications director Ben Goldey said that he, too, had been locked out of Twitter.

“My account was temporarily suspended after posting a video of far-left activists chanting death threats at Senator McConnell,” Goldey wrote on Twitter.

“Meanwhile, @Castro4Congress tweet, targeting his own constituents by name and employer is still up and does not violate Twitter’s Rules.”

“Mitch McConnell has people on his yard threatening to “stab the motherf******” in the heart” & @twitter suspends MCCONNELL from its platform,”

Jennings wrote on Twitter.

“This nation needs to heal & this platform is actively removing voices from the conversation who can help find solutions. Absolute garbage.””Just stab the m—– f—– in the heart,”

Helm said, after a fellow demonstrator referenced a McConnell voodoo doll. Former McConnell aide and political commentator Scott Jennings also called the situation inexplicable.

“McConnell doesn’t care about people who actually do break their necks, who need insulin, who need any type of medication, because they want to stop and prevent health care for all,”

Helm said.

“And that is something that every American out here wants. There’s only a few Americans who don’t want that”

Twitter declined to provide an on-the-record comment. Because the video included an explicit call for violence, and took place steps away from McConnell’s residence, it apparently violated Twitter’s rules for anyone to post the video — including McConnell and his supporters. McConnell, 77, has been resting at home since tripping on his patio fracturing his shoulder on Sunday — and the Team Mitch account posted images showing him at his residence.

In the wake of this weekend’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the hashtag

“Massacre Mitch”

trended on Twitter — and some activists took their case to McConnell’s residence. Saavedra added:

“By suspending McConnell’s re-election campaign for exposing the violent rhetoric directed at McConnell, which was allowed to foment on Twitter for days, Twitter is interfering in the 2020 elections in a manner to help Democrats and hurt Republicans.” “This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell,”

McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said in a statement.

“This is the problem with the speech police in America today.”

On Tuesday, McConnell’s campaign accused New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of encouraging threats against the senator and

“trying to dox some underage kids”

after she blasted a group of McConnell-supporting boys who took a controversial photo with a cardboard cutout of her during a recent Kentucky political event.

The situation quickly spiraled. The Daily Beast posted a tweet claiming that McConnel’s campaign had “essentially” told Ocasio-Cortez that “boys will be boys” — prompting Ocasio-Cortez, and later Newsweek, to falsely imply that McConnell’s campaign had, in fact, used that phrase.

As of late Wednesday, the Team Mitch had not deleted the offending tweet containing the video. Twitter’s policy for accounts violating its rules on certain offending content is to require the account owners to delete offending tweets in order for their access to be restored unless the conduct is so severe it warrants an indefinite suspension.

Golden continued:

“The Lexington-Herald can attack Mitch with cartoon tombstones of his opponents. But we can’t mock it. Twitter will allow the words ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform. But locks our account for posting actual threats against us. We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video.”

Golden added:

“These young men are not campaign staff, they’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country.”

Its most recent tweet, made late Tuesday, Team Mitch called the threats outside McConnell’s home

“serious calls to physical violence”

and said law enforcement had been notified. The episode prompted the McConnell campaign, known as

“Team Mitch,”

to slam Twitter for political bias, saying the social media platform had effectively blamed the victim. Meanwhile, observers noted, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro remains active on Twitter, even after he posted the names of San Antonio residents who donated to Trump.

Array

Kasich touted a “red flag law,” which would allow people to alert authorities if they notice a social media post that might indicate that a person is unstable.

It would then be up to a judge to decide what to do, as far as limiting that person’s ability to possess a firearm.

“It is outrageous for the politicians to just sit back and hope this goes away,”

Kasich said, pushing the media to maintain the discussion as well. Keeping the pressure on both parties is Kasich’s suggestion for making sure Congress addresses gun violence with action.

“They can all be blamed for this,”

he added.

“We need leadership at all levels of both parties.”

While Democrats have accused President Trump of inspiring race-based attacks, and have blamed Republicans for failing to pass gun control legislation, Kasich said the Democrats themselves are by no means in the clear.

Kasich acknowledged that Congress is unable to prevent all gun violence, but insisted that

“small steps can be very helpful.”

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich took members of both parties to task on Sunday for failing to take action to prevent mass shootings such as the ones that hit his home state in the city of Dayton, as well as El Paso, Texas this weekend.

“Do you know how many Democrats run for the fences whenever this comes up? They don’t want to deal with this either,”

Kasich told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“You want to pass gun control legislation? People need to start marching,”

In the past, Democrats and media pundits have responded to shootings by calling for stricter gun laws, but Washington lawmakers have not passed legislation in recent years.

The New York Times published the report with Comey’s memos on May 16, 2017, revealing the contents of the memo which said the president asked him to shut down the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn in an Oval Office meeting.

On May 17, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to lead the Russia investigation.

DOJ WILL NOT PROSECUTE COMEY FOR LEAKING MEMOS: SOURCES

James Comey tangled with Rep. Mark Meadows in the Twitter arena overnight after the Republican congressman accused the feisty former FBI director of going silent ahead of the release of what could be a damaging inspector general report.Comey, during June 2017 testimony, said he deliberately leaked a memo in order to prompt the appointment of a special counsel.And he deployed a trendy put-down to call out Meadows for committing the social media sin of not tagging him: “@ me next time, bruh.”After the fact, the FBI classified two of those memos as “confidential.”“I love transparency. I just wait for facts before I talk about them. I’m confident the results of all IG reports will show honest public servants worked hard to protect this country from a threat this president and his enablers won’t acknowledge. And @ me next time, bruh.”The light-hearted feud belies the apparent severity of the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation. Officials confirmed Thursday that following a referral from the IG, the department has decided against prosecuting Comey for leaking classified information.The report related to Comey’s leaks is separate from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.“As the IG report on Comey approaches, we’re getting the sound of silence. No Comey tweets. No softball interviews,” he tweeted. “Must be tougher when you get questioned by a DOJ Inspector General. The truth is coming. His actions will come to light. And the verdict won’t be pretty.”Comey hit back, tweeting that he’s simply waiting “for facts” before speaking publicly and suggesting he’s not concerned – before calling out Meadows for not following the Twitter code of honor:Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, denied that sharing the memos with his legal team constituted a leak of classified information. Instead, he compared the process to keeping “a diary.”“I didn’t consider it part of an FBI file,” Comey told Fox News’ Bret Baier last year. “It was my personal aide-memoire…I always thought of it as mine.”It remains unclear how tough the IG report will be on Comey, but the review pertains to memos he wrote memorializing his interactions with President Trump in the days leading up to his firing. He then passed those documents to a friend, Columbia University Law Professor Daniel Richman, who gave them to The New York Times. Comey admitted to that arrangement during congressional testimony. 

FBIAGENTS RETRIEVED MEMOS FROM COMEY’S HOUSEB

Fox News is told the release of Horowitz’s report is “imminent.” And Meadows, R-N.C., entered the fray by suggesting the report will contain damaging details for Comey.

Source

Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.


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