But you knew that…
It’s probable that the leaker was someone in Trump’s orbit or someone connected to his wife at the time, Marla Maples, who signed the documents and presumably had copies of them. But until the source comes forward, it is impossible to rule out a more insidious scenario: that individuals in the respective state tax agencies chose to reveal Trump’s confidential information without his permission.
Journalists who tsk-tsk the general public’s suspicion and reflexive distrust of the media should ask themselves how often confidential, legally protected documents embarrassing to prominent Democrats get anonymously leaked and published by the press. Because it seems to happen to Republican office-seekers about once every election cycle.
We may never know who leaked Trump’s tax documents. A rarely mentioned problem about anonymous sources is that you can’t rule out the potential source that would most undermine faith in the system. And faith in the system is circling the drain. In Sunday’s Times, reporter Craig urged more people to send her information, declaring, “when people are worried that anything sent by email will leave forensic fingerprints, ‘snail mail’ is a great way to communicate with us anonymously.”
Sure. But it’s also a great way to ensure no one is held accountable for breaking the law.