Stealing is still stealing: Trump tax return thief learns that the law does matter

The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Maybe Charles Littlejohn thought he was doing right when the contractor working for the Internal Revenue Service stole copies of Donald Trump’s personal tax returns to hand them to a newspaper.

While the New York Times did nothing wrong in printing the documents (we would have done the same), Littlejohn is a criminal, not a whistleblower exposing wrongdoing by the IRS.


The IRS learned that Littlejohn had pilfered Trump’s returns when they found that he also stole the returns of a lot of rich people to give to ProPublica.

Prosecutors asked for the maximum, five years in federal prison and a fine of $5,000 and Washington, D.C. Federal Judge Ana Reyes hit him this week with everything she could. Good.

This week, ironically, was also the start of income tax season for 160 million filers.

Those filers, even Trump, have a right to tax secrecy.