Executive editor of The New York Times Dean Baquet said on a panel on Sunday that he would hypothetically risk jail if it meant a chance to publish Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the GOP nominee — against presidential election season precedent — has refused to release.
Baquet was participating on a Harvard University panel with Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, CNNMoney reported.
Poitras — whose Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour” was about the revelation of NSA surveillance programs by Edward Snowden — noted hypothetically that the lawyers advising newspapers would warn of possible jail time should they release leaked returns, according to CNNMoney.
Baquet and Woodward both said they’d take the risk of a jail sentence and would argue with their papers’ attorneys in favor of publishing Trump’s tax returns.
In a campaign season where both sides have received scrutiny for lack of transparency, it is unprecedented for a presidential candidate not to release his tax returns. Trump has received pressure since the primaries to release his returns.
Every presidential nominee in the past four decades has made their tax returns public. Initially Trump defended his decision with the excuse that the Internal Revenue Service had not completed the audit of his taxes, although a week ago he admitted that the audit was a non-issue.
Baquet argued that Trump’s taxes should be public because he is “a presidential candidate whose whole campaign is built on his success as a business man, and his wealth,” according to CNNMoney.