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GW Law Prof Turley: ‘People In DC’ Doing ‘Claude Rains’ Act on Trump’s Taxes, This Isn’t ‘A Shocking Event’

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “On the Record,” George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley commented on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns, “these are very common, and for people in DC to do this Claude Rains act of, I’m shocked, shocked that someone’s not paying their taxes really doesn’t pay very well.”

Turley said of Trump’s taxes, “[F]rom what I can see, it’s not illegal. In this area, particularly real estate, debt is managed as much as profits, that as you can make as much money, believe it or not, with debt, as you can often in moving profits.”

He added, “Well, there’s a thing called a net operating loss, where you can actually claim losses to investments, even losses experienced by the bank, not you personally, and use that to protect you against taxation. Companies do this all the time. Major companies often don’t pay much taxes. It’s a long standing criticism. … And there are very good arguments to make that we should close these type of loopholes. But these are very common, and for people in DC to do this Claude Rains act of, I’m shocked, shocked that someone’s not paying their taxes really doesn’t pay very well.”

Turley further stated that while you could argue that Trump’s tax payments aren’t a good thing, it’s “not a shocking event.”

When asked about a criminal case being made against the New York Times for publish Trump’s tax returns, Turley answered, “[T]echnically there could be a criminal case made, but, this is not a good case for that.” Because the Times didn’t steal information, they got it from a source, and “with all the broken China we have in this election, we don’t need to take after the First Amendment and add it to this national fit of passion.”

He concluded, “Going after media for publishing stuff from sources of this kind, in my view, is a bridge too far.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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