Townhall/ BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana private investigator pleaded guilty on Monday to misusing Donald Trump’s Social Security number in repeated attempts to access the president’s federal tax information before his election last year.
Jordan Hamlett, 32, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea in federal court.
Authorities have said Hamlett failed in his attempts to get Trump’s tax information through a U.S. Department of Education financial aid website.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns, bucking an American tradition honored by every president since Jimmy Carter.
A court document accompanying Hamlett’s plea agreement says he used Trump’s Social Security number and other personal information to open an online application for federal student aid on Sept. 13, 2016. After obtaining a username and password, he tried to use an Internal Revenue Service data retrieval tool to obtain Trump’s tax information, the document says.
“The defendant made six separate attempts to obtain the federal tax information from IRS servers, but he was unsuccessful,” says the document. It doesn’t specify how much of Trump’s tax information could have been retrieved with the online tool.
Hamlett, a Lafayette resident, was indicted in November 2016. His trial had been scheduled to start this week, but the judge originally assigned to the case died on Saturday after a brief illness. U.S. District Court Judge John deGravelles, who inherited the case, didn’t immediately schedule Hamlett’s sentencing hearing.
Defense attorney Michael Fiser had argued Hamlett didn’t have any “intent to deceive” and simply tried “out of sheer curiosity” to discover whether Trump’s tax information could be accessed through the government website. more here