A 22-year-old college student from Minnesota has pleaded guilty to using his school's computer to try and illegally obtain President Donald Trump's federal tax returns, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Justin Heimstra, of St. Paul, told U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe that he and a fellow student at Haverford College came up with the idea to use one of the computers at the school's computer lab to try and obtain a copy of Trump's tax returns form the IRS. The plan was for Heimstra to use the computers at school and log onto the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) website where he opened a false FAFSA application in the name of a Trump family member. However, Heimstra found someone had already created a username and password and he would need to reset the password.
"In order to reset the password, the defendant was prompted to answer challenge questions, which the original person had created when setting up the account," the DOJ said in a statement. "The defendant was able to answer the questions and reset the password, and then used the President’s personal identifier information, including his social security number and date of birth, to attempt to import the President’s federal tax information into the bogus FAFSA application."
Heimstra was able to reset the password and then used Trump's personally identifiable information, like his social security number and date of birth to try and import the president's federal tax return information into the bogus FAFSA application.
However, the workaround failed.
"No matter what you think about the President’s tax returns, clearly this kind of illegal activity cannot be tolerated or condoned," U.S. Attorney McSwain said in the statement. "Unauthorized or false attempts to obtain any citizen’s IRS filings are a serious violation of privacy rights and a federal crime, and there’s nothing funny about it."
There was no word on what happened to the other student who came up with the plan with Heimstra.
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