Chris Matthews has invited liberals at the IRS to leak the audit status of President Trump’s tax return. On this evening’s Hardball, Matthews said: “we know there’s no audit [of Trump.] Can’t the IRS just make a statement, he’s not under audit? Just make the announcement. By the way, that would be a good leak. Somebody at the IRS just leaking. I thought they were all liberals over there. Why doesn’t somebody just leak it?”

Pursuant to 26 US Code Sec. 7213, disclosing an individual’s return information is “a felony punishable upon conviction by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.”

When Howard Fineman suggested that IRS people haven’t leaked because “they might actually believe in the ethics of their job,” Matthews laughed it off: “they’re listening, Howard. And they’re so taken with you.” So to Matthews, obeying the law is apparently a joke, to be blithely disregarded when it comes to attacking a Republican president.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: We know there’s no audit. Can’t the IRS — can’t the IRS just make a statement: he’s not under audit? Just make the announcement. By the way, that would be a good leak. Somebody from the IRS just leaking.

HOWARD FINEMAN: People have been inviting the IRS people to do that for months now. And to their credit so far they haven’t.

MATTHEWS: I thought they were all liberals over there. Why doesn’t somebody leak it?

FINEMAN: They might actually believe in the ethics of their job.

MATTHEWS: They’re listening, Howard. And they’re so taken with you.