Even though he’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, Michael E. Bowman hasn’t filed a federal income tax return since 1999. According to prosecutors, the Oregon man did so because he “disagrees with the law,” The Oregonian reports.
Additionally, prosecutors say Bowman paid someone 20 years ago to file fraudulent returns for him starting in 1999 through 2001. But according to his defense attorney, Bowman isn’t a criminal; he’s a devout Christian who doesn’t want to give his money to a government that will use it to fund abortions.
Attorney Matthew Schindler said his client isn’t “some kind of mumbo jumbo tax protester,” but is instead a man who “reasonably believed” that the IRS should accommodate him under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment and the Oregon Constitution.
Bowman is currently on trial for four misdemeanor tax charges.
From The Oregonian:
Among those watching the case from the courtroom’s public gallery were two other men facing similar charges who are set for trial at the end of September and Oregon refuge occupier Kenneth Medenbach. Schindler successfully represented Medenbach in 2016 on charges stemming from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
In 2017, The Oregonian shared a video featuring Bowman detailing his motives for not paying taxes.
“The problem isn’t me breaking the law,” he says in the video. “You can spin things certain ways — but the real problem here is this ladies and gentlemen: This woman has the right to choose, and the government has said accordingly, ‘It’s your body, you have the right to choose.’ … Now the government just said I have to pay taxes, and the government can do whatever it wants to do. This is where we start getting into the heart of this matter.”
When Bowman was indicted in 2017, he hadn’t filed a federal income tax return in 18 years — a fact his lawyer says is indicative of his intent, since the IRS “did nothing” in those 18 years.
“It never collected a single dime from him during those 18 years,” Schindler said. “That inaction, that failure, convinced him that he was right.”
While Bowman’s case may be unique, the ‘religious freedom’ defense isn’t, and hasn’t been all that successful when used in the past. As The Oregonian points out, case law shows that the government can collect taxes regardless of any religious or anti-war objection.
SNL imagines Alan Dershowitz and Mitt Romney in hell during impeachment trial sketch
NBC's "Saturday Night Live"
The skit began with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about impeachment.
They were then joined by Alan Dershowitz, who spoke of his previous clients, Jeff Epstein, O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bülow.
But Dershowitz suffered a heart attack and met the devil in hell, where he was reunited with Epstein.
McConnell then showed up and thanked the devil for teaching him "that thing with Merrick Garland."
CNN’s Don Lemon collapses on his desk in laugher as guests Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali dunk on Trump
CNN anchor Don Lemon was infected with a case of the giggles Saturday night while discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Lemon was joined by two hilarious guests, New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali and Rick Wilson, the author of the bestselling 2018 book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever and the new book Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump -- and Democrats from Themselves.
The three were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview with “All Things Considered” host Mary Louise Kelly, where he reportedly demanded she point to Ukraine on a blank map.
Amy Klobuchar wins endorsement in first in the nation primary from the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) received a big endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.
"If there is to be any realistic challenge to Trump in November, the Democratic nominee needs to have a proven and substantial record of accomplishment across party lines, an ability to unite rather than divide, and the strength and stamina to go toe-to-toe with the Tweeter-in-Chief," the newspaper wrote. "That would be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She is sharp and witty, with a commanding understanding of both history and the inner workings of Capitol Hill."