It is a very simple question, prompted by an assertion from a debate where one has claimed that he has lied on his financial disclosures, and that he is legally able to do this because:

It is not illegal to lie on financial disclosures, because they are not official documents.

The reason I specified this to Donald Trump is that I am unsure whether his position as a presidential candidate or CEO of a multi-national business changes the legality.


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Page 1 of OGE form 278e says


Knowing and willful falsification of information, or failure to file or report information required to be reported by section 102 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended (the Act), may subject you to a civil monetary penalty and to disciplinary action by your employing agency or other appropriate authority under section 104 of the Act. Knowing and willful falsification of information required to be filed by section 102 of the Act may also subject you to criminal prosecution.

The Office of Government Ethics says that you need to fill out the form if you are running for President. Authority to require this form comes from 5 CFR 2634.201(c). The consequences are spelled out in 5 CFR 2634.701. So, that one is an official form and there are consequences. Others might not be.

  • 1
    Does that mean the president of the USA is an employee?
    – gnasher729
    Oct 10, 2016 at 13:30

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