Why the Times didn't break the law in publishing Trump's tax returns

The Times did not get the returns from the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, a review of the documents themselves show the returns are state tax returns that reveal federal tax information, which is not the same as a federal filing.

Because these are state returns, not federal returns, and the returns were not obtained from the government, but from other sources, the Times itself is not in legal jeopardy. That said, we know Donald Trump has a history of suing others even when they have done nothing wrong.