After President Trump’s 2005 tax return was leaked and published by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, more information is coming to light. Democrats have been begging for Trump’s tax returns to be made public since the beginning of his campaign and now we have a quite impressive one to look at. It is also stamped “Client Copy” on the back, leading some to question where the document came from.
Much has been said about the fact that the President paid $38 million in tax on an income of over $158 million, something that would make many see Trump in a more positive light. So why was it only President Trump’s 2005 tax return that saw the light of day? And why was it his own personal copy?
Attention shifted from what was in the document to where it came from when eagle-eyed viewers of The Rachel Maddow Show noticed the “Client Copy” stamp where the tax return Trump actually lodged would have been signed. Financial analyst and author David Cay Johnston, who claims to have found the documents in his mailbox, was the first to suggest that it may have been Trump or someone close to the President who leaked the tax returns.
Johnston, also a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and author of The Making of Donald Trump, says that Trump has a history of leaking information to journalists when it suits his best interests. “Donald creates his own reality,” Mr Johnston told Rachel Maddow. Despite what many believe, because he did not solicit the forms, Mr. Johnston claims it was also not illegal to receive them.
Zac Petkanas agrees with Johnston’s claims that Trump was behind the release of the documents. “If they can release some of the information, they can release all of the information,” he said in a statement. “The only reason not to release his returns is to hide what’s in them, such as financial connections with Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin.”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 15, 2017
As for the contents of the tax returns, while many see them as a sign of President Trump’s success, others see them differently. Besides paying $38 million in tax on a $150 million income, Trump also wrote off more than $100 million in losses, saving himself millions of dollars he would’ve owed in further taxes. The White House described the business losses as a “large-scale depreciation for construction,” but said nothing further.