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March 17, 2017


David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and professor at Syracuse University. Rachel Maddow is a PhD and former Oxford University student who holds forth on MSNBC. Unlike Trump, neither is known for lying.

Professor Johnston says he was mailed a two-page summary of Trump’s 2005 1040 by someone, and Rachel showed us the (schedule-less) two-pager 1040 which showed, among other things, that Trump paid 35 million dollars in taxes for that year. Later she showed us the envelope in which this two-pager fragment of Trump’s 1040 was contained and mailed to Professor Johnston. It was mailed from Westchester, New York, and had no return address. Trump immediately denounced her possession and display of this two paged 1040 as illegal, which they are not, while at the same time agreeing that he paid 35 million dollars in taxes for that year, thus authenticating what little information was contained on this return sans schedules.

Does anybody smell a rat or sense that something is rotten in the State of Denmark from this mysterious delivery of two pages of what had to be a massive return when all the schedules were included? Professor Johnston says he doesn’t know who mailed him Trump’s two page summary of the latter’s 2005 1040 and has the stamped and addressed envelope to prove it. Could it have been sent by some disgruntled IRS employee? Could it have been sent by some angry employee of Trump’s accounting firm charged with making his tax returns? Unlikely. Then who is the most likely suspect?

The most likely suspect is Trump himself, or someone who mailed it at his direction. It wouldn’t be the first time he has “leaked” information on himself in order to change the subject or give a false impression of a situation in which he was attempting to be favorably considered. He has even assumed aliases and changed his voice in calls to news outlets in the past, so in view of what we know about him he has to be considered to be a prime suspect in the mailing of just enough of his 2005 1040 to show us he has paid 35 million dollars in taxes for that tax year.

Assuming he in fact sent the 1040 or directed someone to send it, why would he do so? I think it is because (1) the news of the week was so bad that he wanted to change the subject, and (2) he wanted America to see that he did too pay lots of taxes (when he has been taking huge write offs in other years where he didn’t pay a cent). Perhaps he thought that if he threw a bone to the angry masses they would be appeased and back off from demands that he show us his tax returns for, say, the past ten years.

If so, it will not work. We can consider his love affair with Putin, his destructive budget proposals and the absence of his tax returns simultaneously. He underestimates us; we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Millions of Americans of all political stripes want to see his tax returns and see for themselves whether he is in hock to Russian banks and oligarchs and perhaps blackmailed by Putin and others to do what they tell him in his conduct of foreign policy. He refuses to say anything negative about the murdering dictator and many Trump has appointed to his cabinet have long term connections to the Russian state, all of which when put together has to make every thoughtful American suspicious of what Putin has on Trump.

If Trump is as clean as he tells us then why doesn’t he show us his tax returns for, say, the last ten years? He refuses to do so with the exception (in my opinion) of a part of his 2005 return sent to Professor Johnston as above described designed to show how he pays taxes big time in the hope that we the people will assume that his 2005 return represents an ordinary year and not an anomaly and will be appeased and placated and not ask for more. I am neither appeased nor placated. I want to know if this man is selling our democracy down the river for private gain. If he isn’t, fine; but if he is, I want to know so we can do something about retaining him in office, and I want to know before our democracy is so far gone that it cannot be recovered. How about you?       GERALD       E


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