As you may have heard, over the weekend, the New York Times dropped a bombshell: After taking a nearly billion-dollar tax loss in 1995, there's a good possibility Donald Trump hasn't paid taxes in nearly two decades.
And the story of how they obtained and verified this information is fascinating, too (emphases mine):
The documents consisted of three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump's 1995 tax returns. The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump's finances. The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return, and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures.
The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.
On Wednesday, The Times presented the tax documents to Jack Mitnick, a lawyer and certified public accountant who handled Mr. Trump's tax matters for more than 30 years, until 1996. Mr. Mitnick was listed as the preparer on the New Jersey tax form.
Mr. Mitnick, 80, now semiretired and living in Florida, said that while he no longer had access to Mr. Trump's original returns, the documents appeared to be authentic copies of portions of Mr. Trump's 1995 tax returns. Mr. Mitnick said the signature on the tax preparer line of the New Jersey tax form was his, and he readily explained an obvious anomaly in the way especially large numbers appeared on the New York tax document.
A flaw in the tax software program he used at the time prevented him from being able to print a nine-figure loss on Mr. Trump's New York return, he said. So, for example, the loss of "-915,729,293" on Line 18 of the return printed out as "5,729,293." As a result, Mr. Mitnick recalled, he had to use his typewriter to manually add the "-91," thus explaining why the first two digits appeared to be in a different font and were slightly misaligned from the following seven digits.
"This is legit," he said, stabbing a finger into the document.
To put the Trump tax bombshell into perspective, when he claimed a nearly billion dollar tax loss in '95, I was drinking Zima to Wonderwall.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 2, 2016
#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes Ross and Rachel hadn't even gone ON A BREAK yet.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 2, 2016
Naturally, Trump—who, as you may recall, declared "That makes me smart!" at the first presidential debate when Hillary Clinton suggested he may not have paid taxes in some time—sent out his BFF surrogates Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie to defend him, the former of whom repeatedly called him a "genius" and the latter of whom incredibly contended that this story is "a very, very good story for Donald Trump." Sounds legit!
In other Trump news, he completely spun out of control at a rally, verbally and physically mocking Clinton's stumble from pneumonia—
Trump's imitation of Clinton with pneumonia. pic.twitter.com/ciqvMW3l0G— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) October 2, 2016
—and then accusing her of being unfaithful to her husband.
Trump on Clinton: "I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, you want to know the truth. And really, folks, really, why should she be, right?"— Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) October 2, 2016
1: This is a shitty, unjustifiable claim. 2. Trump clearly doesn't think marital fealty is a req for president. Or is that only for men? https://t.co/4l2g5sNXG6— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 2, 2016
How many different ways are there to say this guy isn't fit to be president? THIS GUY IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT. He is comprehensively unqualified—lacking the competence, the temperament, anything resembling even the most basic decency we expect of a national leader.
If you did and said during a job interview the things Trump has done and said during this campaign, do you think you'd get the job?— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 2, 2016
I don't even know how to describe the Very Special Rules we have decided to use to assess Donald Trump. All I know is that they belong in the nearest dumpster, set on fire until they are burned into ash, and then that ash packed into a cannon and fired into the sun, just to be safe.