Did Trump Leak His Own Tax Return? David Cay Johnston Thinks It's Possible

On Tuesday, Rachel Maddow announced that MSNBC had obtained Donald Trump's tax documents from 2005. As it turns out, the discovery can be attributed to DCReport founder and Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston. On Maddow's show that same evening, he claimed something rather surprising: the tax documents supposedly just showed up in his mailbox on Tuesday morning. While there's a certain air of mystery surrounding the scenario, he's not ruling out the possibility that Trump himself leaked the 2005 tax return documents.

The White House published a statement in response to Maddow's announcement. Needless to say, its accusatory tone does not make it seem as though it was happy about the leak.

Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that.
It is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns,. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.

But maybe it isn't so simple.

Trump's 2005 tax return documents aren't necessarily explosive. In fact, they could be perceived as bolstering the businessman-turn-president's reputation as a tax-paying citizen. Cay Johnston certainly hasn't suggested this is impossible either. Is it a strange strategy? Yes, but this has been a strange year.

It's also odd that the tax returns were from 2005, rendering them less relevant over a decade later at this point. On top of that, only two pages of the tax returns were revealed by MSNBC and Cay Johnston — that certainly doesn't provide the entire picture. But it might temporarily satisfy those who have been demanding at least a fraction of Trump's secretive tax returns.

Still, there's the possibility that this leak had nothing to do with the Trump administration and was instead intended to pressure the president to release even more complete tax return documents, the BBC notes.

Regardless, this is certainly one of the more mysterious political findings of this year.