How We Got the Story …

Q: How did obtain Trump’s 2005 federal income-tax return?
A: It was mailed to us anonymously.
Q: Are you sure it’s real?
A: The White House confirmed the authenticity of the return. If we learn more, we will let you know.
Q: Where is Barron, Trump’s son? The return says he has no dependents.
A: This is a joint return, and 2005 was the year Trump married his third and current wife, Melania. Barron wasn’t born until 2006.
Q: Is it legal for you to publish the return?
A: Yes. If we did not solicit the return or coerce someone into giving it to us, we are free to publish. This was made clear last fall when the New York Times published Trump’s 1995 returns, which were also mailed to the paper anonymously.
Q: Has the person who sent you the return broken the law?
A: Without knowing who sent it, we don’t know if he or she is acting with the approval of Trump or his wife. Indeed, Trump himself could have mailed it. He has a history of planting stories about himself through imaginary publicists and anonymous tips.
Q: Why just the 2005 return?
A: We can only speculate that this is the return the person who mailed it had access to.
Q: Is there information missing from the return?
A: Quite a lot. Form 1040, the basic income-tax return, is a summary. As most taxpayers with deductions such as mortgage interest or state income taxes know, the IRS requires additional forms detailing sources of income and expenses. A typical small-business owner with a home mortgage can easily file 20 or more pages in addition to the form 1040. A person with interests as varied and complex as Trump’s can file hundreds, even thousands, of pages.
Q: Then where’s the rest? Are you holding material back?
A: No. The form 1040 is all we received.
Q: What’s the agenda of the person who sent the return to you?
A: We have no idea. We presume he or she is a patriot who believes, like us, that Trump’s employers, the citizens of the United States, have the right and need to know about his finances. We have put a lot of effort into uncovering the sources of Trump’s income because of our concerns about national security and integrity in the White House.
Q: If I have information that may be newsworthy, how do I get it to you?
A: You may contact us via our confidential tipline or by mail at the address below. We won’t publicly identify a source who wants to remain anonymous. While we appreciate any newsworthy information that people wish to share with us and our readers, we don’t encourage anyone to engage in unlawful activity. We do encourage anyone who writes to include any information about the reasons they think the documents they sent are valuable so we can better understand them. Write us at:
P.O. Box 10311
Rochester,N.Y. 14610