An IBM Typewriter And Snail Mail Helped Release And Authenticate Trump’s Tax Returns

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So a sneak peak into Donald Trump’s finances has finally emerged, and it is probably everything that we expected, and a lot more! The man has not paid any taxes to the state for over 18 years now, and how he managed this was revealed courtesy vintage journalism by New York Times reporter Susan Craig. The report literally broke the internet, and it will certainly have effects on the demography of the presidential elections. But what is equally fascinating about the leak is that old-fashioned mail and an IBM Selectric typewriter played a key role in revealing and validating the report.

When Trump became the first Presidential candidate since 1972 to refuse the release of his tax records while looking to reduce taxes for the rich, many knew there and then that something was fishy. Every newshound since then had been looking to get hold of this record. It was nowhere in sight until the three-page document showed up in Craig’s old fashioned mailbox. The document was soon covered and published in NewYork Times, and it showed by declaring a $916 million loss that year, he “legally” became entitled towards waiting for 18 years before paying any federal income taxes.

Credits: nytimes
Credits: nytimes

Craig recounted the incident when she received the mail. She wrote, “my colleagues always make fun of my devotion to snail mail, but they were not laughing when the manila envelope containing Trump’s returns showed up…”

She added on, ” I interrupted my teammate David Barstow who was on the phone by waving the pages in his face. He quickly ended the call.”

To verify the authenticity of the records, the investigative team went through many ordeals such as cross-checking the signatures, looking through the stamp and sifting through hundreds the mailboxes on their floor to look for some additional clues sent by the tipster. Then they tracked down Jack Mitnick, a semiretired accountant who was behind the preparation of the taxes in ‘95.

Mitnick confirmed that the records appear, legitimate and one strange detail on the paper rubber-stamped their authenticity. He recalled that the first two digits of the $915,729,293 figure on the statement were different as back then he had to use an IBM Selectric typewriter to add since his tax software wouldn’t allow a number that high!


Credits: nytimes
Credits: nytimes

This goes to show that in the age where people are afraid of sending anything over the internet and leaving a digital footprint, old fashioned snail mail did the trick and provided such revealing documents.

Bad luck, Trump!



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