To the editor: Did President Trump release his own tax return? ("White House says Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income in 2005, calls tax form disclosure 'illegal,'" March 14)
The damning evidence that he was involved is that the "leaked" tax return is stamped "client copy." The original return was filed electronically with the Internal Revenue Service, so it would not be marked "client copy."
If Trump was compelled to produce his tax return in conjunction with litigation or getting a permit, that would have come from his lawyer or his accountant. The tax lawyer or accountant would not have a tax return marked "client copy," and therefore neither would a litigant or permit issuer.
The only person likely to have a "client copy" is Trump, so that raises the question of why he would have leaked it himself. The answer is that every time people start noticing that the emperor has no clothes, the emperor holds shiny objects in his hands to distract Americans from focusing on the absence of clothes.
Mark Henderson, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Here's my fantasy about those tax returns:
Trump's looking down like a fisherman who's thrown chum out there, and laughing at how the media are jumping up and down about receiving them, gobbling it all up, and thinking how dumb they all are.
Sorry if this sounds cynical, but I'm becoming more so every day.
Lawrence Light, Mission Viejo
To the editor: The real story about Trump's taxes is not that he paid a 24% rate, which ironically exceeded the rate of The Times' parent company in 2015.
The $38 million in taxes paid by Trump in 2005 alone is more than most of us will contribute to the national treasury over a lifetime, and the tax paid legally complied with our IRS tax code.
The real story is why the media are so fearful and hateful of our president that they will cheerfully report the contents of 12-year-old documents that may have been stolen.
Rick Kern, Incline Village, Nev.