There are two possibilities to explain the random release of a random piece of tax information about Donald Trump. Three if you count coincidence.
One is that Trump had these released as a red herring to redirect attention away from additional revelations about his Russian ties that may be coming out this week. Or, in a less Machiavellian sense it may just be an effort to garner attention that has been drifting away from him and toward the stillborn House GOP health care bill.
The other is that Donald Trump is a very vain, dumb, and predictable person, and that somebody – perhaps a fired U.S. Attorney who was leading the investigation into DeutscheBank's ties to Russian organized crime and money laundering – wanted to establish that Donald Trump earned a huge amount of income in 2005. Perhaps they knew that if a document showing Trump in a favorable light were leaked, he would rush to confirm its authenticity. Having released it himself to deny the hated media a chance to scoop him, there's no plausible way to refute it now.
The crystal ball is murky, but one thing is absolutely certain: There are but a few reasons one person pays another vastly more than the actual value to buy a piece of property. None of those reasons involve things that are legal. Aaron Schock is about to go to prison for it. Duke Cunningham did go to prison for it. And Donald Trump received $100 million from a Russian organized crime figure for a property not worth 1/3 of that, which the buyer never even occupied and eventually had demolished. This came at a time when Trump was deeply in debt to a German bank that is under investigation for helping Russian criminals launder money using third parties.
Most people saw a big non-story on Tuesday evening. Maybe it's actually a prosecutor building a case.