On Tuesday, The New York Times published a bombshell investigative report alleging that Donald Trump helped hide millions of dollars in gifts from his parents and engaged in “instances of outright fraud.” The exhaustive probe took three investigative reporters—David Barstow ,Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner—to untangle decades worth of complicated tax maneuvers and analyze more than 100,000 pages of records. Charles J. Harder, a lawyer for Trump, has denied any wrongdoing on behalf of the president and called the allegations “100 percent false, and highly defamatory.”
Mere hours after the story was published, Showtime revealed that a camera crew tracked the reporters throughout the investigation, which lasted over a year. And a documentary short chronicling the arduous process—called The Family Business: Trump and Taxes—will air this Sunday. The coordinated, multi-medium effort seems to be a one-two punch that could help the investigation stay atop a relentless news cycle that churns though breaking reports and political scandals at a breakneck pace.
The documentary short hails from the filmmaking team behind Showtimes docuseries The Fourth Estate, which also infiltrated the New York Times offices—to chronicle how the papers reporters cover the Trump presidency. Directed by Jenny Carchman and produced by Liz Garbus and Justin Wilkes, The Family Business: Trump and Taxes will air on Sunday, October 7 at 8:30 P.M.
According to Showtime, Carchmans “crew trail Times investigative reporters David Barstow, Russ Buettner, and Susanne Craig as they expose the untold story of how Donald Trump became rich. Mr. Trump has proclaimed himself to be a self-made billionaire but what these reporters found offers a very different account, based on tens of thousands of pages of financial documents they obtained, including more than 200 Trump-family tax returns.”
In the statement to * Times,* Harder maintained, “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which the Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.”
Explained Carchman, “We followed a singular story, outside of the daily news cycle that illustrates so much of the investigative-reporting process, the patience, the perseverance, and the drive to understand a story without knowing where it would lead. We witness these journalists talk to people; review thousands of documents and spend months of exhaustive fact-checking; and see how vital the presss role is in uncovering the truth.”
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Julie MillerJulie Miller is a Senior Hollywood writer for Vanity Fairs website.