On October 2, just a little over a week ago, the New York Times dropped a sprawling 15,000-word report on Donald Trump’s “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s.” According to the investigation, Trump had benefited from massive infusions of wealth from his father for years, much of it received via fraudulent tax-avoidance schemes. The report offered one clear reason why Trump, unlike other presidents before him, has refused to make his own tax returns public. Extrapolating from his father’s returns, Trump’s likely contain information that could undercut Trump’s image — first as a developer, then as a celebrity, and finally as a president — as a self-made entrepreneur who made his fortune on a single million-dollar loan from his father, one which, as he repeatedly emphasized in interviews, he had to pay back “with interest.”

Instead, the Times report claims, Trump received the equivalent of $413 million from his father’s real estate holdings, as well as a loan of $60.7 million ($140 million in 2018 dollars). The investigation was 19 months in the making — a point emphasized by a 24-minute Showtime mini-documentary that went behind the scenes as journalists chased the story. One pivotal scene shows New York Times Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet urging the team, back in December 2017 — at the height of the tax reform debate — to publish what they already had, instead of pushing for more. “My fear is you’re gonna miss an amazing news window to write about Trump’s taxes,” Baquet said. “It might even influence the debate over tax reform. If people got a sense of how one wealthy family over generations were able to use America’s tax laws to avoid paying taxes and enrich themselves, that’s gonna be such a powerful moment of debate.”