Doris Burke

Senior Research Reporter

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Doris Burke is senior research reporter. Prior to joining ProPublica in 2019, she was a researcher at the New York Times working on investigative and daily stories. While at Fortune Magazine, she collaborated on award winning financial crime stories. Before moving to journalism, she was research librarian at several investment banks. She has a history degree from St. Bonaventure University and library science degree from Pratt Institute.

Meet the Billionaire and Rising GOP Mega-Donor Who’s Gaming the Tax System

Susquehanna founder and TikTok investor Jeff Yass has avoided $1 billion in taxes while largely escaping public scrutiny. He’s now pouring his money into campaigns to cut taxes and support election deniers.

The Tax Scam That Won’t Die

The IRS, the Justice Department and Congressional Republicans and Democrats are all trying to put an end to syndicated conservation easements. But with lobbyists like Henry Waxman helping lead the resistance, the efforts have had little effect.

How the U.S. Has Struggled to Stop the Growth of a Shadowy Russian Private Army

Vladimir Putin has increasingly relied on the Wagner Group, a private and unaccountable army with a history of human rights violations, to pursue Russia’s foreign policy objectives across the globe.

Inside the Government Fiasco That Nearly Closed the U.S. Air System

The upgrade to 5G was supposed to bring a paradise of speedy wireless. But a chaotic process under the Trump administration, allowed to fester by the Biden administration, turned it into an epic disaster. The problems haven’t been solved.

America’s Highest Earners and Their Taxes Revealed

Secret IRS files reveal the top US income earners and how their tax rates vary more than their incomes. Tech titans, hedge fund managers and heirs dominate the list, while the likes of Taylor Swift and LeBron James didn’t even make the top 400.

The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes for Generations

In the early 1900s some of the wealthiest Americans claimed their fortunes would never last through the generations. A century of tax avoidance later, the dynasties are going strong.

Storm Drains Keep Swallowing People During Floods

An alarming number of people (especially children) have drowned after disappearing into storm drains during floods. The deadly problem should be easy for federal, state and local government agencies to fix, but tragedy strikes again and again.

Babies Are Dying of Syphilis. It’s 100% Preventable.

The United States’ inability to curb a treatable sexually transmitted disease shows the failures of a cash-strapped public health system. Increasingly, newborns are paying the price.

How the Trump Tax Law Created a Loophole That Lets Top Executives Net Millions by Slashing Their Own Salaries

The 2017 tax cuts made it more attractive for certain company owners to be paid in profits instead of wages. Some cut their own wages, expanding a loophole that was already costing the U.S. billions.

Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut”

Billionaire business owners deployed lobbyists to make sure Trump’s 2017 tax bill was tailored to their benefit. Confidential IRS records show the windfall that followed.

Lord of the Roths: How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank

Roth IRAs were intended to help average working Americans save, but IRS records show Thiel and other ultrawealthy investors have used them to amass vast untaxed fortunes.

Leading Manhattan DA Candidate Has Repeatedly Paid Virtually No Federal Income Taxes

Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who donated $8 million to her own campaign, and her hedge fund manager husband paid nothing (or almost nothing) to the IRS four times in six years.

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.

Trump Spawned a New Group of Mega-Donors Who Now Hold Sway Over the GOP’s Future

These powerful donors, who each contributed more than $1 million, shied away from party politics before Trump. What brought them off the sidelines?

The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere

New research shows that California’s climate policy created up to 39 million carbon credits that aren’t achieving real carbon savings. But companies can buy these forest offsets to justify polluting more anyway.

America’s Drinking Water Is Surprisingly Easy to Poison

The cyberbreach at a plant in Oldsmar, Florida, which could have resulted in a mass poisoning, was a reminder of a disturbing reality: Despite a decade of warnings, thousands of water systems around the country are still at risk.

The U.S. Spent $2.2 Million on a Cybersecurity System That Wasn’t Implemented — and Might Have Stopped a Major Hack

The software company SolarWinds unwittingly allowed hackers’ code into thousands of federal computers. A cybersecurity system called in-toto, which the government paid to develop but never required, might have protected against this.

“This Is War”: Inside the Secret Chat Where Far-Right Extremists Devised Their Post-Capitol Plans

Chats from a private Telegram group obtained by ProPublica show how a suspect tied to the Jan. 6 insurrection tried to organize a self-styled militia. The hidden proliferation of such groups worries experts.

Donald Trump Built a National Debt So Big (Even Before the Pandemic) That It’ll Weigh Down the Economy for Years

The “King of Debt” promised to reduce the national debt — then his tax cuts made it surge. Add in the pandemic, and he oversaw the third-biggest deficit increase of any president.

The Justice Department Sues Walmart, Accusing It of Illegally Dispensing Opioids

Two years after the Trump administration walked away from charging Walmart criminally for its role in the opioid crisis, the DOJ is back, making the same claims but seeking softer penalties.

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