Mazars — a longtime accounting firm for Donald Trump — is cutting ties with the Trump family business and told the company that it reached the conclusion that previous outlines of the Trump Organization’s financial condition in which Mazars was involved should no longer be considered trustworthy. According to a letter from Mazars executive William J. Kelly to an attorney for the Trump company, the accounting firm arrived at its conclusion “based, in part, upon the filings made by the New York Attorney General on January 18, 2022, our own investigation, and information received from internal and external sources.” After these developments broke, Eric Trump — who, besides his status as Donald’s son, is a top executive in the family business — freaked out.
In a letter released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Mazars USA — the Trump Org.'s accounting firm — says a decade of financial statements from Trump's business "should no longer be relied on." The statements are from 2011 to 2020.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 15, 2022
The Trump Organization has been alleged to have fraudulently adjusted valuations of its assets to suit its financial purposes, with lower values that were stated to tax authorities meant to lessen tax bills and higher values that were referenced in dealings with potential lenders helping the company look better off. The financial statements at the center of the dispute between Mazars and the Trump Organization have been claimed to have been key components of this scheme. As The Washington Post explained, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) and her team “combed through his statements from 2004 to 2020 and discovered numerous discrepancies between the actual condition of his properties and his assertions about them in the statements, according to the January filing.” Eric ranted as follows on Twitter this Monday:
‘On Thursday, our team will be in front of a New York Judge outlining the blatantly unethical behavior of [Letitia James] the NY Attorney General. There are 81 pages of videos, tweets & fundraising solicitations (some as recent as two weeks ago) in our lawsuit for the judge to see.’
On Thursday, our team will be in front of a New York Judge outlining the blatantly unethical behavior of @TishJames the NY Attorney General. There are 81 pages of videos, tweets & fundraising solicitations (some as recent as two weeks ago) in our lawsuit for the judge to see. pic.twitter.com/CW2scCVq29
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) February 15, 2022
What Eric was apparently referencing is a lawsuit brought in an attempt to stop James’s civil investigation from continuing altogether. That case is also seeking declarations that James has perpetrated violations of Constitutional rights such as the right to free speech, and in making the argument, anti-Trump comments from James have been wheeled out in an attempt to depict the top prosecutor as fundamentally politically motivated — but James’s office stated in a recent court filing that “snippets of press releases, tweets, and public appearances” showing comments targeting Trump don’t “support a plausible inference that the investigation lacks any objective, reasonable basis.” (Presumably, the “81 pages” that Eric referenced contain more supposed evidence of James’s anti-Trump political bias.) In other words, just because James has personally called out Trump in the past, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a documented foundation for her investigation to move forward.
Since Eric Trump is in the news, a reminder that he visited a Trump property in development in Uruguay for two days in 2019 and billed taxpayers more than $80,000 for it. https://t.co/q3Pty9ywzt
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) February 15, 2022
As for the financial statements, the Mazars executive who got in touch with the Trump team stated that although they had “not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based upon the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate.” Meanwhile, Kelly also referenced a “non-waivable conflict of interest” as underlying the company’s choice to wind down its entire working relationship with Trump.
AG James cites Mazars's declaration that it can no longer stand behind its financial statements to the Trump Organization in pushing judge to order depositions of Trump and others.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) February 15, 2022