Former President Donald Trump was so angry after his company’s longtime accounting firm severed ties that he apparently placed himself in more legal jeopardy with a reckless responding screed.
A letter from accounting firm Mazars USA that said it was dropping the Trump Organization was included in a court document filed last week. It declared that 10 years of financial statements it had created with records provided by the Trump Organization should no longer be considered reliable.
Trump blamed an ongoing investigation into him and his business by New York Attorney General Letitia James, whom he claimed “threatened” and “harassed” Mazars into the action. James is investigating whether Trump inflated asset values to obtain bank loans and entice investors, and reduced values to lower tax bills.
Trump boasted Tuesday in his lengthy statement on Mazars about his knowledge of the Trump Organization’s financial statements — and about padding the value of some of his business properties in 2014 with an arbitrary 30% Trump brand premium.
But that was just a day after his attorneys argued in court documents that Trump “denies knowledge” — and doesn’t even know enough “to form a belief” concerning just about every financial practice at his own company that may be scrutinized in James’ probe.
James quickly fired off a letter to the judge presiding over her investigation about Trump’s statement, noting that it flatly contradicted claims by his own attorneys.
“It is not unusual for parties to a legal proceeding to disagree about the facts,” James wrote to Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron. “But it is truly rare for a party to publicly disagree with statements submitted by his own attorneys in a signed pleading — let alone one day after the pleading was filed. That is what Mr. Trump has done here.”
Clearly, Trump knows “exactly what OAG is investigating,” she wrote, referencing the Office of the Attorney General.
Engoron on Thursday ordered Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions under oath concerning James’ probe. Now that it’s clear Trump knows about the premium brand padding of Trump properties and all about his company’s financial statements, he’ll likely be quizzed about that.