Former President Donald Trump was so angry after his company’s longtime accounting firm severed ties that he apparently put himself in legal danger with a reckless screed of response.
A letter from accounting firm Mazars USA saying it was abandoning the Trump Organization was included in a court document filed last week. He said 10 years of financial statements he created with records provided by the Trump Organization should no longer be considered reliable.
Trump blamed an ongoing investigation into him and his company by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who he said “threatened” and “harassed” Mazars into action. James is investigating whether Trump inflated asset values to secure bank loans and attract investors, and reduced values to reduce tax bills.
Trump bragged in his lengthy statement on Mazars on Tuesday about his knowledge of the Trump Organization’s financials – and of increasing the value of some of its commercial properties in 2014 with an arbitrary 30% premium on the Trump brand. .
But that was only a day after his lawyers argued in court papers that Trump ‘denies knowledge’ – and doesn’t even know enough ‘to form an opinion’ about just about any practice. financials of his own company which can be examined in James’ probe.
James quickly sent a letter to the judge presiding over his investigation into Trump’s statement, noting that it flatly contradicted his own lawyers’ claims.
“It is not uncommon for parties to legal proceedings to disagree on the facts,” James wrote to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. “But it is truly rare for a party to publicly disagree with statements submitted by its own attorneys in a signed pleading – let alone a day after the pleading is filed. That’s what Mr. Trump did here.
Clearly, Trump knows “exactly what OAG is investigating,” she wrote, referring to the attorney general’s office.
Engoron on Thursday ordered Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about James’ investigation under oath. Now that it’s clear that Trump knows about the high-end branded padding of Trump properties and all about his company’s financials, he’ll likely be asked about it.