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Finance chair asks accounting firm why it disavowed Trump Org financial documents

The Hill logo The Hill 5/24/2022 Zach Schonfeld
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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to former President Trump’s longtime accounting firm on Tuesday demanding to know why the company disavowed financial statements prepared for the Trump Organization.

Mazars terminated its relationship with the Trump Organization in February, saying that it could no longer vouch for the business’s financial statements for the past decade following revelations from an ongoing investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) into the family’s business practices.

Wyden wrote in the letter that Mazars had not provided information as to why the documents should no longer be relied upon, asking the firm if the retractions were the result of errors by Mazars personnel or if the Trump Organization provided misleading or inaccurate information. He asked the company for a response by June 7.

“It is highly uncommon for a global accounting firm to directly cast doubt on the validity of its own work for a major client, not least a multi-billion dollar enterprise owned largely by an individual who went on to become the president of the United States,” Wyden wrote.

James’s office revealed earlier this year that it had uncovered “significant” evidence that the Trump Organization had for years been falsifying the value of its assets for financial gain, including to win tax breaks and attract investors.

Trump has fought to block her efforts in both state and federal court while painting the investigation as a political witch hunt in the media.

A state judge last month held Trump in contempt for failing to turn over requested documents and ordered him to pay $10,000 a day until he complied. Trump paid the fine on Thursday — totaling $110,000 — but James’s office said he still must submit additional paperwork in order to have the contempt order lifted.

In Tuesday’s letter, Wyden also raised concerns about a report that the former president testified that he personally oversaw executive compensation at the Trump Organization, which is the focus of a tax fraud investigation being prosecuted by the Manhattan district attorney.

Wyden noted Mazars’s letter in February stating that the Trump Organization had failed to provide details related to an apartment owned by Matt Calamari Jr., the company’s director of security.

“These questions are all the more concerning in light of allegations that Mr. Trump previously submitted misleading documents to the IRS, as well as past violations of tax laws and ongoing tax fraud investigations involving Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization,” Wyden wrote.

He asked Mazars if it believes the Trump Organization provided materially true and correct information to the accounting firm and if the company engaged in any prohibited political activity.

“As certified tax practitioners, Mazars’ employees are bound by several duties relating to the identification of incorrect information or omissions related to tax returns prepared for its clients,” Wyden wrote.

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