“Mazars’ decision to withdraw was clearly a result of the A.G.’s and D.A.’s vicious intimidation tactics used — also on other members of the Trump Organization,” Mr. Trump said in his statement. “Mazars, who were scared beyond belief, in conversations with us made it clear that they were willing to do or say anything to stop the constant threat which has gone against them for years.”
The Trump Investigations
He pointed out that, in its letter informing the Trump Organization that its financial statements from 2011 to 2020 “should no longer be relied upon,” Mazars also said it had not concluded that the statements, as a whole, contained “material discrepancies.” The firm did say, however, that the “totality of circumstances,” including its own investigation into the financial statements, had led it to conclude they were unreliable.
Mazars did not respond to a request for comment.
The somewhat muddled nature of the explanation by Mazars makes it hard to assess the motivation, and potential legal implications, behind its decision to part ways with Mr. Trump. Lynn Turner, the former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the new information that Mazars learned of could require its previous financial statements to be revised. Although those original statements contained many disclaimers, coming into possession of significant new facts could leave the firm vulnerable to a lawsuit.
“They ain’t gonna issue that letter otherwise,” he said.
In addition to signing off on Mr. Trump’s statements of financial condition, which were used mostly when seeking bank loans or other credit, Mazars also prepared his tax returns, though the firm did not raise doubts about those in its letter.
Intentionally filing false tax returns with the government is a criminal offense, and there has been no indication that prosecutors are pursuing that avenue. As such, Mr. Trump’s tax filings have long been considered perhaps the most accurate portrayal of his financial condition.
The New York Times in 2020 obtained decades of tax return information for Mr. Trump and his companies, which revealed that for all his claims of stellar business acumen and high net worth, he actually lost money in many years, had huge bank loans coming due and faced a long-running I.R.S. audit that could cost him $100 million. He often paid little or no federal income taxes.