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Trump’s accountant needs to be held accountable

Mazars bears at least some accountability for those financial statements, on which various parties relied in doing business with Trump.

Mazars has handled business accounting for the Trump Organization’s businesses for many years.
Mazars has handled business accounting for the Trump Organization’s businesses for many years.
REUTERS/Charles Platiau

I’ve held off all week in mentioning another post-presidency setback for Donald Trump because details that would enable me (or you) to assess the seriousness of said setback have been (and remain) missing.

The only things that can be reported with certainty is that Mazars, the firm that has handled business accounting for the Trump Organization’s businesses for many years, has ended its relationship with Trump and, in doing so, publicly repudiated the past decade’s worth of Trump’s financial statements, warning that no one should rely on those statements.

That can’t be good for the former president … it could be very bad.

But Mazars has so far failed to offer any details. As of now, we have no idea when we will find out what caused Mazars to end a lucrative relationship with the Trump Organization.

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It can reasonably be inferred that Mazars has learned that something is substantially amiss with Trump Org’s past decade’s worth of public financial disclosures. But Mazars, which is to a significant degree responsible for the accuracy of those statements, isn’t willing to tell us what that something amiss is.

The former president, who has still not publicly accepted that he lost the 2020 election and constantly asserts that he did not, has plenty to worry about, legally, politically, financially and otherwise. But, to the degree that accounting shenanigans are an item on that list of worrisome things, that item just got worse.

I’m no expert on accountant-client relationships. But Mazars bears at least some accountability for those financial statements, on which various parties relied in doing business with Trump. Those parties, to the degree that they were deceived, and the New York state and the federal government, who relied on those financial statements to some degree in taxing the Trump Organization, are entitled to know what is amiss in the Mazars-prepared statements, which Mazars now says were, how shall I put it, inaccurate.

For more, here’s a Washington Post piece, which indicates that Mazars joined a growing list of “banks, law firms and consulting firms that have vowed to no longer do business with the Trump Organization … Mazars executive William J. Kelly said a ‘non-waivable conflict of interest’ prevented the firm from continuing to work for Trump.”

Stay tuned.