Trump’s Former Accounting Firm Turns Over Documents to Congress


WASHINGTON — Mazars USA, the longtime accounting firm for former President Donald J. Trump that cut ties with him and his family business this year, has begun turning over documents related to his financial dealings to Congress.

After a yearslong legal fight, the House Oversight Committee has received a first trove of documents from the firm, which recently entered into a legal settlement agreeing to produce a range of financial documents from several years before Mr. Trump took office and during his early presidency. Mazars said in February it could no longer stand behind a decade of annual financial statements it had prepared for the Trump Organization.

More tranches of documents are expected to follow.

“They have sent us a number of documents,” Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and chairwoman of the committee, said in an interview Saturday. “We’re reviewing them.”

Ms. Maloney declined to say exactly what documents the panel had received so far, but she said that “Mazars is being very cooperative.”

“We are the only committee that has gotten financial documents,” she added.

The documents Mazars is providing Congress concern Mr. Trump’s financial dealings from 2014 to 2018. He took office in 2017 after a career in real estate and other businesses.

The Oversight Committee has been in a lengthy struggle to obtain financial documents from Mr. Trump as part of its investigation into allegations of conflicts of interest, inadequate financial disclosures and violations of the emoluments clauses of the Constitution, which bar the president from receiving profits from a domestic or foreign government other than his official compensation.

In 2019, Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney, testified before the committee that Mr. Trump’s financial statements had falsely represented the former president’s assets and liabilities and that Mr. Trump had “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes” and, at other times, “deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”

The committee then issued a subpoena to Mazars, prompting Mr. Trump to file a lawsuit against the firm to prevent the company from complying. The committee subsequently won a series of legal victories, including before the Supreme Court in July 2020.

This month, the committee reached a settlement with Mr. Trump and Mazars that allows the panel to obtain key financial documents.

The agreement states that Mazars must turn over any documents between 2014 and 2018 that indicate any false or undisclosed information about Mr. Trump’s assets, income or liabilities; communications related to any potential concerns that financial information provided by Mr. Trump’s companies was inaccurate; documents from November 2016 to 2018 related to the Old Post Office Building, a federal property in Washington that Mr. Trump’s company converted into a hotel through a lease deal; and documents from 2017 and 2018 related to relationships between Mr. Trump’s businesses and foreign states.

Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

The settlement allows for Mazars to exercise its “independent judgment” in determining which documents are responsive to the committee’s subpoena.

“These documents will inform the committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain,” Ms. Maloney said in a statement announcing the settlement.

The Oversight Committee is also engaged in an investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of presidential records and classified documents.

“Some of the most classified information, we don’t even know where it is,” Ms. Maloney said. “Right now, we don’t know how much is still out there.”

The federal government failed for more than a year and a half to retrieve classified and sensitive documents from Mr. Trump before resorting on Aug. 8 to a court-approved search of his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.

Ms. Maloney has requested a formal assessment from the archives of what presidential records, if any, removed from the White House by Mr. Trump remained unaccounted for and whether the archives believed they might still be in his possession.

She suggested authorities search other properties of Mr. Trump’s to ensure all sensitive material is returned.

“We’ve been very active going after getting these documents and will continue until we are certain that we have retrieved all of them,” she said.



Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/17/us/politics/mazars-accounting-trump-documents.html