Ron Wyden asks Mazars why the company waived Trump’s tax returns

Ron Wyden and Donald Trump

Ron Wyden and Donald Trump

Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to Donald Trump’s former accountant Mazars on Tuesday, asking them why they ended their relationship with the former president and turned down a decade of his tax returns.

“It is highly unusual for a global accounting firm to directly challenge the validity of its own work for a major client, not least a multi-billion dollar corporation owned largely by an individual who later became President of the United States,” wrote Wyden in a five-page letter. “Because Mazars and his predecessors were the sole accountants for Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization for over a decade, these revelations raise questions as to whether the financial statements and tax returns he prepared contain material inconsistencies, omissions, or errors, including information at Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed. These questions are all the more concerning given allegations that Mr. Trump previously provided misleading documents to the IRS, past tax violations, and ongoing tax fraud investigations involving Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization.”

In February, Mazars severed ties with the Trump Organization, citing a “essential conflict of interest.” The firm also stated that the financial statements they prepared for Trump between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2020 “should no longer be reliable,” a conclusion they added should be shared with those become what you have received.

The surprising reversal came amid civil and criminal investigations against Trump, both of which probed whether he inflated or deflated his wealth for tax benefits. The development was factored into a Manhattan judge’s decision later that month compelling Trump’s testimony in a civil investigation opened by the New York Attorney General Letizia James (D).

After Trump’s lawyers tried to sway Mazar’s rejection, the judge scoffed: “The notion that an accounting firm’s announcement that no one should rely on a decade’s financial statements it has prepared based on figures published by… submitted to a body somehow exonerates that company and moots an investigation into its past practices, recalls Lewis Carroll.”

Trump’s testimony in another Bronx court trial further paused Wyden’s committee.

“Furthermore, the recent news that Mr. Trump has affidavited that he directly oversaw compensation for executives at the Trump Organization — a compensation system that is now the focus of a broader tax fraud investigation — further reinforces these concerns,” the statement said Wyden’s letter. “Specifically, Mr. Trump testified that he had exclusive authority over compensating Matthew Calamari Sr.Chief Operating Officer of the Trump Organization.”

Wyden noted that Mazar’s pending tax issues related to “the Matt Calamari Jr. Apartment” in their letter ending their relationship with the Trump Organization.

“I am deeply concerned by the admissions made in Mazars’ February 9, 2022 letter to the Trump Organization,” Wyden wrote. “It is unclear whether issues with the financial statements are due to errors or omissions by Mazars employees or to inaccurate or misleading information provided by the Trump Organization and its affiliates. There is no information on this either why one should no longer rely on these documents.” (Italics in the original)

Wyden gave Mazars a series of 10 questions to be answered “no later than” June 7th.

Mazars did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the following letter:

(Photo by Sen. Wyden by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images; Photo by Ex-President Trump by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected] Ron Wyden asks Mazars why the company waived Trump’s tax returns

Olly Dawes

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