His business’s longtime accounting firm said the Trump Org’s financial statements “should no longer be relied upon,” but it’s all good, really.
As best I can figure, Donald Trump possesses two fatal, ego-driven weaknesses: the critical need to be the center of attention at all times, and a congruent need to showcase his gobsmackingly ostentatious wealth as much possible.
Unfortunately for Trump, sometimes those weaknesses are in direct opposition to one another. Like this week, when the former president managed to land himself in the headlines once again, but only because his longtime accountants had dropped him as a client.
Sense of self-worth: Affirmed.
Actual worth: ... Questionable.
In a court filing Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed as part of her ongoing investigation into the alleged rampant criminality throughout the former president’s businesses that the accounting firm Mazars informed Trump Organization attorneys last week that they would no longer represent the company. What’s more, James’s filing claimed Mazars had concluded that the past decade’s worth of financial statements provided by the Trump Organization “should no longer be relied upon.” This, James argued, was simply further evidence of the Trump Org’s penchant for dramatically misrepresenting itself and its finances, and should be used as further justification for a judge to compel Trump, his son Don Jr., and daughter Ivanka to testify for her investigation.
It’s at this point that you might think that being called a huge liar in his longtime accountants’ “we quit” memo is something, I’dunno, Trump would be worried about? After all, Mazars not only helped Trump file his much-sought-after taxes, but also crafted the financial statements he used to obtain his company’s bank loans — loans predicated, the firm now claims, on totally bogus numbers provided by the Trump Org itself.
But tell me this then, wise guy: Would someone worried about their financial house of cards collapsing all around them write a rambling, novella-length missive full of random asides and cherry-picked budget lines, huh? Huh? I didn’t think so. Because, clearly, as you can see from the statement Trump put out Tuesday evening, he’s handling this all with the sort of calm dignity you’d probably expect from someone who doesn’t feel threatened at all. AT ALL.
As The Daily Beast noted this week, Mazars’s decision to publicly dump their former star client could result in a rush from the various banks that have lent the former president hundreds of millions of dollars to suddenly demand repayment, seeing as how the terms of their loans were evidently based on lies. And even if there isn’t a scramble to outright collect on the loans, there could still be a deluge of further investigations and re-reviews of Trump’s financial health that might spell further trouble for the former president down the line.
Ultimately, then, Mazars’s decision to ditch the Trump Organization could have the unintended effect of forcing Trump to seek loans from shadier financial institutions in order to maintain his precariously structured property empire. That’s bad news if he intends to run for office again, as the more people he owes money to, the more opportunities there are for him to be compromised.
“Whether it is the Saudis, Russians, narcoterrorists — anybody with access to hundreds of millions would be in the running for Donald Trump’s new loan officer,” Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Fellow Joseph Cirincione explained to The Daily Beast. “That is why you don’t give security clearance to people who are financially compromised.”
Of course, the other option is to simply take Trump at his word and believe him when he says everything is fine. It’s juuuuuuust fine. He’s got this. Nothing to worry about at all.