Before tomorrow’s hearing in New York Supreme Court on a motion to quash subpoenas for himself and his children, Donald Trump did what he does best: he confessed to exactly what they’re investigating.
In a statement tweeted out by his publicist Liz Harrington, the former president assured his fans that his financial statements, which are under investigation by the New York Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney, are, in fact, riddled, with errors.
“We have a great company with fantastic assets that are unique, extremely valuable, and, in many cases, far more valuable than what was listed in our Financial Statements,” he arglebargled under a near beer copy of the presidential seal, seemingly oblivious that he’s been accused of both highballing his net worth for lenders, and minimizing the value of assets as a tax strategy.
“Anyone with a minor degree of financial acumen would recognize that these Statements of Financial Condition are not audited,” he added, as if his accountants’ inability to confirm the numbers makes it very cool and very legal to submit false financial documents to lenders and tax authorities.
And if he overestimated his worth, well, that’s fine, because he didn’t add in the supposed $3 billion value of the Trump brand.
“Remember, when the Attorney General and or District Attorney say they think my financial statements may be high, I don’t even include these branding numbers in them, which is far more than any discrepancy they may have, if there is a discrepancy at all.”
In fact, according to a recent motion to compel his testimony, he did pad his valuations with a seemingly random brand premium, but didn’t bother to disclose it: “Failed to advise that certain valuation amounts were inflated by an undisclosed flat percentage for brand value, despite express language on the Statements asserting that the value of Mr. Trump’s brand was not reflected [sic] the Statements pursuant to generally accepted accounting principles (‘GAAP’).”
Then he indulged himself in an extended tantrum about “prosecutorial misconduct” and “the Hillary Clinton run District Attorney’s Office of Manhattan” which forced his accountants at Mazars, who were “threatened, harassed, and insulted like virtually no other firm has ever been,” to break up with him.
Pay no attention to the letter we all read yesterday from Mazars telling him in no uncertain terms that the company couldn’t even file his February return because they’d been asking for information for months and hadn’t gotten it. The real reason was the prosecutors’ “vicious intimidation tactics.” The accountants were “‘broken’ and they just wanted it to stop.”
But the best part of this public rant was Trump’s apparent admission that the charges that the company paid longtime Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg under the table via untaxed fringe benefits were actually true. But everybody does it and something something violent crime, so it’s fine, see?
The charge against a 74-year-old long-term and wonderful employee is that he did not pay taxes on a company car or company apartment (Do others pay such a tax? Did Cy Vance pay a tax on his car?), and a charge having to do with me paying for the education of his grandchildren. Murderers all over this city and they are worried about me helping with young children’s education? We may be the only company ever criminally charged by a District Attorney in a fringe benefits case. I believe Allen is innocent.
Lest there be any confusion, YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE ORDERED THE CODE RED. And tomorrow his lawyers get the unenviable task of trying to unring that bell by arguing that there is no rational basis for an investigation into his company’s financials and no reason to put him under oath. The exact same financial documents he himself just said on Twitter were not accurate.
Well, good luck to ’em!
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.
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