The firm representing President Trump’s longtime accountant has indicated it will turn over documents to the House Committee chairman who is seeking 10 years’ worth of financial information.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote the firm, Mazars USA, last week with a wide-ranging information request after longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified that Trump ‘inflated’ his financial statement while seek to finance the purchase of the Buffalo Bills.
The firm is home to longtime Trump accountant Donald Bender, who has signed returns for Trump entities and who has been identified as Trump’s accountant going back years.
After receiving the information request, the firm intends to comply, said Cummings.
‘The accounting firm told us that they will respond, and they just want a subpoena,’ Cummings told reporters. ‘They have told us that they will provide the information pretty much when they have a subpoena. And we’ll get them a subpoena.’
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is seeking financial documents to investigate claims Donald Trump ‘inflated’ his net worth when seeking loans
Cummings termed it a ‘friendly’ subpoena since the company was seeking it. Such a move could potentially provide a shield for any liability.
The development comes after Cummings contacted the firm of President Trump’s longtime accountant and demanded financial statements and audit reports on a web of Trump business entities – in the latest flexing of congressional investigatory power.
In a letter to the firm, Cummings seeks all communications between Trump and accountant Donald Bender – who has been publicly linked to Trump and whose firm has signed tax returns for a variety of Trump entities, including the Donald J. Trump Foundation and the Eric Trump Foundation.
In the letter, to the firm of Mazars USA, Cummings asks for ‘all communications between Donald Bender and Donald J. Trump or any employee or representative of the Trump Organization.’
Bender is the Long Island-based numbers cruncher who has been identified as Trump’s accountant as far back as 2011.
The letter seeks documents as far back to 2009 – and casts a wide net to include the president himself and many of his companies.
Those listed as being specifically of interest are the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, the Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation, DJT Holdings LLC, the Trump Old Post Office LLC, the Trump Foundation, and ‘any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, joint venture, predecessor, or successor.’
The Trump Old Post Office LLC is a reference to the Trump company that holds a long term lease on the Old Post Office that is the site of Trump’s luxury hotel in Washington, D.C. It is the subject of an Emoluments Clause lawsuit.
The Trust embodies Trump’s business empire. He created the entity after his 2016 election victory.
Rep. Cummings seeks all communications between Bender, the accountant, and Trump
Donald Bender, a Certified Public Accountant, has prepared returns for Trump entities
Accountant Donald Bender
The nature of the documents Cummings is digging for also is broad.
He asks for ‘all statements of financial condition, annual statements, periodic financial reports and independent auditors’ reports prepared, compiled, reviewed, or audited by Mazars USA LLP or its predecessor, WeiserMazars LLP,’ according to the letter.
Bender is a Queens College graduate whose office is located in a single-story building in Woodbury, New York. According to his online bio, he leads the firm’s Hospitality Group and Long Island Real Estate Practice, and has been in business for more than 35 years. ‘Donald acts as a trusted advisor to his clients, and uses his in-depth knowledge of a client’s business and individual structure to form effective problems solving solutions on tax issues,’ it states.
Bender did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment about the document request.
The push for information comes as the White House has been holding firm and to date refusing all of Cummings requests for information about various governmental matters. It also follows a Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s submission Friday of his report to the attorney general, and William Barr’s four-page letter on its findings.
Cummings seeks ‘all communications related to potential concerns that records, documents, explanations, or other information, including significant judgments, provided by Donald J. Trump or other individuals from the Trump Organization, were incomplete, inaccurate, or otherwise unsatisfactory.
The letter, addressed to Victor Wahba, chairman and CEO of Mazars USA LLP, also seeks 10 years worth of President Trump’s financial records to follow up on a claim that he allegedly inflated his net worth while trying to buy the Buffalo Bills.
Bender did prior accounting work for Trump with an earlier firm, Manhattan-based WeiserMazars.
Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen testified last month that Trump ‘inflated’ his overall net worth in financial statements provided to Deutsche Bank during his failed effort to buy the team. His bid sputtered in 2014.
‘Mr. Cohen produced to the Committee financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013 that raise questions about the President’s representations of his financial affairs on these forms and on other disclosures, particularly relating to the President’s debts,’ House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote the accounting company.
‘Several of these documents appear to have been signed by your firm.’
The letter also points to discrepancies in the forms provided by Cohen and the financial disclosure form Trump submitted as a candidate for president in 2015. Their inclusion indicates that Cummings’ investigative staff is scrubbing Trump financial reports for inconsistencies as the investigation proceeds.
The letter notes that the 2012 form omits debt totaling $75 million for a Chicago project and assets totaling $50 million for a Las Vegas project. ‘It is unclear why certain debts connected to the Chicago property and assets related to the Las Vegas property were omitted and whether the omission was directed by President Trump or someone else,’ Cummings wrote.
Republicans were pushing back against the investigatory escalation even before it was made public. Two top Republican on the panel wrote Cummings to complain about what they call an ‘ill-conceived inquiry.’
The lawmakers, ranking Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, say an inquiry about the ‘private finances of private citizen Donald J. Trump appears to depart from responsible and legitimate oversight.’ They call it an attempt to ’embarrass’ the Trump administration.
Cummings wouldn’t directly confirm the inquiry when asked about it earlier Wednesday. ‘We’re looking at quite a few things. I’m not going to comment on that right now,’ he told reporters in the Capitol.
Cummings, asked about charges from Jordan and Meadows, responded: ‘I know. I said they complain about everything I do. They complain about every single thing I do. And that’s to be expected. We’re just seeking the truth that’s all.’
The investigation is said to have been prompted by longtime Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, testifying before congress that the President routinely ‘inflated’ valuations of his property empire
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote accounting firm Mazars USA for years worth of documents
Cohen mentioned the failed Bills purchase in his bombshell congressional testimony, where he provided Trump financial statements – including 2011 and 2013 net worth assessments that differed by $4 billion.
‘These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank on one occasion where I was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills,’ Cohen testified at the Oversight Committee.
‘I believe these numbers are inflated,’ the former fixer said of the valuations generally.
The Republican lawmakers wrote that the Cummings letter to the international accounting firm was dated March 20, before Mueller turned in his report and suddenly had Democrats playing defense on a raft of investigations.
On Tuesday, Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow denied Congress has a ‘legitimate’ interest in seeking the president’s tax returns. The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee has furnished a request for the returns from the Treasury. Trump is the first party nominee in decades not to release his returns.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio blasted the inquiry
Two Republicans on the committee wrote Cummings to complain about the request for information
Reps. Jordan and Meadows called it an ‘ill-conceived’ inquiry into Trump when he was a ‘private citizen’
Trump’s 2011 form showed $4.6 billion in assets
The documents show a Trump net worth of $8.6 billion in 2013
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, pictured earlier this year, has reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for documents relating to financing of three Trump hotels and the attempt to secure a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014
Trump labeled the New York probe part of the ‘Witch Hunt’