President Trump’s New York-based accounting firm will respond to a request for 10 years’ worth of records from the firm’s work with Trump if it receives a congressional subpoena, a top House Democrat said Wednesday.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) told reporters that officials with Mazars USA requested a compulsory measure before it could consider accommodating the panel’s document request for information related to Trump’s finances.
For more than a decade, Mazars and a predecessor firm signed off on financial statements for Trump that he used when seeking loans. Some of the statements include frequent exaggerations or inaccuracies and were accompanied by a note from the firm saying it was not responsible for the accuracy of the information.
The committee on March 20 asked the company for copies of “statements of financial condition” and audits prepared for Trump and several of his companies, including the one that owns the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. The panel also requested supporting documents used to produce the reports and communications between the firm and Trump.
“The accounting firm told us that they will respond and they just want a subpoena so we . . . we’ve got to figure out how to accommodate them,” Cummings said. “But apparently it would mean a friendly subpoena, I assume.”
The Oversight Committee did not respond to a request for comment or clarification about whether the company planned to turn over all of what was requested.
A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a March 27 letter responding to the committee, shared with The Washington Post, Mazars officials laid out rules and laws barring them from handing out client information without a “validly issued and enforceable subpoena.”
“As I am sure you can appreciate, Mazars cannot voluntarily turn over the documents sought in the request,” wrote Jerry D. Bernstein, a lawyer representing the firm.
The Democrats’ requests for a decade of financial information followed accusations from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen that Trump had inflated his worth to mislead his lenders and insurers.
During a late February hearing, Cohen provided copies of financial statements for 2011, 2012 and 2013, which he said Trump had sent to Deutsche Bank in pursuit of a loan to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in 2014.
Cohen said the same sort of statement had been sent to Trump’s insurers in an attempt to lower Trump’s premiums by reassuring lenders about Trump’s ability to pay them.
At least two committee chairmen are investigating those allegations, including Cummings and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
Republicans have argued that the investigation has no “valid legislative purpose” and is seeking to try to embarrass the president.
Jonathan O’Connell and David A. Fahrenthold contributed to this report.