Panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" walked through the latest developments in the fraud investigation into the Trump Organization by the New York attorney general's office.
The accounting firm Mazars USA essentially renounced a decade's worth of financial statements they made for Donald Trump's family-owned business, saying they could no longer be viewed as reliable, and NBC News correspondent Tom Winter explained the significance of the move.
"This is not a good development," Winter said. "Every single expert we have spoken with has said it is not something that is normal, it is highly unusual that they would send a letter like this."
"They said they had their internal investigation and received information from inside the company and outside the company that led to them making this decision," Winter added. "They said they have a non-waiveable conflict of interest with the Trump Organization, which could be a potential problem saying no, the Trumps can't waive this here, this isn't a conflict of interest. They said the conflict of interest is on their side of things, [and] as a result they made the statement. The letter was sent on Feb. 9 and then provided to the attorney general, and that's why we're able to see it today."
Winter said it's unclear why Mazars could no longer stand by the statements, saying it's not known whether they prepared fraudulent documents or whether someone else doctored the documents to inflate or deflate the value of real estate holdings.
"It is the right question and probably too soon to say," Winter said. "Accountants will tell you they're only as good as the information they're provided, so if they were provided with the wrong types of information [or] they were not provided with the underlying documentation or somebody instructed them to make material changes to it, those are all the types of things we will have to see what comes out in the course of these various investigations that you referenced. "
MSNBC's John Heilemann wondered whether the accounting firm had turned into a witness against Trump and his family.
"Well, the document that they released last night, if I read that document right, suggests that the accounting firm has already provided over 500,000 pieces of documentation," Heilemann said, "which means there's 525,000 at minimum, which is a very large number. The second thing is that -- and this I'll ask you, Tom. I saw some speculation from other legal experts last night that the conflict of interest could suggest that the accounting firm has now flipped basically and is working, is cooperating actively with the investigations, that's why they realized they were in trouble. They don't want to go for jail for Donald Trump or face huge civil penalties and they're now all in on the civil and [district attorney's] criminal procedures, investigations."
02 15 2022 06 05 15 www.youtube.com