'Garbage in, garbage out': Legal experts explain why Mazar is a 'valuable source' in Trump fraud investigation
Speaking to Newsweek, Barbara McQuade, a law professor at the University of Michigan and a former U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said she believes the latest developments involving the accounting firm, Mazar, could be "very significant" in the investigation against the former president.
"For Mazars to walk away from its prior opinions suggests that it found something about them that it thought was no longer valid," McQuade said. "It may be, for example, that it relied on representations made by the Trump Organization that it has now learned was false. The phrase 'garbage in, garbage out' comes to mind."
She also explained how the abrupt split could be something Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office could use to its advantage. Like New York Attorney General Letitia James, Bragg is also conducting an investigation into the Trump Organization's longtime former CFO Allen Weisselberg amid allegations of felony tax fraud. Although Weisselberg has denied the allegations he's facing, McQuade believes that investigation can benefit from the latest development.
"Mazars could be a valuable source of information to criminal investigators at the Manhattan DA's office," McQuade said. "They are also looking into financial dealings at the Trump Organization, and it would appear that Mazars has information about irregularities in the numbers."
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani also believes the developments are significant as they appear to suggest the Trump Organization "lied" about its financial statements. "It has already produced hundreds of thousands of pages of documents in response to government subpoenas or search warrants, which it is required to do by law because there is no applicable privilege," Rahmani told Newsweek.
Mazar's departure has caused quite a stir in TrumpWorld and among Republican lawmakers who fear Trump's entanglements and influence could jeopardize the 2022 midterm elections.
During an interview with CNN on Monday, February 14, conservative lawyer George Conway blasted the former president's organization as he noted Mazar's departure is "worse for him than getting impeached twice."
Conway added, "This is about as calamitous a thing that could happen to a business that you could imagine, other than getting indicted or going bankrupt."
In response to the latest controversy, Trump also released a statement in an effort to do damage control. According to the former president, Trump appeared to dismiss the speculation about Mazar's departure, saying the firm distanced from him due to "vicious intimidation tactics" from prosecutors.
"Mazars, who were scared beyond belief, in conversations with us made it clear that it was willing to do or say anything to stop the constant threat which has gone against it for years," Trump said. "It was 'broken' and just wanted it all to stop. I wish it had the courage to fight it out, but it didn't, and who can blame it."