A series of documents obtained by the Washington Post and partially published on Thursday highlight Donald Trump’s history of making wildly outlandish claims about his property and financial holdings. The documents appear to show a sustained effort by Trump to get even richer off the trusting backs of various lenders and business partners.
The Post wrote that the documents, known as “Statements of Financial Condition,” were sent to various stakeholders to ostensibly show what Trump was worth and why. They were also frequently bullshit.
In one statement from 2011, Trump overstated the number of home lots ready for sale on one of his golf properties, writing that there were 55 slots available, when he’d only been zoned for 31—an inflation that, at his asking price of at least $3 million per home—overstated his future worth by over $70 million dollars. In another statement, he allegedly added 800 acres to his 1,200 acre vineyard in Virginia.
Perhaps the most ridiculous “exaggeration” from the Post’s newly published cache of documents is the one where Trump added 100 additional feet for his eponymous tower, elevating it from 58 stories to 68. He literally just conjured 10 stories of skyscraper out of thin air, and, presumably, assumed no one would notice, even though the building with its 58 stories is just sitting there in plain view of the general public. As far as lies go, this one is both deeply impressive and pathetically sad.
The Post wrote that “investigators on Capitol Hill and in New York are homing in on these unusual documents in an apparent attempt to determine whether Trump’s familiar habit of bragging about his wealth ever crossed a line into fraud.”
During his marathon appearance before the House Oversight Committee, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified that Trump routinely pulled these sort of shenanigans. On Wednesday, committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings requested a series of Trump-related financial documents from Victor Wahba, the CEO of Mazars USA LLP, Trump’s accounting firm.
In his letter to Wahba, Cummings directly cited Cohen’s testimony, writing:
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.
Both the White House and the Trump Organization declined to comment to the Post as part of their investigation into the president’s sketchy sense of self worth. (We have also reached out to the White House and the Trump Organization and will update if we hear back.)
However, a Mazars spokesperson issued a short statement to the paper after Cummings announced his inquiry, saying simply that the company “believes strongly in the ethical and professional rules and regulations that govern our industry, our work and our client interactions.”
By all indications, the president clearly does not.