Mazars said it had not, “as a whole,” found material discrepancies between the information the Trump Organization provided and the true value of Mr. Trump’s assets.
But given what it called “the totality of circumstances” — including its internal investigation and Ms. James’s court papers — Mazars instructed the company to notify anyone who had received the statements that they “should not be relied upon.”
Even with the retraction from Mazars, a criminal case would likely be difficult to prove. The documents, known as statements of financial condition, contain a number of disclaimers, including acknowledgments that Mr. Trump’s accountants had neither audited nor authenticated his claims.
Understand the New York A.G.’s Trump Inquiry
An empire under scrutiny. The New York State attorney general is currently conducting a civil investigation into former president Donald Trump’s business practices. Here’s what to know:
And the prosecutors would have to show that Mr. Trump’s penchant for hyperbole crossed the line into criminality, a tall order when it comes to something as subjective as property values. A case like this might hinge on the testimony of a Trump insider, but the prosecutors have not persuaded Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate with the investigation, depriving them of the type of insider witness whose testimony can be crucial to complicated white-collar criminal trials.
Another challenge is that Mr. Trump’s lenders might not appear to a jury to be sympathetic victims. The lenders, which made millions of dollars in interest from Mr. Trump, conducted their own assessments of his assets.
Still, the prosecutors had been moving forward.
In the fall, Mr. Vance convened what is known as a special grand jury, a panel of 23 Manhattan residents, chosen at random, to hear complex cases like the one involving Mr. Trump. Over the course of months, the jurors were expected to meet to hear testimony from witnesses and examine other evidence put forward by the prosecutors.
Special grand juries last six months, and at the end of these presentations, prosecutors typically direct the jurors to vote on whether there is “reasonable cause” to believe that the person could be guilty. While it is not a foregone conclusion that a grand jury will indict the target of an investigation, such panels routinely vote to bring the charges that prosecutors seek.