The Manhattan Federal prosecutors’ office refused to comment following the legal shocker that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg reportedly shut down the Trump investigation, leading to resignations.
By LOUIS FLORES
Updated 26 Mar 2022 12:35 The office of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams was mum on Thursday as fallout over a controversial decision by District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D-New York County) to halt the reported criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump (R) continued to send reverberations through political and legal circles. After District Attorney Bragg halted the criminal investigation, two lead prosecutors, Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, unexpectedly resigned last month.
On Wednesday, the text of Mr. Pommerantz’s resignation letter was published by the New York Times, revealing that Mr. Pommerantz believed “that Donald Trump is guilty of numerous felony violations of the Penal Law in connection with the preparation and use of his annual Statements of Financial Condition.” The criminal investigation reportedly centered on whether former President Trump had “inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan terms from banks,” according to the Times.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has established precedent for seizing abandoned investigation files.
District Attorney Bragg reportedly claimed that he was not confident that a prosecution of former President Trump would be successful, to which Mr. Pomerantz responded, “I am convinced that a failure to prosecute will pose much greater risks in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice,” according to the text of the resignation letter. As a result, a Times report described the state of the Trump investigation as “unraveled.”
In 2014, after then Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) made the controversial decision to close the Moreland Commission in exchange for a budget deal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office seized the investigation files of the anti-corruption panel. However, in the face of backtracking by District Attorney Bragg on the Trump investigation, the Manhattan Federal prosecutors’ office would not say whether they would seek to seize the investigation files of Municipal prosecutors.
The press office supporting U.S. Attorney Williams did not answer questions submitted in advance for this report.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg appears to have broken a promise made in the media.
The Trump investigation began under District Attorney Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, Jr.. In 2021, before District Attorney Bragg was sworn-in, he pledged that he had “no plans to disrupt the investigation he’s inheriting,” according to a report published by the CNN cable news network. He also promised to keep the two lead investigators. Yet, after District Attorney Bragg decided to halt the investigation, Mr. Pomerantz accused District Attorney Bragg of being “misguided,” adding that, “the public interest warrants the criminal prosecution of Mr. Trump, and such a prosecution should be brought without any further delay,” according to the text of the resignation letter.
Since District Attorney Bragg was sworn-in, however, he has come under heavy political pressure from a big business lobbying group, the Partnership for New York City, over his decision to forego prosecution of low-level crimes. He has also faced questions about the loss of support from a George Soros-funded political action committee.
In the past, the Partnership for New York City co-formed a political finance committee of its own, the Committee to Save New York, later itself disbanded under controversy, that promoted the agenda of then Gov. Cuomo.
- How the prosecution of Donald Trump can continue [The New York Daily News]
- Manhattan DA Bragg’s decision not to prosecute Trump was ‘misguided,’ chief investigator said [The New York Daily News]
- Trump Is Guilty of ‘Numerous’ Felonies, Prosecutor Who Resigned Says [The New York Times]
- Two Prosecutors Leading N.Y. Trump Inquiry Resign, Clouding Case’s Future [The New York Times]
- EXCLUSIVE : Riddle of why George Soros-backed political action committee Color Of Change pulled $500,000 in funding from super-liberal Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s campaign after disturbing allegation was made against him by unnamed woman [Daily Mail]