The two prosecutors leading the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal tax fraud investigation into Donald Trump and The Trump Organization unexpectedly resigned after the new Manhattan district attorney, raising serious doubts about the future of this investigation.
One source close to the investigation revealed that, leading up to these abrupt resignations, there had been a month-long pause in the prosecutor’s presentation of evidence to a grand jury.
The lead prosecutors, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F Pomerantz, both submitted their resignation after the new Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, expressed significant doubts he had about moving forward with the case.
Bragg, the first Black DA in Manhattan, took office on January 1. The most high-profile case he faced was the investigation into Trump and his business. It remains unclear why Bragg is now stepping away from this case, especially after pledging to focus on it shortly before taking office.
Back in December, Bragg discussed the case with CNN, saying, “This is obviously a consequential case, one that merits the attention of the DA personally.”
Former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich said these resignations and pull back from Bragg means this probe is “dead”. Bromwich posted about this incident on Twitter, writing, “The two top investigators/prosecutors resign = the Manhattan DA’s criminal case is dead.”
The two top investigator/prosecutors resign= the Manhattan DA’s criminal case is dead. https://t.co/UnEQvE6tQR
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) February 23, 2022
The investigation into Trump’s business was initiated by former DA, Cyrus Vance Jr. in 2018. Its purpose was to look into whether Trump inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan terms from banks.
Another roadblock for this investigation is that the grand jury’s term is scheduled to expire in April. While prosecutors can ask jurors to vote to extend their term, this is generally avoided. After a grand jury has already heard testimony, prosecutors are often reluctant to impanel a new one since witnesses may make conflicting statements if asked to re-testify.
Last year, witnesses were brought before the grand jury by then-DA Vance, including a Mazars USA accountant who had knowledge of Trump’s financial disclosures. Another witness was also a former executive from Deutsche Bank, which used to be one of Trump’s biggest lenders.
As this investigation is seemingly falling apart, the New York state AG Letitia James’ office is escalating their similar criminal investigation into the Trump Organization. James’ investigation opened in 2019 after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified that Trump exaggerated the value of the companies’ assets to obtain better terms for loans and insurance policies.
Just last week, James obtained approval from a judge to question both Trump and two of his children under oath. James has since filed court documents detailing the ways in which the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of its properties. While she admittedly doesn’t have the authority to criminally charge Trump, she could sue him.
James has faced backlash from Trump’s family, especially Eric Trump Jr, who has repeatedly spoken out against the illegal and unethical behavior of AG James.
In an Instagram post from January, Eric Trump posted a video compilation of AG Letitia James campaigning on her promise to destroy President Trump. In the post, Eric wrote:
“This is not the United States Legal System – this is third-world prosecutorial misconduct. Promising to target a political oponent and their family before even entering office…Letitia James may go down as the most politically corrupt Attorney General in New York history.”
“I’ve been representing Donald Trump for over a year in this case and I haven’t found any evidence that could lead to a prosecution against him, or any crimes,” said Ronald P. Fischetti, a lawyer for Trump. “I hope Mr. Bragg will now look again at all the evidence in the case and make a statement that he is discontinuing all investigation of Donald Trump.”
Other ongoing criminal investigations into President Trump are an investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, and an investigation into Trump’s financial dealings at one of his company’s golf courses. Among these investigations, the most developed was the Manhattan one which has now been halted.
Aside from Pomerantz confirming his resignation in a brief interview, neither Pomerantz nor Dunne have commented on their resignations.