Trump Is Guilty of ‘Numerous’ Felonies, Prosecutor Who Resigned Says – The New York Times

Earlier this month, The Times reported that the investigation unraveled after weeks of escalating disagreement between the veteran prosecutors overseeing the case and the new district attorney. Much of the debate centered on whether the prosecutors could prove that Mr. Trump knowingly falsified the value of his assets on annual financial statements, The Times found, a necessary element to proving the case.

While Mr. Dunne and Mr. Pomerantz were confident that the office could demonstrate that the former president had intended to inflate the value of his golf clubs, hotels and office buildings, Mr. Bragg was not. He balked at pursuing an indictment against Mr. Trump, a decision that shut down Mr. Pomerantz’s and Mr. Dunne’s presentation of evidence to a grand jury and prompted their resignations.

Mr. Bragg has said that his office continues to conduct the investigation. For that reason, Mr. Bragg, a former federal prosecutor and deputy New York State attorney general who became district attorney in January, is barred from commenting on its specifics.

Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., had decided in his final days in office to move toward an indictment, leaving Mr. Trump just weeks away from likely criminal charges. Mr. Bragg’s decision seems, for now at least, to have removed one of the greatest legal threats Mr. Trump has ever faced.

The resignation letter cast a harsh light on that decision from the perspective of Mr. Pomerantz, who wrote that he believed there was enough evidence to prove Mr. Trump’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“No case is perfect,” Mr. Pomerantz wrote. “Whatever the risks of bringing the case may be, I am convinced that a failure to prosecute will pose much greater risks in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice.”

In a statement responding to the letter, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Ronald P. Fischetti, said that charges were not warranted and that Mr. Pomerantz “had the opportunity to present the fruits of his investigation to the D.A. and his senior staff on several occasions and failed.”

Mr. Pomerantz contrasted Mr. Bragg’s approach with that of Mr. Vance, who made the Trump investigation a centerpiece of his tenure and convened the grand jury last fall. Mr. Pomerantz’s letter said that shortly before leaving office, Mr. Vance had directed the prosecutors to pursue an indictment of Mr. Trump as well as “other defendants as soon as reasonably possible.”

The letter did not name the other defendants, but the recent Times article reported that the prosecutors envisioned also charging Mr. Trump’s family business and his longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, who had already been indicted along with the company last year, accused of a yearslong scheme to evade taxes.

Mr. Bragg has told aides that the inquiry could move forward if a new piece of evidence is unearthed, or if a Trump Organization insider decides to turn on Mr. Trump. Some investigators in the office saw either possibility as highly unlikely.

The Trump Investigations

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Numerous inquiries. Since former President Donald Trump left office, there have been many investigations and inquiries into his businesses and personal affairs. Here’s a list of those ongoing:

Numerous inquiries. Since former President Donald Trump left office, there have been many investigations and inquiries into his businesses and personal affairs. Here’s a list of those ongoing:

Investigation into criminal fraud. The Manhattan district attorney’s office and the New York attorney general’s office have been investigating whether Mr. Trump or his family business, the Trump Organization, intentionally submitted false property values to potential lenders. In February, two Manhattan prosecutors resigned, clouding the future of the district attorney’s case.

Investigation into tax evasion. As part of their investigation, in July 2021, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its chief financial officer, with orchestrating a 15-year scheme to evade taxes. In February, lawyers for both parties asked a judge to dismiss the charges.

Investigation into election interference. The Atlanta district attorney is conducting a criminal investigation of election interference in Georgia by Mr. Trump and his allies.

Investigation into the Trump National Golf Club. Prosecutors in the district attorney’s office in Westchester County, N.Y., appear to be focused at least in part on whether the Trump Organization misled local officials about the property’s value to reduce its taxes.

Civil investigation into Trump Organization. The New York attorney general, Letitia James, is seeking to question Mr. Trump under oath in a civil fraud investigation of his business practices.

“There are always additional facts to be pursued,” Mr. Pomerantz wrote in his letter. “But the investigative team that has been working on this matter for many months does not believe that it makes law enforcement sense to postpone a prosecution in the hope that additional evidence will somehow emerge.”

He added that “I and others believe that your decision not to authorize prosecution now will doom any future prospects that Mr. Trump will be prosecuted for the criminal conduct we have been investigating.”

As of late December, the team investigating Mr. Trump was mostly united around Mr. Vance’s decision to pursue charges — but that had not always been the case, The Times reported this month. Last year, three career prosecutors in the district attorney’s office opted to leave the team, uncomfortable with the speed at which it was proceeding and with what they believed were gaps in the evidence.

Initially, Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne had envisioned charging Mr. Trump with the crime of “scheme to defraud,” believing that he falsely inflated his assets on the statements of financial condition that had been used to obtain bank loans. But by the end of the year, they had changed course and planned to charge Mr. Trump with falsifying business records — a simpler case that essentially amounted to painting Mr. Trump as a liar rather than a thief.

This content was originally published here.

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