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Monday, June 24, 2024

Prosecutors in Charge of Manhattan DA’s Trump Witch Hunt Have Resigned

'I'm a very happy man. In my opinion, this investigation is over... '

(Headline USA) The two prosecutors in charge of the Manhattan district attorney’s partisan witch hunt investigation into former President Donald Trump and his business dealings suddenly resigned Wednesday, throwing the future of the probe into question.

A spokesperson for leftist District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed the resignations of Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, top deputies who had been tasked with running the investigation on a day-to-day basis. Both started on the Trump probe under former District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Bragg asked them to stay when he took office in January.

Dunne, the office’s former general counsel, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in a successful, multiyear partisan-driven fishing expedition for Trump’s tax records. Pomerantz, a former mafia prosecutor, was brought out of private practice by Vance last year to add his expertise in white collar investigations and had been involved in questioning witnesses before the grand jury.

“We are grateful for their service,” Bragg spokesperson Danielle Filson said. She declined to comment further, saying the investigation is ongoing.

The New York Times, citing sources, reported that the grand jury investigation had stalled, with no sessions in the last month, and that Dunne and Pomerantz quit after Bragg raised doubts about pursuing a case against Trump himself. No former president has ever been charged with a crime.

So far, the nearly three-year investigation has resulted only in dubious tax fraud charges against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg relating to so-called fringe benefits such as rent, car payments and school tuition.

Messages seeking comment were left for Dunne and Pomerantz.

Trump did not immediately respond to the news. In a telephone interview, his lawyer Robert Fischetti said: “I’m a very happy man. In my opinion, this investigation is over.”

Fischetti said Bragg has not spoken to him about the status of the investigation or potential charges against Trump but, given Thursday’s developments, the lawyer said it appeared that the D.A. had reviewed the case and signaled to his deputies he was not inclined to pursue an indictment.

“My client has done nothing wrong,” Fischetti said.

The resignations were likely to further embolden Trump, a Republican who continues to consider another run for president in 2024. Trump has repeatedly called the New York probes baseless and politically motivated, saying in a statement last week that Democrat prosecutors were spending “historic amounts of time, energy, and money trying to ‘get Trump.’”

The Manhattan D.A.’s office started investigating Trump in 2019, first examining alleged hush-money payments paid to women on his behalf and then expanding into an inquiry into whether the president’s company misled lenders or tax authorities about the value of its properties.

Just last month, Bragg said he was proud of the continuity that Dunne and Pomerantz had brought in running the high-profile investigation as he took over the D.A.’s office from Vance, who declined to run for re-election after winning the battle over Trump’s tax returns.

“I do think the one continuity is the staffing and (Vance) brought on incredible lawyers to do it,” Bragg said in a Jan. 20 question-and-answer session with reporters.

“And they’ve been dedicated and we’ve been working and keeping them in place and thinking about the kind of resources to continue the investigation in order to then be in a position to make” decisions on the direction of the probe, Bragg said.

Bragg, limited by ethics rules from discussing the case in detail, said at the time that he was getting up to speed on the Trump investigation and that he would “follow the facts.” He didn’t offer a timeline for a charging decision.

“It’s a matter that’s personally, as you would imagine, on my radar screen and that I’m mindful of and paying attention to,” Bragg said.

Weisselberg, the only person charged in the investigation, has pleaded not guilty to charges he collected and failed to pay taxes on more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Weisselberg and the Trump Organization filed court papers seeking to throw out the case. Weisselberg’s lawyers argued the D.A.’s office was targeting him as punishment because he wouldn’t flip on the former president.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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